The Top 100 Albums Of Clash’s Lifetime: 80-71

Continuing our anniversary chart…

Another day, another 10 amazing albums that make up part of Clash’s top 100 albums of our (10-year) lifetime. Which means: albums released since 2004, when Clash was founded.

Previous entries:


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Jon Hopkins – ‘Immunity’
(2013, Domino)

It was meant to be a sit-down gig in the conservative interior of the Royal Festival Hall. But less than halfway through Jon Hopkins’ “recital” of ‘Immunity’ he’d transmogrified the aisles into a rave. In hindsight it was a poignant and inevitable stampede that led 2,500 people to vote with their feet in celebrating one of this century’s most lovingly handled dance albums. Veering from cinematic expansion to the drilled down to the minutiae of his unique percussion, ‘Immunity’ is a delicate techno journey traversed by a heroic and inquisitive narrative. Matthew Bennett

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Lykke Li – ‘Wounded Rhymes’
(2011, LL)

For her second album, Swedish singer Lykke Li fled her homeland to write and record stateside, spending six months in LA’s Echo Park. The alien environment inevitably played its part in ‘Wounded Rhymes’ avoidance of simply offering the debut’s hits all over again. In her own words, this is a “darker, moodier” collection than its predecessor, suggesting its maker didn’t see as much of the sun as she might. Bigger and better than what came before it, but certainly bearing deeper bruises, this set established Li as a songwriter able to transform pointed anguish into potent art, flitting from almost flirtatious fare to deeply intimate affairs. Mike Diver

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Fuck Buttons – ‘Tarot Sport’
(2009, ATP)

The bruises feel good. From the ascending squeal of their submissive machines on ‘Surf Solar’ to the shredded steel finale on ‘Flight Of The Feathered Serpent’ this second album from Fuck Buttons intrudes into our lives like a celestial boxing match. Evolving a noise aesthetic towards an acid house trajectory might sound great on paper – but the reality is even better. ‘Tarot Sport’ is a universe of galloping textures that were deemed evocative enough to make the playlist of London’s Olympic opening ceremony. As it concludes you might be left bleeding… but it’s a proud, slightly sexy injury you’ll be sporting. Matthew Bennett

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Metronomy – ‘The English Riviera’
(2011, Because Music)

Joseph Mount’s Metronomy crew might have got their Clash cover debut on fourth album ‘Love Letters’, but it’s this third set that we most frequently return to – especially when the weather turns and we need a little aural sunshine (which, living in England, is pretty much all the time, then). A Mercury Prize nominee, ‘The English Riviera’ collects light but sturdy hooks and assembles a whole that flexes with palpable funk in places. Rhythms twist and dazzle, but at its heart this is a pop album through and through, designed for maximum pleasure: as singles like ‘The Look’ and the record-defining ‘The Bay’ showcase quite brilliantly. Mike Diver

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tUnE-yArDs – ‘W H O K I L L’
(2011, 4AD)

An album where a minimal aesthetic meets a maximalist attitude, ‘W H O K I L L’ is Merril Garbus stamping her own unique identity on alternative music – a lo-fi pop princess in waiting who’d realise all of her potential with 2014’s ‘Nikki Nack’. But these 10 cuts comprise a brilliant blueprint from which everything else would stem for this uncompromising artist. There’s a little Beefheart at play, the suggestion of the ownership of some Slits records; but for the most part ‘W H O K I L L’ only ever unfolds as the work of Garbus, atonal and accessible at once. Mike Diver

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Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’
(2013, Domino)

Five albums in for the Monkeys, and things took a turn for the sinister – ‘AM’ is built upon portentous beats that are dark and intimidating, yet wickedly thrilling. The danger level is emphasised by frontman Alex Turner’s caustic lyricism, sharp in detail, focus and imagery. As a whole, ‘AM’ is an invigorating experience, continuing the band’s playful diversion from the Mojave-darkness of ‘Humbug’ that ‘Suck It And See’ heralded. Simon Harper

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Goat – ‘World Music’
(2012, Rocket Recordings)

The on-going psychedelic resurgence has led to a particular sound, one dominated by certain effects, certain tropes. Goat, though, remain utterly untamed: debut album ‘World Music’ matched intense African rhythms to wild acid-rock guitar lines and vocals that veered between monastic drones and tribal chants. An unforgettable experience, of all the bands spewed forth by the current wave of lysergic activity, Goat are the only ones who might truly break on through to the other side. Robin Murray

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The Libertines – ‘The Libertines’
(2004, Rough Trade)

A somewhat more fractured and grizzly album than their debut, ‘The Libertines’ perfectly reflected the chaos surrounding the group’s imminent and acrimonious disintegration. It was the last exhilarating rush of a very British phenomenon, which offered the decade a glimpse of utopia in Pete and Carl’s fabled Arcadia, but was ultimately consumed by the pair’s corporeal struggles. But oh, how brilliantly they burned – raw, relentless and full of punk spirit, this is a lasting testament to a once devoted friendship, and the last great flash of a youth movement in British indie.

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Shabazz Palaces – ‘Black Up’
(2011, Sub Pop)

Experimental hip-hop with enough bump to keep the less-attentive heads occupied, ‘Black Up’ proved – if any evidence was even necessary – that rap circles are where the greatest invention in modern music is to be found. Track titles could be a mouthful, but the hypnotic wordplay and dream-state beat-scapes of ex-Digable Planets man Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire were intoxicating enough to leave the broader details on the album sleeve, the listener transported to a higher plane of appreciation for music that seems way too cosmic to call Earth home. Mike Diver

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My Morning Jacket – ‘Z’
(2005, ATO)

Despite the success of and acclaim for 2003’s ‘It Still Moves’ – a dense album of rich, psychedelic southern jams and country roots – MMJ’s maestro, Jim James, exploited the enlistment of new members Carl Broemel and Bo Koster (on guitars and keyboards, respectively) to shake up the band’s formula. The result was a playful and progressive collection of succinct songs that flirted with electronics (and even reggae) and dripped with colour, setting the rejuvenated rockers on a course of rediscovery that continues to thrill today. Simon Harper

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Our countdown continues later this week. Find previous entries here

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