Albums Of The Decade 2000-2009

With everything going on in my life right now (planning a wedding, buying a house, etc), I haven't had time to finish a proper "best albums of the decade" list. But it seems like too monumental an occasion to just abandon the concept completely. So instead of a traditional, detailed write-ups of my favorite albums of the last ten years, I decided to take a "quick takes" approach for them. Usually I'm in love with Top 5 lists, but reviewing an entire decade seemed to call for a Top 10. So here we go... a list of the ten albums that most made my heart go pitter-patter in the oughts.

1. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights

From the very first notes of "Untitled" I knew this one was going to be special. It strikes the perfect balance between chiming and driving, dense and sparse, soaring and straightforward, and lyrically between obtuse and profound. And as a drummer, I'm completely smitten with Sam Fogarino's playing on this album. There aren't very many albums I fall in love with at first listen and never get tired of. This is definitely one of them.

2. Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun

There was a time in my life when I wouldn't be caught dead listening to a band that sang in a made-up language. But despite the fact that the lyrics are pretty much gibberish, "Svefn g englar" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Pretty much their entire catalog is awe inspiring, but this album is still my favorite.

Sigur Rós - "Starálfur" (mp3)

3. Radiohead - Kid A

I love Radiohead the most when they are a rock band. But this album was so awesome, and so mind blowing, that I didn't care that there were barely any guitars. It was so good in fact that it kept me from breaking up with someone... at least temporarily. Long story.

4. The National - Boxer

I was late to the party on this, so it didn't make my best of 2007 list. But I guarantee you I made up for lost time listening to it in 2008. I'm not sure a band has ever combined brilliant songwriting and offbeat arrangements so well. And it's absolutely become my go to
flying album.

5. Cortney Tidwell - Don't Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up

The very first time I heard her sing, it was just her and an omnichord, a drumset, and a guitar. But her voice was really the star of the show, and I was mesmerized. For this debut album, she was joined a band who matched her otherworldly vocals with a massive sound of their own. The result is nothing short of magic. Read our
original review from February 2007.

Cortney Tidwell - "Missing Link" (mp3)

6. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways

This would have been an amazing record even if it had been released while the Man in Black was still alive. The fact that it basically became Cash singing his own eulogy made it heartbreakingly profound. Read our original review from August 2006.

7. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the Broken Seas

What initially sounded like an odd pairing turned out to be a match made in heaven. Mark Lanegan's gruff baritone is the perfect counterpoint to Isobel Campbell's delicate soprano, and added a welcome degree of earthiness to her ethereal folk. Read our review from the Best 0f 2006 post.

8. The Black Angels - Directions To See A Ghost

It's been a while since I played with psychedelics, but listening to this album is frankly a better trip than any chemical induced voyage I ever took. It's the kind of album was made for putting on headphones and getting lost with. Read our
original review from April 2008.

The Black Angels - "Doves" (mp3)

9. The New Pornographers - Electric Version

Most bands would love to have as many great hooks over the course of their career as Carl Newman and company pack onto their sophomore album. With a wall of sound and a barrel full of infectious energy, Vancouver's finest unleash a power pop gem that is the perfect soundtrack for driving around on a sunny day with the windows rolled down and the stereo cranked just below the point where it would be harmful for your ears.

10. Mojave 3 - Excuses for Travellers

Who knew that one of the biggest stars of the nineties shoegazer scene would end up making such a great stoner country album? For the longest time I'd just listen to "In Love With A View" and "Return To Sender" endlessly, but once I got past track four I found the rest of the CD is equally great.


WTF? No Kelly Clarkson?
How about Bon Jovi?
Did Bon Jovi have any albums released in the past decade?
If I made a Songs Of The Decade list, "It's My Life" would DEFINITELY be on it. Haters.
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