I was just compiling a spotify playlist of 50 tracks from my favourite 50 albums (that were available) on spotify for a blog, and having listened through a load of great albums this week, this album is by far and away the best of the decade for me. Should be right up there in the "classic" realm in the mainstream alongside all the usual ones from the 60s/70s/80s/90s that get mentioned in those "100 greatest albums of all time" lists. It has absolutely incredible song construction and instrumentation, a perfect mix between loud and quiet and quick and slow, and honest, intelligent lyrics delivered in such a heartbreaking way...
But can we even have "classic" albums these days? Who decides? Classic albums need a mix of widespread critical acclaim and mass public support from both the mainstream and independent listening public - the last one I can think of that is considered to be a "classic" is OK Computer. I can't see this happening again in the future the way the industry is set up at the moment.
It seems you either have to be totally current, totally niche, or a "new" sound to get any kind of significant label support. There doesn't seem to really be any scope for bands like The National, making essentially standard "classic" sounding rock music. I applaud Beggars Banquet for taking them on, and just allowing the strength of the record to do its work in getting them the decent level of support in the indie press they have received.
Any bands that are I suppose "classic" sounding rock bands taken on by big labels like, for instance, Editors, White Lies, even Coldplay, seem to be deliberately dumbed down by the label to sell more records to the hoi polloi, so there doesn't seem to be any way I can see of a band breaking through any more that can create a truly "classic" album, in that tradition.
I'm kind of rambling, but do people see what I mean? Are we set for a future that becomes more and more geared towards electronic sounds and weird stuff? Will the verse / chorus / verse guitar song die out before long?
http://open.spotify.com/user/dan4or5/playlist/4pmJz1fhleLBIUAt7NaX6R - here's the playlist by the way in case anyone wants a listen. It isn't in any kind of order apart from one that flows well. Also, apologies for putting my own band in there, haha!