FT50: Albums of the ’00s

0828top5coverWhat?   You still listen to THAT album?  That record is so 2004!  Well, that’s okay, because we really like that one too, which is why we decided to come up with a list of our favorite albums of the last decade (2000-2009).  Sure, these might not be YOUR favorite records, or the most critically acclaimed, but we sat down and really thought out every record from the past ten years that we keep coming back to in our collections.  You’re likely to disagree with some of these, and we won’t tell you we’re absolutely right we just know that these happen to be OUR favorites.  If you think we totally blew it here, feel free to tell us so, but be nice, as our egos are kind of fragile.  Follow the jump for more.

50. Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf – I don’t smoke pot, so stoner rock makes me feel connected

49. The Dutchess and the DukeTh e Dutchess and the Duke – Destined to haunt your spellcheck forever.

48. New PornographersElectric Version – What wasn’t good about this album?

47. Magnetic FieldsI – While not their best, it made me realize how sad it could be to walk around town, alone, as a circus clown.

46. Ted Leo and the RxHearts of Oak – Consistently awesome, consistently Ted.  I’d do him.

45. Of MontrealSunlandic Twins – This is when things got weird, and we loved it.

44. Antony and the JohnsonsI am a Bird Now – Antony made it cool to be transgendered and beautiful.

43. Rilo Kiley – Execution of All Things – The most solid album for the group, though not one of their better known.

42. Band of HorsesEverything All the Time – I still listen to Funeral at least once a month.

41. The KillersHot Fuss – Don’t lie, not only do you own this, but you know all the words.

40. Bright EyesLifted, or the Story is in the Soil – Back when he cried on stage, Conor Oberst wrote this gem. It was also part of the Christm -akuh starter package.

39. Q and Not UNo Kill No Beep Beep – They made it okay to use handclaps in post-punk.

38. BeckSea Change – Beck goes acoustic? Yep, and he’ll make you cry.

37. Les Savy FavGo Forth – Dear Tim, you can sweat on me anytime.

36. UnicornsWho Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone – Their break-up spawned a hydra-head of indie bands, most of which we love.

35. Nada SurfLet Go – This convinced us that indie rock was “Popular”.

34. Postal ServiceGive Up – The UPS went to war with this band, and we haven’t heard of them since.

33. Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots – Brilliant album until Wayne decided to walk in a big rubber ball at every show the rest of the decade.

32. InterpolTurn on the Bright Lights – Remember when Carlos D thought he was some sort of soldier? I still wear my holster, but thats it.

31. The KnifeSilent Shout – This is the album to convince your friends you are not normal.

30. Belle and SebastianDear Catastrophe Waitress – Everyone hated on this record, until they realized that it totally ruled.

29. The DecemberistsCrane Wife – Japanese folk tales? Yes please.

28. Death Cab for CutieTransatlanticism – You bought this as soon as Seth gave it to Summer for Christm-akuh.

27. My Morning JacketZ – Jim James rock opera prepares them for an appearance in Elizabethtown.

26. The WalkmenBows and Arrows – This record booked them a tour with Incubus, it was that good.

25. Iron and WineOur Endless Numbered Days – Does this guy still live in Dripping Springs? Can I stop by sometime?

24. At the Drive-InRelationship of Command – The next Rage Against the Machine imploded and made records for people in a coma.

23. Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy – The band grew up here, “For Real”.

22. Camera ObscuraLets Get Out of This Country – “Lloyd I’m Ready to be Heart Broken” is still kicking in my head.

21. Wolf ParadeApologies to the Queen Mary – Our apologies to Wolf Parade for not making this higher.

20. Sun Kill MoonGhosts of the Great Highway – Don’t listen to this if you’re a cutter; you’ll die.

19. TV on the Radio – Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes -Everyone prefers Return to Cookie Mountain but they are wrong.

18. Franz FerdinandFranz Ferdinand – We danced to this all year, still do.

17. Grizzly BearYellow House – Better than Veckatimest, solid all the way through.

16. New AmsterdamsWorse for the Wear – This is Emo for grown ups.

15. Trail of DeadSource Tags and Codes -Pitchfork gave this a 10, so we had to put it on here.

14. White StripesWhite Blood Cells – Pleased to meet you Mr. White.  Is that your sister/wife behind the drums?

13. Explosions in the SkyThe Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place – Not just for those Friday Night Lights.

12. Modest Mouse- Moon and Antarctica – The last album before they got shiny and clean.

11. The WrensMeadowlands – Start to finish, this record wins on every song.

10. Bloc PartySilent Alarm – Back in the day, they used instruments and made you dance.

9. The ShinsOh Inverted World – Did they “Change your life?”

8. RadioheadKid A – I hear this band puts out decent albums, but I never heard of em’.

7. The NationalBoxer – Mid-life crisis indie rock certified awesome by NPR.

6. SpoonKill the Moonlight – Four records could make this list, but this one works.

5. Ryan AdamsHeartbreaker – Brilliant Americana by a guy that decided to suck later.

4. Broken Social SceneYou Forgot it In People – It was nice to meet Feist, Amy Milan, and Kevin Drew for the first time.

3. Arcade FireFuneral – How many times did you freak out when you first listened to this?

2. The StrokesIs This it – These guys brought back rock n’ roll, or at least Rolling Stone told us they did.

1. WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot – This is the right answer.


  • @Nathan with the standard “Indie kid hates pop music” retort.


  • Sarah said “Wait, are you guys afraid of girls?” and the answer is a resounding “Yes”. Demonstrated by how your post was totally ignored and the “men” went back to arguing about male centric music. But don’t feel to alienated, can’t you see how far we’ve come in the last 10 years?

    “Ballsy for someone with a vagina. It effectively cancels itself out.”
    -Michael Rice

  • Out of context I seem like a pig.

    It’s not that I am scared of girls as much as I am desensitized to them, thank you wife, daughter, and live in sister-in-law.

  • I believe Fleet Foxes and Sun Giant EP deserve a very high place on this list

  • @Dexter….you know, I thought about that, especially because we loved that album a whole lot, but when it came down to repetitive plays over time, I think it just sort of lost its luster. I’m not saying it’s not a solid album, and one that I adore, but that I am no longer sure if it will go down as the phenomenal record that I once revered.

  • @raygun – If you’ve listened to any Muse past their first album, you’d realize they no longer follow OK Computer as their sonic guide.

    Seriously, how do you listen to the song “Supermassive Black Hole” and think Radiohead?? That doesn’t speak well for your discernment..

  • Sorry Sarah, I am afraid of girls. I was just trying to think of one, but all I got was St. Vincent.

    So there. St. Vincent.


  • @JP:

    “Coldplay, TV on the Radio, Bloc Party, Muse, etc.. they all TRIED to sound like OK Computer”


  • Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump

  • Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump

  • I enjoy Grandaddy, but I think for me, Sumday is the more complete album, construction-wise, but they both sort of lacked that longevity that I was looking for when I helped create this list.

    I will say though that Sophtware Slump started my part-time affair with Mr. Lytle.

  • “Again, my question is… exactly what kind of groundbreaking movement has there been in the past 10 years? Something that’s changed our musical landscape?”

    None. You are correct. There most likely will never be again. It boils down to preference. Music has a “magic” quality and can inspire/provoke/uplift/sadden/irritate all at once. Each person has a memory or passion that is brought to mind when hearing a song or album. The genres remain the same these days which is why there really is no room for a “movement”. I just read about the break-up or alleged break-up of Oasis. To me that was the band that brought back Rock-n-Roll. Not The Strokes. To me Kings of Leon has sounded like a modern day mixture of CCR and U2…two unique bands from a previous era…that when first hearing their music actually triggered a sense of something familiar yet so uncommon. The Strokes did the same for others. Unfortunately so did Ricky Martin and today the same can be said for Pitbull or Hannah Montana.

    I think ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ was close. And I might even have come to feel that ‘Funeral’ by Arcade Fire may just be the best album of the decade. The rest…simply tie for third.

  • I definitely think that it wasn’t so much a single artist that defined a movement in the past decade, but more a change in how things are done in the business.

    With social media rising in status in the past ten years we have been introduced to so much more that, in previous decades, we would have had very little, to no, chance of hearing.

    As boring as it sounds but the breaking of a corrupt business model was probably the great movement of the aughts. Sure it hasn’t produced anything earth shattering, yet, but I think in the next decade, artists are going to take more control, as well as take more chances, to produce something that is worth listening to and writing about.

  • Coldplay- Parachutes is better that anything Wilco ever done.

    The Libertines- What happened to them??

    and many more…

    1. The Strokes- Is This It?

  • Constantines – Tournament of Hearts
    The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine

  • I said I was out of this and some actually just said Coldplay is better than anything ever put out by Wilco… I’m not even sure how to respond to that.

  • @RayRay Firestorm?

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Coldplay as much as the next Liberal Arts major, but compared to Wilco? Boo-urns.

  • No that’s what I’m saying. I am in shock that someone actually just said Coldplay is better than Wilco.

    Coldplay shouldn’t even be in a sentence with Wilco. Oops.

  • @rayray, mwilliamrice, greg- The funniest comment to me came from Greg earlier about Oasis? Didn’t they just rip off early Stone Roses and make it clean? And isn’t that sort of what everyone was ranting and raving about: bands without originality? They didn’t bring anything back…just wasted everyone’s time! And RayRay…the same guy that said Coldplay, also said Libtertines, who had some energry, but little else.

    @Chuy–Those are some solid albums, though I think I would put the Thrermals higher than I would put Constantines…but, I had to collaborate and make a Top 50…those two would be in my Top 100, but I’m not sure about a Top 50.

  • We should start a drinking game. Every time someone says “ripped off” or a similar variation, take a drink.

  • @nathan I’d definitely put those Thermals and Constantines albums in my top 50 for the decade.

    My #1 would have to be the Wrens’ Meadowlands and the fact that you have it at #11 has to be a typo.

  • @Marc—We must keep in mind two things…but let me say first that I respect your opinion, and appreciate your comment. First, this list was a collaboration by our writers, and I had to fight to get Q and Not U on there, which also explains a Wrens album sliding out of the Top 10. Second, this is not necessarily a best of 00s, but a favorites of ATH.

  • @nathan – I think a better option would have just been a collaboration between me and me. And then I wouldn’t have to argue with you! 🙂

  • If I would’ve been a contibutor a week ago this list would be a lot louder.

  • I’m glad someone remembering sex clark 5 besides me.

  • Good list, but White Blood Cells (#14) should have been replaced with Elephant.

    Not to say that White Blood Cells wasn’t an amazing album that really debuted the White Stripes on a national (even global) stage with Fell in Love with a Girl, Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground, etc., but they were radio hits, Elephant worked as an entire album. Its own self-contained microcosm of awesomeness (except for that squirrel song, what was up with that?).

  • I don’t understand why Deja Entendu by Brand New isn’t on this list. I mean, if you haven’t heard the album, you’re missing out on amazing music. And not including Gorillaz? Damon Albarn is amazingly talented. Demon Days should easily have made the top 50 list.

  • arctic monkeys aren’t on that list? Thats pretty poor form as WPSIATWIN was the easily the best album of the decade…so far

  • yankee hotel foxtrot is the best album.

  • What, no Linkin Park? Meteora was an amazing album!

  • Eh there are some good ones in there, only about a dozen or so of them, but they’re there. Honestly MOST of the indie pop genre is just a bunch of people with their head so far up their ass that they think a lowered budget some how increases the quality and artistic integrity of of their work. At some point you have to judge the music for its own merit, not the effort the band put into it, and just like every other genre, some of it is very good, and most of it is noise pollution.

  • Just a quick note, fairly trivial though, The Postal Service was sued by USPS (The United States Postal Service,) not UPS (United Parcel Service.)

  • #15 the band is actually …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead.

    I also think their album Worlds Apart is much better than Source Tags and Codes.

    Another good stoner/prog rock group of this decade is Oceansize, think Pink Floyd meets Metallica.

  • i feel like #15 was only referred to as it was as an abbreviation. however, sun kil moon actually only has one l in it…i’m sorry i felt the need to point that out.

  • Avett Brothers: I and Love and You

    fully kick ass.

  • Nerd rage!

  • While I disagree with a few albums listed here, I am so glad that At the Drive In – Relationship of Command made this list

  • This is probably a collection of albums on a top 50 list that is most geared to my tastes. Good work.

    To the author however, I was reading some of your comments, and personally I think you should be a little less confrotational when it comes to debating which albums should and shouldn’t have been on it. You sound like an *ss, and it detracts from the vibe of your list.

    I love Joanna Newsom and I respect you not including it on this list, but maybe you should give Ys another listen before deciding it’s ‘not good’. If you can get past her voice, as it seems like you have, surely you can appreciate what it took to make that record. The fact that you don’t makes you look like an idiot.

  • @Shawn – Most of the comments I made earlier were directed at people I know on a personal basis so I am just messing with them and not trying to sound like an *ss as you put it.

    And AGAIN with the Joanna Newsom. I clearly stated earlier that I appreciate what she did on the record and agree that it was unique and creative but just not for me. So stating a personal preference makes me an idiot?

  • Nice nice list 🙂

  • Impressive list.

    Notable additions I would like to add to the conversation.

    1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
    2. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

    Albeit, relatively new, I believe the decade can be personified by two pieces of work that are as emotive as within a few short bars that anything Linkin Park, American Idol, X Factor, generic, insipid pap can put out.

    I am a massive Radiohead fan and would not hesitate to put both Kid A and In Rainbows on this list. Greedy, yes.

    Never been keen on Franz Ferdinand. Never seen the attraction.

    Live the dream.

  • I can honestly say that I do not severely disagree with anything here.

    I would put Lifted by Bright Eyes a bit higher, and replace Belle and Sebastian’s “Dear Catastrophe” with “If You’re Feeling Sinister”, but other than that, good job.

    Well, I take that back, too. Speakerboxxx is the most universal record I’ve ever heard. You cannot listen to it and NOT enjoy it. It’s impossible.

    And as for the Coldplay being better than Wilco statement from months ago…That’s disgusting. Go wash your mouth out.

    And also, jutting my input into the nothing we listen to is original argument, or 90’s vs. 00’s, or what have you…
    Dean and Gene Ween pair up with Japanese noise band Boredoms.
    Z-Rock Hawaii is born.
    The most ear-wrenching-yet-I-can’t-stop-listening record I’ve ever heard.

  • Such a list is utterly pointless. The bands/artists in this particular list are blatantly from a narrow source.

    But, in your defense it would be impossible to write up a solid list. 10 YEARS worth of music! I think you’d encounter similar problems if you tried to just do a single year.

    Unfortunately you can only go by what you’re given, (in the press/media), unless you really dig for music, (but then you’d realise that you could put 25 bands/artists in a top 50 list who are in a similar genre who no one has ever heard of). Even this list leans heavily towards mild-rock/indie. And with that in mind, how on earth did you miss Battles – Mirrored?!

    And for anyone who thinks that music in the 00s is lame then you seriously need to look harder.

  • Love the list and the Garden State reference. 😛

    Love all these bands.

  • Sufjan Stevens?

  • I would have put Arcade Fire as number one, but that’s just me.
    And I would have put the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “It’s Blitz” on there somewhere.

  • this is a decent ranking but it reads kind of like a list of “prominent indie albums of the late 00s”. bloc party, for example, definitely does not deserve to be here. also: you forgot animal collective.

  • Kinda funny that you are calling us out for listing only “prominent indie albums” and then you say we missed Animal Collective. I would say that’s the most prominent of all indie albums

  • This list is missing RX Bandits.

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