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Top 10 Albums from Cherrytree Records

Celebrating a decade of great records from one of our favorite labels.

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    Over the course of its first decade, self-described “pop alternative source” Cherrytree Records has traded in everything from garage rock revivalism to wholly above-ground radio assaults.

    Though still housing a diverse roster, Cherrytree has come into its own by solidifying a niche as a key importer of highbrow pop from abroad. During the last several years, the label has handled the US releases of some of the most forward-thinking European albums to still fall somewhere under the umbrella of popular music; for evidence of their discography’s progressiveness, consider the feverish creativity of Robyn’s Body Talk series versus the predictability of artists who are more content to play fair with Top 40 norms, or look to the power of Jessie Ware’s Devotion relative to Adele’s decidedly safer retro-future soul.

    This list, which features Cherrytree’s very first record and winds its way right up to the present, is an attempt to catalog the releases that best provide a subversive counterpoint to mainstream conservativeness.

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    10. Röyksopp and Robyn – Do It Again (2014)

    Do-It-Again-EP-Royksopp-and-Robyn

    Though Röyksopp’s The Inevitable End isn’t without gravity, it could be argued that the Norwegian twosome’s 2014 album — reportedly their last LP — navel-gazed and meandered too much to register as an entirely satisfying swansong. Perhaps it’s more fitting to think of this collaboration, released several months prior to The Inevitable End, as the duo’s proper farewell to the full-length (never mind that it’s technically considered an especially long EP). It’s here, contending with Robyn’s restlessness and bravado, that Röyksopp were able to reconnect with the exploratory yet debonair sensibility that helped their 2001 debut, Melody A.M., stand out so gracefully from the rest of the down-tempo pack.


    9. The Fratellis – Costello Music (2006)

    fratellis Top 10 Albums from Cherrytree Records

    Though The Fratellis have always been pegged as pilferers of historic Brit rock, Costello Music’s secret weapon is a knowingly Neanderthal quality borrowed from The Ramones (dead giveaway: Fratelli is a phony surname adopted by each band member). The choruses of major UK hits “Whistle for the Choir” and “Chelsea Dagger” glow with a kind of idiot glee, but the band simply couldn’t sustain this manic energy, and this debut LP was followed by an underwhelming sophomore effort, a lengthy hiatus, and the general dissipation of garage rock’s 2000s comeback. No matter — Costello Music, like some fine but forgotten pub rock record of the mid-‘70s, remains worthy of rediscovery.


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