Wednesday, December 09, 2009

2000s: Album(s) of the Decade

I wrote this at the end of September and was hoping I could go to 100, but it was too hard. The only change I made was taking out a certain 2009 album because I got bored of it. I felt a song list would be too hard as I like songs for various reasons so I didn't try. Well I did try, but the only song I knew for sure was All You Wanted. It has to be my number 1. Any other placement just felt wrong.


50. E.S. Posthumus - Unearthed (2001)
Heck yeah! You know those standard badass hollywood tunes in any action trailer? Well half of them are here while the other half is just relaxing. Not only is it great music, it easily fits the 00s mood.
Favorite Songs: Ulaid, Nara, Cuzco

49. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)
I don't get the love for elephant, but this album is good from start to finish.
Favorite Songs: Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, Fell in Love with a Girl, We're Going to Be Friends

48. Girl Talk - Feed The Animals (2008)
I loved listening to Night Ripper, but what else could he do except make the same record twice? And so he did, except it's packed with more jams creating an continous stream of feel good moments. Before I heard the album, I probably only knew about 30% of the samples, but once those moments pop out at me, I kept going on youtube to hear the orginal song and it amazes me how he was able to blend 2-4 songs together without it sounding like a mash up. They feel like it's always been like that.
Favorite Songs: N/A

47. My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves (2003)
I remember giving this band a listen after reading a comment that Band of Horses were just MMJ-lite. So my reaction after the 1st track was, "oh my godddd." Their format is similar to lots of songs, but the way they end their songs just leaves me 100% satisfied.
Favorite Songs: Mahgeetah, One Big Holiday, Run Thru

46. Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank The Cradle (2002)
Part of the appeal is the lo-fi aspect. I just love the whole atmosphere that this is something I shouldn't be listening to. There's nothing too catchy, but there's melodies i tend to hum along to. Recommanded if you enjoy calmness.
Favorite Songs: Lion's Mane, Faded From The Winter, Upward Over The Mountain

45. The Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2 (2001)
I never heard of this album until it was re-released in 2008, so I wiki'd it and was curious after seeing all the praised it received. At first I was unimpressed because a lot of the songs never fully developed. But once I let the album play while I was busy, the album will sort of disappear on me and then it'll come back with a big pop moment. Then the noisy parts just give the album a dark personal touch like it was released posthumous.
Favorite Songs: I Want Wind To Blow, The Mansion, I Want To Be Cold

44. Andrew Bird - And the Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005)
This album is fluid. Sometimes unpredictable, but it's orginal and clever. I always see his name with Sufjan Stevens, but I don't think Andrew Bird's' music is as colorful, but he knows how to make melodies not so obvious.
Favorite Songs: A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left, Fake Palindromes, Masterfade

43. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike (2004)
This album confused me back in 2004. I was a very alternative rock person so naturally I hated hip-hop that sampled old top 40 songs, yet here was an album that sounded like it was mimicking 70s action dramas and had cheerleader type vocals. Was this a band or was this a project? Anyways, from start to finish, each song is wonderful.
Favorite Songs: Ladyflash, Get It Together, Bottle Rocket

42. Animal Collective - Feels (2005)
Animal Collective sound like noone else. This is a summer record. The Purple Bottle is probably the most unusual love song ever.
Favorite Songs: Grass, The Purple Bottle, Banshee Beat

41. Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit (2005)
Something Corporate never really grabbed me, but I bought this album on a whelm and at the time, I loved hard guitars and heavy man voices, but here was a band that was just clean and full of pop hooks. Makes me happy.
Favorite Songs: Bruised, Dark Blue, Miss Delaney


40. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things (2002)
I always felt that this was their best album. Her voice has this natural homegrown feel to it, even when it's a bit altered in some of the songs. There's just this hint of your hometown in her. Sometimes quirky and cute, but it's pop.
Favorite Songs: The Good That Won't Come Out, A Better Son/Daughter, My Slumbering Heart

39. Sigur Rós - Takk... (2005)
Beautiful music.
Favorite Songs: Glósóli, Hoppipolla, Svo Hljótt

38. The Format - Dog Problems (2006)
So after hearing the new fun. album, I went back to listen to this and it went up on my list. There's not a dull moment on this album. Maybe pop perfection. The subject matter is pretty standard but each song has an addictive hook it's impossible to be in a bad mood when listening to this record.
Favorite Songs: She Doesn't Get It, Dog Problems, Snails

37. Sleater-Kinney - One Beat (2002)
What's Riot grrrl?
Favorite Songs: Far Away, Step Aside, Combat Rock

36. At The Drive-In - Relationship of Command (2000)
I could never get into The Mars Volta, but this album repeatedly punches you to the ground. So much force.
Favorite Songs: Arcarsenal, One Armed Scissor, Invalid Litter Dept.

35. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (2007)
So this was the album that got me on board the Animal Collective bandwagon. I still remember my first reaction, "what the fuck is this?" but then I just let the album play out and the 1-2 punch of track 4-5 was just unbelievable. Listen to Fireworks.
Favorite Songs: Peacebone, For Reverend Green, Fireworks

34. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife (2006)
Feeling adventurous? Maybe it's a bit nerdy with the high fantasy feel, but I think it's really good songwriting. You get good acoustic numbers mixed with some lite prog and of course your lovable indie pop tunes.
Favorite Songs: The Crane Wife 3, The Island, The Crane Wife 1 And 2

33. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People (2002)
This is like a combination of all good things. Nothing really made to put on your mixtapes, but as a whole, it flows well and the instrumentals are great.
Favorite Songs: Stars and Sons, Almost Crimes (Radio Kills Remix), Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl

32. mewithoutYou - Brother, Sister (2006)
This album is an album. It has a beginning middle and end with recalling passages between, but the thing that makes it stand out are the way the vocals are sung. He just talks with the music. Sounds awesome.
Favorite Songs: Messes of Men, Wolf Am I! (And Shadow), O, Porcupine

31. Los Campesions! - Hold On Now, Youngster... (2008)
I had this pretty low on my year-end list, but towards the new year, I still listen to this album regularly. They didn't invent the male/female indie pop shouting style, but song for song, it's catchy in every area with references to pop culture probably only us Generation Ys only get.
Favorite Songs: Knee Deep At ATP, We Are All Accelerated Readers, You! Me! Dancing!


30. Radiohead - Hail to the Theif (2003)
The opening track is so badass. I found this to be really easy going and I don't have to really try to get it. It's just really accessible. There are some tracks that feel are transitional, but I think they serve their purpose.
Favorite Songs: 2 + 2 = 5, There There, A Wolf at the Door

29. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
First impressions are very important. "Float on" was just an unusual song so I simply placed Modest Mouse as a 1 hit wonder. But once I started being active on the online community, Modest Mouse defenders would always say 'old modest mouse' was better. So as a music explorer, I tried and tried and eventually this album just clicked. I love albums that transport me to another world and this album was a success.
Favorite Songs: 3rd Planet, The Stars Are Projectors, Paper Thin Walls

28. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (2009)
I feel like a cheat because this album didn't amazed me, but since the album was leaked, I've played it on and off so many times that I sort of know them now. There's folk elements, but I don't know if there's a bands they sound like. There's moments where I'll know whats coming and it'll feel good once it happens. Not a very good reason for choosing it, but it's an album I don't skip tracks to. Also they are going to be on the new Twilight Soundtrack.
Favorite Songs: Southern Point, Ready, Able, While You Wait for the Others

27. Sufjan Stevens - Michigan (2003)
Favorite Songs: For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti, Romulus, Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)

26. The Avalanches - Since I Left You (2001)
Some of the Girl Talk haters would be like "all he does is take other people's music." and some would throw out that this album as an album that samples sounds to create music better. And I must say, it's very chill. Good thing all the tracks transition to one another so it's easy for me to lose myself in this world.
Favorite Songs: Since I Left You, Close To You, Frontier Psychiatrist

25. Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving (2002)
If you have really good headphones and you're currently single, you should listen to this album at night. It'll make you cry. The words come off like an unprocessed thought with the vocal delivery on the verge of heartbreak. Sometimes you'll heard the music attempt to be optimistic, but it's the song that makes you feel empty that will remain. I know everyone reacts in a different way, but I feel so cold when listening to this album.
Favorite Songs: You Should be Hated Here, Ignorant Piece of Shit, Sofsticated Fuck Princess Please Leave Me Alone

24. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (2007)
What genre is this? I actually thought this album would rank lower after I finished my 07 list, but it's still fresh today as it was back then. Someone Great + All My Friends = best 1-2 punch of the decade.
Favorite Songs: Get Innocuous, Someone Great, All My Friends

23. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (2008)
Every song sounds the same..kinda. But that's just how good it is. As long as I believe it, it's good music. I love how passionate he sounds every time. He can draw that nostalgia feeling so well.
Favorite Songs: The '59 Sound, Film Noir, Here's Looking At You, Kid

22. Lifehouse - No Name Face (2000)
This album was the hardest one to place on my list. I'm not exactly into lifehouse like I once was, but once I hear that cello at the beginning of HBAM, so many memories come back. In the old days where my musical taste wasn't as elastic, I had to work with this album. I liked some songs, then most, and eventually it became a rotation of what my favorite verse was. But take away the personal attachment, the best thing this album delivers are the introspective lyrics. Plus the music has a bit of an edge to it that keeps me unready.
Favorite Songs: Only One, Breathing, Somewhere In Between

21. Sun Kil Moon - Ghost of the Great Highway (2003)
uh oh. The album I placed above Lifehouse. Well this guy has a very dry emotionless voice and that just makes me wonder what happen to this man's life that caused him to sing like this. At the same time, his music isn't depressive. It's pretty. And that contrast kept me interested.
Favorite Songs: Glenn Tipton, Last Tide, Gentle Moon


20. Panda Bear - Person Pitch (2007)
I remember my first listening, I thought this was bullshit. Like what exactly was he doing? Repeating some phase over and over. But I'm glad I gave it another chance because with good headphones, this is a wonderful creation. the first 3 tracks are 10/10 material.
Favorite Songs: Comfy in Nautica, Bros, Good Girl/Carrots

19. Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
I ignored this album for so long because I was convinced that they were the most overrated band of all times. I downloaded a few tracks on napster and I thought they were weird. But as a music explorer, it wouldn't be fair to make a decade list without giving this album a proper listen. And after track 1..hmm this isn't weird at all. track 2..this is pretty relaxing. track 3.. OH MY GOD this is awesome! And basically every track is golden. I don't know why I first thought they were weird. Back then, I was searching for music that fitted in with my life's soundtrack and they didn't have lyrics to fall in love with. But hearing this album in 2009, it felt like it could be released today without sounding dated.
Favorite Songs: Everything in its Right Place, Optimistic, Idioteque

18. The Decemberists - Picaresque (2005)
So here's a short story. Sometimes on a message board you'll get a thread like "recommend me music" and then the creator would list bands he listens to. But in 05 one of the most common bands people would post was The Decemberists. All I knew was that they were an indie band and at the time, Death Cab for Cutie were what I considered indie and I couldn't get into them. But once I got used to his voice, I realized the music was good, I mean damn good. At my peak, I basically downloaded everything Colin Meloy has touched and it led me to open the door on a lot of bands in the indie music world. Lesson: Vocals don't always have to be beautiful.
Favorite Songs: The Infanta, Eli, The Barrow Boy, The Engine Driver

17. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow (2003)
Thank you Natalie Portman. I tried listening to their first album because that's where two of the songs on the Garden State soundtrack came from and I was greatly disappointed. But on their 2nd album, every song is amazing. I like how sunny they make me feel. I know I tend to flavor the softer side of them, but some of their faster songs remind me of my favorite 60s band, The Zombies. This album is full of happy moments.
Favorite Songs: Kissing the Lipless, Young Pilgrims, Gone for Good (A Call to Apathy)

16. The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic (2000)
I can't believe this album came out at the start of the decade because if I didn't know them and someone gave me it today, I would have thought it was new. The cool thing about this band is how they have 3 main singers and whoever has lead, you can tell its their song. But I never get the sense that they were independent from each other. They all fit together on the album. Their later albums are good too, but nothing can match the energy this debut provided.
Favorite Songs: Mass Romantic, Jackie, Letter from an Occupant

15. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods (2005)
All bands naturally evolve, and on their final album, Sleater-Kinney pretty much destroyed. This is their best album simply because it's so badass. The drumming is excellent. The guitars sound like they want to fight each other. And Corin Tucker has one of the most original female voices in rock. Like every time she howls, it's blows my mind how great she sounds. Even thought by now I have a sense of how the songs work, I still find them to be unpredictable. The only sad news is that this is the end.
Favorite Songs: Jumpers, Entertain, Let's Call It Love

14. The National - Alligator (2005)
"Our hands are covered in cake but I swear we didn't have any"
Favorite Songs: Secret Meeting, Abel, The Geese Of Beverly Road

13. The Wrens - The Meadowlands (2003)
Every song is win. If you hate girls who cheat on you then singing along to this album feels amazing. Seriously, who needs women.
Favorite Songs: Happy, Hopeless, Boys, You Won't

12. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
I went through a music documentary phases and one of the films I downloaded were I Am Trying To Break Your Heart and there was an argument on how track 6 and 7 should transition. So that made me listen to the album and wonder what the big deal was. Still, this is a mighty fine record. Pretty mellow.
Favorite Songs: Kamera, Jesus, Ect, Heavy Metal Drummer

11. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
Liz is going to be so happy to read this. So on her myspace music list, she had a bunch of bands I never heard of so I was going down the list checking them out and a new Arcade Fire song just leaked so I told her about it and she didn't seem to mind so I took it as they weren't that great. But I decided to give Funeral a listen and the opening track always felt right to me that it was hard to move on. The build up is just great. But once I finally let loose, each song is strong on its own. Thanks to the hype, I would say that this album is required to future generations if they wanted to explore the 00s.
Favorite Songs: Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), Wake Up, Haïti


10. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)
After discovering Sunset Rubdown, I kept reading about Wolf Parade still being the better album. So I tried, but I kept getting caught in a loop where I wasn't in the mood so I'll switch albums during the 3rd-4th song so I was attached to the first few songs. But when I finally made the commitment to hear it straight through, "I'll Believe in Anything" was the song that made me stop and made me look at the playlist.
Favorite Songs: Modern World, Shine a Light, I'll Believe in Anything

9. Joanna Newsom - Ys (2006)
So here's my highest ranking female artist. She plays the harp and she sings like noone else. It look me maybe 10 minutes to get past her child/old lady voice, but thankfully I discovered her during my post-rock phase so I was more into the music. The cool thing is how Joanna never shuts up so her voice is always present. And her songs have certain call backs, but it feels more like a story unfolding in music time.
Favorite Songs: Emily, Sawdust & Diamonds, Only Skin

8. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight (2008)
I'm surprise noone on B-side is gushing over this album. They are from Scotland and at times the vocalist reminds me of that guy from Counting Crows. But it's mainly the honest approach the leader of the band dealt with a break up that made me love it.
Favorite Songs: The Modern Leper, Fast Blood, My Backwards Walk

7. Hammock - Raising Your Voice... Trying To Stop An Echo (2006)
This album has limitless interpretations. Even at the peak of my post-rock phase, a lot of ambient albums were always on the borderline of passable, but this album has remained high on my charts just because it fills in any moment. If you like dreamy music, you'll probably would like this. I can't find links to my favorite songs so here's track 1.
Favorite Songs: Losing you to You, Floating Away In Every Direction, Disappear Like The Morning...

6. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
Most overrated album of the year? Maybe. But any song on this album could be anybody's favorite. That's just how good it is.
Favorite Songs: My Girls, Summertime Clothes, Guys Eyes

5. Moving Mountains - Pneuma (2007)
It's possible that this album marked the end of my post-rock phase. Discovering this album was like a perfect marriage of everything I love about music. The instrumentals are epic and the vocals are just another layer.
Favorite Songs: Cover The Roots, Lower The Stems, 8105, The Earth and the Sun

4. Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy (2005)
This album is so tightly knit together, no song can be added or subtracted. They belong together. And in a way, all of these songs talk to one another and know each other. The Stage Names was my first exposure to the band, but comparatively, this is dark, angry, overly dramatic theater. But the key, it feels real.
Favorite Songs: For Real, Black, A Stone

3. The National - Boxer (2007)
I can't believe I had this as my number 3 for 2007. So here's a album with really dark nightlife with some guy self-reflecting, observing the world. But that's the thing, this album is just subtle with its melodies that it eventually sinks in. I love it.
Favorite Songs: Fake Empire, Mistaken For Strangers, Slow Show

2. Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun (1999/2000)
Cheater! I know this album came out in 1999, but it just felt wrong to not include it. Besides, only music snobs are picky about the year of its release. So if you ever hear a Sigur Rós comparison, it's always a disappointment. No band comes close and an album like this probably will never be duplicated. It's so otherworldly and it isn't as tight as Takk..., but that makes it better to listen. All of the songs are strong on its own so it doesn't need support from the other songs, but because they are on the same album, it's hard to beat it.
Favorite Songs: Starálfur, Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása, Olsen Olsen

1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (2005)
YAY. So how many of you just scrolled down just to see what my number 1 is? So I don't understand how anyone with halfway decent taste in music can dislike this album. I never get bored with it. Perfect road trip music. The sound is really fluid and his voice is crazy love. At the beginning of the year, I knew that I was going to declare this as my number 1 because at 74 minutes, it feels short. Basically all the songs over 5 minutes are memorable. There's a lot of choir chorus and beautiful sing-alongs. Sometimes it can get plain silly at how over the top the music is, but somehow he kept each song personal with references to the state of Illinois. This album is a classic.
Favorite Songs: Come On! Feel the Illinoise!, John Wayne Gacy, Jr, Chicago, Casimir Pulaski Day, The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!

Yearly Breakdown:
00: 6
01: 4
02: 6
03: 6
04: 2
05: 10
06: 5
07: 5
08: 4
09: 2

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