Your Twenty British Albums Of The Decade: #9 - #5

on Monday, January 25, 2010
Top twenty British albums of the noughties, as voted by 222 internet peoples, thus far: #20 - #15 and #14 - #10.

#9 Primal Scream -XTRMNTR
37 points, 13 votes

Primal Scream - XTRMNTR (album cover)
"Coming out at the very start of the century, I remember thinking at the time that this was what I'd hoped rock'n'roll would sound like in the future. 'Accelerator' was a screaming punk beast what held no punches, and was played with a ferocity that made you bleed. 'Swastika Eyes' was an STD-ridden, disco romp, with a Sophie Dahl starring video that was dangerous, sexy and political all in one go.

In fact politics around the turn of the century was a common theme that ran through this record, from this, 'Blood Money' and the title track, even through to the albums artwork and decision by the band to include literature regarding the false imprisonment of Satpal Ram in the liner notes, for a 17 year old it was the first time I'd seen a band get political and still remain musically interesting." (David, And Everyone's A DJ)

#8 The Streets - Original Pirate Material
46 points, 14 votes

The Streets - Original Pirate Material (album cover)
"As Mike Skinner talks his stark stream of consciousness, you can imagine him, head down, striding the dark city streets, the lights and noise and sights rushing over him, all his lyrics spewing out naturally. “Deep seated urban decay, deep seated urban decay”. Everything juxtaposed perfectly with the minimalist beats and samples, vast empty spaces aping the grey city.

I love the perfect poetry; barely a word out of place. You feel everything Skinner says is a snippet of a real conversation. “One hand clutching a sword raised to the sky”. Opening track, 'Turn The Page', just snares and some strings, becomes epic. Whatever he’s talking about, you want to stand up and believe in.

I love the beats. Always a perfect fit for the lyrics, whether squelching about like the minds of those depicted in 'Too Much Brandy', or veering between calm and unstable on 'The Irony Of It All'. “Ooh the pizza's here, will someone let him in please? We didn't order chicken”. Every line quotable, even if you can scarcely believe its being used as lyric.

Skinner excels in both content and deliverance. 'Original Pirate Material' is funny and sad, rousing and bleak, and everyone should love it." (Kieran, Yeah, Do That)

#7 PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
50 points, 14 votes

PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (album cover)
"I bought this album when I was on a school trip in New York when I was 13. The man behind the counter was waxing lyrical about it being amazing, so my hopes were high. Thankfully, he was right!

For me, this album will always recall walking around Manhattan being completely overjoyed at just being there. PJ Harvey was my first introduction to strong girl singers too, with 'This Is Love' soon becoming one of my personal angsty anthems.

Everything about it is just brilliant; from the romanticism of 'Good Fortune', which always makes me want to sing along and smile like a maniac, to the warming, no-holds-barred confessional 'We Float'. There’s nothing better than an album that takes you back to the best moments of your life, which simply has to mean that 'Stories...' is my honorary album of the past ten years." (Holly, Tell Me A Story)

#6 Radiohead - Amnesiac
52 points, 16 votes

Radiohead - Amnesiac (album cover)
"When this album was released in 2001 it caught me completely off-guard. Radiohead had just released 'Kid A' less than a year before so I was not prepared for a new album for another 3 years or so.

I remember hearing one night that a new Radiohead video would be premiering on MTV. No videos had been released for 'Kid A' and considering that I had always been a fan of Radiohead’s videos, I was rabid for a new one. I dashed downstairs in the dorm to the common room and turned it on just in time to see the video for 'Pyramid Song'. I found it unfathomably sad and beautiful.

Upon listening to the rest of the album, I felt that Radiohead had recorded the human response to 'Kid A'’s machine." (Jordan, Plaid Forever)

#5 The Libertines - Up The Bracket
56 points, 18 votes

The Libertines - Up The Bracket (album cover)
"'Up The Bracket' is the sound of a young band. Perhaps a naïve and hopelessly romantic one, but nevertheless a band at a peak that few ever reach. Doherty and Barat seemed to spend the early part of the decade in some dreamy bohemian saunter through east London, seeing magic and adventure in every grotty Whitechapel tower block, and they document it here.

Gloriously messy guitar chords scuttle around anarchically, held together by the rhythm unit, perhaps often under-mentioned if not underrated: The jazzy drums are complex but not showy; completely in control despite the madness. The bass lines furiously drive the songs forward but always remain intricate and melodic.

Loud and quiet, dynamic like nothing is any more, it is packed with countless little musical and lyrical perfections: “If you've lost your faith and love of music, the end wont be long.” // The harmony on “but tell me baby, how does it feel” // The barely audible “fuck off” in the title track // “There are fewer more distressing sights than that, of an Englishman in a baseball cap”.

With these tales of beautiful youthful hedonism, we needn’t worry about "tainted legacy" or "wasted potential". We still have this record, and it’s still wonderful." (Kieran, Yeah, Do That)

Top four British albums of the noughties drops tomorrow. FINALLY. I will look forward to normality.

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