Staff Top 10
Top Ten Albums Released...

By: Nick Southall

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Posted 01/12/2007 - 07:26:17 AM by florenz6:
 I was thrilled when I heared The Mountain Goats for the first time, it was years and years ago, a very low-fi album called "The Coroner´s Gambit". A voice, a guitar, a cassette recorder. It was interesting when John Darnielle made a deal with 4AD Records. The music was no longer low-fi (with all its associated virtues), and still a class of its own. Even more so. "Tallahassee" was a great example for using good studio equipment for a great sound that didn´t kill the intimacy of the performance. Last year´s "Get Lonely" moved even a bit more into chamber music territory with the cello of Erik Friedlander. It wasn´t praised like some earlier works, but, by now, it became my favourite album from the Mountain Goats. The best story telling always leaves out something, and this whole album is a first class-lesson in leaving spaces between words and sounds. Stories of broken hearts are business as usual in pop music, but here loneliness becomes an adventurous and meditative place.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 11:55:54 AM by PeteGuy:
 Couldn't agree more about Electrelane - superb, highly underated record, which deserves far more critical attention than it receives. And Broken Social - I too was in that select group of consciously ignoring it - but when I finally dropped it, woop! Even better live too, I should add.

On a separate note, why've Stylus brought back the comments section. I was so pleased to see the demise of the 'clique'.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 12:01:00 PM by NickSouthall:
 There's a link at the top of the frontpage explaining about comments.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 12:18:51 PM by PeteGuy:
 Ah, thanks for pointing that out, I missed it. Couldn't agree more with the sentiments expressed in that note... Keep on keeping on.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 12:49:15 PM by pmckay:
 Too bad Pharrell & Co. really shit the bed with Fly Or Die, because I was diggin' In Search Of... now I can't listen to it without hearing the cracks in the pavement. I do still love BabyDoll (the black Beck) and Provider (Marvin Gaye with bling) and Run to the Sun (Sly & the Fam on Meth).
Posted 01/12/2007 - 02:13:00 PM by cwperry:
 Wow, I think I'm the only person who thinks Sonic Nurse is the Yoof's worst album.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 03:22:09 PM by grandbanks:
 No, cwperry, I too found Sonic Nurse really underwhelming. Doing a little broken-recording here, but I thought Murray Street signalled great things for the next couple of records. Sonic Nurse is serviceable, a couple of really good songs, but Murray Street is almost great all the way through (except for the first Kim song). Like Rather Ripped OK, more bang for buck than Nurse, but I guess I actually like NYC Ghosts and Flowers better than either of the last two. Of course I also like to listen to my refrigerator hum more than a lot of recent records.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 03:55:02 PM by grandbanks:
 Oh, also, I am very much in-line with Nick on the idea of the "best records of the year" and how I categorize stuff. I am a radio dj (of the American community/college variety) and these things come up every year and I can barely remember what came out in 06 or 05 or whenever (even though I am always digging into the new bin). I guess you're either compelled to do these things or you're not, but while my tastes differ very much from Nick's most of the time, my listening habits seem very similar, though I find it interesting that he categorized his habits as fadish but then neglects things that all the other blogger-writers champion till the brouhaha dies down. Probably a lot of folks out there that do the same thing these days.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 04:59:49 PM by cwperry:
 grandbanks: wow, you and I must be the only ones who love NYC Ghosts & Flowers! It was my pick for #1 album of 2000; on the other hand, you have Pitchfork giving it a 0.0 rating. As for Nurse, I have to go back to a couple of comments I've heard: first, Thurston Moore at one point mentioned something about feeling like an heir to the Grateful Dead and a peer of Phish, which I can understand but also know that most will find that a bit odd; second, in the Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, Jim O'Rourke says he is known for "ruining records." In my fantasy version of the Nurse sessions, O'Rourke said to Moore, "Let's try to make good on that Grateful Dead thing." I find Nurse to be an aimless, soulless drift of a record in league not with the Dead's good moments (American Beauty chief among them) but with the Dead's . . . well . . . aimless, weak moments. I've loved Sonic Youth for 20 years and when I play Nurse I can barely make it through a single side. Love the artwork, though.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 05:02:55 PM by cwperry:
 And that Richard Hawley album, Coles Corner, is just a beautiful charm of a record that even your grandmother will love (and I mean OLD grandmothers, not the new phase of grandmothers who hung out at CBGB's).
Posted 01/12/2007 - 05:30:30 PM by grandbanks:
 I think A Thousand Leaves is their Grateful Dead record, way looser and jammier, but I know what you're saying. I think what Thurston was getting at, and I've heard him mention, is that he thought that Phish and Dead fans should dig on the improv parts of the sy songs, but for some reason never gravitated towards them. Having grown up in the Northeast USA with a TON of Phish and Dead fans I can speak from massive experience that they are typically a very closed-minded bunch. Of course the Dead have all kinds of fans, but Phish not so much, which is not surprising. I have wasted a lot of time trying to play SY to these very folks and made very little headway. I posted in the past some stuff revolving around the Boredoms and their relative popularity amongst indie folks/hipsters/music snobs and the bashing that jam bands get by same folks. Not gonna relauch it here, but it is fascinating. All about the feel, and of course trending and press and etc. etc.
Posted 01/12/2007 - 07:21:39 PM by cwperry:
 grandbanks: Right, the jam aspect of SY has a lot in common with jam aspects of any band. As for A Thousand Leaves, I know what you're saying--I believe that the Grateful Dead tinge of SY started there but reached its nadir on Sonic Nurse. Ah well, I hated Rather Ripped when I first heard it and now I love it. Haven't heard NYC Ghosts & Flowers in a while, maybe it's time for a reappraisal. Always liked Murray Street. I've been revisiting Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star a lot lately and while I dug it in '94 it doesn't have the same punch for me that it once did.
Posted 01/15/2007 - 10:18:51 AM by badhaircut:
 I'm so sick of BSS.
Posted 01/18/2007 - 03:50:58 PM by Utica5:
 ...still waiting for bonnie prince billy's "the letting go" to end up on one of these stupid lists (especially the "sorry i ignored you" list)
Posted 05/31/2007 - 08:08:50 PM by mirakle:
 Somehow missed this list until now, almost 5 months later. I found Strange Bird in the $2 bin (repository for the unpopular used CDs) in a chain music store in New England...I had been searching everywhere, refusing to give in to the internet. Glad you got a copy.