Top Ten Albums of the Decade
Ok, so I don’t have a lot of brain room for anything profound right now. So, I thought I would amuse myself, and maybe you dear readers, with a bunch of meaningless top ten lists. So, here are my top ten albums of the decade starting from January 1, 2000 to December 2009. I realize that just about everyone of these picks will cause an uproar. Well, roar away in the comments section. This is, after all, The Thomas Society.
10. Viva La Vida-Coldplay
I know it’s hipster cool to bash Coldplay, call them a Radiohead wanna be etc and so on. I think it’s always been unfair to compare them to Radiohead because Radiohead is unbeatable. But, I’m sorry, I love Viva’s sound, lyrics and general vibe. I realize this puts me on par with the frat boys out there. Fine. Put me there. I’ll still listen to this album long after The Shins start annoying me.
9. Rubber Factory’ The Black Keys
I just love The Black Keys. How can you beat crunchy, lo-fi, white boy, Midwestern blues? Hailing from Akron, Ohio, one of the gritiest towns you’ll ever visit, these guys have indie cred oozing from their pores. I mean, you try living in Northern Ohio in a town that is losing people not just be the day, but by the hour. The album just makes me happy and gets me through the long gray Ohio winter.
8. I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child Manchester Orchestra
What do you get when you fuse punk sensibility, southern rock, and knock out lyrics from a 21 year old singer? You get this album. A pastor friend of mine introduced me to this album by saying, “Take a guess on how old this guy is after you listen to the album”. I guessed 27 and I was wrong. Andy Hull was 19 when he wrote this album. How, I wonder, how? I don’t really care, I just shut up and listen.
7. Guero- Beck
As much as my Generation (X) hates to label our artists, I’m going to do it. Beck is the voice of my generation. Fractured. Beautiful. A sense of something wrong and a sarcastic humor. Beck captured that in his first full length album, Odelay. In Guero, he is way more playful but still keeps his old sense of humor. I challenge you to listen to Brown Eyed girl and not smile.
6. No Line on the Horizon U2
I can’t understand why more people haven’t latched on to this album. Granted, I’m a self confessed U2 fanatic, but come on people. This album could end up being one of their best ever. Moment of Surrender has made it into my top five U2 songs of all time. For me, that’s quite an achievement.
5. K’naan The Dusty Foot Philsopher
I’m sure many of you are going “who?” That’s exactly what I said when I was first introduced to K’naan a couple of years ago with the song “I was Stabbed by Satan”. That song just hooked me with K’naan’s combination of African beats and melodies, rock thrust, and political punches to the mouth. It’s great writing music.
4. Kid A-Radiohead
This album just unsettles me every time I listen to it, which is exactly what Thom Yorke intends. It’s about the troubled present. It’s about the disturbing future if we continue to wash out our humanity with our crap culture.
3. The White Stripes- Elephant
Jack White is one of my creative heros. This guy takes risks with every crunch of his guitar. He goes from blistering off your face to singing you to sleep. Elephant is just a creative triumph. I love the song Black Math. My sons and I crank it up when mommy goes shopping.
2. American Idiot- Green Day
I’ll be honest, I almost put this one first. This is an album that I never get sick of hearing. It’s raw. It’s emotional. It’s intelligent and asks some tough questions about the whole notion of “My country right or wrong?”
1. Illinoise- Sufjan Stevens
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think this album would be first. But, the more I thought about it, I can’t think of an album I listen to more, makes me think deep thoughts, laugh and weep. I mean, if you can listen to Casmir Pulaski day and not weep your eyes out every time, you truly have no soul. But the most killer lines of this album come with Sufjan’s confession during a song about the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, “In my best behavior, I’m really just like him. Look underneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid”.
But, even more, this album is about doubt, paranormal weirdness, the Midwest and Jesus. That pretty much sums up my life. And when you can find an album that does that, it deserves to be number one for the decade.