Everything In Its Right Place

I have an underlying desire to construct. It is part of my nature to want to build. Not structures or physical entities, my skills at manual labour are limited. I enjoy starting with nothing and ending up with something that satisfies the definition of “work”. Normally this comes in the form of pieces of writing like the ones that adorn my blog but my particular interest in terms of creation is lists.

Lists are more difficult than simple individual reviews. For me to write a Top 50 Tracks of the 00’s list (a thing I have done and is posted below), I have to think of a number of things. Are these my favourite tracks or my most listened to tracks? Should I select the tracks that I currently feel are the best, or should I factor in songs I used to like? What does the word “Top” really mean, the best songs, or the songs that I have got an emotional attachment to? Each time a decision is made, the list becomes more personal. A critique on another persons list shouldn’t be made without the knowledge of the rules with which the list was constructed.

Too often a magazine or website will publish a list based on the decision by a multitude of critics. I disagree with the notion of it, as it is not personal, and therefore feels almost artificial, and it also makes debate difficult. Sometimes lists are created as a way of giving recommendations or as to establish the styles and genres that the writer is a fan of. Personally, the purpose of the sort of lists I am making is to share my experiences of music with other people. I have lived through this decade and somehow feel I should claim it as my own. This is my 10 years of cultural growth, and this is what affected me during those years.

My top 50 songs of the decade was really intended as a template so that I can set out the rules that wil be put in place when I finally get round to a corresponding albums list. I don’t deem it as important as the abums list, but I still think that particular songs at particular times in a life can have a serious effect, and I wanted to make sure that some of the songs that have really had an effect, either due to their quality or their passion, is properly noted. So here it is.

50. The Strokes – Reptilia

49. Kings Of Leon – Charmer

48. The Guillemots – Trains to Brazil

47. Muse – Citizen Erased

46. Arcade Fire – Antichrist Television Blues

45. Damien Rice – Delicate

44. Portishead – Hunter

43. The National – So Far Round The Bend

42. My Morning Jacket – Off The Records

41. R.E.M. – Supernatural Superserious

40. Radiohead – Idioteque

39. Islands – Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby

38. Bloc Party – Banquet

37. Radiohead – The National Anthem

36. My Brightest Diamond – Workhorse

35. Modest Mouse – Float On

34. Yeasayer – 2080

33. Bon Iver – Flume

32. Laura Marling – My Manic & I

31. Andrew Bird – Fake Palindromes

30. Bloc Party – Like Eating Glass

29. Arcade Fire – Wake Up

28. Wilco – Heavy Metal Drummer

27. TV On The Radio – The Wrong Way

26. Radiohead – 15 Step

25. Muse – Falling Away With You

24. Thom Yorke – Skip Divided

23. TV On The Radio – Dancing Choose

22. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks

21. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

20. Portishead – We Carry On

19. Bright Eyes – Lua

18. Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

17. The National – Murder Me Rachael

16. TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me

15. Radiohead – Cuttooth

14. Grizzly Bear – Southern Point

13. The National – Apartment Story

12. Bright Eyes – At the Bottom of Everything

11. Wilco – Jesus Etc

10. The National – Friend of Mine

9. The National – All the Wine

8. Bon Iver – Skinny Love

7. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

6. Arcade Fire – Tunnels

5. Portishead – Threads

4. The National – Brainy

3. TV On The Radio – Ambulance

2. Radiohead – How to Disappear Completely

1. Radiohead – There There

So anyway, there is my list. And Radiohead’s There There deservedly comes out on top because in my mind it provides everything I want music to provide. Interesting, memorable lyrics, guitar hooks you want to learn immediately, all-encompassing percussion, invention and a rising tide of mood that feels like an event. The scale of it is immaculate, and no matter where or how I hear it, live, blasted through speakers, quietly on my headphones, it feels so sublime. There are too many things about it that are good, and they all come together to create my favourite 00’s song, a track that would top my list no matter what rules I applied to it.

I encourage you to Google any track here that you don’t recognise. I’ve thought a lot about the choices and I hope people will invest time in discovering good music.


About Alex Pavitt
I work in the field of emotion. My tools are instinctual feelings and my laptop is the medium between my brain and the outside world. I deconstruct and rebuild. I imagine. I steal other people's lyrics because somtimes, my own words aren't enough. I spend all of my time somewhere inside my head. I worship Douglas Adams, and in the back of my mind I am always painfully aware that I will never be as good as him or, for that matter, anybody else.

2 Responses to Everything In Its Right Place

  1. Tom says:

    good list.

    and when are you gonna do your best album/tracks/films of all time?
    on your death bed? lol.

    only then can you get an accurate list of your whole life… haha.

    • Alex Pavitt says:

      i seem to be doing my lists of the decade 39/40 of the way through the decade.
      so assuming i live to 80, i shall make those lists at the age of 78.
      so that is what i shall do

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