(On My Recommended Albums through the Decades)
Many music listeners fall in the chronocentric folly of believing that the best music to be had may be found only in the decade when they were teenagers. For example, a 45-year-old tends to claim that the best albums were released in the 1980s, or a 65-year-old might insist that the best bands were those that thrived in the 1960s. To me, that’s a narrowminded and selfish view on music. Claiming that a certain decade is the best decade of music automatically dismisses or ignores the equally great contributions made in the rest of the decades.
Music Is Meant to Be Listened to…Not to Be Watched
As a music enthusiast who enjoys listening to various genres of music, I don’t find difficulty in picking good and worthwhile albums from perhaps any genre from any given decade. It’s just a matter of having an open-eared attitude in listening to music. Add to that, it’s also having the ability to appreciate music for musicality’s sake and not getting affected by whatever commercial radio or TV or media is spewing or spoonfeeding the masses. Also, a music fan can maximize music appreciation by being able to separate the creator form the creation. For instance, one can hate Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus for their respective lifestyles or antics, but this should not automatically mean that one should hate their music as well. Music, for this to be enjoyed to the fullest, should be treated as a legitimate and separate art form without too much regard for the lifestyles, convictions, sense of fashion, or other life adventures or misadventures of the artists who produce them. That’s why my suggestion to people to be able to appreciate music to the fullest is to listen to music and not to watch music. Meaning, the best way to appreciate music is to listen to it by playing a CD, a vinyl record, or even an MP3 file and not by watching a music video because the visual (which has nothing to do anyway with the actual sound) distracts the listener from absorbing all the musical details of the song or piece he is listening to.
Always Look for the Sound or Style You Like…Not Only for the Bands You’ve Accustomed With
Because New Wave and similar-sounding genres have become my favorite sound, I’m always on the lookout for new bands and albums whose musical styles carry that trademark New Wave sound—angular and jangly rhythm guitars, repetitive and regularly pattern guitar adlibs, melodic basslines, presence of keyboards and synthesizers, brooding vocal styles, as well as incorporation of string and horn instruments. Having said that, here’s the list of my 13 recommended albums released in the 2000s, especially to those who like also New Wave or Alternative Rock in general.
Desert Wolves – Pontification (2000)
Camera Obscura – Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi (2001)
New Order – Get Ready (2001)
Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)
British Sea Power – The Decline of British Sea Power (2003)
The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)
The Most Serene Republic – Underwater Cinematographer (2005)
Nightmare of You – Nightmare of You (2005)
The Killers – Sam’s Town (2006)
The Camerawalls – Pocket Guide to the Otherworld (2008)
Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)
Bad Lieutenant – Never Cry Another Tear (2009)
This Final Frame – My Blue Heart ?(2009)
The moment you declare that there’s no more good music or albums to look forward to in the current times, you effectively limited your chance in enjoying music in general. Realize that there will always be good and interesting music available in any given place or time. All you need really is an open mind and a good pair of open ears. Besides, when it comes to studio-recorded music, whether the music is good or bad still remains subjective.