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Best Montreal Albums of the Decade: #25 - #21

Posted by Jer / December 14, 2010

Montreal Mash-up #25-#21.jpgAs promised, today we begin our countdown of the top 25 Montréal albums of the last decade. Yes, we know we should have done this piece a year ago. But we wanted to make sure the 00s were officially over. Before we get to albums #25-#21, you should know this list is the product of a survey sent to local journalists, promoters, critics, bloggers, and other music-industry types. For more, check out the introduction to the series. (Album mash-up images created by Andrés Canella)

Comme promis, nous commençons aujourd'hui notre décompte des 25 meilleurs albums montréalais de la dernière décennie. Oui, oui, on est au courant, ça aurait dû être fait il y a un an, mais on voulait s'assurer que la décennie était bel et bien achevée. Avant de dévoiler les positions #25 à #21, précisons que ce palmarès est le résultat d'un sondage tenu après de journalistes, promoteurs, critiques, bloggeurs et autres animaux musicaux montréalais. Pour plus d'infos, voir l'introduction de cette série. (Mash-up des images d'albums créé par Andrés Canella).

Priestess Hello Maker #25Priestess - Hello Master (2005)
Any discussion of Priestess inevitably involves Black Sabbath comparisons - which makes sense - because it wouldn't be much of a stretch at all to say the entire history of metal owes a debt to Black Sabbath. Black metal borrows the Satanism, death metal takes the sensationalism, thrash metal depends on the riffing, drone metal cops the vibe, psych metal ... the jamming, nu metal ... the anger, etc., etc. What's funny is that very few bands capture the thing that made Sabbath magic: their accessibility. Whatever you wanna say about their rough edges, Sabbath are damn fun to listen to, and are arguably poppy and dancy by today's standards. It's this type of accessibility that makes Priestess's Hello Master such a precious record. Where so many other metal bands are bent on pushing the limits of heaviness or speed, Priestess write catchy songs that still have all the meat you want from the genre. Artists in any musical style would do well to make their work this universal - and fun. (Greg Bouchard)

Cowboys Fringants Break Syndical #24Cowboys Fringants - Break syndical (2002)
If ever you're ever driving through the backwoods of Quebec (or Canada really), this is the album that must absolutely be blasting as loud as possible (especially the opening track, En Berne). French Québécois folk music doesn't really get better than Les Cowboys Fringants, as they manage to mix hilarious pop culture messages (Alexandre D'aigle anyone?), strong political messages, and chant-a-long anthems. Break syndical embodies the French-Canadian spirit, and is one of the most important Québécois albums of the past decade that deserves some consideration versus the larger known Anglo artists. Tracks like "La Manifestation" and "La Noce" can lift anybody's spirits at any point. Listen while consuming maple syrup whiskey. (Luc Doucet)

Stars Set Yourself on Fire #23Stars - Set Yourself on Fire (2004)
Yes. YEESS!! This album is wonderful in so many ways. The horns are by far the best on any of the band's albums, as they offer a wicked mix of fast and slow paced tunes. Following 2003's Heart, this album was extremely anticipated in both Toronto and Montreal and just barely lost out to Feist for the Alternative Album of the year at the Junos. "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" was featured on The O.C. which, as we all know, marks the point in life when a band has truly made it. Although the members of the band are also members of Broken Social Scene (and originally from Toronto...shhh), the sound they create as Stars just seems to fit much better with the spiral staircases and tiny one way streets of the Mile End, rather than the hipster joints and creaky streetcars of The Annex. (Luc Doucet)

Patrick Watson Wooden Arms #22Patrick Watson - Wooden Arms (2009)
If Close to Paradise was Patrick Watson's groundbreaking and career-launching album, Wooden Arms is its much-anticipated response. Perhaps it's a coming of age story - the band had gained international notoriety and saw the world, allowing them to spread their proverbial wings. Musically, we still hear Watson's (at-times amusing, at times eerie) crooning falsetto and rich orchestration over a piano base, but there's also an almost post-industrial sound with some avant-garde percussion. Despite its international influence, the album is still decidedly a product of Montreal: the band collaborates with local folk songstresses Katie Moore and the late and lovely Lhasa de Sela, and the songs evidence a "homecoming" theme. Familiar in its ability to distort thought and notably less sleepy than the previous album, Wooden Arms managed to score a second Polaris nomination - though winning twice was not up their sleeves. (Margot En)

La patere rose S/T #21La patère rose - La patère rose (2009)
Qu'est-ce que ça donne quand on prend une jeune chanteuse toute fraichement sortie de la compétition Cégeps en spectacles, qu'on rajoute deux musiciens d'un des groupes électro les plus énergiques de Montréal, quelques mesures de synthétiseur, une jolie pincée de violons, une bonne chaudière de piano, et qu'on brasse jusqu'à consistance crémeuse? La Patère Rose, évidemment. Et ce groupe aurait bien raison d'être fier de son album éponyme, sorti il ya tout juste un an. C'est une recette gagnante, ah ça oui. Tout d'abord, c'est gagnant parce qu'on peut y entendre la voix doucereuse de Fanny Grosjean, alias Fanny Bloom, une jeune fille qui passe du chuchotement au cri en un tour de main et dont le talent déborde jusque sur le plancher. Et bien sûr, c'est gagnant parce qu'on y retrouve aussi deux membres de Misteur Valaire, Roboto (Thomas Hébert ) aux claviers et aux échantillons, et Kilojules (Julien Harbec) à la batterie. Tous les trois, ils créent un monde coloré à saveur pop éclatante, parfois enfantin et parfois brutal, où les mots d'amour deviennent sous la plume habile de mademoiselle Bloom des mots de haine, et où toutes les histoires sont bonnes à raconter. On passe joliment de la fascination amoureuse de "PaceMaker" à la tristesse langoureuse de "Duet Tacet", de la jalousie enragée de "Jessicok" à la naïveté de "La Marelle". On s'arrête sur des chansons exquises comme "Les deux bonnes sœurs", dont le climax électro rappelle facilement une des pièces plus enjouées de Misteur Valaire, et "L'éponge", une chanson dense et travaillée qui fait penser à un des meilleurs moments d'Ariane Moffatt, ou encore "Chamord-sur-mer", dont le rythme sciant et la révolte criante font sourire. La patère rose, en somme, c'est un petit trésor de pop francophone par un des groupes les plus prometteurs des dernières années dont on a hâte d'entendre parler. (Gabby Lefort)

Stay tuned...we'll be back tomorrow with #20-#16 of the best Montréal albums of the last decade.



Jack Oatmon / December 14, 2010 at 06:04 pm
If Mexico by Jean LeLoup is not on this list, Julian Assange is going to Anonymous a wikileakin' DDoS all up in your sexual misconduct charge questioning. With no bail.
Andrés / December 14, 2010 at 06:50 pm
I am in no way answering your question when I say that the results were compiled from the votes of various people in the industry including MP editors, and this in no way reflects individual opinion on what albums should or should not make the list. :) What's the new adage? Lists are not god (or God, if you prefer).
Emily / December 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm
After 5 plus years away from Montreal I thought I'd settled into a Texan lifestyle, but listening to your podcast made me think about cold dark snowy nights and sweaty steamy bars, and miss that place an awful lot. Nice work!
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