My favorite of the decade! Thanks for memories!
10 The Blow – Paper Television (2006) (left) – Maybe I’m just fond of synth pop, but when Mikhaela and Jona decided to write pop songs, the result was 10 songs of perfection. This is what happens when a band decides that all the dabbling and wandering in music noise just isn’t working, so maybe writing songs that go somewhere is the way to go.
9 The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001) – It made the White Stripes huge, it brought the so-called “garage sound” to the forefront and still sounds as fresh as it did when it came out.
8 Ted Leo/Pharmacists – Hearts of Oak (2003) – If there is anything I am susceptible to, musically, beyond the usual synth pop, it is power pop. The ’90s was dominated by the likes of Matthew Sweet, but if anyone took the baton of power pop rock, it was Ted Leo. Hearts of Oak a few of the most epic pop songs of the decade, including “The Ballad of the Sin Eater” and “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?” Every decade needs someone who knows how to (a) rock and (b) do it with style.
7 Bright Eyes – Lifted (2002) – It might not be the most polished of Conor’s efforts, it might not be the most raw of his oeuvre, but the Lifted was the the most satisfying of the bunch. I mean, Conor was really prolific over the last 10 years, with his ups and downs, but really, like Alex Rodriguez, he’s still only 29 with an amazing track record. Who knows where his career might go in the teens.
6 Jay-Z – The Black Album (2003) – OK, so he didn’t retire like he said. However, he did put the energy you might expect from someone trying to leave on top of his game into The Black Album, leaving pretty much every other rapper in the dust. However, like MJ or the Rocket, Jay-Z couldn’t stay away (to mixed results).
5 Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 (2000) (right) – I might be just piled praise on The Black Album, but here I am ranking another hip-hop album higher. Why is that? Del the Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Damon Albarn put together what is possible the only hip-hop/electro space opera – all set in the year 3030. Is this a nerd’s dream come true? Yes, yes it is.
4 Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala (2007) – How does a Swedish singer make the best Afro-rock-pop album of the last decade? How does he inherit the Graceland gene from Paul Simon over 20 years after the fact? Beats me. However, there is so much to enjoy on Night Falls Over Kortedala, solid through-and-through. Over the last 5 years, “Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo” might have taken over for “You are the Light” as my most played song.
3 Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand (2004) – Did any debut album of the ’00s have the impact of Franz Ferdinand? If you’re looking for a candidate for the most complex and satisfying pop hit of the decade, you really don’t have to look further than “Take Me Out.” I think Pitchfork nailed it when they described it as a good Brit pop song that Franz Ferdinand found a great song inside.
2 Postal Service – Give Up (2003) – Alright, so maybe another debut had a bigger impact. Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard took synth pop to correspondence college and we ended up with the most slyly infectious album of the decade. Of course, the timing of Give Up‘s release seem to sync up with my life in the first half of the decade, leaving me turning to it for the extreme ups and downs that dominated the Corvallis/Seattle days. I’m not entirely sure how the Postal Service will be remembered – I think it is Sub Pop’s best selling album ever, beating out Nirvana’s Bleach, and we may never see another Postal Service album again, but the ’00s wouldn’t have been the same with it.
1 LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver/45:33 (2007) (left) – Really, was their any question (OK, maybe there was). James Murphy took electronic music, spun it around, dragged it kicking and screaming into the 21st century and produced what was the most nuanced and captivating album of the decade. He went from bombastic (“North American Scum”) to enthralling (“All My Friends”) to sardonic (“New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down”) to downright tender (“Someone Great”) – it was hard to find fault with Sound of Silver, it felt like an album that needed to be made. And we’re all better off because of it.
Here’s the iMix for #10-1.
See the rest of the Top 100.
And a happy 2010 to everyone!