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.

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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)

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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 Albums of Decade (2000-2009): 21-30

best-of-2000s-21-30Radiohead and Michael Penn would have found their way onto my top albums of the 90′s, but the rest of this list is brand new to me this decade; a good sign.

21. Late Registration (2005) – Kanye West – People are going to forget Kanye due to his tabloid craziness and his VMA “Ima let you finish” rant – but no one produced as consistently great music as Kanye did. I don’t generally like entire rap albums – a lot of them tend to be 2 or 3 good songs and a lot of filler. Even the skits on this album work for me.
22. Picaresque (2005) – The Decemberists – Following in the footsteps of Neutral Milk Hotel, this is a geek band with lush production, varied instrumentation, and great lyrics.
23. Kid A (2000) – Radiohead – After O.K. Computer, Radiohead went in a totally different direction. This is what great bands do. More electronic in sound, it almost eschews guitars. As great as O.K. Computer is (my all-time favorite album), Kid A and Amnesiac are the two albums that cement Radiohead as a great concert act.
24. Post-War (2006) – M. Ward – Who knew? Quietly M. Ward has become a songwriter’s songwriter. His songs seem older than they are – almost whimsical. Not country; not folk; not pop – a little bit of everything.
25. 12 Memories (2003) – Travis – This is Travis’ response to 9/11 and near personal tragedy. It works in a different way than their other albums. It’s still poppy – but it just seems better than Coldplay generally is.
26. Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 (2007) – Michael Penn – There’s never any wasted space in a Michael Penn album. Power-pop brilliance from one of the masters of the form.
27. Asking for Flowers (2008) – Kathleen Edwards – I’ll say more about Edwards when we get to the top 10 (that would be foreshadowing). She is simply one of the best singers songwriters around.
28. Illinoise (2005) – Sufjan Stevens – This is an epic album with brilliant songs. Nothing else sounds like it – except for another Sufjan Stevens album.
29. Sam’s Town (2006) – The Killers – This album keeps moving up the list. Not their most popular – likely because it’s a concept album that rejected the overtly pop sound of their debut album. Rewards repeat listening, seriously – this album started in 60′s on this list. I’m not sure it shouldn’t be higher.
30. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007) – Spoon – They never set the world on fire for me, but they are the most consistently very good band out there. Very catchy songs that doesn’t sound like everyone else.

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

Top Albums of the Decade (2000-2009): 51-60

First 50 down; 50 more to go.

51. MTV Unplugged (2001) – Jay-Z
52. Gimme Fiction (2005) – Spoon
53. Antics (2004) – Interpol
54. The Greatest (2006) – Cat Power
55. Broken Boy Soldiers (2006) – The Raconteurs
56. Failer (2002) – Kathleen Edwards
57. Hot Fuss (2004) – The Killers
58. Treble & Tremble (2004) – Earlimart
59. Neon Bible (2007) – Arcade Fire
60. The Optimist LP (2001) – Turin Brakes

top_100_51_60comments: I didn’t realize how great Jay-z was until this album; thank the Roots for that one. Kathleen Edwards quickly became one of my favorite artists. A worthy successor to Shawn Colvin. Earlimart channels Elliot Smith in an album designed to honor their friend. BTW – I like the Raconteurs more than the White Stripes.

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.

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

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


10

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

11

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

12

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)

13

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

14

Airborne Toxic EventThe Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event

My Favorites: Wishing Well, Sometime Around Midnight

15

britishseapowerBritish Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

My Favorites: No Lucifer, Atom

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

ARubberDoor.com Best Albums of 2008


icon
bestof2008

John Doe – Golden State

On a day like this (80 degrees and sunny) it’s a tease to have my desk surrounded by windows. Hoping to leave a little early. Anyway.

I’m still on a Kathleen Edwards high from last week and it made me want to listen to John Doe’s last album, A Year In the Wilderness, where Edwards sings on three songs, the best of which is “Golden State”. Listen to it a couple of times and you’ll realize it’s a smartly different approach at a love song. The version below is with Cindy Wasserman – great songwriting (the lyrics are after the video

Golden State Lyrics

You are the hole in my head
I am the pain in your neck
You are the lump in my throat
I am the aching in your heart
We are tangled
We are stolen
We are living where things are hidden

You are something in my eye
And I am the shiver down your spine
You are on the lick of my lips
And I am on the tip of your tongue
We are tangled
We are stolen
We are buried up to our necks in sand

We are luck
We are ]fate
We are the feeling you get in the golden state
We are love
We are hate
We are the feeling I get when you walk away….
Walk away

Well you are the dream in my nightmare
I am that falling sensation
You are not needles and pills
I am your hangover morning
We are tangled
We are stolen
We are living where things are hidden

We are luck
We are fate
We are the feeling you get in the golden state
We are love
We are hate
We are the feeling I get when you walk away
Walk away
Walk away

You are the hole in my head
You are the pain in your neck
You are the lump in my throat
I am the aching in your heart