100 for 2000 – #83. Youth Group – The Night Is Ours

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2008 – #3. Youth Group – The Night Is Ours
(Ivy League)

This is the fourth time Youth Group have been written about since I started this decade list. I’ve been trying to figure out which are the songs and bands of the decade, and using this little exercise to help. One clear winner so far is Youth Group, my favourite Australian band. No one came close, and they knocked it out of the park again with The Night Is Ours.

Their last record, Casino Twilight Dogs, was huge on the production and the pop hooks. This record strips it all back. It’s darker, murkier and out of focus. It was recorded on, of all things, a disused ship docked on Sydney Harbour. The isolation and ocean imagery lives through the entire record. It’s a weird record, in a wonderfully moody and mysterious way.

Amazing to chart this band’s journey. They started as the poppiest of the indie pop bands, and four albums later, here we are, with bizarre, jagged, indie-dance of things like Two Sides. The album is bookended with two of the most dramatic things they’ve ever done. The slow burning Good Time greets us, with nary a guitar in sight, and ends with the rush of What Is A Life?

My favourite song on here is one of Toby Martin‘s best. Babies In Your Dreams is a piano ballad about having kids – a wonderful melody, a mystery and some of Martin’s best lyrics.

The lines go deep
The dough is set
We harden into our parents

One of many great images that permeate this record. Martin‘s definitely found new life in his lyrical muse. Lines come out at you…

Others are cruxifix.

Your lips speak Italian

I wonder, if he’s still with his wife?

It’s a dense record of such moments. It’s a beautiful, twilight record. It’s  great one to put on as you leave work, the sun is starting to set, and you’re far from home.

I’ve gone on about this band a lot. They mean a lot to me. It seems they are taking a break right now, and I hope it doesn’t last. I’m not sure if they fulfilled their professional dreams, but they made four perfect albums in the last decade. There’s only a handful of bands in the history of music can say that.

If you had 40 lives/you’d get it right by the 39th. How someone comes up with such stuff is beyond me, and I’ve marveled at that talent for a decade. Youth Group’s All This Will Pass.

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