Monday, December 14, 2009

Best of the Oughts: Albums 31-40

Now, this is a nice mix of new and old. I'm still not 100% about the Flaming Lips album, but this is where it stands today. I was late to the Strawberry Jam party as with Okkervil in general. Oh, and Deerhunter as well. However, I was on time, if not early, for TVOTR and The White Stripes.

40. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
After The Soft Bulletin, I didn't care much for any of the work put out by the Lips. That is, until this fall. I felt some urgency and excitement returned to the band. They feel punk again. It may be the newness or the hype, but I'm liking what they've done here.

39. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
I picked this up long after all the press lavishly proclaimed it great but a while before their next greatest album. It's bigger and fatter than Merriweather, so it sits in the top half of my list. With their string of critically acclaimed records (including this one), Animal Collective could soon be the new REM/Radiohead/Wilco/TVOTR hybrid monster of the future or something.

38. Okkervil River - Don't Fall In Love with Everyone You See
I fell in love with the first Okkervil album I ever owned. It may not be the epic concept album its successors have all been, but it hooked me into Will Sheff - The Most Dynamic Performer in Indie Rock Today.

37. Dearhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
I cut my indie teeth (or ears) on shoegaze and lo-fi. This dude has combined both aesthetics to create a sound that is unstoppable.

36. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youths, Blood Thirsty Babes
This was back when TVONR were the cool doo-wop punk band on Touch and Go. Thems were the days.

35. Elliott Smith - Figure 8
Before he released a plethora of posthumous material, Elliott Smith was a living, breathing pop master. And I mean pop in the Beatles sense, not the Black Eyed Peas.

34. The White Stripes - De Stijl
Awesome. Led Zeppelin. Back in the day. Before the Legos video. I have to go listen to this again. Right now.

33. Sonic Youth - NYC Ghost and Flowers
New York albums are always good. Free-form poetry over experimental noise should not normally be attempted, but somehow SY knows just how much is just right.

32. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Somebody's going to tear me apart for this one. It's a great record. Sure, some of the newness has not worn off and provides it a lofty spot on my list, but you will dance when I put this thing on. Oh yes, you will dance.

31. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Superwolf
Matt Sweeney played and wrote most of the songs with Will Oldham. It's a perfect pairing, apparently never to be tried again. It's dark and dirty and dingy...and somehow beautiful.

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