Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of the Oughts: Albums 51-60

I could do this all month and I almost did.

60. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Even when fully polished, Sam Beam can make anything sound like a cool breeze on a mid-summer afternoon as you sip lemonade on the back porch. Even a fart.

59. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
I didn't care for all the religious imagery until my recovering Catholic partner explained it to me. Then this record took on a whole new meaning. Haunting, beautiful, lo-fi: this is what Sufjan Stevens was before he he got all orchestral.

58. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News
This record broke Modest Mouse. I know it's not a favorite for most because a certain song was overplayed one summer, but it's a really good record, an appropriate break-out release from an indie workhorse.

57. Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
This was the album that reminded you all that Sonic Youth could still rock. Forget building their own instruments. Forget their advancing ages. Forget all you thought you knew about rock and roll. Sonic Youth just reinvented it.

56. Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
You either love or hate this album (along with the next choice). Joanna Newsom does some crazy Kate Bush shit over a harp. Can you get any more punk rock than that?

55. The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
Weird in a seventies and show tune kinda way, this brother and sister duo will blow your mind...or completely frustrate you with every release since.

54. Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
Who knew that some of Smith's best material was never released before his suicide/murder? I expected throw-aways when I bought this one, only to be thoroughly surprised and reminded how great a songwriter this man was.

53. She and Him - Volume One
I know that some of the luster has been lost on this one since M Ward has moved on and Zooey has starred in cotton commercials. Forget all of that. This record is timeless.

52. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
I love that Sleater-Kinney were known for how much they rocked harder than your favorite boy punks. Then, they release an even harder hitting record just before calling it quits.

51. Feist - The Reminder
This was, at one time, my favorite album of one particular year, but it faded for me over the following months. Upon, a revisit, I rediscovered the magic and beauty in Feist's effort. This album is cool from beginning to end.

We're halfway there. I bet you're wondering what's next? Well, all I can say as that any of the remaining sets of ten could be someone's top-10. Stay tuned...

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