The Best of the ’00s Part 3: #80-71

Off we go!

80 The Breeders – Title TK (2002) (left) – I’ve forgiven Kim Deal for the bodily injury inflicted on me in 1994. I have also forgiven her for taking her time between Breeders albums. I think many people were disappointed with Title TK as it had no “Cannonball” and felt more like a home demo than an album 8 years in the making (well, it might not have been in the making for all those years).

79 Amon Tobin – Supermodified (2000) – I remember having a conversation with someone in 2000 about how electronic wasn’t just a flash in the pan but it was hear to stay. Sadly, looking back on that, it was sort of like Homer claiming that the height of rock and roll was Grand Funk Railroad. It doesn’t mean that the decade was bereft of excellent electronic, it just means that it quickly receded into the background (or hybridized effectively).

78 Passion Pit – Manners (2009) – Speaking of which, this might be a prime example of the electro-hybridization. There is a level of uncomfortableness in the album, maybe with the forced falsetto vocals or children yelling the chorus, but really, that is what made it so fascinating. Or maybe I just like music that makes me feel a little uneasy, much like …

77 Xiu Xiu – Fabulous Muscles (2004) – I give a lot of people a hard time for listening to bands that I consider, well, unlistenable because all they seem to do is f&%k around with instruments and suddenly get praised for their genius. Then I think that I might not have an appendage on which to stand because of my undying love for Xiu Xiu. Too bad, I’m going to go on living with this inconsistency.

76 The Faint – Danse Macabre (2001) – My friend Melissa, who seems to have vanished into oblivion, introduced me to the Faint in a record store somewhere in Cambridge. I probably spent a good part of the next year listening to this album.

75 New Pornographers – Mass Romantic (2001) (right) – I checked both Mass Romantic and Electric Version out from the Corvallis Public Library (nice job on the part of the music purchasers there), not really knowing what to expect beyond the fact that I had read “hey, the New Pornographers are good.” The last thing I expected was a pile of power pop that was like a lo-fi revival of the Cars (but better).

74 Hot Chip – Made in the Dark (2008) – Sometimes I think that Hot Chip will slowly climb into the top 10 of my favorite bands – sort of like a Pet Shop Boys 2.0. Made in the Dark did nothing to dispel that notion.

73 YACHT – I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real (2007) – I think this album is a fine example of what happens when a band that spent too much time dithering around on previous albums trying to be “experimental” sits down and tries to write pop songs. And yes, it works like a charm. Note to many bands: being catchy and succinct isn’t a sin.

72 Ratatat – Remixes Vol. 1 and 2 (2004/2007) – Maybe I cheated a little bit by including these unreleased (well, released briefly for free on the internet) remix albums on this list, but very few ‘mix tape’ adventures had as much of an impact on my listening habits as Ratatat’s. I eagerly await Vol. 3.

71 Tilly & the Wall – Wild Like Children (2004) (left) – I am a sucker for charming bands and Tilly & the Wall turned the charm dial up to 11. Tap dance percussion? Check. Mixed male-female vocals? Check. Songs about love? Check. They might be a little gimmicky, but you know, sometimes that AOK.

Here is your iTunes iMix for 80-71, which sadly lacks any of the Ratatat remixes and oddly, the Breeders (go figure, iTunes lacks Title TK). Thankfully you can find Ratatat’s remix of Allure on Youtube (audio only) and the Breeders’ “Huffer” (on Conan) as well.

Best of the ’00s Part 1: 100-91

Best of the ’00s Part 2: 90-81

Whatever happened to the Erik Gonzalez 100? #96-91

So, I got a little sidetracked from the Erik Gonzalez 100 – my list of my 100 favorite albums of all time. Now, I’m going try to catchup by posting much shorter comments on each album until we get near the top.

Here goes:

#96 The Faint: Danse Macabre (Saddle Creek Records – 2001) One of the best post-punk electroclash albums ever, sick and slick as everything. The band seems to have lost focus since then, but it is still get listen. Best Songs: “Glass Danse”, “Agenda Suicide”, “Your Retro Career Melted”, “Let the Poison Spill from Your Throat”. EG100 Score: 78.00

#95 Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? (Alien8 – 2004) – Mischievous and infectious at the same time. It might be close to the perfect nerdcore album (we’ll see the perfect one later on). Best Songs: “I was Born (a Unicorn)”, “Tuff Ghost”, “Sea Ghost”. EG100 Score: 78.014

#94 Curve: Doppelganger (Virgin – 1992) – They lost their fame to Butch Vig’s Garbage, who was more or less a clone of Curve. Toni Halladay was also possibly the hottest modern rock vixen this side of Tanya Donelly in the early ’90s. Best Songs: “Already Yours”, “Fait Accompli”, “Horror Head”. EK 100 Score: 78.123

#93 Billy Bragg: Talking to the Taxman about Poetry (Elektra – 1986) – Billy begins to get a more robust sound after his “electric guitar and mic” days. An excellent mix of love & politics (as the title might imply). Best Songs: “Greetings from the New Brunette”, “There is Power in a Union”, “Help Save the Youth of America”, “The Marriage”. EK100 Score: 78.291

#92 Nirvana: Nevermind (DGC – 1991) – Ok, yes, this seems really low for the seminal album of the ’90s, but I actually rank the Nirvana discography differently than most people (as you will see later). Don’t get me wrong, it is a fabulous, music-changing album, but … Best Songs: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “In Bloom”, “Something in the Way”, “Breed”. EK100 Score: 78.326

#91 M.I.A.: Arular (Interscope – 2005) – You probably either love the album or hate it, but M.I.A. is definitely ear-catching. The album is sort of patchy and is plagued with dreaded  “skits”, but the good songs are grrrreat. Best Songs: “10$”, “Galang”, “Sunshowers”, “Fire Fire”. EK100 Score: 78.375.