Posted on May 11th, 2010 in Music

100 best albums of the aughts, part 1 (#100-91)

I was recently inspired by my friend to make a list featuring the top 100 albums of the aughts. You knew I would instantly have to make my own, right?

Thus! The following albums are my favorites from the year 2000-09. There are a few caveats; namely:

– This list is not meant to be academic! Importance; or significance; or otherwise albums that I am “supposed” to like do not mean added/weighted rank. Instead, I focused just on how much I alone adore them—like, by myself. You know? So you will probably notice some glaring omissions. (As much as I appreciate Animal Collective and The National, I just don’t find myself listening to them very often.)

– These were HARD(!) to rank. The albums at the top of the list are all basically perfect, but you could still probably make a convincing argument on reordering several of the top choices and I’d have a tough time refuting.

– No EPs allowed. No remixes either. Just regular-ol’ long-play goodness.

– There are no albums from 2010. The year is not done, sillies!

– I also found a ton of albums that I had completely forgotten about. That is always awesome.

On to the list(!!!) ( !!! is not on the list). #100 through 91:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (2005)
It seems like ages ago when Blognation erupted in flames over this album. I still enjoy it, but not quite as much as when it first came out. (Neo-David Byrnian vocals seem oddly placatory in 2010.) ‘Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood‘ remains an ridiculous anthemic closer that will overtake your soul, though.
Ambulance Ltd. – LP (2004)
TVT Records
Ambulance LTD is like Yo La Tengo Lite. This LP (aptly named … LP) takes a tour of indie rock’s guitar-centric past but transcends it with ridiculously catchy choruses (‘Anecdote‘) and hints of Lou Reed (‘Primitive‘). ‘Heavy Lifting‘ is the song that originally put me in the Ambulance, but the rest of the album begins to reveal itself after more listens as well.
Vincent Gallo – When (2001)
Warp Records
Vincent Gallo has always been polarizing and narcissistic, but he’s also damn talented; and he always seems to be at the forefront of art culture—notably, playing in a band with an uknown Jean-Michel Basquiat in the early 80s. Gallo’s voice is surprisingly gentle (his dad was also a singer), and these songs are charming and delicate; similar to the tracks he composed for the Buffalo ’66 soundtrack, but more fully realized.
Atlas Sound – Logos (2009)
Kranky Records
Bradford Cox is one of indie rock’s more prolific musicians right now; but surprisingly Logos was his only release in 2009. The album features guest spots from Noah Lennox and Laetitia Sadier, both of whom fit in nicely with Cox’s vision. Bradford’s penchant for dreamy, trance-like melodies is manifest beautifully.
Liars – Liars (2007)
Mute Records
The very nature of what makes Liars great is also what prevents me from listening to their records as much as I’d like; that is, the deconstructionist, No Wave vibe so present in their music. Liars dangle hooks like bait only to pull them away at the last second. The songs on this album are slightly more accessible (eg. ‘Sailing in Byzantium‘) than some of their others, but it’s a challenging (and rewarding) album nonetheless.
Local H – Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles? (2004)
Studio E Records
Local H combine witty lyrics (I particularly love the wry cynicism of ‘California Songs‘) and rock-your-ass-off riffs to make a two-person band sound twice as big. They also know when to hold the punches, though. The 10-minute quasi-ballad ‘Buffalo Trace‘ seems to meander aimlessly before ultimately turning on the shred for a Through The Fire And Flamesesque outro.
Primal Scream – Evil Heat (2002)
I prefer the darker, machine-like tone of Primal Scream’s later material to the more critically acclaimed dub-influenced psychedelia of their earlier records. ‘Rise‘ was apparently originally titled ‘Bomb the Pentagon‘, but was changed after the 9/11 attacks, which I think is kind of idiotic—why are you writing a song called Bomb the Pentagon if you don’t mean it?
The Life and Times – Suburban Hymns (2005)
De Soto Records
Allen Eppley expands on his work with Shiner—more hooks, more layers, less math rock; however, his thick, smoky vocals remain. Eppley has always excelled at writing melodies, but this album ups the ante, especially on its excursions into dreamy, post-shoegaze balladry (e.g., ‘Muscle Cars‘).
Phoenix – It’s Never Been Like That (2006)
I’m not as high on Phoenix as some, but they definitely have their place in my listening repertoire. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix solidified their jump from cult heroes to legitimate indie stars, but I actually prefer this album—it’s slightly sexier; and if you have ever seen these dudes’ dress, you know just how sexy they can be.
Grandaddy – Sumday (2003)
Sumday isn’t as instantly memorable as other Grandaddy albums, but it’s a great record in its own right. Strangely, despite the wintry album cover, hopeless song titles (e.g., ‘Saddest Vacant Lot in all the World‘) and typically isolationist lyrics, Sumday just doesn’t sound as depressing as Jason Lytle can often be. (There’s a glimmer of hope here.)

14 Responses to '100 best albums of the aughts, part 1 (#100-91)'

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    on May 11th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

  1. Visker! said,

    Ah ha! Zero overlap so far.

    Though CYHSY gets an honorable mention. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  2. on May 12th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  3. […] You can find part 1 here […]

  4. on May 16th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  5. […] can find part 1 here, and part 2 […]

  6. on May 19th, 2010 at 7:03 am

  7. Sebastian said,


    The Life and Times will probably be on my list when I finally get around to making it.

    I couldn’t make one without EPs.

  8. on May 19th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

  9. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 […]

  10. on May 19th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

  11. dja said,

    I just can’t treat an EP the same as an LP. I also generally don’t listen to an EP unless it’s one of my absolute favorite bands or it contains a song I love that I can’t find elsewhere. There would possibly be 5 or 6 EPs on this list if I allowed them. Mostly dancepunk, since those are the bands most conducive to EPs for me.

  12. on June 6th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

  13. […] You can find part 1 here […]

  14. on June 12th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

  15. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here and part 5 […]

  16. on June 30th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

  17. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, and part 6 […]

  18. on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:09 pm

  19. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, and part 6 […]

  20. on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:10 pm

  21. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here and part 5 […]

  22. on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

  23. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here and part 4 […]

  24. on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  25. […] can find part 1 here, and part 2 […]

  26. on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:59 pm

  27. […] You can find part 1 here […]

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