To celebrate the fact that the Stylus archive is back in action, meaning that everything I ever wrote there is now visible once more, I’ve decided to do a quick top ten. The title of this post may have been a clue.
Note that these are NOT what I consider to be my “top ten reviews”; they’re just the top ten records, which I reviewed while writing for Stylus, that I still really love, years on.
Flicking through the list of reviews I wrote, I am more than a little perturbed that Derek bloody Miller managed to snag reviews of my favourite records by certain bands. So where I reviewed early records by Manitoba/Caribou and Patrick Wolf, say, Derek reviewed the album by each that I love the most. The bastard.
In no particular order, then…
The Necks – Drive By
Possibly the record from my time at Stylus that I have played the most.
Kate Bush – Aerial
This is coming up for six years old now; as testament to how fast the (music) world moves now, in the internet age, that doesn’t seem like very long – that she may have a new record out later this year is surprisingly quick.
Electrelane – No Shouts No Calls
My favourite individual Electrelane songs exist elsewhere, perhaps (The Valleys, I Want To Be The President), but this album is their strongest set of songs. They’re back together and I’m psyched.
Four Tet – Rounds
I reviewed this and Manitoba’s breakthrough Up In Flames in short order in 2003, dropped lots of cultural studies terminology, and gained a reputation as an intellectual electronic music writer. Which was complete nonsense. I’ve still no idea what I’m talking about.
LCD Soundsystem – The Sound Of Silver
Those two peaks still astound; the whole holds up.
Sly And The Family Stone – Stand!
Cheating perhaps, as this is a remaster of an undisputed classic, but, perusing what I reviewed, I covered very few modern classics – often times I ended up stunt-reviewing things we needed to cover while others got to praise the true gems.
CAN – Monster Movie
Likewise this; I think CAN’s most underrated record, perhaps because, without Damo and with Malcolm, it’s their most atypical. Mary Mary So Contrary, though, is still an absolute dream.
Bark Psychosis – ///Codename:Dustsucker
I should probably stop talking and writing about this. I don’t listen to it anywhere near as often as you might think based on this blog.
Acoustic Ladyland – Skinny Grin
It was surprising how many of the albums I was close to including in this list were jazz records – Polar Bear, e.s.t., Dave Douglas – but this one perhaps, due to its status as, in a few minds, a modern-day, avant-garde fusion masterpiece, just pips it.
Roots Manuva – Awfully Deep
I’ve not listened to this in an age, but on seeing it in the list of my archive I felt compelled to squeeze it in here. I’ll dig it out over the weekend.
And, just for the record, the worst…