Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunless Shortlist: Best of 2000's (10-6)

10. Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

I really didn't care for the Flaming Lips suddenly crowd-pleasing tendencies this decade, and I should probably blame this album for that. However, there is way too much to love about this album that I can't help but love it. It's a perfect follow-up to their masterpiece, The Soft Bulletin. It's not at all understated or apologetic, and it's "the world is ending, but that's okay" themes make for the most melancholy party of the decade. It's brilliant, and the Flaming Lips are a brilliant band.

9. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha (2007)

This is the one I forgot. I still don't know how I forgot it because this album really overtook my life for a long period. And even now, it overtakes me when I hear it. It's a complete album. The first thing you'll take notice of is the great upbeat songs that dominate the first half of the album. However, with repeated listens, you'll notice just how remarkable the slower second half of the album is too. Musical perfection.

8. Joanna Newsom - Ys (2006)

As soft as this album is, it is probably the ballsiest album of the decade. Sure it's gorgeous. It's overwhelming at times in its sweeping beauty. However, realize that Joanna Newsom plays a harp, has an extremely unique voice, and wrote a massive album with five nine-plus minute songs (including one at seventeen minutes). That's ballsy.

7. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (2007)

There have been plenty of freakout bands that broke out the latter half of the decade, but nobody has been a big as Animal Collective. This album (combined with Panda Bear's Person Pitch) helped usher this band in as the godfathers of the freakout scene. It wasn't their first popular album, but it was their most accessible. Sure it's still weird stuff, but it's a less difficult album to listen to every time you hear it.

6. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)

The Arcade Fire has been this decade’s most important band with only two albums. Impressive. They are like this decade’s Neutral Milk Hotel, but they don’t seem destined to prematurely dissolve. You can probably make the argument that the Arcade Fire did more for indie music than any other band. This decade might be the decade of the backlash, and the Arcade Fire is a major victim of backlash. It’s all very unfortunate however because the Arcade Fire is a near-perfect band.