By definition all of these albums here are classics. To fit into the top 20, an album needs to be a constant play on my ipod or iTunes. These all fit the bill and are great from beginning to end (another requirement).
11. A Rush of Blood to the Heart (2002) – Coldplay – This is the last Coldplay album I can fully recommend. Containing classic songs like “The Scientist” and “Clocks”, this is the one Coldplay album that works all the way through.
12. Funeral (2004) – Arcade Fire – This album will probably rate higher on national magazines decade lists. Widely recognized as one of the best albums of the past 10 years – it’s worthy of all the acclaim. Another band following in the Neutral Milk Hotel path, this album has an epic feel to it.
13. The Woods (2005) – Sleater-Kinney – It’s crazy that this was the end of Sleater-Kinney. Each album they created was a masterpiece, and they saved their best for last. May not appeal to everyone – it’s loud and discordant, but in a way that works for this album.
14. MP4 (Days Since a Lost Time Accident) (2000) – Michael Penn – It’s criminal that Sony sat on this album, allowing it to slip into this decade. One amazing song after another. Songs such as “Trampoline”, “Whole Truth”, and “High Time” are among my all-time favorite Penn songs.
15. Delivery Man (2004) – Elvis Costello & the Imposters – This is the best of Costello’s most recent albums. Great duets, fantastic songwriting.
16. Plans (2005) – Death Cab for Cutie – From the opening notes of “Marching Bands of Manhattan” you know this will be a classic album. I’ve always loved non-traditional love songs, and this album includes the daddy of them all: “I Will Follow You into the Dark”.
17. Twin Cinema (2005) – The New Pornographers – A lot of the New Pornographers work has a similar sound – not in a bad way though. Very literate, fun, bouncy. This is my favorite of their albums – and more good stuff from Canada.
18. One Nil/One All (2001) – Neil Finn – This album is up there with anything that Finn recorded with Crowded House.
19. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2001) – U2 – Part of me regrets putting this as high as it is on this list; it’s not on par with albums like Achtung Baby or The Joshua Tree. Then I remember seeing U2 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden merely a month after 9/11. This album meant more than notes on a page can convey. At least to me it does.
20. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) – Foo Fighters – As much as I like FF’s The Color and the Shape, this is their masterpiece. Includes all the fun songs, the hard rockers, and the epics.
The running list can be found here: Top 100 Albums: 2000-2009