Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Culture Fix's Top 100 Albums of the 2000s (Part 1)

by J. Albert Barr

The world changed dramatically in 1995. That key "technological year" was ground-zero for what has now become well-known as The Digital Age. 1995 was the year the Internet went mainstream with the celebrated release of Windows '95. It was also the year that portable cell-phones suddenly became a very common sight when walking in public. By the end of the decade it seemed like everyone had one (I held out for at least another decade, if you can believe that - lol). On-line social media was also burgeoning quickly, and by 2004 Facebook had been introduced to the world for all to join for free. Things haven't been the same since for this jaded, yet jovial, Gen-Xer and all those born before 1980 to be sure. But one thing has stayed the same, for the most part at least, and that's listening to and discovering great new music.

Despite the groan-inducing deluge of toxically nubile pop divas,soulless, product-churning boy-bands, insufferably awful Pearl Jam knock-off "rock bands", and bling-bling parading and obnoxious hip-hop topping the Billboard charts at an alarming rate, it's a wonder that any good music did indeed manage to get extracted from such a dishearteningly huge pile of crap that appeared inescapable, because it was played and advertised everywhere! For me, and those who share my taste and music sensibilities, there was, thankfully, indie music, which of course instantly puts me in a certain stereotypical, and at times pejorative, music fan category - lol! That's not to say there wasn't anything in the mainstream that was any good post-millennium, there was,..."occasionally". But it was indeed indie music, be it pop/rock based or electronic or experimental or even hip-hop influenced that kept me going as a serious music fan during that first decade of our current 21st century, which has, for better or worse, been given a few nicknames, such as "the noughties". So without further ado, here's the first half of my personal, predominately subjective, Top 100 Albums of the 2000s:

100. All is Dream - Mercury Rev (2001)

Favorite tracks: "Chains", "Lincoln's Eyes" and "You're my Queen".

99. Vespertine - Bjork (2001)

Favorite tracks: "Hidden Place", "Cocoon" and "Pagan Poetry".

98. No Cities Left - The Dears (2004)

Favorite tracks: "Never Destroy Us", "22: The Death of All the Romance" and "Don't Lose the Faith".

97. Reveal - R.E.M. (2001)

Favorite tracks: "Beat a Drum", "All the Way to Reno" and "Beachball".

96. Down with Wilco - The Minus 5 (2003)

Favorite tracks: "The Days of Wine and Booze", "The Town That Lost its Groove Supply" and "The Family Gardener".

95. The Sophtware Slump - Grandaddy (2000)

Favorite tracks: "The Crystal Lake", "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot" and "So You'll Aim Toward the Sky".

94. By the Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers (2002)

Favorite tracks: "Universally Speaking", "Can't Stop" and "By the Way".

93. The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse - The Besnard Lakes (2007)

Favorite tracks: "And You Lied to Me", "Devastation" and "Disaster".

92. Don't Do Anything - Sam Phillips (2008)

Favorite tracks: "My Career in Chemistry", "Flowers Up" and "Under the Night".

91. Made in the Dark - Hot Chip (2008)

Favorite tracks: "Ready for the Floor", "Shake a Fist" and "Made in the Dark".

90. Let It Die - Feist (2004)

Favorite tracks: "Mushaboom", "Secret Heart" and "Now at Last".

89. Nouvelle Vague - Nouvelle Vague (2004)

Favorite tracks: "In a Manner of Speaking", "Making Plans for Nigel" and "Psyche".

88. Everyone is Here - Finn Brothers (2004)

Favorite tracks: "Nothing Wrong with You", "Edible Flowers" and "Homesick".

87. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Phoenix (2009)

Favorite tracks: "Lisztomania", "1901" and "Fences".

86. You Are Free - Cat Power (2003)

Favorite tracks: "He War", "I Don't Blame You" and "Werewolf".

85. Hail to the Thief - Radiohead (2003)

Favorite tracks: "There There", "2 + 2= 5" and "Sail to the Moon".

84. Punishing Kiss - Ute Lemper (2000)

Favorite tracks: "The Case Continues", "Purple Avenue" and "Scope J".

83. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - The Arctic Monkeys (2006)

Favorite tracks: "A Certain Romance", "Riot Van" and "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor".

82. I'm Going Away - The Fiery Furnaces (2009)

Favorite tracks: "Drive to Dallas", "Staring at the Steeple" and "Keep Me in the Dark".

81. Murray Street - Sonic Youth (2002)

Favorite tracks: "The Empty Page", "Disconnection Notice" and "Sympathy for the Strawberry".

80. Microcastle - Deerhunter (2008)

Favorite tracks: "Nothing Ever Happened", "Agoraphobia" and "Saved by Old Times".

79. Z - My Morning Jacket (2005)

Favorite tracks: "Knot Comes Loose", "Dondante" and "It Beats 4 U".

78. Accelerate - R.E.M. (2008)

Favorite tracks: "Man-Sized Wreath", "Mr. Richards" and "Houston".

77. Essence - Lucinda Williams (2001)

Favorite tracks: "Lonely Girls", "Blue" and "Are You Down".

76. Think Tank - Blur (2003)

Favorite tracks: "Good Song", "Out of Time" and "Crazy Beat".

75. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood - Neko Case (2006)

Favorite tracks: "Lion's Jaws", "That Teenage Feeling" and "The Needle Has Landed".

74. Elephant - The White Stripes (2003)

Favorite tracks: "Black Math", "Ball and Biscuit" and "Seven Nation Army".

73. The Seldom Seen Kid - Elbow (2008)

Favorite tracks: "The Bones of You", "Grounds for Divorce" and "The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver".

72. Chutes Too Narrow - The Shins (2003)

Favorite tracks: "Turn a Square", "Gone for Good" and "Those to Come".

71. My Maudlin Career - Camera Obscura (2009)

Favorite tracks: "My Maudlin Career", "Careless Love" and "Forests & Sands".

70. Veni Vidi Vicious - The Hives (2000)

Favorite tracks: "Main Offender", "I Hate to Say I Told You So" and "Supply and Demand".

69. Bitte Orca - Dirty Projectors (2009)

Favorite tracks: "Stillness is the Move", "Two Doves" and "Fluorescent Half Dome".

68. White Chalk - PJ Harvey (2007)

Favorite tracks: "Grow Grow Grow", "Dear Darkness" and "The Mountain".

67. The Information - Beck (2006)

Favorite tracks: "Think I'm in Love", "Soldier Jane" and "Movie Theme".

66. Tender Buttons - Broadcast (2005)

Favorite tracks: "America's Boy", "Corporeal" and "Tears in the Typing Pool".

65. Bitter Tea - The Fiery Furnaces (2006)

Favorite tracks: "Waiting to Know You", "Teach Me Sweetheart" and "Benton Harbor Blues (reprise)".

64. Return to Cookie Mountain - TV On The Radio (2006)

Favorite tracks: "Wolf Like Me", "Province" and "Wash the Day".

63. Fall Heads Roll - The Fall (2005)

Favorite tracks: "Blindness", "Pacifying Joint" and "Midnight in Aspen".

62. Untrue - Burial (2007)

Favorite tracks: "Untrue", "Ghost Hardware" and "Endorphin".

61. Out from Out Where - Amon Tobin (2002)

Favorite tracks: "Back from Space", "El Wraith" and "Mighty Micro People".

60. I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass - Yo La Tengo (2006)

Favorite tracks: "I Should Have Known Better", "The Weakest Part" and "Daphnia".

59. Yanqui U.X.O. - Godspeed You Black Emperor! (2002)

Favorite tracks: "09-15-00, Part 1", "Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls" and "Motherfucker=Redeemer, Part 1".

58. Boxer - The National (2007)

Favorite tracks: "Mistaken for Strangers", "Start a War" and "Racing Like a Pro".

57. Agaetis Byrjun - Sigur Ros (2000)

Favorite tracks: "Svefn-g-englar", "Staralfur" and "Ny Batteri".

56. The Drift - Scott Walker (2006)

Favorite tracks: "Clara", "Cue" and "Psoriatic".

55. Mountain Battles - The Breeders (2008)

Favorite tracks: "Night of Joy", "Overglazed" and "Mountain Battles".

54. Lost Souls - Doves (2000)

Favorite tracks: "Sea Song", "Catch the Sun" and "Melody Calls".

53. Turn on the Bright Lights - Interpol (2002)

Favorite tracks: "Obstacle 1", "NYC" and "Say Hello to the Angels".

52. The Moving Frontier - Pram (2007)

Favorite tracks: "Hums Around Us", "The City Surveyor" and "The Empty Quarter".

51. Simple Things - Zero 7 (2001)

Favorite tracks: "Spinning", "Destiny" and "In the Waiting Line".

That takes care of Part 1 of my Top 100 Albums of the 2000s, people! Stay tuned for Part 2 which should be arriving shortly!  :-)

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