There are many lists coming out of the best of the last decade as we head into 2010. Many of the lists i enjoy and often agree with so here are my five best albums of the decade. I will give some comment as to why also.
I have discovered a few artists this decade i really enjoy including Ryan Adams, St.Vincent, Neko Case, The National, Amy Winehouse (yes i know but i love those albums), The Arcade Fire, Aesop Rock, Fleet Foxes, Spoon, Blitzen Trapper, and Iron & Wine. To name a few... (if it was longer Spoon would be on here too. I love them.)
#5 The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
This is one of my top discoveries ever in the last 10 years. When i started hearing the band I fell in love with them. This album shows off the intense musicianship of this group. I enjoyed their other albums but this is the reason i went back to hear them. I have really grown into appreciating this band and while it has led to suggestions to hear Death Cab for Cutie and a few other, none of which i have really felt anything about, they remain a happy discovery into the weird wild world of strange pop.
#4 Outkast - Stankonia
This is the Rap/Hip-Hop album of the decade. None one else has had more an impact on the avantgarde aspects that can be in hip-hop. Not only do they push the limits of texture, style and methods for delivering the rhymes they also write awesome hooks (ms. jackson anyone?). What stands out to me is how edgy and fresh it still is after almost 10 years. While their double album went huge i don't find it as good as this. To me this ranks as one of the best Rap albums ever and probably right behind Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique as my favorite. Want a good example of how weird, fresh and exciting hip hop can be, see "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad).
- PS. second best rap album of the decade, Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP and i think it was Eminem's last good album.
#3 The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
I can't think of an album that has had a more unintentional impact on music. The current garage rock champs i think entered us back into the lo-fi era with such power and stamina that it is hard to ignore. While Elephant was the big hit I think this album is why I like TWS. Part Stooges and part Rolling Stones while still being all balls out rock is impressive. "Fell in Love With A Girl" is such a rocking track but also has the Video of the Decade. This album proved that you can be a power house duo and rock out hardcore without being taken as a side note. So many bands currently owe a bit of their sound to these two, which in turn take us back to The Stooges (the most underrated band ever).
#2 Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
To put it simple: I had never heard Wilco till i heard this album. They are now my #2 favorite band EVER. This band turned its alt-country roots and mixed with crazy-ass soundscapes into an album that I can't live without. First their record label refused to put it out. Second they streamed it on the net. They get picked up but a smaller label, Nonesuch, and it get huge. The album mixes song craft with sound samples that produces a huge sonic variation that spreads from the melodic, "Heavy Metal Drummer," to the sad "I am Tryign To Break Your Heart," to just breaking apart to silence in "Reservations." Drugs, Beach Boys, obscure British sound recordings, love, pain, and life all make up something that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I suggest listening to "Jesus, Etc." and "Radio Cure."
#1 Radiohead - Kid A
They are probably one of the biggest rock bands in the world. At the time this was released they had put out their break-through and most successful album OK Computer and helped define 90's alternative era. The start of the decade they decide to put out a difficult and non-radio friendly album. While OK Computer is probably one of the best albums of 1990s and high on some of the best of all time, this was leaps and bounds artistically and musically from everything else. They open with "Everything In Its Right Place" and proceed to scare the casual music fan away. Those of us who were open for the rush of electronic and sonic mixture into our ears couldn't have been happy. Classical music fans grasped onto this album as the blend of the avant-garde sound work of the 60s and 70s as well as the edgy jazz the poured into the album. The electronic sounds that came in the last decade started here. Not only did they say to their fans that they were going somewhere else but locked the true fans into where they would continue to go. No wonder they are one of the most important bands of the last 20 years and since Nirvana. Really who else would Coldplay try and ripoff...
That is the best albums of the last decade. Your thoughts?