10 Best Canadian Albums Since 1990

Spanning all genres, the BCBusiness editors have compiled the best modern Canadian albums – the finest EPs produced in this country since 1990.

Spanning all genres, the BCBusiness editors have compiled the best modern Canadian albums – the finest EPs produced in this country since 1990.

A continuation of our Best & Worst Canadian Music Ever rankings, BCBusiness tracks Canadian music from the 1990s to the present day, taking us from the dorkily ironic Barenaked Ladies to the indie-pop of Feist. Below you’ll find unforgettable albums that you’ll be playing for your children, probably on a highway near Vanderhoof, probably against their will.

When you’re done listening iWe also lined up 10 Worst Canadian Singles Ever – songs whose cruel melodies we wouldn’t wish against the ears of our worst enemies. 


10. Michael Bublé – Call Me Irresponsible (2007)

Experimenting with songs of Jimmy Van Heusen and Eric Clapton, Burnaby-born crooner Micheal Buble proved he can distance himself from Frank Sinatra covers. Leaving behind his big-band crew and transitioning into modern adult-contemporary, Call Me Irresponsible was an instant success with this charming lead single, “Everything.”

Video: “Everything”


9. Barenaked Ladies – Gordon (1992)

While hinting at romantic intentions, the lyrics offer oddball ideas about the purchases one would make with a million dollars, and the music and singing styles are a parody of many elements of the country music genre.

Video: “If I Had a Million Dollars”


8. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill (1995)

Written during a series of hospitalizations following a mental breakdown, Alanis Morissette’s fiercely honest album launched the singer/songwriter onto the international stage. Her raw alternative-rock sound and bleeding optimism breaks through on “Hand in My Pocket.”

Video: “Hand in My Pocket”


7. Broken Social Scene – You Forget it in the People (2002)

The 24-member band’s breakthrough album is characterized for its grand orchestrations, experimental flair, and sometimes chaotic production techniques by David Newfeld. Just three years after its release, You Forget it in the People was ranked fourth, behind Sloan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell for 50 greatest Canadian albums of all time.

Video: “Cause = Time”


6. Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993)

Sarah McLachlan’s lilting soprano carries her through Fumbling Towards Ecstasy‘s grim subject matter – ranging from AIDS victims to stalkers – to reach a place of healing. These carefully crafted pop songs, like the haunting “Possession,” lifted her to international fame.

Video: “Possession”


5. Blue Rodeo – Five Days in July (1993)

A more acoustic endeavor for the Toronto Sextet, Five Days in July proved to be Blue Rodeo’s bestselling album. The warm vocal blend of singers Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor sets a candid atmosphere on the opener “Five Days in May,” which holds sway throughout the album.

Video: “Five Days in May”


4. Sloan – Twice Removed (1994)

Leaving thier punk-rock debut behind them, Sloan switched gears to deliver the inauguration of thier trademark sound with Twice Removed: cheery, witty and melodic. The Halifax band channels Beatles-era pop-rock wtih the catchy “People of the Sky.”

Video: “People of the Sky.”


3. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)

Unabashedly heartbroken and weary, Arcade Fire’s epic album Funeral finds hop in generation camaraderie. Finding a redemptive catharsis amidst chaos, husband-and-wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne sing songs of hope, from the angered “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)”

Video: “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)”


2. Feist – The Reminder (2007)

As the voice behind Apple iPod commercial’s addicting tune, “1234,” Feist counted herself up the Billboard charts with the U.S. gold-certified album, The Reminder. Praised for her mixture of wisdom and exuberance, Feist’s eclectic sound have blurred the division between the Indie music scene and pop, paving a path for new-age artists with similar styles like Lenka and Ingrid Michaelson.

Video: “1234”


1. Rufus Wainwright – Poses (2001)

A compilation of Wainwright’s witty and unusual composition styles, as heard in the title-track “Poses,” critics claim Poses exudes refined eloquence rare in young songwriters. Wainwright’s tenor voice draws inspiration from his early appreciation for opera, while his musical nuances are influenced by musical starlet Judy Garland, and French Chanson legend Edith Piaf.

Video: “Poses”