The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – Permission to Land

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

37. The Darkness – Permission to Land

You’ve gotta be crazy not to love this. There are a select few albums out there that are perfect, absolutely front to back, for road trips. The karaoke staple that literally no one but frontman Justin Hawkins can sing, “I Believe In a Thing Called Love,” is the highlight, sure, but there are plenty of gems here to keep your fist pumping until your arm falls off. “Growing On Me,” a subtle-at-first ode to sexually transmitted diseases, is a tongue-in-cheek classic. The incredible “Love Is Only a Feeling” is the best ballad from the 1980’s that wasn’t really from the 1980’s. “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” is a comically vulgar screech-along from beginning to end.

Yes, it’s derivative. Yes, it’s in on the joke. But to write off the Darkness and Permission to Land as novelty is simply myopic. If a band is going to completely channel the glory days of guitar rock, the glam, the sexuality, the….hair, well, they’ve gotta have the chops to pull it off. And they do. This album rules. Hawkins has undeniable pipes. The guitar SHREDS. The melodies are infectious. Your face melts in 40 minutes.

And sure, their next album was a little more late-Zeppelin and not as good, and then they broke up, and the reunion isn’t really going anywhere thus far, so, yeah, you could argue the Darkness were a bit one-note. That after Permission to Land, there wasn’t much to offer. That they burned out just as quick, that they showed us all their tricks on their first effort.

But man….that was one hell of a first effort.

Listen to Permission to Land on Spotify.

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