Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Top 5 Albums Since 2000

This is pretty basic, but most of my standard go-to "best albums" (Dark Side of the Moon, Weezer, OK Computer, most Peter Gabriel albums) are excluded from consideration. And hey, who says music sucks nowadays?

Dan's Top 5:

1. Gorillaz - Demon Days - Probably one of the most artistic albums I've heard, as it's a complete transformation from the beginning of the album to its end. It's also the album that solidified my respect for Danger Mouse.

2. Sigur Rós - Takk... - I can't really describe this album other than that all the music just soars. It's Icelandic experimental post-rock, so it's not for everyone, but it's definitely worth at least one listen, since it's damn beautiful music.

3. Daft Punk - Discovery - I've never heard electronic/house music that's so accessible. The album really flows, as illustrated by the accompanying anime film "Interstella 5555."

4. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit - Despite the fact that baroque pop music has been around since the 60's (Beatles, Beach Boys), this album still sounds pretty fresh. I'd recommend it to just about anyone.

5. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike - The best example I can think of to prove that creativity in music isn't dead. No other bands sound like these guys, and they sound good. "A mixture of action theme songs, cheerleader chants, guitars and early hip hop, with a hint of '70s funk." (Yes, I had to go to Wikipedia to try to describe it.)

Ryan's Top 5:

Interesting--we don't have any of the same five. This was a tough list; I have a lot of "honorable mentions."

1. Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - I honestly think this is one of the most complete albums of all-time.

2. Muse - Black Holes and Revelations - I don't even think this is premature. There are few albums I've listened to more consistently. Finished the album? Start it over. Repeat.

3. Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs - What can I say, I love Ben Folds. I think after you've heard 'Zac and Sara' and 'Annie Waits' more than five times it's easy to forget how good they are as pop songs.

4. The Postal Service - Give Up - I like Death Cab, but not as much as The Postal Service. I wouldn't skip any track on here, and to me, it's a very original sound that resonates well with my tastes (i.e., good music).

5. Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One is One - He excels at making complete albums. "Born in the UK" was good, but not near this. Ditto "About a Boy" soundtrack (of which he did the entirety).

Honorable mentions (that I REALLY wanted to include), in no real order:
- Sufjan Stevens - Come on feel the Illinoise
- Ben Folds - Songs for Silverman
- Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
- Kanye West - College Dropout

Tim's Top 5:
1) Ok Go – Oh No - I have now listened to the entire album six times on ITunes, which puts it at least three listens up on all albums that aren't London Calling, and therefore means this has to be a masterpiece. The fact that every month I find a new song that I'm enamored with lends support to this theory.

2) Jay-Z – The Black Album - In my opinion, this is the finest rap/hip hop album ever made. Too bad he followed it up with Kingdom Come. It's all over the map, but every track is worth owning -- ok, except Justify My Thug.

3) Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand - This is the last new band I got behind from the beginning, and I stand by my decision. Its reference to Terry Wogen in The Dark of the Matinee may be one of the most absurdly enjoyable moments in all of music for some reason, just because I knew who Terry Wogen was. This is how things work with me...make me feel important and worldly, I'd give you a Grammy.

4) Old 97’s – Satellite Rides - This is my favorite Old 97's album of the moment, though Fight Songs and Too Far to Care have both had their turns and the latter almost cracked the list here. "King of All of the World" and "Designs On You" are some of the best songs they ever made and "Question" is probably the reason I decided I really needed to get that engagement ring now after waiting all too long.

5) Elliott Smith – From a Basement on a Hill - It's a tossup between this and Figure 8. Figure 8 is a better album all around, but this one has more meaning to me and is just poignant from start to finish. Let's Get Lost, Pretty (Ugly Before), and Coast to Coast are among his finest work, but the haunted sound of the whole album makes it an album of unparalleled importance to me, even if it's not finely crafted.

I really wanted to find a spot for Kanye West - The College Dropout after it made Ryan's almost list, but the fact is that the Black Album is vastly better than Kanye's debut which is too uneven and features too many second-tier rappers. The Killers get slighted here, either album could have made it, and Guided by Voices - Isolation Drills rightly ought to, if only to make my list look slightly less commercial.

Tory's Top 5:

1. Bright Eyes - Lifted or The story is in the soil, Keep your ear to the ground - Perhaps I like Bright Eyes too much, but either way this slightly country influenced album is quite possibly his best album.

2. Damien Rice - O - I didn't think I liked folk inspired music until I heard Damien Rice. I got this CD when one of my first girlfriends broke up with me, and it quite possibly being the most depressing ten songs ever recorded definitely helped me through it. I have probably listened to this whole album through in a single sitting 30 plus times.

3. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - Tied with O for the best folk album ever recorded. This album has an incredible guest appearance by Emmylou Harris, and takes a different turn for Conor Oberst with an actually upbeat and happy tone to it.

4. Our Lady Peace - Spiritual Machines - Every song is good. Not too mention, concept albums don't seem to made anymore, and it's a shame when one listens to this and realizes just how good (and at times insanely creepy) they can be. I love this album.

5. Tenacious D - Tenacious D - It's a good thing it took them seven years to make their first album, otherwise it wouldn't be on this list. Tenacious D is undoubtedly the funniest band ever, and the soundtrack to their movie is a definite honorable mention. The reason this album didn't go higher is because I have actually listened to this album so many times that I have overplayed every song and comedy segment on it. But I'll still listen to it again. And no joking, I have probably listened to this in its entirety one hundred or more times.


The Monkey said...

Shit, I totally forgot Muse, who could potentially beat out Belle and Sebastian. The problem is the best songs on Black Holes are so much better than the rest. There's more parity on Life Pursuit. But really, it's about a tie. I also considered Yoshimi and St. Elsewhere, but I didn't think they were as good as what I had picked out.

Vulpes Velox said...

I completely forgot The Black Album. I'd add it to my almost list if I weren't too lazy. Of course posting this comment is probably more time-consuming...