Lets put this 10 year flashback in perspective. Technology wise, Twitter was brand spankin’ new, Facebook became available if you were at least 13 with a valid email address and everyone had a flip phone. People wise, Steve Irwin died, Greg Page left The Wiggles and Warney and McGrath announced their upcoming retirements from cricket. Meanwhile in pop culture, That 70’s Show aired its last episode, 30 Rock aired its first and musically? Well I can’t believe these gems are a decade old…
Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not, ARCTIC MONKEYS
When releasing a debut album, this is what you should aim for. Starting 2006 off with a bang, Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not was unleashed on the masses in January, and lapped up by punters and critics alike. Rowdy, raw, and real; the Sheffield four piece’s most lively release of their career. Excellent on your stereo, even better live, this album’s wit and energy make it feel as fresh as your first listen 10 years on.
To this day, it remains the fastest selling debut LP by a band in British music history.
Studio album number seven from Californian alt-punk-emo rockers AFI spawned gigantic single ‘Miss Murder’. A fist pumping, crowd chanting, floor filling track. As a whole, Decemberunderground is more melodic and synthy than its predecessor (2003’s Sing the Sorrow), proving again how skilled AFI are with evolving and growing as a band.
Here, they take us on a journey through a cold, dark world, holding our hand along the way. Different sounds and feels, same heart.
The Black Parade, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
The biggest splash of My Chemical Romance’s 12-year career was third LP, The Black Parade. 14 tracks telling the tale of “The Patient”; a dying character reflecting on his life, subsequent death and experiences in the afterlife. It’s not all doom and gloom though – plenty of swagger, bounce and soaring vocals adorn the tunes.
MCR created alter-ego band The Black Parade to perform this rock opera masterpiece, donning black marching band uniforms for these theatrical shows (in which frontman Gerard Way drew comparisons to Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust).
Return to Cookie Mountain, TV ON THE RADIO
So much for the sophomore slump. TV on the Radio’s second LP received rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Well-deserved too; the New Yorkers created indie rock magic.
From eerie grooves to frenetic urgency, this mature, intelligent release is dangerously close to flawless. Upon first listen, I didn’t realise how much truth was in the lyric “when the moon is round and full/gonna teach you tricks that will blow your mind.”
Black Holes and Revelations, MUSE
Album number four for English trio Muse provided politically-infused prog rock. Abundant with galloping rhythms (and the sound of actual horses on closer ‘Knights of Cydonia’), powerful piano pieces and incredible, multi-layered vocals; Black Holes and Revelations is the punchier step above Absolution fans craved and Matt Bellamy needed to make.
The aforementioned single ‘Knights’ went on to top the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2007; even though it was initially released in ’06.
Back To Black, AMY WINEHOUSE
Less jazzy than debut album Frank, Amy Winehouse’s second (and final) studio LP has strong 50s and 60s girl group flavours mixed with hip hop attitude. Five out of the 11 tracks were released as singles, and opener ‘Rehab’ was Winehouse’s only top ten hit in America.
That soulful voice paired with lyrics from the heart made for songs that get under your skin in a wonderful way. On ‘Black’, she emanates warmth and you, the listener, feel her pain.