Best Debut Albums
2010 seems to be the year for long awaited debut album's and right from our very own stock. Magherafelt's General Fiasco released their debut 'Buildings' today, Bangor's Two Door Cinema Club released 'Tourist History' a matter of weeks ago, rockers LaFaro are finally launching their first full length next month, while Cashier No.9 are just adding finishing touches to their, as yet untitled, debut album.
So, with no further rambling, we're talking best debut albums this week... The ATL team picks are below so feel free to argue, discuss, agree and most importantly, suggest your own entry for 'best debut album'.
Lo Fidlety Allstars - How To Operate with a Blown Mind (1998)
Rigsy (ATL Presenter)
There's a slight chance some of you won't have heard of the Lo Fidlety Allstars, but back in 1998 they were kind of a big deal - on the cover of the NME, headlining the dance tent at Glasto and generally being regarded as the kings of big beat (kind of the nu-rave of its day). It's an incredible record - nasty vocals, huge basslines and some of the biggest production you'll ever hear. Then they released an (arguably superior) second album in 2000. The world collectively shrugged, the band kind of dissapeared and I was left cold, lonely, confused and very much alone.
Doves - Lost Souls (2000)
Paul McClean - ATL Producer
Opening with an instrumental? Madness. Scruffy to the point of scally dishellevelment, the three piece that grew out of the ashes (literally, their studio went on fire) of dance-pop Mancs Sub Sub went on to totally reinterpret the northern lads band template. With a cerebral edge and an intense, absorbing wall of sound attack, Doves cared little for the faux-heroics of Gallagher-pop or the 'sling a shuffly drum loop at it and hope for the best' brigade. They brought an unlikely union of timeless melancholia and euphoric crescendo through the likes of The Cedar Room and Catch The Sun. Far from grim, up north.
Arcade Fire - Funeral (2005)
Amy McGarrigle - ATL Content Assistant
Probably an obvious choice, but it's gotta be Arcade Fire's Funeral. It seemed to come from nowhere (although I know, I know... first EP was amazing) and music fans everywhere incoherently rambled of its genius. But it was worth the praise, dawning a decade of pale imitations in waist coats. Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) and Rebellion (Lies) soon qualified as indie club anthems. I've never caught them live though and wish people would stop telling me how amazing their Electric Picnic set was in 2005. They followed all this up with Neon Bible but the cultural impact couldn't match that of Funeral and unfortunately, neither did the songs in my opinion.
The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses (1989)
Warren Bell - ATL Web Lord
Simply flawless. From the slow build of opening track I Wanna Be Adored through to the ecstatic climax of I Am The Resurrection (not to mention the thumping, effortlessly funky outro), there's not one thing I would add or remove from a truly brilliant album. It made me realise that people singing in their own accents was a badge of confidence in your own identity, it made me want to form my own band, and it made me want to take on the world. In the run up to the release of the Second Coming, a friend and I agreed that we would probably accept a universal decree that The Stone Roses were the only band allowed to make music. Maybe we got a bit carried away, but listening to this record, you can hear why.
Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994)
Christopher Johnson - ATL Trainee
No album has had such a profound impact on my life as this. His only fully completed body of work, Grace was a painstakingly crafted debut album of unfathomable creativity. Buckley's unrivalled celestial voice, born of heartbreak and joy, had a hypnotic effect on anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention; from the opening murmur of Mojo Pin, until Dream Brother's final sorrowful holler. Perhaps the most underrated aspect of the entire album was Buckley's furious guitar theatrics, perfectly demonstrated on the spiralling title track. Grace was just too perfect to ever be topped: perhaps it was never meant to be.