So much beauty out there

January 2, 2010

Music Review of the Decade

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 12:48 pm

Well, not really as systematic as that, partly because most of the music I’ve been listening is from the last millennium. So instead, a few random awards, and albums/songs that I’ve loved.

Worst Album Title – Cyndi Lauper – Twelve Deadly Cyns … and then some.
The pun for Cyndi’s greatest hits compilation would be painful enough if there were 12 songs on the album. The desperate persistence with it even with 16 songs is, literally, horrible.

Worst Lyrics (Verse) – Herman Dune – 1-2-3 Appletree
OK, I know that English is not their first language, but there is no excuse for this:

…And you know how people shorten other people’s names
to show their affection
like if you called me Ray, if my name was Raymond
well your name ain’t Susan but I would call you Sue
to show you how bad I like to be with you

Worst Lyrics (Song) – Sugababes – Easy
A song almost entirely constituted of single entendres:

Hey Mr Postman,
where’s the mail for my mailbox?
I wanted sex on the beach
and I don’t mean on the rocks
It’s your serve baby
but the ball’s in my court,
I’ve got a landing strip
clear for you at the airport

Show some dignity!

Best Albums:

Magnetic Fields I
Impossible to follow the utter magnificence of 69 Love Songs, I is not a major work. Yet it still has 2 off kilter pop classics – I Thought You Were My Boyfriend and I Don’t Believe You – a couple of heartbreakers and a perfect statement of enduring love – It’s Only Time, which I’m going to play at my wedding (so, if it’s going to be a deal breaker, you’d better listen to it now)

Louise Attaque Comme On A Dit
The blueprint for what a French rock record should sound like. Incorporating chanson traditions with a proper rock sensibility.

Mary Gauthier Filth and Fire
Most of her albums have a few good songs but can’t sustain the quality to album length. Not so here. The opening track, Walk Through The Fire, is magnificent; Sugar Cane rocks and Camelot Motel is gloriously seedy. The rest of the album is misery made gorgeous.

Herman Dune Not On Top
Herman Dune churned out a collossal number of songs between 2000 and 2006 and although they had lots of gold, their miss rate was pretty substantial too. Even on this, the best of their albums, the skip button gets some usage but any album that contains Slow Century and You Could Be A Model, Goodbye deserves repeat listening.

Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters
I think the up-tempo pop song is possibly the hardest to get consistently right (and the Sisters lost the knack before their follow-up) but here every song on the album makes you want to sing or dance along.

Ben Folds Rockin’ The Suburbs
Grown-up subject matter (mostly!), grown-up, pretty, tunes. Possibly sticks too much to the same template to maintain quality throughout, but it’s a very good template.

Bill Callaghan’s most consistent album since Knock Knock. Not going to win over any Smog sceptics, but if you’re a fan then you’ll be very happy with it.

Kaizers Orchestra Ompa til du dor
Norwegian rock probably puts you in mind of church-burning death metal bands, but Kaizers Orchestra are a much more fun proposition, the hooks are big and obvious, and you can basically guess what they’re about without speaking a word of the language.

Emmylou Harris – Red Dirt Girl
Hot Chip – Colours
Augusto Cego – Mar
Les Rita Mitsouko – Alors C’est Quoi
The White Stripes – Apple Blossom
Thomas Dybdahl – From Grace
Tindersticks – Sometimes It Hurts
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – No Bad News
Kevin Blechdom – Lazy
Jan Plewka – In Nachten Wie Diesen
Girls Aloud – Love Machine
Britney Spears – Piece Of Me
Cat Power – Werewolf


  1. I don’t really have any arguments with most of your choices. But as there are supposedly seven deadly sins, not twelve, I’ve always assumed that that Cyndi title was deliberate nuttiness, akin to calling a trio “Ben Folds Five”. Whether that makes it any better is another matter.
    And as I find myself leaving a comment, I might as well say I like those Herman Dune lyrics, among the funniest in a funny song.
    Glad you like “lazy”. (Reader, it was the opening song of the last compilation I made Josh.)

    Comment by Ian — January 3, 2010 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

    • You may find that song funny, I find it painful (great tune though).
      I love Lazy and Get On Your Knees, but don’t really like anything else that Kevin’s done.

      Comment by Josh — January 3, 2010 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

      • bizarre.

        Comment by Ian — January 4, 2010 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

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