Ethan’s Top Ten Albums: 2001-2011

Posted: January 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

By Ethan.

Dearest Readers,

Following the arrival of Charles in JH, I offer my taking on the top ten albums from 2001-2011.

The Strokes – Is This It – 2001

Between you and I, this is quite possibly the single greatest album in my collection. An album that has had an indisputable influence on 21st century alternative rock, producing tracks such as New York City Cops, Is This It, The Modern Age, Barely Legal. It’s NME’s greatest album of 2001 and was one of very few albums in its history to receive a 10/10, it has not only influenced the future generations of that genre, but has taken a pivotal influence in terms of what the western world thinks of New York, drugs and growing up in a rich family.

“I didn’t take no shortcuts
I spent the money that I saved up”

Those lyrics above aren’t poetic, they’re not immediately beautiful; but what Julian Casablancas is saying, on his behalf as well as the rest of the band, is that he isn’t just the money that comes from his dad. The background info is that his Dad is the head of the famous Elite Models, and despite all being known for their New York essence, The Strokes met in a wealthy private school in Switzerland- all of them came from considerably wealthy backgrounds.

Here’s a link to my favourite video from Is This It:

Cold War Kids – Robbers and Cowards – 2006

It’s a story that could have been written seventy years ago; it tells the age-old problems America has had within its society. It’s the telling of many a tale about crime, religion and alcohol whilst smelling of the USA Steinbeck tells of. As well as giving his own perspective, Nathan Willett has lived the life of Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath as well as empathising with the robber.

“I reach for the hat and take all the cash and slide it into my ragged coat sleeve
And leave in its place a note to explain all of the reasons the spirit has lead me to leave
If there was a worthy cause for to give to may I be so bold as to say,”The givers not knowing where their money’s going is as sinful  as throwing away”

Favourite Video:

Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – 2006

Arguably as influential as Is This It, Arctic Monkeys used their think-they’re-so-cool spirit of a couple of GCSE students, and smothered it with their experiences of life on a Sheffield council estate. It further uncovered many truths about what effect drugs and sex has on the juveniles (!) of today, whilst unashamedly shaming police of Britain.


LCD Sound system-  Sound Of Silver – 2007

Here is a link to the full-length post I’ve written on this exact album:

The synopsis of the above is that Sound of Silver is a concoction of indie-electro with grungy lyrics. But I don’t want to give too much away, I’d secretly rather you opened that link.


Bombay Bicycle Club – I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose – 2009

Again, I highly recommend opening the link above. However, since then I have been to see them live- in the last ever Earl’s Court gig before it was closed down (the tickets said ‘under 16s must be accompanied by an adult’, so who could I go with over 16? Charlie. Charles and I went together.) No doubt amongst the greatest gigs of my life, and all that was topped off by the special guest appearance of David Gilmour.


XX- XX – 2009

Link to previous, full length post (Where I mention a mate in Gatwick Airport with a mate…)

‘XX’ was not only the first album I ever bought, but who did I buy it with? Yep. I don’t need to say it. That man.

“See what I’ve done
That bridge is on fire
Back to where I’ve been
I’m froze by desire
No need to leave”


Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday – 2011

Previous post:

This is the one that stands out for being testosterone-madness filled, poetic and beautiful but manic and angry. The quote of a lyric below comes from a song called ‘Sell Yourself’, and listen to that along with ‘Sabertooth Tiger’ and hopefully you’ll see that there is a handful of anger in there, a sprinkling of aggression.

“Don’t talk about me, let’s talk about you
I know your type, I know exactly what you want to do
And if the money’s right, you think I’ll just agree?
So sad to see you torn apart by all your selfish greed”


Yuck – Yuck – 2011

This is one of my far older posts, but still…

Super-indie, sort-of-grunge, but very brilliant, very perceptive and ultimately musically talented. Yuck are more about love, drugs and loss, whereas perhaps, Metronomy are the loooove. It’s a comforting reception to the being-dumped, the feeling very down.

“Did you see the fire brigade?
Steed heavy and filled with rage
Through the city, dissolve my fire
After dinner, I was burning with desire
They can never burn out my love for you”


Metronomy – English Riviera -2011

Link to full-length post on

Hopefully this, in contrast to Cage the Elephant, will highlight the variation in style between these ten. English Riviera is the love album; I mean I love all these albums but I’m pretty sure every single song on this album has some reference to love, sex, or love. Or sex. It’s not what you’ll hear from Cage, nor from Arctic Monkeys or Cold War kids. It completes the circle where each album has, hopefully, given you something to listen to; if you didn’t like Yuck then hopefully you’ve taken something from the Strokes or Cold War Kids.

“I know I’m willing babe
To go the whole way
We could never be alone
When you go you’re all I’m thinking of
With love I’ll get you anyway”


P.S: for whatever reason, some of these links won’t open upon clicking on them, so in that case you’ll have to copy and paste them into the URL bar. Sorry.


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