Like many critics and serious followers of music, from time to time I compile my own “personal bests” lists. Almost exactly a decade ago today – this blog’s been around a long time – I wrote an entry called “Musoscribe’s Best of the Naughties.” Looking back at that list, I see albums that today I’d place in one of three categories:
- Albums that I haven’t played in nearly a decade, and may well have forgotten about. Those probably wouldn’t stay on any list I made of favorites of that decade now. That Godspeed You! Black Emperor album, Sufjan Stevens Illinois and (sigh…) Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full are examples. Good, but…y’know.
- Albums I haven’t played in awhile but am absolutely sure I’d still enjoy: Brian Wilson‘s SMiLE, Jamie and Steve’s English Afterthoughts and Brothers and Sisters’ Fortunately are among those.
- Albums I still play often. This list is longer than I might have guessed before refreshing my memory as to what I wrote ten full years ago. The Flaming Lips‘ Yoshimi, Dennis Diken’s sole solo album, a couple of KT Tunstall albums, a few Porcupine Tree releases, Zero 7’s Simple Things, the stunning Colonia from a Camp, a sadly-never-equaled King Khan and the Shrines album, a Dungen album, a Residents(!) album, Knight Area’s superb Realm of Shadows and a true obscurity, Randy and the Bloody Lovelies’ Lift.
So What About This Decade?
In the years that followed, I put together a best-of list each December. And looking back at the new release category, I still see some favorites, some records that – for me, at least – have stood the test of time. Here’s a list of 20 selected titles from the past ten years, with links to what I’ve written about them. I recommend all unequivocally.
And my best-of for 2019 is here.