I promise I’ll write something soon. For now, it’s more Dave Schneider everydaymusic domination in 2010. Today it’s the first of the two part series, the Top Albums of the Decade. It’s #10-6. Check back tomorrow for #5-1.
A lot happened in the 2000s. This is a cultural/artistic review of the decade and the year 2009.
2009 was a particularly bad year for the arts but I put together lists anyway, often with numbers 10 through 4 being begrudging fillers. Some of these lists don’t have explanations because I either didn’t care enough to justify the list or I had already written an expanded list elsewhere.
Happy New Years, everyone! Onward to the 2010s! God bless!
The Top Albums of the Decade
10. Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park (2000)
It’s the most important rock album released this decade and even though nu-metal was a fad of the 90s, Hybrid Theory feels a little more pure than the musical offerings of Korn or Limp Bizkit. Some of the tracks sound similar to one another for first-time listeners and its composition is not particularly complex, but Linkin Park’s debut album is a crowd-pleaser that I still enjoy, particularly for its ability to seamlessly blend hip-hop and rock.
9. Illinois by Sufjan Stevens (2005)
Sufjan Stevens is probably one of the most unique musicians of the 2000s, messing with unconventional time signatures and diverse instrumentation. Illinois is the apex of his 2000s discography. Its descriptive lyrics and innovative experimental folk sound capture the minimalist magic of the great Land of Lincoln.
8. Absolution by Muse (2003)
This is my favorite rock album of the 2000s. Muse sounds like the lovechild of Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins but their songwriting and energy gives them a unique flavor. Absolution features intense riffs and expressive alternative ballads amongst lyrics that capture the mistrust of authority felt through most of the Bush years.
7. Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective (2009)
Praised for its accessibility, Merriweather Post Pavilion stands out for its post-psychedelic folk electronica that accurately represents many of the technological innovations made in music during this decade. However, whereas Radiohead’s Kid A was a prophecy of the technological revolution on the horizon, Animal Collective’s MPP is a lamentation of its negative impacts, choosing to lyrically focus on a simpler, more ordinary time. It’s an incredible album and I see it as a musical and cultural book-end to the 2000s.
6. Untitled by Nas (2008)
Nas dropped a few solid albums this decade but his Untitled work makes his most meaningful observations to date, solidifying his position as the pinnacle of mainstream conscious hip-hop. The lyrics address systemic social problems without ever becoming preachy, and the beats stand out as some of Nas’ best.
Check back tomorrow for #5-1!