Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Top 10 Albums of the 2000's

Here's my personal favorite list of all to make. Mostly because you have my personal guarantee that Kid A is nowhere to be found on it. Anyone reading lists has seen about enough of that album. In a decade where the mainstream began to embrace Indie, and in certain cases, Indie began to embrace the mainstream, there was a lot of great music to be had. So enough talk, let's get down to what matters. So here it is, my top 10 albums of the decade.

10. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - (2009, V2)

Best Tracks: Lisztomania, 1901, Love Like a Sunset

Reason for picking: This french group, though having been around for a while, really jumped onto the "Indie conquering the mainstream" train with not only an SNL performance, but an awesome album to boot. With a title just audacious enough to be awesome, and songs with hooks that won't leave your head for days, Phoenix spends this entire album proving that indie music isn't incapable of producing some real, fun, and legitimatly good, top 100 style pop.

9. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head - (2002, Capitol)

Best Tracks: Clocks, The Sceintist, In my Place

Reason for picking: A classic album to say the least. Airy and relaxed, with songs that flow beautifully into eachother, giving the whole album great continuity. With the album not only providing some of the biggest hits of the early 2000's, it showed the enduring influence of British music on the mainstream.

8. Kanye West- The College Dropout - (2004, Roc-A-Fella)

Best Tracks: Jesus Walks, Family Business

Reason for Picking: Bringing hip hop back to an art form, and with throwbacks to classic R&B, Kanye spawned a decade's worth of influence for the entire genre, while simultaneously breaking the boring lyrical trends of Hip Hop in the 2000's for something more personal and meaningful, but without being preachy or annoying.

7. The National - Boxer - (2007, Beggars Banquet)

Best Tracks: Fake Empire, Start a War

Reason for Picking: Maintaining a certain calm aesthetic, this album really just brings it home with a unique sound that's a mix between nostalgic and fresh. Though not the first effort from The National, it seemed to give The National some real mainstream attention as its songs were used in a lot of popular media including a personal favorite of mine, NBC's Chuck. This album showed a promising new style for the band that one can only hope they maintain in future efforts.

6. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - (2005, Saddle Creek)

Best Tracks: Poison Oak, At the Bottom of Everything, Lua

Reason For Picking: With a sound that throws you back, this album is grade A proof that classic folk is not dead.

5. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois - (2005, Asthmatic Kitty)

Best Tracks: Chicago, Casmir Pulaski Day

Reason for Picking: Full of energy and fun, while still capable of being serious, this album does my home state's name good. If only Sufjan Stevens could get around to making more music. That'd be nice.

4. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America - (2006, Vagrant)

Best Tracks: Stuck Between Stations, First Night, Southtown Girls

Reason for Picking: It seems as though classic rock style songs about partying will never get old, especially not when paired with the lyrical ability of Craig Finn.

3. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago - (2008, Jagjaguwar)

Best Tracks: Skinny Love, Flume

Reason for Picking: An unexpectedly awesome debut album, with a wintry overtone that just couldn't be better. This album leaves me extremely optimistic for future works from this group.

2. The White Stripes - Elephant - (2003, V2)

Best Tracks: Seven Nation Army, Black Math, Girl You Have no Faith in Medecine

Reason for Picking: The White Stripes were undoubtedly one of the most influential bands of the 2000's, with a revolutionary minimalist concept, and influences older than most of their fans, and this album represents the White Stripes at their peak. With such

1. Funeral - Arcade Fire - (2004, Merge)

Bringing a new level of honesty and energy to indie rock, and speaking about relationships,
growing older, and just about the general ups and downs of life, Arcade Fire's debut album set a new standard for music in the next decade. With one of the few bands that seems capable of inspiring people, and an album that revives the art of listening to an album from start to finish, Arcade Fire get a beautiful 10/10 for this one. Let's see if they can do better.

Best Tracks: Wake Up, Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

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