The 50 Best Albums of the Decade (2000s)

January 8, 2010

50) The Killers: Hot Fuss

49) Rilo Kiley – The Execution of All Things

48) Prince – 3121 (2006)

47) Metallica – St Anger (2003)

46) Weezer – (Green Album) (2001)

45) George Harrison – Brainwashed (2002)

44) Interpol – Antics  (2004)

43) Rufus Wainwright – Poses (2001)

42) Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)

41) Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full  (2007)

40) Martha Wainwright – Martha Wainwright (2005)

39) Cat Power – The Greatest (2006)

38) TV on the Radio – Dear Science, (2008)

37) Ghostface Killah – Fishscale (2006)

36) Anthony Hamilton – Comin’ Where I’m From (2003)

35) Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)

34) Nas – Nas      (2008)

33) My Morning Jacket – Z (2005)

32) Al Green – Lay it Down (2008)

31) Common – Like Water for Chocolate  (2000)

30) JJ Cale and Eric Clapton – Road to Endencino (2006)

29) Kings of Leon – Only By the Night (2008)

28) Cee Lo – Cee Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections (2002)

27) Bob Dylan – Love and Theft (2001)

26) Tom Petty – Highway Companion (2006)

25) Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)

24) Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning  (2005)

23) Rosanne Cash – Black Cadillac  (2006)

22) Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)

21) Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000)

20) John Coltrane and Theonious Monk at Carnegie Hall (2005)

19) Outkast – Stankonia (2000)

18) Johnny Cash – My Mother’s Hymn Book (2004)

17) Suffjan Stevens – Illinoise (2005)

16) Jay Z – The Blueprint (2001)

15) Matisyahu – Live at Stubb’s (2005)

14) Green Day – American Idiot (2004)

13 ) U2 – No Line on the Horizon (2009)

12) The National – Boxer (2007)

11) Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)

10) Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King (2009)

9) The Gaslight Anthem – The ‘59 Sound (2008)

8 ) Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero (2007)

7) Bruce Springsteen – The Rising (2002)

6) Death Cab For Cutie – Plans (2005)

5) Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

4) Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006)

3) The Drive by Truckers – Brighter Than Creations Dark (2008)

2) Lupe Fiasco – The Cool (2007)

1) The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America (2006)

“Boys and Girls in America” is my pick for best album of the first decade of the new millennium. It doesn’t try to be more than it is and it’s not epic in the stereotypical sense. It’s just great rock and roll. I hate to quote another rock critic in a review of my own, but a line from Thom Jurek writing for AMG sticks with me about this album: “It exposes in the first and third person what it means to grow up right now in the midst of suburban waste.” That’s as much as I’ll borrow from anyone else in this description, but it’s apt. Released in 2006 this album is teenage and twenty-something life for a bunch of different people in post-9/11 pre-financial collapse America. It’s music that works for listening value for anyone 15 to 65, because it hits the high points of pure rock without copping from them. If you like punk, Dylan, Springsteen, The Replacements or pretty much any other great rock and roll, you’ll like this album.  As everyone knows, ranking, filing and critiquing music is a bit arbitrary and always reflects personal taste. Really, the top 3 albums on this list hold equal treasure in my listening experience, and a pick like this always says as much about the reviewer and the person picking it as it does the art itself. I wrote awhile back that Paste magazine’s pick of the decade sums up who they are as a publication– Sufjan Steven’s “Illinoise” album is great and it also made my list, but “Paste” are the only critics I saw use it as their number one pick, and it shows you right where they are. This is the case with everyone’s “number one,” so “Boys and Girls in America” is the RATDOTL blogspots  defining album– it’s druggy, woozy, fired up, nerdy, religion-obsessed, doubt-plagued , girl-crazy, earnest, tongue-in-cheek, cruising around aimlessly and trekking to the perfect rock show.

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