The Top 10 Underrated Albums of the Decade

2009-12-20 | |

I'm a little bit behind Rolling Stone, but, I can safely say my list was compiled before theirs went out to be published. This has just taken me a while to get round to uploading. Let's cut the crap, and just say that the next 10 albums are going to require no pompous words, just a synopsis and possibly an example of their brilliance:

10. Final Fantasy - Has a Good Home
Canadian genius (for there is no other word for him) Owen Pallett has spent the last decade sneaking into our music, bit by bit. He's arranged strings for Arcade Fire, Beirut, The Last Shadow Puppets, and even Mika. His own music takes that compositional flair of his, and makes itself known in its own light, without the name of another artiste to cloud it. It's just a shame he's relegated to relative obscurity, while those he has composed for have all the praise. Check him out.

9. Peace Burial At Sea - This is Such A Quiet Town
This is underrated for one reason, and one reason only: nobody has ever really looked at any of the bands from the old Captains of Industry label with any real positivity. Sure, Gay for Johnny Depp are suddenly hitting the lips of ever indie kid from here to eternity; Sucioperro has been rocking round the clock for as long as Marmeduke Duke have been putting out albums. But, PBAS never really got the break they deserved. Think of them as Britain's answer to the slowly fading goth scene.

8. The Most Serene Republic - Population
Back to Canada we go for the sweetest dream pop album this side of a candy coated rainbow. All you need to do is turn it on, and melt. I liked their first album, I wasn't so fond of their latest offering; this, however is just brilliant. Just pick it up, listen, enjoy.

7. Pelle Carlberg - In a Nutshell
Sweden usually offers the finest indie pop in the world, and this decade has been full of groups like Peter, Bjorn & John, and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names. Even in the last year, Lykke Li has broken onto the mainstream scene. Pelle Carlberg, however, has lain happily in his Labrador Records catalogue, strumming as soulfully as any Bon Iver or Samuel Beam. Really, he's a beam of light in the Aurora Borealis of Swedish indie.

6. TEAM - The Penalyn L.P.
Another northern band from that now-defunct northern label Captains of Industry. Verifiable post-punk effort from the team that is TEAM. Many a time have they been confused on for another, more-or-less famous group. In my mind, however, there is only one TEAM, and this album is what should have put them on the radar.

[Sadly, this one is soo off the radar, I'm going to send you all to]

5. The Blow - Paper Television
This album, personally, got me into lo-fi electronica. It was the stepping stone I needed. Thanks go to for airing Parentheses one day many years ago; and now, here it is, in the top 10 underrated albums of the decade. Simply put: YACHT, one half of this pair, is the best thing to happen to unsigned remixes since...well...himself. And the rest is just down to the simplicity of the songs; they're catchy, because they're easy to learn.

4. This is Menace - No End In Sight
As far as supergroups go, they usually consist of "Hipster A" and all his hipster friends; or "Rockstar A and friends" featuring "obligatory aged rockstar". This, on the other hand was the best post-hardcore/metal supergroup of the decade, and the only one which springs to mind. From collaborations with Matt Davies of Funeral for a Friend and Colin Doran of Hundred Reasons to Mikee from Sikth, this band, based mostly around members of Pitchshifter, really should be part of every metalhead's collection.

3. Jacob Golden - Revenge Songs
His favourite Daniel Johnston song was recorded on a tape-deck before he was born, apparently. That fact aside, Jacob Golden is to music what Monet was to art; it's beautiful, blurred only by the artists own ability to, (in Monet's case not see straight), be able to pen and sing from the depths of his heart. Revenge Songs captured my heart back when I first saw Mr Golden play live, and I really think he's deserving of a much higher accolade in this list, but, I'm slightly biased towards the winner...

2. My Latest Novel - Wolves
What comes out of Scotland is, on most occasions, superb. Belle and Sebastian, Biffy Clyro, and Mogwai all hail from 'north of the border', becoming part of what can only be described as "musical history". This, however, is a band that hit the floor running, and then faded away into silence due to relentless touring. Admittedly, they have a new album out, but I've not heard it, so I can't comment. Still - this is the best underrated folk album of the decade, bar none.

1. Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
"Underrated?" I hear you cry! It's a bit of a shock to the system, when the rest of the list has been pretty good folksy, happy (with the exception of This Is Menace) easy to please all stuff, to see that this is the album I feel has been most underrated this decade. All you have to do is listen, and you will see that you have been wrong about Pendulum and the Prodigy; this is the way electronic music should be made. Jungle is massive! And all that jazz.

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