5 more albums that narrowly missed my top 50 of the decade;
Madonna - Confessions On A Dancefloor - 2005
After really disliking the singles from 2003's American Life, and not bothering with the album, Madonna was back on top form with the excellent dance album Confessions On A Dancefloor. Nothing like 1998's Ray Of Light, which was more experimental dance, this was actually trancy in places and the album was made as one long mix, a true dance album. Lead single, the ABBA sampling Hung Up was brilliant, her best in years whilst other singles Sorry, Get Together and Jump were also brilliant, although I would have put Jump after Sorry and released Push instead of Get Together personally.
DHT - Listen To Your Heart - 2005
A surprising addition perhaps? Duo DHT ignored the fact that the Belgian dance boom of 2002 was long over and unleashed a trance-pop cover of Listen To Your Heart in 2005, becoming one of the few true dance tracks to reach the top ten in the US charts, whilst it went to No.7 in the UK. I invested in their album expecting it to probably not be that great at all, and was pleasingly surprised to see a fantastic pop album!!! Singles Listen To Your Heart, Someone and I Go Crazy were standouts as were their Janis Ian cover, At Seventeen, the brilliant summer song Sun (the spiritual successor to Milky's Just The Way You Are, and the harder dance of I Can't Be Your Friend. Thoroughly overlooked and underrated album, in fact I'd forgotten how brilliant it was until I went back to it just now to write this overview!
Gwen Stefani - Love Angel Music Baby - 2004
Branching out from No Doubt into a solo career properly in 2004 after her Eve collaboration, Let Me Blow Ya Mind, in 2001, Gwen Stefani's quirky debut album was well ahead of its time. Pop masterpiece What You Waiting For is one of the decade's defining pop songs whilst follow up's Rich Girl, with Eve returning the favour, the anthemic Hollaback Girl and the brilliant Cool, were all excellent. The beautiful The Real Thing was another highlight of mine as well as the brilliantly odd Bubble Pop Electric. Excellent collection of songs.
Colbie Caillat - Break Through - 2009
Not quite the masterpiece of her debut, Californian singer Colbie Caillat nevertheless returned in 2009 with an album so anticipated that it flew in at #1 on the US charts!!! Carrying on from where her debut left off, the album was more summery pop with the lead single Fallin' For You and brilliant songs Break Through, Runnin' Around, I Won't and Begin Again providing highlights as well as the tale of the two Jasons. Jason Mraz duet Lucky has been a huge worldwide hit and deservedly so, and Jason Reeves duet, Droplets deserves to be just as big!!!
Cascada - Evacuate The Dancefloor - 2009
Returning this year with their third album, Evacuate The Dancefloor, this decade's shockingly enduring dance act hit gold yet again. An act that should by rights have been a one hit wonder scored their fifth UK top ten hit and first #1 with the fantastic GaGa goes cluubing-esque Evacuate The Dancefloor whilst the anthemic Fever and Breathless were other highlights. Dangerous was like a lot of their older flop singles, but worse, so it's choice as the second UK single was bizarre to say the least and clearly a key factor in sinking the album campaign. My personal favourite album track, Hold On, managed to be catchy as well as staying true to their old sound and bore more than a passing resemblance to the old Wish You Were Here theme tune!!!