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The best 100 albums of the decade (2000-2009)

If someone wants a euphonium player to join their rock band, let me know. I’m totally down.

In any case, here’s my Top 100 albums of the decade list. The international brand master himself commissioned a few of us higher ed blogger types to each come up with our own lists and together, we’re running down a list of the Top 100 albums of the decade.

What’s released below is my personal list. The only real rule for me was ensuring I didn’t pick two albums from the same artist. I could’ve in a few cases, but opted against it. It’s also possible if I’d poured over this, I’d have chosen a different set of albums in a different order literally each day I did it, so at some point I just had to stop.

So I did it all in one sitting after compiling an initial list in a different series of sittings, then made a bunch of changes to make sure I didn’t miss anything huge (for me) and well…what we have results in a fairly accurate reflection of my listening habits. The rankings are a bit curious, but then, what rankings aren’t? (Hello US News & the BCS!?)

With that, here’s my list:

1. Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (2005)
2. Alison Krauss & Robert Plant – Raising Sand (2007)
3. Laura Veirs – Year of Meteors (2005)
4. Bright Eyes – Lifted or The Story Is In the Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground (2002)
5. Brand of Horses – Cease To Begin (2007)
6. Frou Frou – Frou Frou (2002)
7. Dr. Dog – Fate (2008)
8. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief (2003)
9. Metric – Fantasies (2009)
10. Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)
11. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (2009)
12. Wolf Parade – Apologies To The Queen Mary (2005)
13. Little Brother – The Listening (2003)
14. Interpol – Antics (2004)
15. The National – Boxer (2007)
16. Blindside – About A Burning Fire (2004)
17. The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)
18. Tegan and Sara – This Business of Art (2000)
19. Ray Lamontagne – Till The Sun Turns Black (2006)
20. Appleseed Cast – Peregrine (2006)
21. Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days (2004)
22. Keren Ann – Nolita (2004)
23. Coldplay – Parachutes (2000)
24. Other Lives – Other Lives (2009)
25. Field Music – Tones of Town (2007)
26. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (2009)
27. Heartless Bastards – All This Time (2006)
28. Julieta Venegas – Bueninvento (2000)
29. Mirah – Aspera (2009)
30. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (2009)
31. Outkast – Stankonia (2000)
32. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere (2006)
33. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (2008)
34. Basia Bulat – Oh, My Darling (2008)
35. Flaw – Through The Eyes (2001)
36. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008)
37. Cake – Fashion Nugget (2001)
38. Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antartica (2000)
39. Architecture In Helsinki – Fingers Crossed (2004)
40. 30 Seconds To Mars – 30 Seconds To Mars (2002)
41. Ha Ha Tonka – Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South (2009)
42. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine (2005)
43. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (2005)
44. Brand New – Deja Entendu (2003)
45. Nelly – Country Grammar (2000)
46. Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)
47. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit (2006)
48. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (2008)
49. Jill Scott – Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 (2000)
50. Passion Pit – Manners (2009)
51. Pretty Girls Make Graves – Elan Vital (2006)
52. TV On The Radio – Dear Science (2008)
53. Sondre Lerche – Faces Down (2002)
54. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s – The Dust of Retreat (2006)
55. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American (2001)
56. System Of A Down – Toxicity (2001)
57. The Dears – Gang of Losers (2006)
58. Deftones – White Pony (2000)
59. Esperanza Spalding – Esperanza (2008)
60. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm (2005)
61. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War (2008)
62. Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood (2003)
63. Circa Survive – On Letting Go (2007)
64. Dungen – Tio Bitar (2007)
65. Devotchka – A Mad & Faithful Telling (2008)
66. The Polyphonic Spree – The Fragile Army (2007)
67. The xx – xx (2009)
68. Feist – The Reminder (2007)
69. Devendra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (2007)
70. God Forbid – Earthsblood (2009)
71. Panic at the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)
72. Nada Surf – The Weight Is A Gift (2005)
73. Floetry – Floetic (2002)
74. A Perfect Circle – Mer De Noms (2000)
75. The Shins – Oh, Inverted World (2001)
76. Sigur Ros – Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (2008)
77. Daft Punk – Discovery (2001)
78. Cannibal Ox – The Cold Vein (2001)
79. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Source Tags & Codes (2002)
80. The Wrens – Meadowlands (2003)
81. Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (2000)
82. The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
83. Death Cab for Cutie – Plans (2005)
84. Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope (2006)
85. Land of Talk – Applause, Cheer, Boo, Hiss (2006)
86. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)
87. Two Gallants – Two Gallants (2007)
88. Black Gold – Rush (2009)
89. Stew – Something Deeper Than These Changes (2003)
90. The Strokes – Is This It? (2001)
91. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? (2007)
92. Zero 7 – The Garden (2006)
93. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca (2009)
94. Guster – Keep It Together (2003)
95. N.E.R.D. – In Search Of… (2002)
96. Idlewild – 100 Broken Windows (2000)
97. Spoon – Gimmie Fiction (2005)
98. Murs – Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition (2004)
99. Paramore – Riot (2007)
100. The Roots – Game Theory (2006)

Most overrated album of the decade?
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (2006)
Runner up: Vampire Weekend (2008)

Most underrated album of the decade?
Richard Swift – Dressed Up For The Letdown (2007)
Runner up: Hilary Hahn – Violin Concertos (Mendelssohn/Shostakovich) (2002)

Song of the Decade:
Fiona Apple – Better Version of Me (2005)
Runner up: Plus/Minus (+/-) Steal The Blueprints (2006)

If you find yourself wanting to make album cover wallpapers of your Top 100 albums, http://edustir.com/2008/04/making-album-cover-collages-in-picasa/

Be sure to check out the countdown on the Higher Ed Critics list. I can assure you if you didn’t love my rankings (and heck, I look at them now and would make some changes!) you might find the taste of the collective better than what I managed to do alone.

  1. Thanks for sharing your list, Ron. You and I were the sole promoters of one very faves: …Trail of Dead’s Source Tags and Codes – for this you are even more highly regarded. :)

  2. I must say I admire your disciplined approach of selecting just one album per artist. But I must wonder, if you could select a second album from any of the artists on your list, what would they be?

    I could never do it. I don’t think I have as broad and diverse a repertoire to draw from. When I reveal my list, you’ll see a lot of repeat artists.

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