Chris’s Arbitrary Top 10: 10-6

19 11 2009

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So, originally I was gonna shout about The Dodos, but Alexei has gifted me with Friday’s article as well. The only natural route, of course, is a two-part feature in which I introduce you to about a dozen epic albums. So, that’s what I’m doing. However, I’d like to preface the program by stating that these aren’t necessarily my favorite artists (though many of them are), but instead the albums I’ve enjoyed most throughout the years. I’m talking about excellent balance, replay value, and originality across the board – every album would get a 5/5 from me, and Alexei would do the same for most. It turns out they’re performed almost exclusively by various indie bands, but you’ll just have to get over that. Anyway, I’m not interested in being eloquent or witty; I’m interested in finishing this article and going to sleep. If you really need a comedy fix, here’s a funny photo.

10. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)

Upon its release in the UK, this album became the fastest selling debut album by a band, and has since gone quadruple platinum across the pond. They’re a pretty big deal over there, and have become a staple in many State-side indie rock collections. For those of you already familiar with the album – did you know every track is a first-person narrative of “young Northern England clubbers”? Because I didn’t until I read the Wiki page.
Check out:
“Riot Van”
“Mardy Bum”
“A Certain Romance”

9. Let Go – Let Go (2005)


This is the only full-length album out of the Arizona natives. I picked it up at Warped Tour in 2006 – The Militia Group, their label, had a merch tent and were selling CDs 3 for $10. I also picked up albums by The Rocket Summer and Cartel… but don’t let that discredit Let Go. They’re probably tied for least-known band that made this list, but it’s the best album I’ve ever bought at random, and you should give them a listen.
Check out:
“120 BPM”
“No Drugs, No Alcohol”
“Illuminati”
And every single other song, really.

8. The Cat Empire – The Cat Empire (2003)

These guys are Australian, and they’re pretty huge there. If you like jazz, reggae, indie, ska, funk, rock, Latin music, or dank Aussie accents, this band’s for you. They’ve put out a lot of material since this debut album, but nothing has quite matched it – though their sophomore attempt came close.
Check out:
“One Four Five”
“Days Like These”
“The Chariot”

7. The Killers – Hot Fuss (2004)

This band is one of the biggest disappointments the music industry has to offer. Hot Fuss, however, is an incredible release, and somewhat of an inciting incident concerning my indie leanings. There’s not a lot I can say about the album – everyone knows who The Killers are. But if you haven’t given them a chance yet, you need to – but only this album.
Check out:
“Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll”
“All These Things That I’ve Done”
“Believe Me Natalie”

6. Alex Skolnick Trio – Goodbye to Romance: Standards for a New Generation (2002)


I was first introduced to this group by Alexei, who, in turn, had been shown the way by Austin Burleigh. Alex Skolnick used to be a heavy metal guitarist for the band Testament, but has since launched a jazz career, and did so with this release. Many songs are jazz covers of classic heavy metal songs by bands like Aerosmith, Scorpions, and Ozzy Osbourne, while a few are originals. All of them are excellent. This is a truly unique album and my go to music when I need to relax (“Ofri”), or when I’m tripping face on shrooms (“War Pigs”).
Check out:
“Detroit Rock City”
“Pinball Wizard”
“No One Like You”

*Bonus Album

Our Lady Peace – Live (2003)


I bought this album the week it came out, and it’s ranked highly ever since. I made it a bonus because it’s a live release and not a studio album, and also because I had trouble narrowing down a top ten. I’ve never been as impressed by a live performance like I am by this one. Our Lady Peace has a real unique sound, vocals in particular, that I didn’t expect them to nail right sans the high-tech recording equipment. Raine Maida delivers spectacularly, however, and even though they kind of suck now, they were awesome here. Plus, they chose most of their best songs, and even one that hadn’t been released previously.
Check out:
“Superman’s Dead”
“Innocent”
“Is Anybody Home?”

Well, that’s it for Thursday, folks. But check back tomorrow for the final five, plus another bonus album – I’m the kindest of bastards, I know.

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2 responses

20 11 2009
Chris’s Arbitrary Top 10: 5-1 « everydaymusic

[…] « Chris’s Arbitrary Top 10: 10-6 […]

10 12 2009
Our Lady Peace – Exclusive Concert Coverage (Freebird Live 12/04/09) « everydaymusic

[…] sold over 5 million albums, won a slew of Juno and MuchMusic Awards, and even ranked on my Arbitrary Top 10. In fact, it was their Live album that earned the honor, which is why I’ve wanted to see them […]

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