on a lighter note: top 100 albums of the decade?

Reading higher ed blogs, you may get the feeling we’re a serious bunch. Nothing could be further than the truth. We like to have fun and many interests … music among the most common. So I was quite flattered when Andrew Careaga asked me to join his Magnificent Seven Higher Ed Critics Top 100 albums of the 2000s poll.

We’re releasing those discs favored by our seven picky music fans in 10 exciting installments over at this blog. Check it out!

Here’s the top 10 from my list, with a bit of commentary. I only consider new studio albums, not compilations or live records, releases since 2000. Of all the great music I bought this decade, I found these the creme de la creme:

1. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism — I played this album more than any other this decade. Nuff said.

2. Avett Brothers, I And Love And You — Masterfully written, performed and produced. Easily the album of the year.

3. O Brother Where Art Thou? Soundtrack — Not only an outstanding collection, it did the seemingly impossible by making bluegrass cool in the mainstream.

4. Tegan and Sara, So Jealous — The Quin twins have produced a lot of great music, but this is their masterpiece to date.

5. The Killers, Hot Fuss (Bonus Edition) — And to think some critics don’t like The Killers? Just jealous of Brandon Flowers’ looks and charisma, I guess.

6. Radiohead, Kid A — This album was a kick to the head to the world of rock’n’roll … in a good way.

7. Arcade Fire, Funeral — An record that seemingly came out of nowhere to become loved just about everywhere.

8. Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope — But when will the SUNY Purchase grad produce something else rivaling this gorgeous effort?

9. Feist, The Reminder — 1,2,3,4, I wanna play this album more.

10. Matthew Good, Vancouver — The newest and best of a very impressive catalogue.

Interested in more? Here’s my entire Top 100. What do you think?



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9 responses to “on a lighter note: top 100 albums of the decade?

  1. This project has been a blast. You can learn a lot about someone from his list of musical favorites, movies, books, etc., because these are the things that inform our worldview. It also exposed me to reconsider some artists that have only been on the periphery of my own semi-eclectic listening habits (i.e., Matthew Good, Tegan and Sara). Thanks for participating.

    P.S. – I hope to get my personal list online by the end of this week or early next.

  2. I’d add

    – yeah yeah yeahs, fever to tell
    – interpol, antics
    – tv on the radio, bloodthirsty babes etc
    – tv on the radio, dear science
    – damien rice, O
    – white stripes, de stijl
    – sonic youth, sonic nurse
    – her space holiday, young machines
    – old crow medicine show
    – robert plant & alison krause, raising sand
    – flaming lips: at war with the mystics

    to name a few

  3. insidetimshead

    ANDREW: It’s already made me download Ryan Adams’ “Heartbreaker” … probably not the last of the group Top 100 I’ll give a spin. And I do love avenues and opportunities to explore new music.

    CHRIS: Plant & Krause came close for me. The lack of OCMS, however, is a straight-out oversight on my part; their self-titled is a great record. Tho I still adhered with Canadian Content Laws, I think.

  4. And I appreciate that!

    This has been a great decade for Canadian music, no doubt about it. Great to see the amount of love given to Arcade Fire’s Funeral on this (and similar) lists.

    Thanks for reminding me of Killers, “all the things that I have done” is a personal favourite.

  5. Darnit, forgot
    – Gomez, in our gun

  6. Dave Bullard

    Cross Canadian Ragweed – Mission California, from 2007. Muscular rock with a twang (and mid-South sensibility to match) and great power pop-style harmonies. Haven’t heard anything like this. Check NYCG for great harmonies.

    Mike Viola’s Hang On Mike shows the disintegration of a man (his wife died young and he battled addictions) through shimmering pop melodies, harmonies, even horns.

    Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers. The best collection of stories about losers ever. If all you heard was the (intentionally ironic) sugar-filled confection, “Stacy’s Mom”, you missed great songwriting and hooks, as well as stories about people who can’t get out of their own way.

    The Tractors – Fast Girl (2001) Oklahoma’s alt-country/rock & blues band gets loose. Stephen King named “Fast Girl” one of his top songs of the decade. (And their 1995 Christmas album, “Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas”, is one of my favorites. And I hate Christmas music. Ignore the holiday takeoff on their one single, “Boogie Woogie Choo-choo Train” and enjoy the fun originals.)

    I’m surprised to learn I actually own (lease? Damn you, iTunes!) singles from some of the music in Tim’s Top 100. Matthew Good, Butterfly Boucher, Pete Yorn, Paul Westerberg.

    And for fun, here’s Billboard’s top 40 One Hit Wonders of the Decade:


  7. insidetimshead

    DAVE: That I haven’t given Cross Canadian Ragweed a good listen yet is a failure on my part. Seems the type of music I’d like, and “Canadian” is their middle name. The Tractors and Mike Viola also sound intriguing. As for Fountains of Wayne, I like some of their songs, but just found their material more hit or miss than many. Maybe it’s too clever for me or something.

  8. Chris – I hope you’re following along on our collaborative best-of countdown Tim referenced in this post. You’ll find a few of your favorites there.

  9. Pingback: top 12 albums of 2009. couldn’t do just 10. « InsideTimsHead

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