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!)…

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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

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #50–26

part one | part two | part four

Here’s the third part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #50–26.

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Queen Adreena
Drink Me

[Rough Trade, 2002]

Casting aside the disparaging comparisons to “Kate Bush on crack” bestowed upon her in the wake of Queen Adreena’s debut album Taxidermy, KatieJane Garside upped the ante with Drink Me, tearing whatever hinges that were still attached right off with a blisteringly manic grunge-metal fervour. Among her Wonderland’s re-energised malice, the softer moments found Garside’s raging voice shrunk mouse-high, whispering seductively as if through the keyhole, or chillingly into a void. Richly imaginative and manically enjoyable, Drink Me remains one of the decade’s most vigorous and visceral thrills, disturbing to the very last note.

Alan Pedder

read our interview with KatieJane

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #75-51

part one part threepart four

Here’s the second part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #75–51.

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Róisín Murphy

[EMI, 2007]

Of all the critical droolfests that failed to ignite on the commercial front this decade, Róisín Murphy’s second solo album is among the most inexplicable damp squibs. The ex-Moloko frontwoman may have shed the avant-garde experimentalism of her solo debut Ruby Blue in favour of full-on disco diva mode, set against a backdrop of thumping, shimmering state-of-the-art production, but it seems the world wasn’t ready to accept even Murphy’s toned down personality quirks. That’s a real shame for although Overpowered is not without its flaws, there is a sense of playful grandeur here that can easily toe the line with Goldfrapp at their most teasing.

Chris Catchpole

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #100-76

part twopart three | part four

As other people have already noted, among the rash of lists proclaiming the best albums and artists of the ’00s, the majority all had one thing in common: a distinct and depressing lack of albums by solo female artists and by female-fronted bands. We had anticipated a representation rate of between 20% and 30%, but it turned out to be even lower. NME and Rolling Stone awarded a lousy 12–15% of spots to women, and even Paste magazine, who often champion many of the artists Wears The Trousers holds dear, could barely scrape 14%.

In mid-November, eight Wears The Trousers writers and editors gathered around a table at the Candid Arts Centre in Islington, where we spent a long afternoon debating the 300+ nominations for albums of the decade gathered from all our contributors. More than six hours later, we had come up with a rough outline of the 100 albums we thought were worthy of championing. Inevitably, some painful sacrifices were made, evident in the fact that only three artists were permitted to have two entries in the list, and some additional fine tuning was required.

This week, we’ll at last be counting down those 100 albums, 25 at a time. Here are albums #100–76. Voice your agreement/disagreement/outrage in the comment box if you please.

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best of 2009: readers poll results #50–41

Here we go, counting down the 50 albums you voted for in the highest number as your favourites for 2009. Numbers 50–41 right here.

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Cate Le Bon
Me Oh My

[Irony Bored; October 2009]

What we said then: “There’s nothing embryonic about this accomplished collection of songs; Me Oh My is fully formed and well matured, showing just how far Le Bon has come since her early performances… A big warm cwtch of a record.” ••••• Richard Steele

What we say now: Me Oh My has lost none of its off-kilter shock and awe in the short time since it hatched into the public domain. A hugely promising debut, it was perhaps just too damn strange from the outset to reach a Laura Marling sized audience, but wider recognition surely can’t evade Ms Le Bon for long.

Download: ‘Hollow Trees House Hounds’, ‘Sad Sad Feet’, ‘Terror Of The Man’

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best of 2009: readers poll results #99–51
December 28, 2009, 5:31 pm
Filed under: feature, special | Tags: ,

The votes are in for our annual readers poll and the elves have been dragged out of their post-Christmas slumber to count them. We offered you 99 wonderful records to choose from, all of which had received at least a 3.5-star rating from our reviewers over the past year. These are the 49 albums that didn’t make the final 50. And let me tell you, there are some shocking exclusions here. So shocking that we couldn’t in all good conscience have our year-end countdown without giving a passing nod to all the runners up. We’re just nice like that. More detailed roundups to come for numbers 50–1…

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q4: most read reviews
December 27, 2009, 4:18 pm
Filed under: stuff 'n nonsense | Tags: , ,

Welcome back from the Christmas break! Hope you had a good one. It’s going to be a very listy week on Wears The Trousers as 2009 ekes to its conclusion. To start with, here’s the usual list of the 50 most popular reviews of albums we’ve written about over the past three months. No prizes for guessing who came top…

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wears the trousers 2009 readers’ poll: albums of the year
December 21, 2009, 2:55 pm
Filed under: feature, special | Tags: , ,

By now you’ll no doubt have seen a zillion end of year best-of lists, but, as always, Wears The Trousers strives to bring you something different, to shine a light on the many brilliant albums by female artists and female-fronted bands that are often overlooked in other lists.

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australia week


Cricket cricket cricket. That’s all we ever hear about these days as the biannual ordeal of the Ashes rumbles mind-numbingly onwards ’til September. Do we really care who wins? We’ve misplaced our national pride and haven’t bothered looking for it. We couldn’t tell an LBW from an ODI, much less explain the mathematical intricacies of the Duckworth-Lewis method, but we do know good music when we hear it, and Australia is full of it. In fact, there’s never been a more exciting time for Australian music than the here and now. Over the course of this week, Wears The Trousers will be bringing you reviews, interviews and other features on the wealth of female talent roaring out of the outback and from all corners of the country.

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last.fm listening stats: week #26
July 7, 2009, 8:30 am
Filed under: stuff 'n nonsense | Tags: , , , ,


Got a last.fm account? Join the Wears The Trousers listening group here. We’ll be publishing details of what members are listening to every week throughout the year.

Week ending 05/07/09

Unique to the group

01 Regina Spektor (2)
02 Ane Brun (-)
03 Tori Amos (6)
04 Bat For Lashes (-)
05 Ani DiFranco (3)
06 Sarah Slean (-)
07 Indigo Girls (-)
08 Alessi’s Ark (-)
09 Fiona Apple (-)
10 Kate Bush (1) 

Overall charts

01 Regina Spektor (1)
02= Tori Amos (3)
02= Bat For Lashes (5=)
04= PJ Harvey (9=)
04= Cat Power (-)
04= Radiohead (5=)
07 Yeah Yeah Yeahs (7)
08= Fiona Apple (-)
08= Feist (-)
08= Björk (4) 

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This week’s stats are based on the compulsive habits of 219 listeners.