The 100 Best Albums Of The 2000s (2018 Version)

With the end of the 10s rapidly approaching and with it, an inevitable decade-recapping list, I felt a deep inspiration to look back at my previous effort to summarize a decade’s musical output. I made a list of The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s back in high school. In the year 2000, I was but a fresh 8 years old, listening to the Indigo Girls, smooth jazz and Enya my parents played in the house. Not an ideal way to keep track of releases.

Eventually I came around to classic rock and then dived into the dungeon of indie rock, thanks to discovering sites like Pitchfork, Stereogum and other music blogs. I had a lot of catching up to do in listening to albums that were released pre-2007 while making the list in 2010, but I’d say that it was a pretty decent mirror to my personal tastes at the time, with a few minor exceptions. Looking back on it now, there are a few albums in there I don’t remember ever listening to, along with a few things ranked suspiciously high.

As a fun little project that took far too much of my time, I recreated the list to accommodate all the records from the 00s I’ve listened to since I published the original list. This process served as an ample distraction while my life hurtles at an uncomfortable speed toward “adulthood”. The end product is a winning Warm Visions bingo card: my useless knack for list-making, navel-gazing circle-jerkery, music that no one on the planet would consider unique or interesting in 2018 and beyond, and being approximately 8 years irrelevant are all present. Enjoy!

* indicates a record newly added to the list.

100. HEALTHGet Color *
99. StudioWest Coast *
98. The Postal ServiceGive Up
97. ColleenEveryone Alive Wants Answers *
96. Kanye WestLate Registration
95. The ThermalsThe Body, The Blood, The Machine
94. The Tough AllianceA New Chance
93. Lightning BoltWonderful Rainbow
92. BeckThe Information *
91. Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron & Fred SquireLost Wisdom *
90. Arcade FireNeon Bible
89. The UnicornsWho Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?
88. The KillersHot Fuss
87. Life Without BuildingsAny Other City *
86. m83Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
85. Sweet TripVelocity : Design : Comfort *
84. SmogDongs Of Sevotion *
83. Yeah Yeah YeahsFever To Tell
82. BorisPink *
81. WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot
80. The Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
79. BeckModern Guilt
78. A Place To Bury StrangersA Place To Bury Strangers *
77. OutkastStankonia
76. Jens LekmanNight Falls Over Kortedala
75. The BooksThought For Food *
74. Sun ArawBeach Head *
73. Animal CollectiveFeels *
72. PortisheadThird
71. Death Cab For CutieTransatlanticism
70. Grizzly BearYellow House
69. Ghostface KillahSupreme Clientele *
68. Animal CollectiveSung Tongs *
67. Sonic YouthRather Ripped *
66. Mount EerieWind’s Poem *
65. The New PornographersMass Romantic
64. Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes
63. Have A Nice LifeDeathconsciousness *
62. MidlakeThe Trials Of Van Occupanther *
61. Fucked UpThe Chemistry Of Common Life *
60. Sleater-KinneyOne Beat *
59. Stars Of The LidThe Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid *
58. Arcade FireFuneral
57. Sufjan StevensMichigan
56. MF DoomMM.. Food? *
55. Sam AmidonAll Is Well *
54. Songs: OhiaMagnolia Electric Co. *
53. Flying LotusLos Angeles *
52. BroadcastHaha Sound *
51. Sonic YouthMurray Street *


50. InterpolTurn On The Bright Lights
49. RadioheadAmnesiac
48. William BasinskiThe Disintegration Loops *
47. Yo La TengoAnd Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out *
46. Grizzly BearVeckatimest
45. Beach HouseDevotion *
44. Broken Social SceneYou Forgot It In People
43. DeerhunterMicrocastle
42. Animal CollectiveStrawberry Jam
41. RadioheadIn Rainbows
40. The Mars VoltaDe-Loused In The Comatorium
39. Cat PowerThe Greatest *
38. DestroyerDestroyer’s Rubies *
37. Godspeed You! Black EmperorLift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven
36. GorillazGorillaz
35. Gillian WelchTime (The Revelator) *
34. The BooksThe Lemon Of Pink *
33. Joanna NewsomThe Milk-Eyed Mender *
32. LCD SoundsystemLCD Soundsystem
31. Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend
30. J DillaDonuts *
29. GorillazDemon Days
28. The StrokesIs This It
27. BroadcastTender Buttons *
26. Sufjan StevensIllinois
25. MadvillainMadvillainy
24. Fever RayFever Ray
23. St. VincentActor
22. Modest MouseThe Moon & Antarctica
21. Sun Kil MoonGhosts Of The Great Highway *
20. Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion
19. LCD SoundsystemSound Of Silver
18. PJ HarveyStories From The City, Stories From The Sea *
17. The FieldFrom Here We Go Sublime *
16. The KnifeSilent Shout
15. Dirty ProjectorsBitte Orca
14. Boards Of CanadaGeogaddi *
13. Jay ReatardBlood Visions *
12. Camera ObscuraLet’s Get Out Of This Country
11. DntelLife Is Full Of Possibilities *
10. Panda BearPerson Pitch
9. BjörkVespertine
8. Joanna NewsomYs
7. Daft PunkDiscovery
6. BeckSea Change
5. The MicrophonesThe Glow Pt. 2
4. GrouperDragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill *
3. RadioheadKid A
2. BurialUntrue
1. The AvalanchesSince I Left You

STATS:

  • 46 new records were added to the list.
  • The 46 records that fell out of fancy in the eight years between lists:
    • And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Source Tags & Codes
    • Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am…
    • Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock & Roll
    • Beck – Guero
    • Beirut – The Flying Club Cup
    • Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
    • Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
    • Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning
    • Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head
    • CSS – Cansei de Ser Sexy
    • Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
    • The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
    • Elliott Smith – Figure 8
    • Explosions In The Sky – The Earth Is Not A Cold, Dead Place
    • Flaming Lips – Embryonic
    • Flotation Toy Warning – Bluffer’s Guide To The Flight Deck
    • Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
    • Gnarls Barkely – St. Elsewhere
    • Hot Chip – The Warning
    • Jason Mraz – Waiting For My Rocket To Come
    • Jay-Z – The Blueprint
    • Kanye West – Graduation
    • Lambchop – Nixon
    • M.I.A. – Kala
    • m83 – Saturdays = Youth
    • MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
    • Muse – Absolution
    • Muse – Origin Of Symmetry
    • My Dear Disco – Dancethink LP
    • My Morning Jacket – Z
    • of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer
    • Okkervil River – The Stage Names
    • Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
    • Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
    • Rogue Wave – Asleep At Heaven’s Gate
    • Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
    • Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun
    • Sigus Ros – Takk…
    • Spoon – Gimme Fiction
    • The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
    • The Strokes – Room On Fire
    • TV On The Radio – Dear Science
    • TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
    • The White Stripes – Elephant
    • The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
    • Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals
  • The artists with multiple records on the list include Animal Collective (4), Arcade Fire (2), Beck (3), The Books (2), Broadcast (2), Gorillaz (2), Grizzly Bear (2), Joanna Newsom (2), LCD Soundsystem (2), MF Doom (by Madvillain proxy) (2), The Microphones/Mount Eerie (3), Radiohead (3), Sonic Youth (2) & Sufjan Stevens (2).
  • The record with the highest climb between charts is The Microphones’ The Glow Pt. 2, moving from #79 to #5.
  • The record with the biggest fall is The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, falling from #5 to #80. Behind that include Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which fell from #15 to #81, Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, falling from #31 to #90 and followed by Arcade Fire’s Funeral, which fell from #1 to #58.
  • The highest debut is obviously Grouper’s Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill, a record that has infiltrated my entire being, a lifetime attachment.
  • The lowest debut barely squeaking on this list is HEALTH’s Get Color.
  • Untrue and Kid A both held strong at #2 and #3, respectively. Talk about durability!
  • Embarrassingly only about 20% of this list are female-led projects (was non-binary even a thing that was acknowledged by music media back then?). This was a constant trend I noticed while mining other major outlet’s year-end lists as well.
  • The year most heavily represented is 2003, with 14 albums. Second place is a tie between 2006 & 2007 with 13 each.
  • If I were to make individual lists for each year of the 00s right now (I’m not), these would be the #1 Records:
    • 2000: The Avalanches – Since I Left You
    • 2001: The Microphones – The Glow Pt. 2
    • 2002: Beck – Sea Change
    • 2003: Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts Of The Great Highway
    • 2004: Björk – Vespertine
    • 2005: Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
    • 2006: Joanna Newsom – Ys
    • 2007: Burial – Untrue
    • 2008: Grouper – Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill
    • 2009: Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca 
  • Other records that I listened to for essentially the first time as I was formulating this list that I greatly enjoyed:
    • Annie – Anniemal
    • Antony & The Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now
    • The Blow – Paper Television
    • Bonnie “Prince” Billy” – The Letting Go
    • Caribou – Up In Flames
    • Cat Power – You Are Free
    • The Clientele – Suburban Light
    • Deerhoof – The Runners Four
    • The Delgados – Hate
    • Ellen Allien – Berlinette
    • Fennesz – Venice
    • Herbert – Bodily Functions
    • The Innocence Mission – We Walked In Song
    • Lansing-Dreiden – The Dividing Island
    • Roisin Murphy – Overpowered
    • Paavoharju – Laulu laakson kukista
    • The Postmarks – The Postmarks
    • The Wrens – The Meadowlands

This was an interesting project for a good handful of reasons. The most prominent one for me is the ever-powerful factor of foresight that doing this grants me. At the time of publishing this list, Arcade Fire were probably my all-time favorite band with a new, buzzy record on the way later that year. Cut to 2018, they’ve released a stinker of a record the year previous, had at least two annoying album release cycles, and are generally still highly-blogged-about-for-little-reason group. I still feel as though Funeral is a great album, but it has surely lost some of its personal sheen since 2010. The most obvious drop, regardless of numbers, is for Kanye West, whose past musical output has unfortunately been tainted by the harmful things he’s doing in the present, right now, 2018. Fuck that guy.

On the flipside of that, my affection for The Microphones/Mount Eerie has only grown since 2010, establishing a sadboy folk niche that I’ve been residing in for the past six years or so. The forces of time influencing opinions are even affecting my album placement for the upcoming Best of The 10s list. I wonder how even a few years will alter that list when it’s done.

Thanks to everyone who helped give me recommendations and guidance throughout making this list. I am just one person, so if your favorite record isn’t on here, let me know! I might have a reason or maybe not; the world is silly like that. I hope you enjoyed reading my nerdery and are inspired to take a look back at your favorite albums of the 2000s.

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
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2 Responses to The 100 Best Albums Of The 2000s (2018 Version)

  1. Pingback: 2018 Retrospective – 100 Songs + Listening Stats | An Empty Bliss

  2. Pingback: Listen: Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron – “Love Without Possession” [2019] | Warm Visions

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