The Best of the ’00s Part 8: #30-21

Almost there!

30 Die Fantastischen Vier – Fornika (2007) (left) – Yes, I did include a German hip-hop album on the list … and in the top 30 no less. And sure I maybe understand 4 words in the whole album, but Die Fantastischen Vier (the Fantastic Four) might have stumbled into the best “aging hip hop stars” album this side of The Black Album.

29 The Rapture – Echoes (2003) – Funny how a little DFA magic can take a good band and turn them into a great band. The opening half of the album is as epic as they come.

28 Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003) – And on the flipside, the opening three tracks of Transatlanticism might be some of the bleakest of the decade. I really wasn’t an obsessive Death Cab fan like many of the rest of my friends, but it gnawed at me for months – all it needed was a good breakup to take over.

27 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003) – There were an awful lot of “hype bands” over the decade – thank you NME – and lots didn’t come close to living up to it. However, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might be one of the biggest exceptions. Any attempt to compile the best songs of the decade necessitates having “Maps” near the very top.

26 The Strokes – Is This It? (2001) – It is hard to remember now, but when Is This It? came out back in 2001, it was stunning. Music had become so bloated and pretentious that this album sounded like a game-changer (and it more or less was). You could almost believe that the album was recorded in a few days – a perfect pop record for a music scene in need of one.

25 LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (2005) (right) – It was only the beginning – and between James Murphy and Kanye West, Daft Punk has become more popular than ever.

24 TV on the Radio – Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004) – Right about now, many people are wondering how this list made it so far without any TV on the Radio. It is not that I don’t like the other TV on the Radio albums – I do – but they never really stuck with me like Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes did. Is it unfair to compare about the ouvre of the band? Yes. Does it happen anyway? Sure.

23 Unicorns – Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone (2004) – It is a little hard to come up with words for this short-lived band and this album: a fantastical indie rock epic into the land of wind and ghosts? That might be close enough.

22 Radiohead – Kid A (2000) – A lot of people didn’t like it when Radiohead decided to ditch the guitars for a while and become a synth/goth band, but I wasn’t one of them. Kid A is the most twisted album in the Radiohead lexicon, and that says something.

21 Islands – Return to the Sea (2006) (left) – After the Unicorns came the Islands, and Return to the Sea was so devilishly entertaining (and catchy) that you’d wish that they’d bothered to not get lost ever since. That and Islands introduced me to Busdriver.

Here is your iMix for #30-21.

And a recap: And if you missed them, here are #100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-41, 30-41.

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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.