Thursday, December 17, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #90-81

#90 - The Engine Driver - The Decemberists
Picaresque (2005)

#89 - Walcott - Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend (2008)

#88 - Since I Left You - The Avalanches
Since I Left You (2000)

#87 - Pyramid Song - Radiohead
Amnesiac (2001)

#86 - Cry Me a River - Justin Timberlake
Justified (2002)

#85 - Galang - M.I.A.
Arular (2005)

#84 - Knife - Grizzly Bear
Yellow House (2006)

#83 - Come Pick Me Up - Ryan Adams
Heartbreaker (2000)

#82 - Vanished - Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles (2008)

#81 - Archangel - Burial
Untrue (2007)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #100-91

#100 - The Funeral - Band of Horses
Everything All the Time (2006)

#99 - I'm a Cuckoo - Belle & Sebastian
Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)

#98 - Destroy Everything You Touch - Ladytron
Witching Hour (2005)

#97 - Fireworks - Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam (2007)

#96 - Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
Illinois (2005)

#95 - Big Pimpin' - Jay-Z ft. UGK
Vol. 3: The Life and Times of S. Carter (2000)

#94 - Hearts on Fire - Cut Copy
In Ghost Colours (2008)

#93 - Fell In Love With a Girl - The White Stripes
White Blood Cells (2001)

#92 - Shine Blockas - Big Boi ft. Gucci Mane
Shine Blockas (2009)

#91 - Nutmeg - Ghostface Killah ft. RZA
Supreme Clientele (2000)

Monday, December 14, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #110-101

#110 - The Way We Get By - Spoon
Kill the Moonlight (2002)

#109 - Munich - Editors
The Back Room (2005)

#108 - Girl On the Wing - The Shins
Oh, Inverted World (2001)

#107 - Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes (2008)

#106 - How Near How Far - .....And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Source Tags & Codes (2002)

#105 - Flashing Lights - Kanye West
Graduation (2007)

#104 - Cat Faces - Ugly Casanova
Sharpen Your Teeth (2002)

#103 - (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan - Dntel
Life Is Full of Possibilities (2001)

#102 - Fools - The Dodos
Visiter (2008)

#101 - Tribulations - LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem (2005)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #120-111

#120 - The Pain - Murs
Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition (2004)

#119 - Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

#118 - Velvet - The Big Pink
A Brief History of Love (2009)

#117 - While You Wait For the Others - Grizzly Bear
Veckatimest (2009)

#116 - Svefn-g-englar - Sigur Ros
Agaetis Byrjun (2000)

#115 - You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes - The Johnny Boy
You Are the Generation..... (2004)

#114 - Float On - Modest Mouse
Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)

#113 - Malcolm - Ghostface Killah
Supreme Clientele (2000)

#112 - Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
Let's Get Out of This Country (2006)

#111 - Scenic World - Beirut
Lon Gisland (2007)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #130-121

#130 - The Bleeding Heart Show - The New Pornographers
Twin Cinema (2005)

#129 - Someday - The Strokes
Is This It (2001)

#128 - Lover I Don't Have To Love - Bright Eyes
Lifted or The Story Is In the Soil... (2002)

#127 - Humble Mumble - Outkast
Stankonia (2000)

#126 - Roland - Interpol
Turn On the Bright Lights (2002)

#125 - Brother - Annuals
Be He Me (2006)

#124 - Jesus Walks - Kanye West
College Dropout (2004)

#123 - Move Your Feet - Junior Senior
D-D-Don't Don't Stop the Beat (2003)

#122 - She Will Only Bring You Happiness - Mclusky
The Difference Between Me and You.... (2004)

#121 - Untrust Us - Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles (2008)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #140-131

#140 - Black and White Town - Doves
Some Cities (2005)

#139 - One Armed Scissor - At the Drive-In
Relationship of Command (2000)

#138 - The Recluse - Cursive
The Ugly Organ (2003)

#137 - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead - Stars
Set Yourself on Fire (2004)

#136 - Gila - Beach House
Devotion (2008)

#135 - Abel - The National
Alligator (2005)

#134 - Dayvan Cowboy - Boards of Canada
The Campfire Headphase (2005)

#133 - Spring Hall Convert - Deerhunter
Cryptograms (2007)

#132 - Biscuits - Ghostface Killah
The Pretty Toney Album (2004)

#131 - Paper Tiger - Spoon
Kill the Moonlight (2002)

Friday, December 11, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #150-141

#150 - Stay Fly - Three 6 Mafia
Most Known Unknown (2005)

#149 - Black - Okkervil River
Black Sheep Boy (2005)

#148 - Skinny Love - Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)

#147 - Through the Wire - Kanye West
College Dropout (2004)

#146 - Saturdays - Cut Copy
Bright Like Neon Love (2004)

#145 - Haligh, Haligh, a Lie, Haligh - Bright Eyes
Fevers and Mirrors (2000)

#144 - Melody Day - Caribou
Andorra (2007)

#143 - Breathe - Fabolous
Real Talk (2004)

#142 - Anonanimal - Andrew Bird
Noble Beast (2009)

#141 - The Garden - Cut Chemist
The Audience's Listening (2006)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #160-151

#160 - She Moves She - Four Tet
Rounds (2003)

#159 - Specialist - Interpol
Interpol EP (2002)

#158 - The Upper Peninsula - Sufjan Stevens
Michigan (2003)

#157 - Company Calls Epilogue - Death Cab for Cutie
We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes (2000)

#156 - The Operator - Barbara Morgenstern
The Grass is Always Greener (2006)

#155 - Happy - The Wrens
The Meadowlands (2003)

#154 - Intervention - Arcade Fire
Neon Bible (2007)

#153 - America's Boy - Broadcast
Tender Buttons (2005)

#152 - Time Bomb - The Dismemberment Plan
Change (2001)

#151 - To the East - Electrelane
No Shouts, No Calls (2007)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #170-161

#170 - Hey Ya! - Outkast
Speakerboxx/The Love Below (2003)

#169 - Nude - Radiohead
In Rainbows (2007)

#168 - Province - TV On the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)

#167 - Accordion - Madvillain
Madvillainy (2004)

#166 - The Bachelor and the Bride - The Decemberists
Her Majesty..... (2003)

#165 - Just Abandoned My-Self - Boris
Pink (2005)

#164 - Jesus, Etc. - Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

#163 - Little Bit - Lykke Li
Youth Novels (2008)

#162 - Alan Is a Cowboy Killer - Mclusky
Mclusky Do Dallas (2002)

#161 - Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Losing My Edge (2002)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #180-171

#180 - My Moon My Man - Feist
The Reminder (2007)

#179 - Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl - Broken Social Scene
You Forgot It In People (2002)

#178 - Climb the Ladder - Of Montreal
Satanic Panic in the Attic (2004)

#177 - Heard Somebody Say - Devendra Banhart
Cripple Crow (2005)

#176 - With Every Heartbeat - Robyn
Robyn (2005)

#175 - Look a Ghost - Unwound
Leaves Turn Inside You (2001)

#174 - Yeah! - Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris
Confessions (2004)

#173 - Cuckoo Cuckoo - Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam (2007)

#172 - Where's Your Head At - Basement Jaxx
Rooty (2001)

#171 - Good to Sea - Pinback
Autumn of the Seraphs (2007)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #190-181

#190 - The Orchids - Califone
Roots & Crowns (2006)

#189 - Wolf Like Me - TV On the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)

#188 - Like Spinning Plates - Radiohead
Amnesiac (2001)

#187 - I'm a Pretender - The Exploding Hearts
Guitar Romantic (2003)

#186 - Gideon - My Morning Jacket
Z (2005)

#185 - Don't Leave the Light On Baby - Belle & Sebastian
Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant (2000)

#184 - Go! - Common
Be (2005)

#183 - Atlas - Battles
Mirrored (2007)

#182 - Go With the Flow - Queens of the Stone Age
Songs for the Deaf (2002)

#181 - Banquet - Bloc Party
Silent Alarm (2005)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #200-191

#200 - Fight Test - The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

#199 - Smile Like You Mean It - The Killers
Hot Fuss (2004)

#198 - Njosnavelin - Sigur Ros
( ) (2002)

#197 - Grass - Animal Collective
Feels (2005)

#196 - Brain Burner - No Age
Nouns (2008)

#195 - Everyone Chooses Sides - The Wrens
The Meadowlands (2003)

#194 - Your Protector - Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes (2008)

#193 - Raindrops - Basement Jaxx
Scars (2009)

#192 - Karen Revisited - Sonic Youth
Murray Street (2002)

#191 - Hercules Theme - Hercules & Love Affair
Hercules & Love Affair (2008)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #210-201

#210 - Around the Bay - Department of Eagles
In Ear Park (2008)

#209 - Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Elephant (2003)

#208 - I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)

#207 - Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand (2004)

#206 - I Bet That You Look Good On the Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)

#205 - Trashing Days - The Notwist
Neon Golden (2002)

#204 - Pocketful of Money - Jens Lekman
Oh You're So Silent Jens (2005)

#203 - Elevator Love Letter - Stars
Heart (2003)

#202 - The National Anthem - Radiohead
Kid A (2000)

#201 - Nothing Ever Happened - Deerhunter
Microcastle (2008)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #220-211

#220 - All I Need - Jay-Z
The Blueprint (2001)

#219 - Take Me to the Riot - Stars
In Our Bedroom After the War (2007)

#218 - The Eraser - Thom Yorke
The Eraser (2006)

#217 - Jezebel - Iron & Wine
Woman King (2005)

#216 - Microtonic Wave - Pinback
Offcell (2003)

#215 - Mushaboom - Feist
Let It Die (2004)

#214 - The Power Is On - The Go! Team
Thunder, Lightning, Strike (2004)

#213 - I Came As a Rat - Modest Mouse
The Moon & Antarctica (2000)

#212 - The Late Great Libido - Menomena
I Am the Fun Blame Monster (2003)

#211 - 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene (2005)

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #230-221

#230 - We Major - Kanye West ft. Nas
Late Registration (2005)

#229 - Too Long - Daft Punk
Discovery (2001)

#228 - The Kindness of Strangers - The American Analog Set
Know By Heart - (2001)

#227 - Hotel - Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene (2005)

#226 - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids
Wizard of Ahhhs (2007)

#225 - Hounds of Love - The Futureheads
The Futureheads (2004)

#224 - Gareth Brown Says - Mclusky
Mclusky Do Dallas (2002)

#223 - Pagan Poetry - Bjork
Vespertine (2001)

#222 - Lowdown - My Morning Jacket
At Dawn (2001)

#221 - Walking - The Dodos
Visiter (2008)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #240-231

#240 - Love In This Club - Usher ft. Young Jeezy
Here I Stand (2008)

#239 - When You Were Young - The Killers
Sam's Town (2006)

#238 - So Says I - The Shins
Chutes Too Narrow (2003)

#237 - When the Last Time - Clipse
Lord Willin' (2002)

#236 - Soft Revolution - Stars
Set Yourself on Fire (2004)

#235 - Goin' Against Your Mind - Built to Spill
You in Reverse (2006)

#234 - The Sweat Descends - Les Savy Fav
Inches (2004)

#233 - Farewell - Boris
Pink (2005)

#232 - It Beats 4 U - My Morning Jacket
Z (2005)

#231 - Blind - TV On the Radio
Young Liars (2003)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My 250 Favorite Songs of the 2000s - #250-241

#250 - Surfing On a Rocket - Air
Talkie Walkie (2004)

#249 - 1901 - Phoenix
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)

#248 - Never Change - Jay-Z
The Blueprint (2001)

#247 - Atom - Cannibal Ox
The Cold Vein (2001)

#246 - Top Back - T.I.
King (2006)

#245 - Dondante - My Morning Jacket
Z (2005)

#244 - Flashlight Fight - The Go! Team
Proof of Youth (2007)

#243 - Kids on Holiday - Animal Collective
Sung Tongs (2004)

#242 - Up With People - Oneida
Happy New Year (2006)

#241 - Almost Ready - Dinosaur Jr.
Beyond (2007)

Monday, November 30, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #1

#1 - Radiohead

Of course, if you know me this shouldn't come as any surprise at all. However, this pick wasn't made solely on the fact that Radiohead is my favorite band in the world. They were also easily the most consistently great band of the decade, and spent the last 10 years showing just how capable of greatness they really are. When OK Computer was released in 1997, many felt that it was clearly a peak for the band, and that they after conquering the musical universe, the only way they could go was down. When Kid A came out in 2000, however, Thom Yorke and company showed that there would be no let down, and this album was one of the greatest re-workings of a band's sound in music history. Instead of the Pink Floyd and David Bowie references of the previous album, Kid A went deep into the electronic world, bringing to light a whole new set of artists who had previously been under-appreciated, such as Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. Throughout the remainder of the decade, Radiohead would go on to incorporate the rock elements of their past with their newfound mastery of the electronic sound, creating three more of the greatest albums of the decade. The 1990's set Radiohead apart as something great, but the 2000's cemented their legacy as one of the most creative, brilliant artists in the history of recorded music.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Kid A (2000)
2. In Rainbows (2007)
3. Amnesiac (2001)
4. Hail to the Thief (2003)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #2

#2 - Animal Collective

The single greatest band to come entirely from this decade, Animal Collective will one day be looked back upon in the same light that the Beach Boys are seen today. If there were any band that can be compared to AC, as a matter of fact, it would have to be the Beach Boys, actually. Like the 60s band, both rely heavily on beautifully harmonized vocals and a very experimental way of doing things in the recording studio. Beginning early in the decade with a largely acoustic, free form sound, the group led by vocalists Panda Bear and Avey Tare produced a few great albums early. Beginning with 2004's Sung Tongs, though, the band began to incorporate more of a pop element into their music, and their sound became one of the greatest, and most unique things in music history. Just this year they've released two of their greatest records, only going to prove that this is one band that could continue to make hugely important music for years and years to come.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
2. Sung Tongs (2004)
3. Fall Be Kind (2009)
4. Strawberry Jam (2007)
5. Feels (2005)
6. Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000)
7. Campfire Songs (2003)
8. Water Curses (2008)
9. Here Comes the Indian (2003)

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #3

#3 - TV On the Radio

TV On the Radio are the perfect mix of Fela Kuti, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Radiohead, and My Bloody Valentine. This may seem like a pretty strange mix, but these guys do it amazingly. Also amazingly, between Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, TVOTR contain two of the 3 best vocalists of the decade. Their ability to harmonize and hit a seemingly impossible range of notes (for an indie rock artist, at least) is second to none. Their music has consistently gotten better with each full length release (their opening EP notwithstanding, which is probably the best thing they've done), and there seems to be so much more potential there that hasn't even been tapped......they've had an amazing decade, but the next one could be even better.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Young Liars (2003)
2. Dear Science (2008)
3. Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
4. Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004)

Friday, November 27, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #4

#4 - Ghostface Killah

Ghostface, Ghost Deini, Ironman, Tony Starks, Pretty Toney.....whatever you wanna call Dennis Coles, you should also call him the greatest rapper of the decade. When Ghost made his name in the early 90s with the Wu-Tang Clan, he was (along with Raekwon) a clear standout amongst the group. His solo album Ironman in the 90s was outstanding, but it wasn't until 2000's Supreme Clientele that Ghost not only became the standout in the Wu-Tang, but also THE standout in all of hip-hop music. While his lyrics may not be for the weak-hearted (or weak-stomached at times), Ghostface Killah's rhyming abilities are unmatched. He can spit the most non-sensical things at times, but still do it in a way that will have you foaming at the mouth to hear more of it. It doesn't hurt that the production on all of his albums has always been top-notch, but it's Ghostface himself that is the reason why I would place 3 of his albums in my top 25 favorites of the decade.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Supreme Clientele (2000)
2. Fishscale (2006)
3. The Pretty Toney Album (2004)
4. The Big Doe Rehab (2007)
5. Bulletproof Wallets (2001)

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #5

#5 - Kanye West

While not being quite my favorite member of the hip-hop community this decade, it's hard to argue that one person had a bigger influence on the genre as a whole than Kanye West had. Beginning early in the decade with his production work on the landmark Jay-Z album The Blueprint, Kanye set himself as someone to watch out for in the world of hip-hop producers. When his first solo album College Dropout was released, however, the world at large was put on notice that this was a man that had his sights set squarely on the complete domination of the music industry. While certainly not being the most technically skilled rapper alive, Kanye's abilities have opened the doors for the underground backpack hip-hoppers to garner some acclaim for themselves as well. While his personal antics at times may overshadow the more positive things about the man (especially lately), Kanye is still one of the most important musicians of our generation and respect must always be given to this man and everything he'll ever do.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Late Registration (2005)
2. Graduation (2007)
3. College Dropout (2004)
4. 808's & Heartbreak (2008)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #6

#6 - Arcade Fire

More than any other album this decade, Arcade Fire's 2004 debut Funeral was able to make the listener feel the emotions of the songwriters as if you had actually experienced the tragedies that had beset them. From beginning to end, it's probably the single most important album of the last 10 years, and all by itself is enough to warrant the band this spot on my list. The hype that preceded their follow-up album Neon Bible was also more than any other band experienced. While that album may not have been as emotionally charged as it's predecessor, it certainly wasn't any slouch itself, and went a long way towards proving that Arcade Fire is one band that will survive into the ages.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Funeral (2004)
2. Neon Bible (2007)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #7

#7 - Spoon

Spoon have made their way onto the number 7 spot on my list due to being easily the most consistent band of the decade. From Girls Can Tell in 2001 on through Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga in 2007, each album has been a classic in it's own right. While nothing the band ever does will ever top Kill the Moonlight, Britt Daniel's group has probably made 4 of my top 50 favorite albums this decade. I once read a comparison between Spoon and MacGyver....this might seem weird on the face of it, but when you hear the music you can start to understand. Each seems to get by fantastically using as little as Spoon's case some songs only contain a small guitar line, or a little organ piece, or in the case of one song nothing but Britt's vocals and some beatboxing. No matter what he does to make his songs, though, you can always count on a Spoon album to be something special.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Kill the Moonlight (2002)
2. Girls Can Tell (2001)
3. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)
4. Gimme Fiction (2005)

Monday, November 23, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #8

#8 - Broken Social Scene

The 2000s saw a much higher percentage of great music coming out of Canada than any decade in music history. At the center of all of this was the large musical collective known as Broken Social Scene. Formed by Kevin Drew (of the band KC Accidental) and Brendan Canning, BSS helped launch and/or solidify the careers of many indie rock luminaries of the decade, including Leslie Feist, Emily Haines of Metric, all of the members of Stars, and members of the band Do Make Say and Apostle of Hustle among others. Broken Social Scene's music itself is pretty much what you'd expect from such a large collective of musicians, as they tend to jump from style to style, all the while doing so in a manner that seems almost effortless. They are definitely one of Canada's greatest gifts to the musical landscape.

My Favorite Albums:
1. You Forgot It In People (2002)
2. Broken Social Scene (2005)
3. Feel Good Lost (2001)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #9

#9 - Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens is possibly the most unique character to emerge from this decade. Starting off in 2000 by releasing what sounded to be a global folk record, following this with a strange electronic album, and then introducing his greatest (and apparently since aborted) plan to record an album based on each state in America. The two resulting albums of this idea - Michigan and Illinois - are two of the most breathtakingly beautiful albums of the decade. Michigan conveys the sound of a downtrodden, economically bleak area (dead on, obviously), displaying how hard life is in this depressed state. Illinois is seen as more of a jovial, nice place to live, as evidenced by the heavy brass, marching band influence much of the songs display. Not to be overlooked, however, was Sufjan's 2004 album Seven Swans, which was released between Michigan and Illinois. This album is a quiet affair, displaying a lot of Sufjan's banjo skills, and relates to his relationship with God, but does so in a way that's not too hard to identify with even if you don't share his beliefs. Overall, he was clearly one of the most important, and BEST artists of the decade.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Illinois (2005)
2. Michigan (2003)
3. Seven Swans (2004)
4. The Avalanche: Outtakes from the Illinois Album (2006)
5. Songs For Christmas (2006)

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #10

#10 - Modest Mouse

Typically when a band moves onto a major label, their first album sounds overproduced, and loses much of the rawness that made that certain band who they were in the first place. This should have been especially true with Modest Mouse, a band whose recordings in the 90s were SO reliant upon the rough, Pixies-like sound they had formed. When The Moon & Antarctica was released in 2000, however, any notion of a flop was dispelled the second the first track came into your ears. This album was one of the greatest odes to the fears of death ever written, and is both lyrically and instrumentally amazing. One of the strangest moments of the decade was when the song "Float On" off of their next album became a #1 hit in the US....a moment no Modest Mouse ever anticipated.

My Favorite Albums:
1. The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
2. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007)
3. Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)

Friday, November 20, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #11

#11 - My Morning Jacket

For whatever reason, when I first heard of My Morning Jacket I instantly pigeon-holed them as some sort of terrible emo band simply based on their name. When I got around to hearing their music soon after, however, I realized that I couldn't have been more wrong. MMJ have carried on the southern rock tradition in remarkable fashion, creating songs with big vocals and blistering guitar solos, and most importantly becoming one of the most interesting live acts around. Jim James heavily reverbed vocals are beautiful (he's probably my favorite vocalist of the decade), sounding like they're being sung in the middle of the largest cathedral in the world. The band's album Z is what a southern rock album from the 70s would have sounded like if it had magically been introduced to Radiohead's OK Computer, and is one of the masterpieces of the 2000s.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Z (2005)
2. It Still Moves (2003)
3. At Dawn (2001)

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #12

#12 - Sigur Ros

When I first heard Sigur Ros' Agaetis Byrjun I sincerely had no idea what stratosphere this music had come from. It sounded like an angel singing from inside a womb, which strangely enough just so happened to be exactly what the album cover depicted. The band uses a made-up version of their native language (they're from Iceland) they call Hopelandic, allowing the vocals to basically just act as another instrument in the mix of violin-bowed guitars, drums, and pretty much every brass symphonic instrument known to man. This mix allowed for some of the strangest and most beautiful music of the decade.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Agaetis Byrjun
2. ( )
3. Takk....

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #13

#13 - Interpol

Interpol's 2002 debut album Turn On the Bright Lights remains to me as one of the greatest first albums by a band in music history. The amazing thing to me about this album is that it's clearly the sound of a weary, veteran band wanting to create something lasting, even though it was produced by a band that had just come into existence. The Joy Division comparisons are still pretty spot-on (especially in Paul Banks vocal style), but this band was clearly a force to be reckoned with all to themselves in the early to mid part of the decade. After their most recent album being a bit of a flop, the promise of a return to the old sound has been made, and Interpol could carry on into the 2010's with something huge.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Turn On the Bright Lights (2002)
2. Antics (2004)

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #14

#14 - Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear are another of those bands, like Fleet Foxes, that I can see dominating a list like this in another 10 years. There are also some strong similarities among the two, as they both use a heavy dose of gorgeous melodies, coupled with a strong folk music influence. Grizzly Bear, however, uses more lush instrumentation that lead to some of the greatest songs of the decade. When the band's Yellow House album was released in 2006 I knew they had the potential to be something great, but it wasn't until 2009's Veckatimest that the potential was fully realized. It was clearly one of my favorite records of the decade, and one that will be hard to top in the future, even though I can clearly see the band doing just that within the next few years.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Veckatimest (2009)
2. Yellow House (2006)
3. Horn of Plenty (2004)

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #15

#15 - The Flaming Lips

After the greatness of 1999's The Soft Bulletin, the Lips returned with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots a few years later, reinterpreting the previous albums symphonic orchestration into a sort of quasi-concept album about an Asian girl fighting against a bunch of gigantic robots. The final product was amazing, and after a rather mediocre album in '06, they returned in '09 with Embyronic which once again completely reinvented the sound of the band. The album was the darkest by the group yet, and leaves me wondering going into the next decade where they will go from here, into their 4th decade as a functioning unit. Also, they are simply the greatest live band around today. Go see them immediately.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
2. Embryonic (2009)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #16

# 16 - Clipse

You might say that every single Clipse song is exactly the same, and in a way you'd be correct. The subject matter of all of their songs revolve around one thing.....selling cocaine. However, the way they go about this subject lyrically is where their true greatness lies. For one thing, they've created more descriptions of the game than anyone in history, using a million different words to describe the same thing. Along with this, they don't necessarily glamorize the subject, despite the fact that they've made most of their money off of it. They realize that it's a cold, difficult life to lead....and not one they'd suggest for anyone else. Let us not forget another key component to their music, however, as they are basically the house band for the great production duo that is The Neptunes. Without their minimal electro beats, Clipse might just be a bit more ordinary.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Hell Hath No Fury (2006)
2. Lord Willin' (2002)