Review Summary: Best Album of the Decade
So, like many of my fellow cosmonauts, I sat down and browsed through the Staff Top 100 with interest and pleasure. Pretty good list. Coheed? Sick. Blink? Awesome. Thrice discography? ***in A.
Hold on a moment. There’s something missing. Surely, the wise and infallible staff couldn’t have made such an epic faux pas. Impossible. Nick Greer is never wrong. Lateralus? Check. Toby Driver? There he is. Why then do I have this strange sensation that something is wrong, that the list seems incomplete?
Oh yeah. They left off the best album of the decade, of the century, of the untold millennia since man first opened his mouth and roared at the heavens in delight and astonishment at the miracle of life, the universe and everything:
Since I Left You – the most sincere expression of joy and elation at the ecstasy of life ever to emerge from the dark corners of this insignificant planet; a celebration of existence, love, the beauty of all things. With a vague concept involving the pursuit of a loved one around the globe, it appeals to anyone capable of feeling, and gives the prodigiously talented Avalanches the chance to show off their musical chops; the world is their oyster.
Taking over a thousand samples from the dusty vaults of musical history, the group of young DJ’s spliced and hammered incongruous melodic cogs into a working vehicle, polished and waxed to gleaming perfection.
With such an enormous selection to choose from, it is hard to believe that they managed to stay on track, navigate the colossal labyrinth of sound and emerge with an artistic statement so pure and so focused it stands amongst the greatest artistic achievements of popular music.
The recognized samples include Madonna, the Mamas and Papas, Boney M, De la Soul – hell, the list is as diverse as it is endless. And it’s precisely this variety that gives the album its unique flavour – the lush, meandering Two Hearts
, the bouncing beats of A Different Feeling
, the vocoder driven funk of Live at Dominoes
; all mashups of countless incompatible pieces and genres that just works
The bands attempts to fuse countless genres into a giant melting pot really do succeed beyond all expectations. Expert use of samples means that the tracks work both individually and collectively; the album flows seamlessly from start to finish.
Instead of vocals, the band use cut up spoken word samples to delicious effect – the sliced and diced freestyle in the banging Flight Tonight
is one of the many memorable highlights, overshadowed only by the majestically insane Frontier Psychiatrist
Undoubtedly the best thing to ever come out of Australia, Since I Left You couldn’t have been made anywhere else. Unhappy, fat and stupid Americans would have created something tawdry and crude. Unhappy, fat and ignorant Brits would twist it till it became a parody of itself, and then put a donk on it.
If I was any more poetic I’d say that the chief ingredients of this album are sunshine, beautiful beaches, sensuous girls and nightlong ecstasy fuelled raves. Harden the *** up. This is simply the zenith of the art of sampling, the culmination of the journey undertaken by Endtroducing 5 years earlier.
So get this album, go get the girl you love, and don’t let anything stand in your way.
And if she turns out to be an unfaithful slut, you can always crack out Jane Doe and cut yourself.