Your Twenty British Albums Of The Decade: #20 - #15

on Saturday, January 23, 2010
It's taken a while to compile but 222 voters and 666 choices later, I can finally present the top twenty British albums of the noughties, as voted for by people on the internetz. Some people I know, many I don't. Maybe even you. This is an extension of the blogger poll that I did at the back end of last year.

Many artists were voted for multiple times, with some surprises along the way and one band completely dominating the votes, with four albums in the top twenty. More words on the methods and scoring are at the end of the post. All albums were released between Jan 1 2000 and Dec 31 2009, by British artists (I rather arbitrarily left out the Irish, sorry). Without further ado, here are entries #20 to #15.

#20 Muse - Origin Of Symmetry
19 points, 5 votes

Muse - Origin Of Symmetry (album cover)
"Muse not only changed the face of popular music, but they've also brought out one amazing album after another. 'Origin Of Symmetry' started that off, where they left behind the harder sound shown in some of the songs in 'Showbiz' in favour of more melodic, operatic, and generally prog rock-ish songs. That move would be the best thing they ever did." (Alex, The Retrospective Review)

#19 Muse - Absolution
19 points, 7 votes

Muse - Absolution (album cover)
"Whether you're looking for a classically trained piano piece in the midst of a track, or an absolutely insane riff, or some of the most beautiful vocals you'll hear from any man, they'll deliver this and plenty more. This album became a very popular one because of a few standout singles, but the depth of the album is where the gems are hidden, such as the more slow burning pieces like 'Butterflies And Hurricanes' and 'Blackout'." (David, A Slice Of Fried Gold)

#18 M.I.A - Arular
22 points, 8 votes

M.I.A - Arular (album cover)
"What. An. Album. This was like nothing I’d ever heard before because it was like nothing anyone had heard before. Truly a unique collection of songs, and whilst 'Kala' miiiight just be better, it didn’t have the same “wtf is this” impact as 'Arular' did.

Lots of middle ages white people began throwing around the word "urban" to show how in touch they were with the “yoof” after Dizzee’s 'Boy In Da Corner' but that is almost incomparable to the amount of people who (wrongly) began to feel like they were on the same page as hyper-intelligent, politically minded inner city kids after they heard tracks like 'Galang' and 'Bucky Done Gun'. A genuine British talent with a mind-expanding album." (Jamila, Fucking Dance)

#17 The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
23 points, 9 votes

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free (album cover)
"2004 saw The Streets bring us a hip-hopera in the silky guise of 'A Grand Don’t Come For Free'. The album recalls a tale of losing and regaining £1000 and various events in between including: relationship strife, gambling and alcohol addictions and narcotic induced paranoia.

Bedroom recordings are a mark of our times. Anybody with an ounce of ability, or a lot of spare time, can get the right software and knock something out. The Streets go beyond this and Mike Skinner has accurately recorded the transition from boy to man in a way comparable to any great British poet." (Adam Phillips, Rosa Alchemica)

#16 Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
24 points, 8 votes

Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (album cover)
"The moody undercurrents of Amy Winehouse’s breakthrough album are rendered even darker in light of the walking tabloid tragedy she became, but that doesn’t change the record’s status as the pinnacle of the Brit neo-soul wave it ushered in. 'Back To Black'’s appropriation of retro production styles and lyrical themes as old as pop music itself—heartbreak, bad decisions, and more heartbreak—felt familiar, yet of-the-moment, aided in no small part by Winehouse’s sultry voice and wholly believable persona.

Then there’s 'Rehab', a massive single fueled by one of the most indelible hooks of the past 10 years, and a compellingly antagonistic sass that’s rarely employed so well by modern female pop singers." (Genevieve Koski, AV Club)

#15 Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
24 points, 10 votes

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head (album cover)
"Coldplay's second album cemented their status as one of the biggest bands of the decade. More rocked out than their debut, they still managed to produce some beautiful, lighter than air tracks that resonated with the hopeless romantic in all of us." (Hunter, 17 Tracks)

More to come tomorrow.

*The points system. I allocated five points to the top ranked choice, then three points then one point to the remaining two choices. In case of equal pointage, the album with the most votes was given the higher placing. And if that was irritatingly still a tie, then the most appearances as a #1 choice was the separating factor. Also, many of the entries were culled from larger "best of decade" lists, for better or for worse.

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