Sunday, January 10, 2010

100 Best Albums of The Decade

A decade ago we were freaking out, on the verge of a social nervous breakdown with the dawn of the Millennium. “Y2K is going to change everything,” they said, little did they know what would happen a short while after. We all rested well when the internet didn’t break down and anarchy didn’t run in every city on every street. It was the dawning of a new age, one that would see and hear cultural revolutions that will echo from here to eternity. Looking back at the soundtrack of the beginning of the decade, I just cringe, music was still waging a war over Napster and recovering from the effects of what happened at Woodstock 99. It was hate filled nu metal anthems and songs brought on by the ignorant tongues of acts like Limp Bizkit, Creed, and Juvanile. In 10 years music has managed to shift in what seems to be all the right places. After Radiohead had already starting bending my mind and the musical landscape, they had released Kid A, a record that would foreshadow what we would hear in the dawning of the new Millennium. Later on in the first year of the Millennium a small British band from Oxford would change my world. I will still remember when I first herd “Yellow” from Coldplay. That song, that record and that band was a breath of fresh air for me and many others who wanted something new that wasn’t full of angst or rubbish lyrics. It was the beginning of a new door being open in the music world.

In the early fall of 2001, 9/11 happened and the world changed forever. No one knew what to do or where to go, but we came together, we came together as New Yorkers, as American’s and as citizens of the World. Whatever those terrorists were hoping to achieve that day failed, we rose up more resilient and better than ever. We wrapped our arms around each other and said, “We will be ok, we will get through this,” and we did. As that fall came on and the effects of what just happened, a band from New York who came with the fury of The Ramones, the mysteriousness of Lou Reed and the cool of Television, The Strokes shaped the sound of what was to come. Just a short while after them, we were introduced to Jack White, a guy who within this decade has already established himself a legend. The Bush Administration reigned for most of the decade, giving us an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression, an unjust war and a criminal still at large. America saw the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the triumph of the election of its first black President and the idea and hope that with a dream, anyone can do anything.

Through the years of what is called “the noughties” this decade gave us so much in music. Hip-Hop was given three Blueprints from the Frank Sinatra of the genre; it found a new voice and genius through the mind and work of Kanye West. Pop was still cranking out radio garbage, but in some cases it became creative, it went Back to Black and we went “Crazy in Love” over Gaga. New Wave came back in a big way, neo-new wave acts like The Killers, The Bravery, Scissor Sisters and VHS or Beta gave a dance beat to rock like the great acts of the 80’s did. The British changed my world again. As the great Brit bands to emerge each decade, the British invaded my stereo and made me fall in love with music even more, acts like Coldplay, Bloc Party, Editors, Muse, Glasvegas and countless others. It was a decade that started off with a garage sound and scene then went emo then electronica then indie and lo-fi. Music moved very fasted and if you were not paying attention, you may have missed a buzz band that was here today and gone tomorrow. Technology changed our way of getting music; yes the internet of course revolutionized the way we buy things now, however, the iPod made us cram millions of songs in a tiny device. Radiohead created music’s first digital tip jar, while shoving a middle finger to the industry, allowing fans to pay what they wanted for their 2007 release, In Rainbows. Facebook, Myspace, Purevolume, Youtube, introduced us to the next big thing. If not for the buzz created on these sites we would have never found out about Arctic Monkeys. We were blessed with talented songwriters in every genre, from Lupe Fiasco to Win Butler to Bright Eyes to Craig Finn, thank God for Craig Finn. As Seattle had its scene in the 90’s, Brooklyn had its own; The Hold Steady, TV on the Radio, MGMT, The National and hundreds of other bands made music cool again, made us feel something. This was the defining decade we just went through, it happened as we turned off the radio and turned on our tastes to something new.

Here is a look back at the 100 greatest albums, in my opinion, that defined the decade. I began this list in the spring of 2007, with research of going through magazines, speaking to other music lovers, fans, friends and artists, this is how I look at the decade that was.

1 A Rush of Blood to the Head Coldplay 2002
2 American Idiot Green Day 2004
3 Kid A Radiohead 2000
4 The Rising Bruce Springsteen 2002
5 The Black Album Jay-Z 2003
6 Relationship of Command At the Drive-In 2001
7 Is This It? The Strokes 2001
8 Graduation Kanye West 2007
9 Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady 2006
10 Deja Entendu Brand New 2003
11 Phrenology The Roots 2003
12 In Search Of.. NERD 2002
13 Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends Coldplay 2008
14 All That You Can't Leave Behind U2 2000
15 Parachutes Coldplay 2001
16 Elephant The White Stripes 2003
17 Speakerboxx/The Love Below OutKast 2003
18 Accelerate REM 2008
19 Hot Fuss The Killers 2004
20 Neon Bible Arcade Fire 2007
21 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb U2 2004
22 White Pony Deftones 2000
23 Silent Alarm Bloc Party 2005
24 In Rainbows Radiohead 2007
25 American IV: The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash 2002
26 I'm Wide Awake Its Morning Bright Eyes 2005
27 College Dropout Kanye West 2007
28 St. Elsewhere Gnarls Barkley 2006
29 The Blueprint Jay-Z 2002
30 To The 5 Boroughs Beastie Boys 2004
31 War All The Time Thursday 2003
32 In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 Coheed and Cambria 2003
33 Amnesiac Radiohead 2000
34 Final Straw Snow Patrol 2004
35 Stankonia OutKast 2000
36 By The Way Red Hot Chili Peppers 2002
37 Bleed American Jimmy Eat World 2001
38 Morning View Incubus 2001
39 Transatlantasism Death Cab for Cutie 2003
40 ( ) Sigur Ros 2002
41 Illinois Sufjan Stevens 2004
42 Glasvegas Glasvegas 2008
43 Lateralus Tool 2002
44 Back to Black Amy Winehouse 2007
45 Whatever People Say I Am Is What I Am Not Arctic Monkeys 2006
46 Hours Funeral For A Friend 2005
47 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam 2006
48 Volta Bjork 2007
49 A Weekend in the City Bloc Party 2007
50 Playing The Angel Depeche Mode 2005
51 Late Registration Kanye West 2005
52 The Bravery The Bravery 2004
53 Full Collapse Thursday 2001
54 Green Album Weezer 2001
55 White Blood Cells White Stripes 2001
56 Lord Willin' Clipse 2002
57 Decadance Head Automatica 2003
58 Don't Believe the Truth Oasis 2005
59 Funeral Arcade Fire 2004
60 Costello Music The Fratellis 2007
61 As Tall As Lions As Tall As Lions 2006
62 Porcelain Sparta 2004
63 Made in the Dark Hot Chip 2008
64 Gratitude Gratitude 2004
65 Gravity Our Lady Peace 2002
66 In Your Honour Foo Fighters 2005
67 Demon Days Gorillaz 2005
68 Some Devil Dave Matthews 2003
69 Dear Science TV on the Radio 2008
70 Contraband Velvet Revolver 2004
71 Francis the Mute Mars Volta 2004
72 Devils and Dust Bruce Springsteen 2005
73 Songs in A Minor Alica Keys 2001
74 Guerreo Beck 2004
75 Room on Fire The Strokes 2003
76 Warship and Tribute Glassjaw 2002
77 Black Holes and Revelations Muse 2006
78 Oh, Inverted World The Shins 2001
79 Gold Ryan Adams 2001
80 Hopes and Fears Keane 2004
81 Songs for the Deaf Queens of the Stone Age 2003
82 Hybrid Theory Linkin Park 2000
83 Stay What You Are Saves the Day 2002
84 Tell All Your Friends Taking Back Sunday 2002
85 Wolfmother Wolfmother 2006
86 Justified Justin Timberlake 2003
87 Boxer The National 2007
88 Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge My Chemical Romance 2004
89 Tipping Point The Roots 2005
90 Behind the Music The Soundtrack of Our Lives 2002
91 Third Portishead 2008
92 Talkie Walkie Air 2004
93 Santogold Santogold 2008
94 Up The Bracket The Libertines 2002
95 Sea Change Beck 2002
96 Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots The Flaming Lips 2003
97 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Wilco 2001
98 Return to Cookie Mountain TV on the Radio 2006
99 Only By The Night Kings of Leon 2008
100 Food and Liquor Lupe Fiasco 2006