Music enjoyment is quite subjective, a lot more than any other types of art in my opinion. Sometimes you just can’t describe, or don’t have the vocabulary to describe why you like something, you just FEEL it. So I’ll try my best to explain or comment on why these are my favorite albums of the past decade. I know some of this stuff is not too mainstream, so I’ve included the Spotify (and Soundcloud in one case) links to listen. Hopefully now I can answer the question of what kind of music I listen to, because I never know what to say.
Metric’s fifth studio album is pretty well rounded collection of energetic, catchy, rock-pop songs. As the name implies, the lyrics and music revolve around the concept of the real vs. the artificial/synthetic. The very first opening line: “I’m just as fucked up as they say”, just oozes cool.
- Artificial Nocturne
- Breathing Underwater
- The Wanderlust
- Nothing But Time
I already knew about Gotye from his previous album Like Drawing Blood and when Making Mirrors broke out to the mainstream with Someone That I Used to Know song and its video I was quite surprised. This relatively unknown musician suddenly had a massive hit and was EVERYWHERE. Something about that song just clicked with the general public I guess, but then it went away. The album is actually quite good and a bit more subdued than expected. The video for State Of The Art is fun and creepy too.
- Easy Way Out
- Eyes Wide Open
- State Of The Art
NOMAN is the name of Belgian Kaat Arnaert’s solo project. This first album is full of angst, sadness, sorrow, frustration, gloominess… you get the point. So if you’re into that kind of dramatic, downtempo and slightly experimental music, this is a very recommended listen.
- Baby Come Home
Tales Of Us finds Golfrapp at its most dreamy and cinematic. Every song (sans one) are called by a person’s name, reavealing short stories about these people. Alison’s voice is breathy and heavy with melancholia, as if she were revealing her secrets to your ear. It’s a quite sophisticated and rich listening experience.
On her second solo album, Geike Arnaert, former Hooverphonic vocalist, let go of her former band’s sound, instead opting for a more bare, clean sound that lets her voice carry the songs. Her singing is rather restrained and modest here, without feeling the need to show off . You can tell this songs are meaningful to her, and that makes for a beautiful listen. There’s also an very cool b-side that wasn’t included in the record for some reason.
- Sea of Fools
- Sirens Call
For their sixth studio album, Garbage went a little bit darker than usual, and that is definitely a good thing. The opening Sometimes sets the mood very clearly. It seems like reflecting on the current state of the world has given Shirley new lyrical ideas to play with. The general sound is unmistakeably Garbage rock-pop, so no big surprises. The slow songs kill it as usual and Amends is a fantastic closer which builds and builds until the very satisfying release.
- If I Lost You
- We Never Tell
- Teaching Little Fingers To Play
Ditching their trademark strings and studio sound, Hooverphonic created an album recorded outside a regular studio, instead prefering to perform inside other people’s houses. This pecularity gives the album a very warm, organic, and a bit imperfect sound. The songs are all accesible, short. and sweet, resulting in a constantly pleasent pop experience, which is sometimes all you want.
- Wait For a While
- Copper (CU)
Belgian indie rock band Tommigun are relatively unknown (this album is not in Spotify for whatever reason) and it’s a real shame. I find their sound very appealing, especially the mix of male and female vocals. There is something so unpretentious about their sound that I can’t help but like a lot.
- Ride With Me
- Moonshine Moon
- Sun On My Face
The first time I listened to Kashmir I thought they sounded like Radiohead wannabes, but as their sound matured they’ve established their own experimental identity. I would describe E.A.R. as an introvert album, sometimes gloomy and subdued, but also revealing a hidden beauty from time to time. There are some really beautiful melodies here and the lyrics are poetry to my ears.
- Piece Of The Sun
- Peace In The Heart
- Milk For The Black Hearted
The evolution of Dutch band The Gathering from doom/gothic metal to trip-rock (self described term) is fascinating to me, and Disclosure is the logical and perfect culmination of their many years of career. It ticks all my boxes: beautiful female vocals, melancholic melodies and lyrics, rich, layered atmospheres and a blend of pop sensibilities with a more experimental prog-rock. In an era of consuming media as quickly as possible, these songs take their time to breathe (some are very long) to create an immersive and rewarding experience. I Can See Four Miles blew my mind the first time I listened to it and still does today. I will always love this album.
- Heroes for Ghosts
- Gemini I
- I Can See Four Miles