From that batch I would probably keep Alizée and ditch the rest.
I really liked Alizée’s albums at the time, but to be honest, I haven’t listened to her in years and genuinely don’t have a clue how her music has held up. Moi…Lolita remains a classic, though.
I definitely agree with what you’re saying about Alphabeat. Some good singles back in the day (Boyfriend was the best, I think), but it all feels strangely inessential now. If I had to choose I would probably get rid of it. There are hundreds of artists I would prefer to listen to instead and even in their heyday they were very much a mid-tier pop group, so yes, another goner.
21 is just…not my thing at all. I guess the “problem” is that she first arrived around the same time as many of my favourite artists (Florence, Bat for Lashes, Susanne Sundfør etc.) who were ultimately doing far more interesting things by creating their own little universe and distinctive soundscapes, so Adele’s brand came off as quite pedestrian in comparison.
And yet the album still made its way into in my collection when someone gave it to me as a Christmas present in 2016, which was a choice! I mean, why go with such a monolith 5 (!) years after its release when there’s 99,9% chance that the recipient either already owns it or simply doesn’t want it? It’s not like there’s an element of “Ooh, let me introduce you to this obscure artist” to this!
That is one random gift for sure!
(Weren't they just tired of their own copy after 5 years?)
I think a potential reason surprisingly many 2008 acts that excited me then don't now is that I played the majority of music in store, and at the time I was just excited with anything that felt 'cool/acceptable enough to play in store' (or that would have my co-workers roll their eyes only a little) yet enjoyable for me as well (hi Amy MacDonald, Duffy, Estelle). Though I'm not fully sure I even played Alphabeat in store.. I think for a hot few minutes I genuinely loved their sound? But then there's other acts I liked at the time like Dragonette and Lucky Soul that I still appreciate about as much as I did back then. .And Alphabeat's sound was retro on arrival, so how did it age so badly??
Surprisingly I'd say the sound of The Spell (and onwards) has aged much better for me.
Overall I do notice I have trouble letting go of releases that once did feel significant to me (as opposed to thrift store finds that never really had a 'moment'). Got a little sentimental pile of albums I bought at a time I didn't buy that many albums yet (Nelly Furtado & Anastacia's debut, Anouk's Lost Tracks..) that I don't really enjoy all that much anymore but that just feel odd to let go of when they were already part of my collection when it was still very compact.
Maybe letting them go kinda feels like any album I might buy these days may one day also be one I let go of? And then.. what's the point?