my 20 favorite albums from the aughties...

its nearing the end of the year and that means LISTS; even more so with the aughties or double 0's or what have you ending. and so i thought i would put my two cents in with my favorite 20 albums of the last ten years. these are albums that have stuck with me and that i constantly find myself revisiting; many of the them are already acknowledged as "best-of" albums, some of them not. But these 20 are the biggest and most important to me, ones that have changed my musical outlook, challenged my notions of 'good music', and some are just plain fun. most of these albums seem to fall within the second half of the decade mainly because those were my college years and when i discovered the most new (to me at least) music. i'm hoping that this offers a few surprises and discoveries for people and that they are able to love these albums as much as i do. ranking them would have been impossible for me and so i just present them in alphabetical order.

my favorite 20:

amadou & mariam - dimanche a bamako (2005):

produced with manu chao, this album is one that brings insta-good feelings whenever a hear it. i went back and forth between this one and 'welcome to mali', both excellent but since this was my first exposure to their music, dimanche a bamako, it is!

animal collective - feels (2005):

the first ac album that really clicked with me in a big way. i still think this is their strongest overall album with songs like 'the purple bottle', 'grass,' 'banshee beat,' and the amazing closer 'turn into something.'

arcade fire - funeral (2004):

what more needs to be said. an album that is practically perfect in every way.

beach house - devotion (2008):

this duo keeps creating some of the most affecting, sultry, dreamy, and beautiful music around today. never gets old.

bon iver - for emma, forever ago (2007):

this album has A LOT of personal connections for me which, along with the fantastic songs and the whole lore surrounding it, makes it a definite decade album for me.

burial - untrue (2007):

this album is a dark, rainy, lonely night in audio form. one of the most immersive and powerful listening experiences that i have ever had. gets better every time.

the clientele - strange geometry (2005):

this album is definitely the dark horse on this list. it may not seem like much on first listen; but the great songwriting keeps me coming back again and again and again until one day i find that i LOVE this album.

daft punk - discovery (2001):

yup. soooooo gooood. one more time, please.

dengue fever - escape from dragon house (2005):

cambodian by-way-of california surfer rock. truly a thing of greatness with strong connections to the music i heard growing up in cambodia. and even apart from my own nostalgia; i think it stands up as a wonderful album.

fanfarlo - reservoir (2009):

the most recent album on this list and one that seems to mesh everything good about arcade fire and beirut and pop music in general into one brilliant and exciting debut.

fleet foxes - fleet foxes (2008):

probably the album i have listened to the most in the past two years and every time it is just as exciting and beautiful. and what a cover!

frightened rabbit - the midnight organ fight (2008):

this one took me completely by surprise when i first heard it; maybe it is the great scottish accent, maybe the raw emotion of the lyrics, maybe just the great tunes...but whatever it is, it is working for me.

girls aloud - the sound of girls aloud (singles collection; 2003-2006):

i dare you to find a better group of pop singles released this decade...impossible. and everything that they and xenomania have done since 2006 has been pretty ace as well.

joanna newsom - ys (2006):

joanna newsom is a true storyteller and this album, though maybe a little daunting at first listen, is one that dazzles and envelopes you in its own magical world of talking bears and meteorites and birds stuffed with sawdust and diamonds. a masterpiece.

the knife - silent shout (2006):

the opening track 'silent shout' is perhaps my favorite opening track to any album; ever. it takes you in immediately and the knife don't let you leave their transfixing and terrifying world until 'still light' fades out 48 minutes later.

m.i.a. - kala (2007):

the beats on this album are what bring me back; from the standard boom-boom-bap to a beat constructed from a chicken's ba-kaw!, this album dazzles and m.i.a.'s lyrics on top of that push the album over the edge in the best way possible. kala is everything great and fabulous about the globalization of music and remains one of my favorites.

the new pornographers - twin cinema (2005):

picking which new pornographers album to put on this list was really hard, which tells you something about the strength of their discography; but in the end this won out because of the greatness that is 'the bleeding heart show'.

radiohead - kid a (2000):

perhaps the most praised album of the decade, but one that i believe genuinely deserves the praise that is gets. radiohead at the top of their game.

sufjan stevens - illinois (2005):

at 73 minutes sufjan's best album (so far...fingers crossed) is too much to take all in at one listen, but on repeated visits i think it reveals itself to be a true masterpiece. 'john wayne gacy, jr.' still gets me everytime. wow.

super furry animals - rings around the world (2001):

my favorite band since the beatles has released a lot of great albums this decade, but 'rings' deserves to be on this list because of the grand scope of the album. this thing is a beast. a wonderful messy joyful beast.

that's it. there are MANY albums that almost made the list (im sorry vecaktimest!). if you have any qualms with the list, let me know what you think should have made it in the comments.
the baron.


Justin said...

I really need to hear the rest of that Fanfarlo album. I've seen nothing but good reviews, but this is the first time I've seen it on "an album of the decade" list.

idiru7 said...

This is an interesting mix...I don't know if I know enough to make one of these...I like seeing Fanfarlo up there, too bad they're not playing in Atlanta...sad

the baron said...

fanfarlo's debut, as far as i'm concerned, is one my favorite and most played albums of the past year. this might be the only 'best of the decade' list that is makes it on...but that's quite alright with me.

Anonymous said...

Some real diamonds here. thanks for compiling this list.