Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Favorite Music of the Aughties

Yesterday I listed my favorite music of 2009
. I can't believe I said I'd do this post today. It's a pretty daunting thing, to declare, once and for all, your favorite record from the entire decade. But I want to be a blogger of my word, so here goes:

I'm limiting my list to 30, all released between 2000-2009. I'm also limiting myself to one record per artist. This list is not based on any method or system. These are just the records that have stuck with me, long after the critics stopped crowing and the crowds stopped clapping... Sure, I may have been intrigued by a Joanna Newsom or an Arcade Fire. I bought Death Cab and
Adele, just like everybody else. But in the end, these records mattered to me. These are the melodies and the words and the hooks and the voices that captured my heart and my ears, no matter what the press and the sales had to say.

So here they are, my favorite 30 records of the Aughties, again in alphabetical order.
  1. 1,000 Kisses - Patty Griffin (2002)
  2. Add to the Beauty - Sara Groves (2005)
  3. Bachelor No. 2 or, The Last Remains of the Dodo - Aimee Mann (2000)
  4. Back to Black - Amy Winehouse (2007)
  5. Boot and a Shoe, A - Sam Phillips (2004)
  6. Buddy & Julie Miller - Buddy & Julie Miller (2001)
  7. Carnival Love - Amy Correia (2000)
  8. Cease to Begin - Band of Horses (2007)
  9. City on a Hill: Songs of Worship & Praise - Various Artists (2000)
  10. Divine Discontent - Sixpence None the Richer (2002)
  11. Eleventh Hour, The - Jars of Clay (2002)
  12. Fun With Sound - 7 & 7 Is (2004)
  13. Gold - Ryan Adams (2001)
  14. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2 (2004)
  15. Illinois - Sufjan Stevens (2005)
  16. Illuminate - David Crowder*Band (2003)
  17. (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves - Hawksley Workman (2001)
  18. Long Line of Leavers - Caedmon's Call (2000)
  19. Mockingbird - Derek Webb (2005)
  20. Mute Math - Mute Math (2006)
  21. Ohio - Over the Rhine (2003)
  22. Our Shadows Will Remain - Joseph Arthur (2004)
  23. Real Life - Joan As Police Woman (2007)
  24. Room for Squares - John Mayer (2001)
  25. Simply Nothing - Shawn McDonald (2004)
  26. Speak for Yourself - Imogen Heap (2005)
  27. Surround Me - Riki Michele (2004)
  28. Travelogue - Joni Mitchell (2002)
  29. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends - Coldplay (2008)
  30. Want One - Rufus Wainright (2003)
Some interesting observations as I look over my list...

1) This list makes me feel old. I can't believe that it's been so long since I first heard some of this music.
2) Sometimes an album makes the list that is NOT the best album that artist put out in the last decade. For instance, John Mayer's "Room for Squares" is hardly his best music, but - for me anyway - the freshness of his early work trumps the technical growth in his latest work. And definitely the BORING new Battle Studies.
3) Some of my favorite artists don't make the list (Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, Indigo Girls, the innocence mission), even though they made great records all throughout the decade. While each of them remains a vital artist... none of their individual albums rose above the ones on the list.

What do you think of my list? How about you? What are your favorite records of the last decade?

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