Over the next few weeks, we’ve got some debut albums dropping that are definitely worth getting excited over. The likes of Royal Blood, The Wytches and Banks all release their first LPs in the not too distant future, so this week’s #TopTenSunday looks at some truly superb first efforts. As usual, it’s been difficult, with some quite cardinal omissions. But, what can we do?
10. Deftones – Adrenaline
Deftones announced themselves in 1995 with an alternative metal blueprint that fused rap, post-hardcore and nu-metal into a hugely intriguing concept. To this day, the Deftones-patented balance of loud and quiet remains an expertly refined science.
9. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Arctic Monkeys have come a very long way since they burst out of Sheffield, clad in Adidas Originals and surrounded by an amount of hype that seemed impossible to live up to. Almost 9 years later, they are arguably British music’s most valuable commodity.
8. Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid
With a concept album that basks under an umbrella of afro-futurism, focusing on a rebel android from the distant future, Janelle Monáe chose to operate from well outside the confines of the modern r ‘n’ b paradigm with her 2010 debut. This woman was born to perform.
7. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
At the turn of the millennium, Linkin Park released a record that brought ferocious grooves, crunching riffs and intelligent, expertly executed lyrics into an encroaching amalgam, redefining rap metal in the process. A superb record that, 14 years on, Linkin Park haven’t bettered.
6. The Libertines – Up The Bracket
No matter how outrageous, turbulent and downright ridiculous Carl Barat and Pete Doherty’s relationship has been, it cannot be discounted just how important their debut LP was. Up The Bracket was a haphazard catalyst for a revival of the British rock scene, and one of the best albums of the 2000s.
5. Jeff Buckley – Grace
Jeff Buckley – a once-in-a-generation talent. On his only LP, he demonstrated himself to be raw, alarmingly unique and impossibly versatile. His music came complete with a capricious ability to startle, and it’s impossible to not refer to that voice. Grace turns 20 this week, so a very happy birthday indeed.
4. The Smiths – The Smiths
The Smiths was the benchmark that ultimately found indie music a place in the landscape. The controlled, jangling guitars instantly became Johnny Marr’s hallmark, with the subdued production and dour themes making a perfect canvas for a certain Steven Patrick Morrissey to let his lyrics saunter.
3. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation… is, to this day, regarded as one of the greatest neo-soul albums to hit ever hit the shelves of our record stores. Fresh off the back of The Fugees’ disbandment, Hill delivered an intense listen, littered with streams of consciousness that made you feel like the most exclusive of outlets.
2. Pearl Jam – Ten
In 1992, almost a year after its release, Ten announced itself as a hard-rock masterpiece. It showcased the grit and anger of grunge without sacrificing the choruses and hooks of hard, alternative rock. It was heart-wrenching and uplifting, with songs consistently brought to brink and back again.
1. Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
This week’s table topper is without doubt, one of the most influential LPs recorded to date. You’re A Woman… is a breathtakingly fast fusion of dance-punk and noise-rock, with Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastian Granger playing like their very blood was boiling, racing themselves to an imaginary finish line, and ultimately setting the bar for the noise rock blueprint. After 10 years, the record’s follow up is due to drop next month. We can’t fucking wait.