February 7th, 2010 | List-o-mania

My Top 50 Albums of the 2000’s

The Horrors - Primary Colours No. 50
The Horrors
Primary Colours
(XL) 2009

Nas - God's Son No. 49
Nas
God’s Son
(Columbia) 2002

Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther No. 48
Midlake
The Trials Of Van Occupanther
(Bella Union) 2006

Radiohead - Amnesiac No. 47
Radiohead
Amnesiac
(Parlophone/Capitol) 2001

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular No. 46
MGMT
Oracular Spectacular
(Sony/Columbia) 2007

My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves No. 45
My Morning Jacket
It Still Moves
(BMG/ATO) 2003

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz No. 44
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It’s Blitz
(DGC/Interscope) 2009

Ghostface Killah - Fishscale No. 43
Ghostface Killah
Fishscale
(Def Jam) 2006

grizzly-bear-veckatimest-cover No. 42
Grizzly Bear
Veckatimest
(Warp) 2009

“Two Weeks”

Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block No. 41
Peter Bjorn and John
Writer’s Block
(Wichita/V2) 2006

The Strokes - Room On Fire No. 40
The Strokes
Room On Fire
(RCA) 2003

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago No. 39
Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago
(Jagjaguwar) 2008

The Killers - Hot Fuss No. 38
The Killers
Hot Fuss
(Island) 2004

Flaming Lips - Yoshimi No. 37
The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
(Warner Bros.) 2002

The White Stripes - White Blood Cells No. 36
The White Stripes
White Blood Cells
(V2) 2001

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga No. 35
Spoon
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
(Merge) 2007

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible No. 34
Arcade Fire
Neon Bible
(Merge) 2007

Kanye West - The College Dropout No. 33
Kanye West
The College Dropout
(Roc-A-Fella) 2004

The Avett Brothers - I And Love And You No. 32
The Avett Brothers
I And Love And You
(American) 2009

System Of A Down - Toxicity No. 31
System Of A Down
Toxicity
(American) 2001

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes No. 30
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
(Sub Pop) 2008

Little Brother - The Minstrel Show No. 29
Little Brother
The Minstrel Show
(ABB/Atlantic) 2005

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca No. 28
Dirty Projectors
Bitte Orca
(Domino) 2009

Outkast - Stankonia No. 27
Outkast
Stankonia
(LaFace) 2000

Spoon - Kill The Moonlight No. 26
Spoon
Kill The Moonlight
(Merge) 2002

The Game - The Documentary No. 25
The Game
The Documentary
(Aftermath) 2005

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP No. 24
Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP
(Aftermath) 2000

The Avalanches - Since I Left You No. 23
The Avalanches
Since I Left You
(Modular) 2000

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend No. 22
Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend
(XL) 2008

The National - Boxer No. 21
The National
Boxer
(Beggars Banquet) 2007

TV On The Radio - Dear Science No. 20
TV On The Radio
Dear Science
(Interscope) 2008

Gif Created on Make A Gif No. 19
Jay-Z
The Black Album / The Grey Album
(Def Jam) 2003

Daft Punk - Discovery No. 18
Daft Punk
Discovery
(Virgin) 2001

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere No. 17
Gnarls Barkley
St. Elsewhere
(Downtown) 2006

Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights No. 16
Interpol
Turn On The Bright Lights
(Matador) 2002

Modest Mouse - The Moon And Antarctica No. 15
Modest Mouse
The Moon and Antarctica
(Epic) 2000

J Dilla - Donuts No. 14
J Dilla
Donuts
(Stones Throw) 2006

The White Stripes - Elephant No. 13
The White Stripes
Elephant
(Warner Bros.) 2003

Jay-Z - The Blueprint No. 12
Jay-Z
The Blueprint
(Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) 2001

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot No. 11
Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
(Nonesuch) 2002

ac-merriweather-cover No. 10
Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion
(Domino) 2009

Madvillain - Madvillainy No. 09
Madvillain
Madvillainy
(Stones Throw) 2004

Arcade Fire - Funeral No. 08
Arcade Fire
Funeral
(Merge) 2004

Radiohead - In Rainbows No. 07
Radiohead
In Rainbows
(self-released) 2007

The Strokes - Is This It US No. 06
The Strokes
Is This It
(RCA) 2001

Kanye West - Graduation No. 05
Kanye West
Graduation
(Roc-a-fella) 2007

Radiohead - Kid A No. 04
Radiohead
Kid A
(Capitol) 2000

Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele No. 03
Ghostface Killah
Supreme Clientele
(Epic/Razor Sharp) 2000

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois No. 02
Sufjan Stevens
Illinois
(Asthmatic Kitty) 2005

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver No. 01
LCD Soundsystem
Sound of Silver
(Capitol) 2007

Click here for my full review of LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver

  • http://twitter.com/KINGJB Josh Bethoney

    It's a list I can get behind but for two little issues: No Electric Version and no Okkerville river.

  • Lucky

    so that's a damn good list but it also showcases how much I've fallen off as a musichead lately. there's tons of bands on that list that exist in the “heard of them but haven't heard their music” category (like Dirty Projectors, Interpol, Grizzly Bear, The National, Arcade Fire) and then others I've never even heard of (The Avalanches, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, The Avett Brothers) while others I've slowly gotten into like Wilco (I like 'em sometimes a bit too slow for my taste) and Spoon (only their popular singles).

    Obviously a good crop of solid hiphop albums in there but if I have complaints it's a little underground album called Train of Thought by Reflection Eternal being omitted. I wouldn't exactly call it a watershed album like Blackstar but it's solid from start to finish and was one of those albums that solidified the underground even though it still doesn't get props. Other problems, Stillmatic? The Documentary? I'll allow stillmatic even though street's disciple was a far better album unless you put both in because one revived Nas' career and the other brought back west coast hip hop (slightly shocked you didn't put get rich or die tryin' in there). also kanye's first and third albums deserve props, second one I feel doesn't deserve top 50 billing even though it's great, it's just uneven but I'll allow it, at least you didn't put the overly popular choice of 808s and heartbreak in there. And being a Roots head, I'd like to demand an album of this decade in there but all their albums always have one or two tracks holding them back from greatness, I'd say it's a tie between Rising Down and Game Theory for inclusion. If only Things Fall Apart came out in '00.

    Still, if anything, I've got more music to listen to now from a respected voice in particular LCD Soundsystem, a big heard of, haven't heard band but I really like “Someone Great” and will check them out immediately. But I'm with Paul on this one, the Killers still suck and I'll just never get into a band like Animal Collective.

    a rough list of faves from the decade:
    -Elzhi, The Preface (I'd include Black Milk's solo stuff but this is his best beats with an unstoppable mc)
    -Reflection Eternal, Train of Thought LP
    - The Roots, Rising Down
    - Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Naturally
    - Breakestra, Hit the Flo!
    -the Mighty Imperials, Thunder Chicken
    -Talib Kweli, Eardrum
    -Kanye West, College Dropout
    -Nas, Street's Disciple
    -Jamie Cullum, Twentysomething
    -Van Hunt, Van Hunt
    -Outkast, Love Below/Speakerboxxx (I know people are split between this and Stankonia but Stankonia has a few dead moments, it may be solo double albums but this album destroys it, debatable though)
    -Little Brother, The Minstrel Show
    -J Dilla, Donuts/Welcome to Detroit (much like the Roots, wish I could throw these together and have it qualify as its own album)
    -The Arctic Monkeys (put a gun to my head, I'll pick one of their three albums, probably their first one)

    should be more rock in here, I'll get back to you on that one.

  • Lucky

    oh and maybe it's sacrilege but I'd put Gnarls Barkley's Odd Couple in over St. Elsewhere. They're both classics, St. Elsewhere obviously being a groundbreaking album and it came first but I always find myself listening to Odd Couple more, high replayability factor.

  • http://www.richkearney.com richkearney

    Both valid issues, and both made my rough list of about 100 that I narrowed down to the 50. New Pornographers and Okkervil River are both bands that I didn't end up fitting in but deserve recognition for their work in this last decade. I felt the same about Beck, Black Keys, Death Cab, Hot Chip, M.I.A., Flaming Lips, Phoenix, The Roots and others.

  • http://www.richkearney.com richkearney

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. You struck on a lot of things I debated in creating this list, and the 20 or so revisions I've done over the last six months before I was happy enough with it to put it up on the web. I initially compiled a list of well over 100 albums, and then added in a lot that I hadn't heard but were high on the lists of magazines like Spin and Rolling Stone and sites like Pitchfork, and then I listened to all of them a ton over the course of a couple months. It was a lot of fun, I was surprised at how poorly some albums held up (Get Rich or Die Trying, Streets Disciple) and how great others truly were (The Minstrel Show, The Documentary), plus I fell in love with albums I'd never listened to before (Modest Mouse, Sufjan Stevens). I tried to separate the contextual importance of albums from their actual music (I really do think Stillmatic is that good). And from all of this I continually narrowed down and rearranged the list.

    At one point or another, almost every album in my Top 10 was number 1. I realized I could rearrange it forever if I didn't figure out some methodology. So I made a Top 10 list of each year, that way every time I wanted to jump an album up or down I couldn't pass over an album from the same year without revisiting their head-to-head comparison, plus I could weed out the tendency to rank older albums higher. Doing this revealed my bias towards early 00's hip hop albums and pushed a few albums off my initial top 50, including Train of Thought, Dead Prez's Let's Get Free and Cannibal Ox's The Cold Vein. In addition to these three, there are a lot of albums that I would've guessed we're top 50 without question (Fishscale, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever to Tell, Cage Hell's WInter), but in the end, I wouldn't put any of them ahead of any of the 50 I chose. (As for my feelings on later 00's rap, Donuts ('06) and Graduation ('07) are the only albums on the list that were released after 2005 and Donuts doesn't even have rapping on it).

    Speaking of Kanye, I've always thought that Late Registration wasn't that great, and it does have a lot of duds (“Roses,” “Addiction”) and I considered not putting it on the list, but its best material (“Crack Music,” “Gone”) is just so damn good. Same for Stankonia. It was initially much lower on my list than most magazines ranked it because I think there is a lot of garbage on there, but more than half of it is great, and a quarter of it is among the best music the hip hop genre has ever produced. And Speakerboxxx/Love Below is literally #51 on my list. Like I mentioned in my response to Josh above, I think The Roots do deserve recognition. All of their albums from this decade were on my original long list, but the highest in my book was actually The Tipping Point.

    Lastly, there's no point in arguing about The Killers, it never goes anywhere. Though I did feel vindicated when the Rolling Stone's Readers Poll named Sam's Town the most underrated album of the decade.

    Thanks for your list too, there's quite a few on there I've never listened, but will definitely check out.

  • http://www.richkearney.com richkearney

    Admittedly, I haven't listened to Odd Couple enough to judge. St. Elsewhere didn't hold up as well as I thought it would though. I figured it was easily Top 10 of the decade before I started re-listening to everything.

  • Lucky

    ok so I've barely delved into their catalog but I can already tell I should've been listening to Spoon a long time ago. good stuff. I'd blast you for not listening to the Odd Couple but like I've said, I've fallen off with music so will definitely shut up. As for the Roots, of their four albums in the aughts, Phrenology was my favorite for awhile (that everyone hated) probably because it was the first album by them I bought when it was actually released (who's not sentimental about albums?) but Tipping Point is up there too the hidden tracks at the end take the album to an emotional peak but Rising Down seems the most cohesive of all, if only How I Got Over came out in what you and the fancy magazines consider to be the official past decade.

    Other thoughts: sufjan stevens, supreme clientele and black/grey album all in the top ten. I love the variety, your balls and those are definitely 3 albums that simply make me happy. weird but true.

    Anyway, I appreciate your process of weeding out the fakers and including the worthy, wouldn't even mind seeing 51-100 even if it's overkill but to satisfy my curiosity. Speaking of, where did say, Demon Days or Santogold place on that list or which of the Black Keys' or Beck's albums deserved props? If Sea Change is in the top 100, I'm driving to Boston to cockpunch you, that lame breakup album infuriates me and I have no idea why it's beloved.

  • http://www.richkearney.com richkearney

    Here's my rough 51-100. And no, I didn't pick Sea Change. I'm obviously a Danger Mouse fanboy as I've included Modern Guilt, Danger Doom, and Black Keys' Attack & Release.

    Outkast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
    Death Cab for Cutie Plans (2005)
    Cage Hell’s Winter (2005)
    Grizzly Bear Yellow House (2006)
    Dead Prez Let’s Get Free (2000)
    Panda Bear Person Pitch (2007)
    My Morning Jacket It Still Moves (2003)
    Ghostface Killah FishScale (2006)
    M83 Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (2003)
    The White Stripes Icky Thump (2007)
    50 Cent Get Rich or Die Trying (2003)
    Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)
    Nas God’s Son (2002)
    Eminem The Eminem Show (2002)
    The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers (2006)
    Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought (2000)
    The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
    Cut Copy In Ghost Colours (2008)
    Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand (2004)
    Cannibal Ox The Cold Vein (2001)
    Common Be (2005)
    M.I.A. Kala (2007)
    Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 (2009)
    Iron & Wine The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)
    Radiohead Hail to the Thief (2003)
    LCD Soundsystem LCD Soundsystem (2005)
    Hercules and Love Affair Hercules and Love Affair (2008)
    The Black Keys Attack & Release (2008)
    Phoenix It’s Never Been Like That (2006)
    T.I. King (2006)
    Hot Chip Made in the Dark (2008)
    Ghostface Killah The Pretty Toney LP (2004)
    Scarface The Fix (2002)
    The Roots The Tipping Point (2004)
    Band of Horses Everything All the Time (2006)
    Xzibit Restless (2000)
    Danger Doom The Mouse & The Mask (2005)
    TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
    The Black Keys The Big Come Up (2002)
    Little Brother The Listening (2003)
    RJD2 Deadringer (2002)
    Common Like Water for Chocolate (2000)
    Kings of Leon Youth & Young Manhood (2003)
    Santogold Santogold (2008)
    U2 All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
    The Roots Phrenology (2002)
    Jay-Z American Gangster (2007)
    Phish Farmhouse (2000)
    The Alchemist 1st Infantry (2004)
    Beck Modern Guilt (2008)

  • http://richkearney.tumblr.com/ richkearney

    Here's my rough 51-100. And no, I didn't pick Sea Change. I'm obviously a Danger Mouse fanboy as I've included Modern Guilt, Danger Doom, and Black Keys' Attack & Release.

    Outkast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
    Death Cab for Cutie Plans (2005)
    Cage Hell’s Winter (2005)
    Grizzly Bear Yellow House (2006)
    Dead Prez Let’s Get Free (2000)
    Panda Bear Person Pitch (2007)
    My Morning Jacket It Still Moves (2003)
    Ghostface Killah FishScale (2006)
    M83 Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (2003)
    The White Stripes Icky Thump (2007)
    50 Cent Get Rich or Die Trying (2003)
    Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)
    Nas God’s Son (2002)
    Eminem The Eminem Show (2002)
    The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers (2006)
    Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought (2000)
    The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
    Cut Copy In Ghost Colours (2008)
    Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand (2004)
    Cannibal Ox The Cold Vein (2001)
    Common Be (2005)
    M.I.A. Kala (2007)
    Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 (2009)
    Iron & Wine The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)
    Radiohead Hail to the Thief (2003)
    LCD Soundsystem LCD Soundsystem (2005)
    Hercules and Love Affair Hercules and Love Affair (2008)
    The Black Keys Attack & Release (2008)
    Phoenix It’s Never Been Like That (2006)
    T.I. King (2006)
    Hot Chip Made in the Dark (2008)
    Ghostface Killah The Pretty Toney LP (2004)
    Scarface The Fix (2002)
    The Roots The Tipping Point (2004)
    Band of Horses Everything All the Time (2006)
    Xzibit Restless (2000)
    Danger Doom The Mouse & The Mask (2005)
    TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
    The Black Keys The Big Come Up (2002)
    Little Brother The Listening (2003)
    RJD2 Deadringer (2002)
    Common Like Water for Chocolate (2000)
    Kings of Leon Youth & Young Manhood (2003)
    Santogold Santogold (2008)
    U2 All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
    The Roots Phrenology (2002)
    Jay-Z American Gangster (2007)
    Phish Farmhouse (2000)
    The Alchemist 1st Infantry (2004)
    Beck Modern Guilt (2008)