Saturday, December 12, 2009

Best of the Oughts: Albums 41-50

Strangely enough, I discovered all these albums after moving here. A couple were actually released before making the nine-hour trek, but I didn't listen to them until landing in Misery. It says something about my tastes that so many albums from recent years are popping up at the top of my list. I'm either forgetting how much I loved music from the first half of the decade or the newer stuff is just fresher. It will be interesting to see what I'm listening to in ten years.

This list really could be someone's top-10 of the decade. I'm not kidding about that.

Although my list is still vacant of female musicians, there are typically 2-3 in each set of ten, which isn't as bad as I thought. It's certainly better than the hip-hop representation.

50. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
All the magazines told me this was the best album of 2006 and I believed them. With this record, TVOTR became the next REM/Radiohead/Wilco. Now, they're collectively known as Remradioheadwilcotvontheradio: The Band Pitchfork will never admit to loving all the way, but Spin will crown as album of the year every time.

49. Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy
Have I mentioned my affinity for Will Sheff and his indie rock star powers?

48. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
I still can't get that "Funeral" song out of my head. This formula of falsetto voices over straight up guitar onslaughts should not work anymore, but it does. That and trucker hats and beards. Aren't we done with that look yet? Apparently not.

47. Eef Barzelay - Bitter Honey
I never really ever got Clem Snide, but this I did get. Eef Barzelay made the saddest record about Thanksgiving disasters and music video girls you've never heard.

46. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
What a perfect way to end a band's run. Clap Your Hands decided to put out their best record first, delegating them to one-indie-hit wonders. Bravo! It sounds like a John Hughes movie to me.

45. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Lovely Jenny Lewis and the lovelier Watson Twins Patsy Clined and Neko Cased their way into our hearts. Pairs nicely with She and Him.

44. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
Who knew that Bjork wasn't the only Icelandic princess? Will Oldham is bald with a beard to boot. Haunting and beautiful and haunting. Again.

43. Cat Power - The Greatest
Actually, it's #43, not the greatest of the oughts. Chan Marshal sold her soul to get some soul and a rhythm section plus some horns and guitar. This shouldn't have worked, but it did.

42. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Spoon. They are all over this list. They might be another candidate for band of the decade. This album just has them chugging along until the next. They are on such an incredible roll of great, great albums it's unbelievable.

41. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
For me, this was Isaac Brock's best effort of this decade. He brings in guitarists from melodramatic 80's Manchester bands and singers from melodramatic 00's Portland in order to add layers to his warped vision never thought possible. I suspect big things beyond this album.

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