Sunday, January 03, 2010

Best of the Decade: 1-26

Taking on a whole decade wasn't easy, but here's a stab at my favorite albums of the 2000. I didn't have any real rules when I put this together, other than only selecting one album from any given artist. I didn't worry about choosing records that were the most important or critically-acclaimed or whatever. Mostly, their the albums I spent the most time listening to or that have additional meaning for me. Also, I didn't put a whole lot of time into the actual numerical rankings.

I wrote the little album descriptions for IN. I certainly would have written them differently had I only done this for my blog. But it took so long that I don't want to go through that again, especially since I'm not getting paid.

And, without further ado...

  1. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism (2003) Death Cab became the poster band for indie rock, thanks to this absolute masterpiece. From the opening rock of “The New Year” to the yearning closer “A Lack of Color,” every note is perfectly placed.
  2. Nada Surf - Let Go (2003) Though they disappeared after their '90s novelty hit "Popular," Nada Surf quietly reemerged with a spectacular collection of understated songs about fruit flies, roller coasters, and Bob Dylan.
  3. Daft Punk - Discovery (2001) With "Discovery," Daft Punk morphed from talented knob-turners to larger-than-life robots. The duo successfully blurred the line between human and extraterrestrial, and more importantly, made all life forms dance.
  4. Samiam - Astray (2000) I didn't know that punk rock could song so sad, so utterly hopeless. Samiam was emo before emo, in a good way.
  5. Kylie Minogue - Fever (2002) Every track here is a dancehall masterpiece. Perfect.
  6. The Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004) The Arcade Fire proved two things with their debut album: A) With great songwriting, rock music can sound just as good with violins and accordions and B) Sad songs never go out of style.
  7. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American (2001) After perfecting meandering atmospherics on their first two records, Jimmy Eat World took a more direct approach on “Bleed American.” Every song was direct and finely crafted.
  8. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free (2004) Who would have thought that one of the decade’s best rap albums would come from a white British guy? Mike Skinner's concept album about losing and rediscovering love and his 1,000 British Pounds infinitely expanded hip hop's borders.
  9. The Format - Dog Problems (2006) – When it comes to a breakup, there’s nothing worse than deciding who gets to keep the dog. This Arizona duo tries to mend broken hearts with pop rock songs that flirt with rock opera.
  10. The Strokes - Is This It? (2001) With their leather pants and tight jeans, The Strokes were the antithesis to all things nu-metal. Though they seemed like they were from some indeterminable place in history, everyone knew that time was cooler than the now.
  11. Bad Religion - The Process of Belief (2002) When co-founder Brett Gurewitz came back into the fold, Bad Religion found a renewed vitality, writing some of the best punk rock songs of their three-decade career.
  12. Millencolin - Pennybridge Pioneers (2000) Swedish punks Millencolin took the art of California skate punk to the next level on their third LP, mixing in just enough rock ‘n roll to blaze new trails.
  13. Streetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb (2003) Former Catch 22 front man Thomas Kalnoky singlehandedly raised ska from the dead with incredibly catchy horn lines, speedy punk rock guitar, and his raspy, rapid-fire vocals.
  14. Outkast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below (2003) "Hey Ya!" alone was enough to make this double disc great, but track after track of wonderful absurdity is what made it amazing.
  15. Pedro the Lion - Control (2002) With this concept record about righteousness and infidelity, David Bazan solidified his spot as one of the best storytellers in indie rock.
  16. Matt & Kim - Matt & Kim - (2006) Who needs guitars, anyway? Lovey dovey couple Matt & Kim make delightful dance punk with beat-up keyboards and a three-piece drum set.
  17. Weezer - Green Album (2001) Though Rivers Cuomo hides his heart on this one, the hooks were just too huge to hide.
  18. Kanye West - 808s and Heartbreak (2008) TAuto-tune was already played by the time Kanye put it on his record, but he found a way to use it not as a gimmick, but as a tool to turn his broken heart into robotic steel.
  19. Dashboard Confessional - Swiss Army Romance (2003) Chris Carrabba may be responsible for spawning hundreds of lousy copycat bands, but it’s a small price to pay for this heart-on-sleeve emo-fest. This is the real deal
  20. Saves The Day - Stay What You Are (2001) This is how an emo record is supposed to sound—soft, loud, nostalgic, slightly hateful, and more than anything, sincere.
  21. Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound (2008) The album rarely rises much beyond a whisper, giving it a hauntingly beautiful aura. Here’s hoping that the follow-up will be as impressive as this debut.
  22. Bishop Allen - The Broken String (2007) For “The Broken String” no instrument was off limits, even if no one in the band really knew how to play them. The record’s simplicity and eagerness is matched only by its memorable tunes.
  23. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) He takes low-blow shots at his mother, dreams of killing his wife and shoving her body in the trunk, and inspires fans to do the same. In 2000, Eminem was both musically crazy and real-life crazy. The crazy ones always make the best music.
  24. Silversun Pickups - Carnavas (2006) Silversun Pickups’ first LP picks up right where Smashing Pumpkins’ “Gish” left off, with nasally vocals and fuzzy guitars. The band skillfully gives each song the room to wander to its destination.
  25. Iron & Wine - Woman King (2005) By this point, Sam Beam had already released plenty of gorgeous country tunes, but adding dirty Appalachian rock into the mix opened up an entirely new side of Iron & Wine.
  26. Hot Hot Heat - Make Up the Breakdown (2002) At the turn of the century, indie bands were hell bent on making kids dance. Hot Hot Heat easily made the best dance-rock record of the decade.

1 comment:

Cheeseboy said...

Love your #1 pick. Hoping they didn't peak with that album, but it without a doubt their best. Here's to hoping to see a little Postal Service in the next 25.