wears the trousers magazine


wears the trousers albums of the decade #25-1

part onepart twopart three

Here’s the fourth and final part of our albums of the decade countdown, 25 albums so fantastic they should have sold millions (and, lo, some of them did!)…

* * *

25

Shannon Wright
Maps Of Tacit

[Touch & Go / Quarterstick, 2000]

Distilling everything that was good about her former band Crowsdell and her first album flightsafety, and stripping them of their twee chirpiness and indie-pop sensibilities, Shannon Wright created her finest, and darkest, work in Maps Of Tacit. A multilayered tour de force, the guitar is aggressive without being brash and the creepy, stirring piano swirls with all the innocence and foreboding of a decaying calliope; the overall effect is both intricate and cinematic. Together with some creative use of sampled sounds, dense poetic lyrics and Wright’s alternately silky and caustic vocals, it all adds up to a delightfully chilling labour of love.

Terry Mulcahy

* * *

24

Patty Griffin
1000 Kisses

[ATO, 2002]

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that at the turn of the millennium Patty Griffin’s career was going through a rough patch; her then label A&M had shelved her third album Silver Bell and dropped her from their roster. We never thought we’d say this, but thank goodness for Dave Matthews, whose label ATO picked her up and released this magnificent comeback. Recorded mostly live in the studio, 1000 Kisses smoulders with purpose but never labours under it, couching Griffin’s flooring lyrical portraiture and expressive, vulnerable vocals in malleable acoustic arrangements that flirt with torch song pathos, Latin romance and all points in between.

Alan Pedder

* * *

23

Peaches
The Teaches Of Peaches

[XL, 2002]

Now this is a remember-where-you-were-when-you-first-heard-it sort of record. Few albums of the last decade have so completely encapsulated the message and the mission of the artist at the helm. The Teaches… is Peaches’ masterwork; suitably imperfect, this bruised apple of an album slaps the listener relentlessly about the face with a sockful of delicious filth. Eight years on, its sex-crazed schoolyard raps have now assumed iconic status, and may they be the source of much grinding and giggling forever more.

Chris Catchpole

* * *

22

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black

[Island, 2006]

In the second half of the decade Amy Winehouse rocketed to stardom thanks not only to her attention-grabbing persona but also, lest we forget, to the sheer quality on offer on Back To Black. Essentially a break-up record and as retro as a pearl necklace, every track was good enough to stand on its own as a single, and yet, as an album, it never felt too heavy or too much to take in. Back To Black grooves along with a bravado far classier than that of Winehouse’s tabloid exploits, possessing a striking lyrical candour unafraid of painting a picture of a mature and complex woman able to regret and still swagger. In soul music’s hall of fame, Back To Black may hang around as a classic long after its maker has left the stage in a fug of self destruction.

Chris Catchpole

* * *

21

Goldfrapp
Black Cherry

[Mute, 2003]

In one of the decade’s most unexpected about-turns, Black Cherry captured Goldfrapp at their most daring and pleasurable as they descended from Felt Mountain to show us their knicker lace, and what a reveal it was. Whereas their debut was glacial and otherworldly, Black Cherry oozed with personality and a warm sensuality. This time around Alison Goldfrapp was in centre focus as a sort of dominatrix Debbie Harry, cracking her whip against a sizzling backdrop of synthesisers and no-holds-barred, stadium-sized electro beats, lulling us into breathy submission at the teasing ‘Train’ and the stamps and shimmies of ‘Strict Machine’.

Chris Catchpole

* * *

20

Aimee Mann
Bachelor No. 2 or, The Last Remains Of The Dodo

[SuperEgo, 2000]

This album might as well have been subtitled ‘The Last Laugh’, such was its rejuvenating effect on Aimee Mann’s career. Having endured a lengthy legal tussle with Geffen Records to be released from her contract after they dispatched her back to the studio, allegedly complaining of a lack of single material, Mann’s independent release of Bachelor No. 2 was a critical smash, and for excellent reason. Nothing in her career to date had sounded so comfortable in its own skin, even as Mann’s famously incisive wit and self-deprecation sliced it open. Full of subtle touches constructed around some hypnotically dysphoric melodies that couldn’t be shaken and lyrics that spiked in the forebrain, this was Mann operating at the peak of her powers.

Alan Pedder

* * *

19

Lisa Germano
Lullaby For Liquid Pig

[Ineffable, 2003; reissued by Young God in 2007]

Addiction can be an ugly topic for a songwriter, but lurking at the core of Lisa Germano’s sixth album, it was transformed, in typically august fashion, into something breathtakingly sensitive and meaningful. When Germano chides herself with flatly delivered lines like “I smell like wine most of the time”, it’s sympathetically cheeky rather than preachy. Indeed, by anthropomorphising the demon drink into the title’s Liquid Pig, she imparts a seldom-heard generosity, a beautiful quality that carries over into the songs that deal with other types of compulsive behaviour. Fierce yet gentle, magical yet uncomfortably self-aware, Lullaby For Liquid Pig is a truly singular record from a truly singular artist.

Alan Pedder

* * *

18

Cat Power
You Are Free

[Matador, 2002]

After her famously well-received album of stripped-back covers, Chan Marshall produced her first album of mostly original material in five years, taking a very different direction to 1996’s Moonpix. Though it was easily her most accessible album to date at the time of release, the songs are still heartbreaking, thematically challenging and cautiously arranged. Marshall’s vocals still held all the wrenching emotion and charm that gained her such adoration, but here she explored epic orchestral composition and drum machine beats to fantastic effect. Add in some more cleverly pared down covers and collaborations with the likes of Eddie Vedder, Warren Ellis and Dave Grohl, and You Are Free amounted to another of Marshall’s outputs to pore over obsessively.

Terry Mulcahy

* * *

17

Fiona Apple
Extraordinary Machine

[SonyBMG, 2005]

Despite a painful gestation that could have destroyed its cohesion, it was a relief to find that Extraordinary Machine delivered what it was always meant to – pure, unadulterated Apple. Though the final product lacked some of the more adventurous elements of Jon Brion’s original production, Apple’s daring, intuitive piano playing remained, revelling in its rhythmic shifts and often playful demeanour. But it’s really the album’s lyrical content that elevates Extraordinary Machine above Apple’s earlier work. Gone was the well-thumbed thesaurus-inspired, bloated teenage verse that pocked many of her previous songs. Apple had become a woman, and rather than simply soak in her own sadness, she used her words more strategically, battling the blows of a broken relationship with a logical finesse. Another impressive entry in the oeuvre of an artist quite extraordinary too.

Alan Pedder

* * *

16

Tori Amos
Scarlet’s Walk

[Epic, 2002]

“Let me tell you something about America,” Amos sang on ‘Pretty Good Year’, and, eight years later, Scarlet’s Walk made good on that promise. Amos’s US of A is both an imaginative and geographic space as she takes us down a road on which the personal and the political, the historical and the contemporary, dynamically intersect. Musically, the album’s inviting, measured tone fooled some into thinking that Amos had mellowed; closer attention revealed that her lyrical scalpel was still slicing sharply, condensing piercing insights into memorable aphorisms that skewered some of the madnesses of the age. Disillusioned porn stars, 9/11, the Native American injustice, ruptured and healing relationships, the Mexico/North America conflict – it’s all here on this uncommonly rich, unavoidably political and hauntingly beautiful work.

Alex Ramon

* * *

15

Mavis Staples
We’ll Never Turn Back

[Pinnacle, 2007]

One of America’s most revered artists, Mavis Staples is an untouchably talented gospel and blues performer whose soulful contralto voice carries with it the authority of an experienced and determined activist. We’ll Never Turn Back, her eleventh solo album, was an attempt to energise ongoing debates about civil rights, opting for a mix of traditional anthems and modern songs, all supported by no less a backing choir than Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Dark, optimistic, inspirational and deeply, deeply moving, this could well be the most important album of its kind this decade for, alas, the struggle continues. Thank goodness we have the likes of the redoubtable Ms Staples to articulate it in such a powerful way.

Andy Wasley

* * *

14

Diane Cluck
Oh Vanille/ova nil

[Cargo, 2005]

The New York antifolk scene produced bigger stars than Diane Cluck but none could stop us in our tracks quite like this demure lady. Recorded in her apartment during the summer of 2003, the bucolic, life-affirming Oh Vanille/ova nil was as surprising as a passion flower peeking up through the cracks in a Brooklyn sidewalk. There was something so uncommonly arresting about Cluck’s ornate, classically-inspired melodies and the way she coaxed out her stark and poignant balladry with a peculiar and uniquely clipped glottal beauty. Free of cliché, free of clutter, it delivered the kind of emotional payoff that was totally unputdownable.

Alan Pedder

* * *

13

The Knife
Deep Cuts

[Rabid, 2004]

If you’re shaking your head in disagreement, wishing this was Silent Shout, here’s why: Deep Cuts is just a lot more fun. Notoriously unconventional, The Knife yet again teased mainstream media by releasing an album queasy with genre-straddling ideas. A darkly comic electro-pop trip, it’s full of songs that are every bit as challenging as what they would go on to write, only here they are augmented with sexual, slithering electronic beats and sound effects. An intoxicating mixture of playful and downbeat, Deep Cuts is stuffed with memorable tracks that unsettle even as they linger.

Terry Mulcahy

* * *

12

PJ Harvey
White Chalk

[Island, 2007]

With White Chalk, PJ Harvey once again took an unexpected turn, pulling a chilling, piano-led grimoire of an album out of thin air. Not allowing her inexperience as a pianist to stop her, Harvey created delightfully simple yet elegant songs hinged on her newfound talent for singing in a much higher register. With songs that plumb the darkest depths thematically and music that is guaranteed to unnerve, White Chalk shows just how versatile she can be.

Terry Mulcahy

* * *

11

Joanna Newsom
The Milk-Eyed Mender

[Drag City, 2004]

Joanna Newsom’s flair for spellbinding storytelling and elaborate, evocative arrangements has brought her some of the decade’s biggest accolades. Her 2004 debut showcased an originality of delivery and a whimsical, often surrealist subject matter that would hit perfect pitch in Newsom’s subsequent work, as well as setting a benchmark for alt-folk and avant-garde.

Rhian Jones

* * *

10

Camille
Le Fil

[Virgin France, 2005]

The title of this astonishing album from French chanteuse Camille Dalmais translates to ‘the thread’, pointedly relating to the hum that flows constantly throughout the record, undulating beneath the complex and luscious vocal layering and melodies, creating a fluid and bound piece of art. The allure of Le Fil lay not in its words but in its complex and beautiful sound, often feeling incredibly modern in the sense that the clarity and complexity of the vocals is fresh and original. Yet some of the melodies possess such world-weary wisdom that they may well have been passed down from generation to generation of singers. Rather like a thread, in fact.

Robbie de Santos

* * *

9

Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man
Out Of Season

[Island, 2002]

Not just one of the best albums of the decade, Out Of Season is one of the most tender, mournful and at times rather startling records in existence. Eight years on and it still sounds like nothing else. The music, provided here by former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb, aka Rustin Man, can be claustrophobic and the mood it sets coal-black, but freed from the clatter and drone of Portishead, there is also an alarming amount of musical space and tranquility that lesser artists would feel the need to fill with the superfluous. From the opening surprise of the line “God knows how I adore life”, Gibbons allows us to hear, see and almost feel her connection to the world as it sways and strains with each passing autumn. Unnerving and immeasurably beautiful.

Chris Catchpole

* * *

8

MIA
Arular

[XL, 2005]

Quickly establishing herself as one of the most influential artists of the decade, Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasm delivered a knockout blow from the outset with this Mercury Prize nominated debut. Taking its title from her father’s secret code name during his time with the Tamil Tigers, it was bright, colourful, groundbreakingly ambitious and unafraid to address political issues. Combining everything from baile funk and rap to punk and electro with anarchic joy, Arulpragasm merged cultural and sociopolitical awareness with big beats and dance-friendly tunes. And it wasn’t just her genre-mixing musical aesthetics that won her respect, but the poignant lyrical content of her weightier songs. It’s no surprise that Arular, as with the follow-up Kala, won her global attention and praise. A landmark in both modern music and culture.

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

* * *

7

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fever To Tell

[Fiction, 2003]

Three albums into their career, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are firmly installed as part of the indie-rock elite, a reputation that built its foundations on this crushingly brilliant debut. Fever To Tell stormed the music scene like bird flu in a chicken coop, cutting a swathe through the seemingly battery-produced bands of the time and infecting everyone in range with their energetic punk power. Lithe and epically cool, Karen O quickly established herself as the finest frontwoman since, well, possibly ever, her distinctively pitched lung power and hyper stage presence propelling Fever To Tell to become the ground-shattering classic it’s widely regarded to be. And, as the ubiquitous ‘Maps’ proved, she didn’t even have to always play it fierce. Few bands are able to weight volume against style with such volatile skill; Yeah Yeah Yeahs could not only manage it, they rewrote the how-to book.

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

* * *

6

Regina Spektor
Soviet Kitsch

[Shoplifter, 2004]

Described by her producer Gordon Raphael as “Mozart meeting The Moldy Peaches”, Regina Spektor’s Soviet Kitsch took its inspiration from genres spanning antifolk, punk, hip hop, rock, jazz, traditional Jewish and Russian styles, and the classical music she favoured as a child, skimming off the cream and funnelling it into a freewheeling spectacle. More accessible than the two self-released albums that preceded it, Spektor’s giddy vocals and vibrant humour finally endeared her to a wider audience (and, later, to the mainstream) who were quick to adopt her unique, mischievous sounds into their hearts. She’d go on to bigger things, but, six years on, Soviet Kitsch still represents Spektor at her delirious best.

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

* * *

5

Nina Nastasia
The Blackened Air

[Touch & Go, 2001]

The Blackened Air is absolutely the most appropriate title for this second album from Nina Nastasia. A masterpiece replete with smoky, sinister Americana influences, Nastasia revisited her talent for the sparse, delicate minstrelsy first evidenced on Dogs and refined it to a perfect pitch of light and dark; epic and simple. Consequently, The Blackened Air was tragic without being gloomy and soothing without being facile. Disturbing and affecting tales of characters lost and forgotten meet masterful compositions of folksy violin, catchy fingerpicked guitar and Nastasia’s sweet, plain vocal.

Terry Mulcahy

read our interview with Nina

* * *

4

PJ Harvey
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

[Island, 2000]

On reflection, what is so marvellous about Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea is that, while Harvey clearly has no intention of creating an album of this ilk again, it is in no way a curio. A commanding rock record that does not masculinise its creator simply to convince of its credentials, Stories… has a tenderness and often a lyrical viewpoint that is unabashedly feminine. In fact, it smacks of a woman who is celebrating her creative and perhaps sexual peak. The dazzling ease with which Harvey was able to tap into a more straightforward side of herself was truly a revelation and her ability to step into a more commercially palatable framework in order to execute this sleeker style did not render her less powerful. After all, beauty and joy can be just as intense as sorrow and despair, and we have seen plenty of that in the career of Polly Harvey.

Chris Catchpole

* * *

3

Neko Case
Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

[Anti-, 2006]

Back in 2006, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood was the first time that Neko Case really sounded comfortable in the role of country-noir chanteuse, its songs unprecedented illustrations of her superb lyricism and growing skill as a storyteller and poet. Reflective and compliant yet optimistic, the songs wove their way through metaphors and myths, often abandoning any notion of standard song structure in lieu of a beautiful tune. The result was monumentally diverse and damn near impeccable, a tremendous portrait of poetics and storytelling that will surely stand the test of time. Always something of a cult artist out on the fringe of recognition, especially on this side of the Atlantic, Case’s light finally outgrew the bushel beneath which it had been hidden for so very long.

Loria Near

read our interview with Neko

* * *

2

Björk
Vespertine

[One Little Indian, 2001]

Even now, listening to Vespertine sometimes feels like an invasion into the most secret parts of the self, places too fragile to let others come in and voyeuristically look around. Although the music is icy and subtle, the album exudes an intimate warmth akin to clambering beneath a perfectly heated duvet in the middle of winter. Escaping into the realm of sympathetic, minimalist electronica and singing about physical love in poetic metaphors, Björk was able to preserve the glacial purity of her nightlife in the surrealistic, dream-like surfaces of these songs. Coming off the back of the emotionally direct Homogenic, she retreated into using a strange, cryptic language, which, of course, she mastered, achieving a beautiful balance between the physical and the mental being kept “in a hidden place”. Vespertine was no step forward, neither for Björk nor for the electronic scene as a whole; rather, it was a step inward, exploring the body and soul of a fragile but still strong person. And it was immaculate.

Tomas Slaninka

* * *

1

Joanna Newsom
Ys

[Drag City, 2006]

Comparing Joanna Newsom’s two albums is rather like asking that fusty old trick question: which is heavier, a tonne of feathers or a tonne of bricks? In both scenarios, the differentiating factor is density. The Milk-Eyed Mender is superficially every bit as engaging as Ys, more enjoyable even, but when it comes to sheer ambition, which we measure in mass rather than weight, the latter eclipses not only the debut but every other album we’ve heard this decade. Epic in scope and in subject matter, it’s audaciously over the top and encyclopaedic but never feels forced or clever for the sake of being clever; the beauty of Ys lies in its seemingly paradoxical naturalism. It shouldn’t be possible, yet Newsom has achieved it. And what’s more, it can never be repeated, not by Newsom nor anyone else, for like the mythical Breton kingdom referenced in its title, Ys exists only in and of itself. With its sprawling narratives and ornamented musical complexity, it transcends modernity yet is anything but dated. In essence, Ys is a time capsule, the kind that gets fired into space to lodge among the stars rather than the type to bury under the patio. If this year’s long-awaited follow-up is anything like as stupefying, it’ll hit us, well, like a tonne of bricks.

Alan Pedder

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36 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think you’ve forgotten Carina Round’s ‘The Disconnection’. And I think Tori’s American Doll Posse is much more concise and coherent than ‘Scarlet’s Walk’. But still a pretty good list.

Comment by Henry

I wouldn’t expect Ys as the best album of this decade, but I think ms Newsom deserves this Throne. (still, in my view is ‘Silent Shout’ much better than ‘Deep Cuts’:)

Comment by Tomas Slaninka

Mostly great list (not a Newsom fan myself). Fiona and Mavis were on my own decade list, and Aimee and Shannon Wright (Dyed in the Wool though) just barely got bumped.

Comment by muruch

I’m so glad to see Le Fil and Soviet Kitsch so high on this list. They are two of my favorite albums. (I didn’t expect to see Camille or any other French singers on the list, so it’s a nice surprise.)

Comment by Virginia

We had to rep some Camille! She’s amazing!

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

I like scarlets walk, yay!

Comment by michelle

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Loving the list Al. It had to be Ys as number one!

Clare x

Comment by Clare

*shake head* Despite the fact that the decade isn’t over yet…enough of the critical darlings!

Ok, just to name a few glaring omissions…

NO mention at all of possibly three great albums by Eliza Gilkyson this decade?

No Kathryn Williams?!?

No Charlotte Hatherley’s “The Deep Blue”?

No Emma Pollock’s “Watch the Fireworks?”

No Shelley Harland’s “Red Leaf”?

Or Tracy Bonham’s “Blink the Brightest”?

Or the BEST album of 2000s by A Girl Called Eddy?!?

Also not on your radar, Plumtree’s “This Day Won’t Last All”, Rose Melberg’s “Cast Away The Clouds”…

It’s admirable to showcase female artists when most other sites ignore them, but there’s a lot more that need covering!

Comment by Lee R.

Hi Lee. Thanks for your feedback! You have some very valid points here. As we said in the introduction, many sacrifices had to be made as this list was derived by a panel… If you only knew how hard I personally fought to get Kathryn Williams on this list! (my favourite is Old Low Light). Sadly, I couldn’t convince the rest of the panel and she didn’t quite make the cut.

If you look around the site, you’ll see that we have given almost all these women attention over the years. Indeed, both Kathryn and Emma are discussed in our recent feature on the ’30 albums to buy this spring’. A list cannot be infinite, but you can guarantee that we work hard to bring as many great female artists into the spotlight as we can.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Wow, I can’t believe you deleted my husband’s comment. You asked for some feedback on your list, even solicited “outrage” …He writes a POLITE post commending your desire to spotlight female artists, but expressing his opinion that some great ones are missing. And this is such an offensive statement that it must be censored? Now I see that the people who run Wears The Trousers not only have questionable taste in music, but an intolerance for any criticism or dissenting opinions. Especially hypocritical since you claimed to seek that kind of feedback from your readers. Unbelievable.

Comment by Christine R.

Whoa, calm down. Nothing was deleted. Like every comment posted here, your husband’s (and yours) had to wait to be approved. I just this minute woke up (forgive me, it’s a Saturday) and saw them. You are clearly very quick to condemn Christine. You might want to think about that.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Well Christine was acting in my defense because initially when I posted my comment it showed up on the site immediately – but she went back to it later to find it gone, and there was no indication that it needed further approval. It had already appeared on the site, so naturally she assumed it was being censored.

The same thing happened when she replied. But oh well, you wanted outrage…

Comment by Lee R.

Well, I realize this is a belated and pointless response, but what the hell. You’re just as “quick to condemn” me, instead of taking some of the responsibility for this misunderstanding (and maybe even considering improving your web design).

Perhaps your website’s comment form should include a message about “awaiting moderation” (like most other blogs do) – because otherwise, it just looks like the comment has been instantly added to the site. So naturally, when I came back later and didn’t see it, I figure it’s been deleted. A natural assumption.

Too bad so many on your staff have crappy taste in music and can’t recognize the brilliance of Kathryn Williams (or the others mentioned). Indie-group-think, herd mentality, and fear of not being perceived as “cool”, wins again, and the same overrated “artists” show up on everyone’s list. Your slant is female artists, but that, sadly, doesn’t mean more quality music gets promoted here.

Comment by Christine

The day before I read WearsTheTrousers’ choices I made my own “top 10 of the decade”, and now I’m happy to see that at least six of my favorites show up here too (Lullaby for liguid pig, Ys, Fox confessor, Scarlet’s walk, Red dirt girl, and Revelling/Reckoning). I also have a soft spot for Eliza Carthy’s Angels & cigarettes, Suzanne Vega’s Songs in red and gray, Kathleen Edward’s Failer, and Shakira’s Fijacion oral vol.1 (oh yes).

Overall, good choices I think, and at this time of the year, with all the testosterone-packed best of lists everywhere, it’s especially great to have you guys around.

Comment by Anni

thanks Anni! Those are also great albums (well, I can’t say for sure about Shakira as I haven’t heard it in full). Kathleen nearly made the list but got kicked off at the last hurdle. Tough sacrifices!

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

First of all THANK YOU. I discovered your site recently and by now I have managed to read your whole archive as well. So many great female artists to check out – such a pleasure. I pretty much agree on this year’s list, but my top 100 of the decade is rather different from yours. Not that I mind. I just thought to mention the albums I believe are missing.

For instance my absolute favourite of the decade: Amanda Palmer “Who Killed Amanda Palmer?” What ever happened to that? I must have listened to this disc a thousand times. Haven’t been so utterly in love with an album since Tori’s “Little Earthquakes”.

Other favourites include:(4) Sia “Some People Have REAL Problems”, (5) Rosie Thomas “When We Were Small”, (11) Vienna Teng “Waking Hour”, (12) Noe Venable “The World Is Bound By Secret Knots”, (13) Keren Ann “Keren Ann”, (14) Over the Rhine “Drunkard’s Prayer”, (16) Rachel Smith “The Clearing”, (21) A Girl Called Eddy “A Girl Called Eddy”, (24) Marianne Faithfull “Before the Poison”, (28) Sol Seppy “The Bells of 1 2”, (29) Martina Topley-Bird “The Blue God”, (31) Hem “Eveningland”, (32)Tina Dico “Notes” (Danish, yay!), (33) Coralie Clément “Salle des pas-perdus”, (39) Black Box Recorder “Passionoia”, (41) Bitter:Sweet “The Mating Game”, (42) An Pierlé “Helium Sunset”, (43) Lauren Hoffman “Choreography”, (45) Aura “Columbine” (another Dane) (49) Alice Smith “For Lovers, Dreamers & Me” and (50) Jane Birkin “Fictions”.

All best from Copenhagen,
Leonora

Comment by Leonora

hi Leonora! wow, you’ve been through everything! that’s impressive. there are some fantastic albums on your list there. I’m especially sore that we missed out An Pierlé and Hem. Two of my personal favourites. Sol Seppy and Over The Rhine, too. I would have picked Rosie’s If Songs Could Be Held over the debut, but both are pretty great. As for Amanda, the panel were split over whether we loved or hated it, so it didn’t go in. Tough break I know!

This was SUCH a difficult task. It was such a great 10 years for women musicians, at least in terms of quality if not recognition. Excited about what the next decade will bring!

Thanks for reading!

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Also, are you the same Leonora from eMusic? If so, I’ve discovered a lot of great stuff through your lists :)

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Yes, I’m indeed the same Leonora from Emusic! Not too many Leonora’s around. I can only imagine what a difficult task it must have been to put this list together. After all, I only had to agree with myself and it took me forever to compile mine. Must have been a fun meeting, though. Oh, and you should really check out Aura Dione and her debut album “Columbine” if you haven’t already. She is certainly the best singer/songwriter to come out of Denmark since Tina Dico.

http://www.myspace.com/auradione

All best, Leonora

Comment by Leonora

No Camera Obscura, Asosbi Seksu, Phoenix or Fleet Foxes? What a bummer.

Comment by DreadfulYgg

Phoenix and Fleet Foxes? I think you missed the point somewhere along the line! This is a list of the best albums by or featuring female musicians/vocalists, according to us at least.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

Ah, so that’s why there are so many female artists here. I came across the site on Google and didn’t check out the rest of the page to find out what you’re all about. My mistake! =/

Comment by DreadfulYgg

Camera Obscura and Asobi Seksu meet the criteria for this site then, since they both have at least a female vocalist. Plus, both bands put out top tier albums last decade.

The Battle of Land and Sea, Audrey and Heather Woods Broderick are also worth a listen too.

Comment by DreadfulYgg

They were definitely considered at the meeting but didn’t make the final cut. We do like ’em though. Here are interviews we’ve done with both:

http://wearsthetrousers.com/2009/07/08/camera-obscura-stockholm-syndrome/

http://wearsthetrousers.com/2009/02/23/asobi-seksu-making-space-for-gazing-into/

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

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Wears the Trousers have great taste obviously!

Comment by Mooshka

yay for ys!
but deep cuts over silent shout is patently absurd.

Comment by ok

Finally. A decade list with the same number one as me. And mine included guys.

Comment by Stocky

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I just discovered this list which is why this comment is so late, and a fine list it is, exceptionally outstanding. I’d quibble with Kate Bush being #32, but that’s just me. I’m still glad to see her on the list at all. Another favorite artist, Happy Rhodes, was left off the list altogether. In fact, I don’t think she’s ever even been mentioned in Wears The Trousers, even though she’s released 11 amazing albums (including the wonderful Find Me, from 2007), has an astonishing, phenomenal voice, makes interesting and original music, and has thoughtful, meaningful lyrics.

I guess I can understand why she’s ignored. She doesn’t tour and she doesn’t go out of her way to self-promote. She self-released Find Me and didn’t have the money to send out promo CDs. It’s not your fault, but it’s such a shame that a world-class talent isn’t better-known/regarded by lovers of female artists. She deserves attention for her voice, music and lyrics.

In any case, Find Me is available on YouTube as audio-only tracks, as are her 10 other albums. I’d especially recommend Many Worlds Are Born Tonight, The Keep, and Warpaint, besides Find Me.

Comment by Vickie Williams

Well, my link didn’t work, but her albums are at http://www.youtube.com/user/happyrhodesalbums

Comment by Vickie Williams




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