Top Albums of Decade (2000-2009): 1-10

The top albums of the decade. This is opinion and for some reason 2005 was my favorite year of the decade in music. It shows in this list. I could listen to these albums, and only these albums, from now to the end of time and continue to find something wonderful and new in each one. The funny thing is that 3 of these albums had trouble getting released and another one skipped labels all together and decided to release it on the internet.


wilco-yankeehotelfoxtrotYankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) – Wilco

The story of this album is amazing. That it had to be leaked to the internet because the label didn’t hear a single is amazing. Simply a gorgeous album – one of my all-time favorites, and this says a lot: one of Wilco’s best.

My Favorites: Jesus Etc., Kamera, I’m the Man Who Loves You


elliott_smith_figure_8Figure 8 (2000) – Elliott Smith

At the time this album came out many of Smith’s fans thought this album was over produced. Compared to Smith’s previous albums, it was. This is also one of Smith’s best. Unfortunately it was his last before his death.

My Favorites: Son of Sam, Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud, Can’t Make a Sound


aimee-mann-bachno2Bachelor No. 2 (2000) – Aimee Mann – Another album that waited on someone’s desk because they didn’t hear a single. Fucking record execs are morons.

My Favorites: Red Vines, Deathly, Calling it Quits


fiona-apple-extraordinary-machineExtraordinary Machine (2005) – Fiona Apple

Whoa, yet another album where the execs didn’t hear a single. Jon Brion stirred Apple out of a funk and produced album and then the execs “didn’t hear a single”. A joy to listen to. Brilliantly unique.

My Favorites: Extraordinary Machine, Used to Love Him (Tymps)


radiohead-in-rainbowsIn Rainbows (2007) – Radiohead

Radiohead set the world on its head by releasing this over the internet, for free. It is their best album since OK Computer. It brings together elements of their best work of the past two decades.

My Favorites: 15 Steps, Bodysnatchers, Reckoner


pjharvey-stories_from_the_cityStories from the City – Stories from the Sea (2000) – PJ Harvey

I missed this album when it was released and now I get to rectify that mistake.

My Favorites: W***es Hustle and the Hustlers W***e, The Mess We’re In


green-day-american_idiotAmerican Idiot (2004) – Green Day

I never took this band seriously until this album. Full of angst and serious while maintaining their distinct sound. Took me months to realize how great this was.

My Favorites: Holiday, Wake Me Up When September Ends


kathleen-edwards-back-to-meBack to Me (2005) – Kathleen Edward

Three brilliant albums – I had a hard time figuring out which was the best, but after listening a few times, this is the most complete – and has the big songs. She will go down as one of the best. She keeps knocking them out of the park.

My Favorites: In State, Copied Keys, Back to Me


elbow-leaders-free-worldLeaders of the Free World (2005) – Elbow

I don’t get why people don’t know this band. They are THE brit pop band around today (outside of Radiohead that is). Start listening to this band.

My favorites: Station Approach, Forget Myself


andrew_bird-armchair-apocryphaAndrew Bird (2007) –  Armchair Apocrypha

This album is truly amazing. The more I listened, the better it got.

My Favorites: Fiery Crash, Darkmatter

That’s it. Thanks for indulging me. I finished in just enough time to start working on my best of 2009 list. Share your favorites and comments in the comment section.

The running list can be found here:  Top 100 Albums: 2000-2009.

Top 100 Albums 2000-2009: 61-70

Just found my first “mistake”. Definitely should have put Metric’s Fantasies ahead of It’s Blitz by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but when I’ve listened to somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 albums in the past 10 years – the difference between a couple of spots is minor.

61. Back to Black (2007) – Amy Winehouse
62. New Magnetic Wonder (2007) – The Apples in Stereo
63. Golden Hum (2001) – Remy Zero
64. Loyalty to Loyalty (2008) – Cold War Kids
65. The Seldom Seen Kid (2008) – Elbow
66. How to Walk Away (2008) – Juliana Hatfield
67. The Stage Names (2007) – Okkervile River
68. Achilles’ Heel (2004) – Pedro The Lion
69. St. Elsewhere (2006) – Gnarlz Barkley
70. It’s Blitz! (2009) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The running list can be found here: Top 100 Albums: 2000-2009


comments: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Okkervile River’s The Stage Names in the top 10s of national publications. It  may end up being a classic in the same way Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has become over the years. I think Elbow may be the best UK band out there. Yeah, better than them. Cold War Kids could become one of my top bands with their current trajectory. And there is something about Juliana Hatfield – she’s still as hot as I remember, but that’s not why she’s on this list – twice.

Better Late than never – Best albums of 2008

There’s a good reason why I didn’t do this earlier. Last year I lost my commute via public transportation. I didn’t give all the albums I got the same listen I used to. So I didn’t feel right judging them. After being laid off, I’ve had more time to ruminate. I know you’ve been waiting. The lack of A Rubber Door’s official recommendation is the one thing I can point to hurting the music industry this year.

I promise to make it up – the best of 2009 is coming within the week.


rarariotRa Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

While everyone was talking about Vampire Weekend, Ra Ra Riot beat them at their own game.   Well layered, catchy without being light.

My Favorites: Dying is Fine, Can You Tell


how-to-walk-awayJuliana Hatfield – How to Walk Away

So bummed that I missed Ms. Hatfield when she came to Philly in September.   I didn’t realize how amazing this album was.

My Favorites: The Fact Remains, Such a Beautiful Girl


vampire_weekend_-_vampire_weekendVampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

So amazingly catchy.   Perfect album for the summer with a couple of beers and burgers on the grill.

My Favorites: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, A-Punk


kathleen-edwards-asking-for-flowersKathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers

I’ve said this many times – look back 20 years from now and Edward’s career will be the stuff of legend.   This album sneaks up on you.

My Favorites: Buffalo, Goodnight California


11977-modern-guiltBeck – Modern Guilt

I didn’t realize how much I liked this album until I sat down to write this list.   Best Beck album since Midnight Vultures.

My Favorites: Gamma Ray, Modern Guilt


cover_the-raconteurs_consolers-of-the-lonelyThe Raconteurs –Consolers of the Lonely

I love Brendan Benson and Jack White together.   Jack White and Alicia Keys on the other hand…

My Favorites: Consoler of the Lonely, You Don’t Understand Me


santogold-coverSantigold – Santigold

Santogold?   Santigold?   Whatever – it’s good.   Last year’s Gnarls Barkley.   Fun album mixing alternative, pop, and dance.

My Favorites: L.E.S Artistes, I’m a Lady


frightened-rabbit-the-midnight-orga-431681Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight

I think this deserved much more attention last year than it got.   Gorgeous album.

My Favorites: Good Arms vs. Bad Arms, Old Fashion


12522-army-navyArmy Navy – Army Navy

Another album where every song is great.   Put this in a mix with Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot.

My favorites: Saints, Slight of Hand


cddeathcabDeath Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs

More of the same from Death Cab – but that’s not a bad thing.

My Favorites: Cath, Grapevine Fires


album-adele-19Adele – 19

Well deserved best new artist.   The new British soul’s best import – yeah, better than Amy Winehouse.

My Favorites: Chasing Pavements, Cold Shoulder


bon_iver-for_emma_forever_ago-newBon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Haunting.   You probably heard Iver on many a TV show soundtrack last year.   Used in the series finale of Life.

My Favorite: Flume, The Wolves (Act I and II)


seldomseenkid_coverElbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

I’m really sorry this is as low as 13.   I didn’t give it as much time as it deserved.   Still – it’s a great album, and I’ve been devoting more and more time to it.

My favorites: Mirrorball, Grounds for Divorce


Airborne Toxic EventThe Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event

My Favorites: Wishing Well, Sometime Around Midnight


britishseapowerBritish Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

My Favorites: No Lucifer, Atom


accelerateR.E.M. – Accelerate

Blistering set of songs.   No wasted movement – it’s like they decided not to suck anymore.

My Favorites: Living Well is the Best Revenge, Supernatural Superserious


sam_philllips-dont-do-anythingSam Phillips – Don’t Do Anything

She really can’t do wrong by me.   Not sweet – brooding.

My Favorites: Can’t Come Down, Under the Night


pe-she_and_him-volume_oneShe & Him – Volume One

Honestly without M. Ward – this may not make the list.   More Him, less She (Zoey Deschanel).   And he listened – a new M. Ward album this year.   (OK – I just relistened to You Really Got a Hold On Me –   maybe it was the right amount of She)

My Favorites: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here, You Really Got a Hold On Me


thewhigs-album1The Whigs – Mission Control

My Favorites: Like A Vibration, I Got Ideas

Here’s an iTunes iMix of My Favorites songs from the albums above:

icon Best Albums of 2008


Elbow – Grounds for Divorce

Outside of Radiohead (because Radiohead is in a class by its own), I have two favorite brit bands – Travis and Elbow. Elbow is more consistently great. Their album Leaders of the Free World was brilliant. They recently released their new album, The Seldom Seen Kid – and it is also brilliant. Here’s a video from the album for the song “Grounds for Divorce”.

Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid