Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Andrew's Best Albums of the Decade

So apparently the decade is ending. Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Time Magazine says the 2000's were "the decade from hell." That's very rude of them! Shame on you, Time Magazine. I mean, the last 10 years gave us some pretty horrible things that were just the pits (9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Lady Gaga) but hey, I liked this decade a lot! I've really only been alive for two whole decades and just a smidge of a third, so the Naughty Aughties were definitely the best out of all the decades. I am very qualified to make such a statement. Moral of the story? You're a Negative Nancy, Time Magazine.

But more importantly, I made a list of my 50 favorite albums from the last ten years. Rather than painstakingly write about each one (that's what the forthcoming Best Of '09 list is for), I decided to try a little something different. Twist! I thought I'd let the artists talk about their albums themselves. It was really hard to get a hold of most of those dudes, though, so I had to do this in the form of their own lyrics. I picked my favorite lines that sum up each album's significance to me. Disclaimer: Because 10 years is a very long time, my tastes have changed tremendously since the start of the decade. But I still thought it was entirely appropriate to include albums that I dug eight, nine years ago. Even though I might not be into a few of these anymore, they meant a lot to me at the time, so that's why you'll find a few questionable choices. So enjoy this, because I did, and because it's kind of like looking through a SCRAP BOOK OF MY LIFE! Plus, lots of YouTubes. The list begins after the jump.

1. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002, Nonesuch)

"All my lies are always wishes / I know I would die if I could come back new."

2. Brand New: Deja Entendu (2003, Triple Crown)

"You are calm and reposed/ let your beauty unfold / Pale white like the skin stretched over your bones / Spring keeps you ever close / You are second hand smoke."

3. The Strokes: Is This It (2001, RCA)

"You say you wanna stand by my side / Darling your head's not right / You see alone we stand, together we fall apart / Yeah I think i'll be alright / I'm working so I won't have to try so hard / Tables they turn sometimes."

4. The Format: Dog Problems (2006, Nettwerk)

"Sometimes, when sailors are sailing / they think twice, about where they're anchoring / and I think, I could make better use of my time on land."

5. Radiohead: Kid A (2000, Capitol)

"You can try the best you can / if you try the best you can / the best you can is good enough."

6. Jack's Mannequin: Everything In Transit (2005, Maverick)

"Maybe we were made for each other / is it possible for the world to look this way forever?"

7. Relient K: Mmhmm (2004, Gotee/ Capitol)

"I've thrown away / so many things that could've been much more / and I just pray / my problems go away if they're ignored / but that's not the way it works."

8. Jimmy Eat World: Bleed American (2001, Dreamworks)

"If you were with me tonight / I'd sing to you just one more time / a song for a heart so big / God wouldn't let it live."

9. Nightmare Of You: Self Titled (2005, The Bevonshire Label)

"But I'm yours if you want it / I can be yours to spend your life with / I can be yours / we'll hide indoors / petrified of the world."

10. Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism (2003, Barsuk)

"All I find are souvenirs from better times / before the gleam of your taillights fading east / to find yourself a better life."

11. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin: Pershing (2008, Polyvinyl)

"Do people, when they're older / see distances on maps get smaller / and promises of happiness stalled? / I wanna see you again."

12. My Morning Jacket: Z (2005, ATO)

"Truly, truly we have become / hated and feared for something that we don't want / listen, listen / most of us believe that this is wrong."

13. Motion City Soundtrack: Commit This To Memory (2005, Epitaph)

"These are the things I think about / when I'm alone without you / I wonder of your whereabouts / and hope like hell / you're happy where you are."

14. The Postal Service: Give Up (2003, Sub Pop)

"I want so badly to believe / that there is truth, that love is real / and I want life in every word / to the extent that it's absurd."

15. Frightened Rabbit: Midnight Organ Fight (2008, Fatcat)

"When my blood stops / someone else's will not / when my head rolls off / someone else's will turn / and while I'm alive, I'll make tiny changes to Earth."

16. Saves The Day: In Reverie (2003, Dreamworks)

"To the sunlight shining on my cheeks / and the wind sweeping me away / far away from every memory / with your face in the frame / that'll be the day."

17. Brand New: The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me (2006, Tiny Evil/Interscope)

"Is it in you now? / to better hear the truth that you have spoken / twisted up by knaves / to make a trap for fools. / Is it in you now? / to watch the things you gave your life to, broken / and then stoop and build them up / with worn out tools?"

18. Say Anything: Is A Real Boy (2004, Doghouse)

"So now i'm forging ahead / past all the plutocrats who sold me out /go sob in your bed / if life is twice as pretty once you're dead / then send me a card / I'm still the optimist, though it is hard / when all you want to be is in a dream."

19. The Weakerthans: Reunion Tour (2007, Anti-)

"I see you suddenly alive / and nearly smiling / I stop and hold my breath / and watch the way you used to be."

20. Limbeck: Hi, Everything’s Great (2003, Doghouse)

"And if my fingers should start to crack or blister / I guess that's just what happens / don't you forget the things you're leaving."

21. Radiohead: In Rainbows (2007, Self-released)

"I am a moth who just wants to share your light / I'm just an insect trying to get out of the night / I only stick with you because there are no others."

22. Days Away: Mapping an Invisible World (2006, Fueled By Ramen/Lava)

"Now you've got me thinking I'm amazing / cause I've built this all on my own / go on, tell me what you think before you fake it / and I might believe you."

23. Dr. Dog: Fate (2008, Park the Van)

"Cause love that never leaves is never ever welcome back / and i'm running out of skin thick enough to hide in."

24. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion (2009, Domino)

"Sometimes the sun will shine / yes I am just doing fine / sometimes I'm not aware / where I am or what I care / sometimes I'm well-to-do / but I don't know what to do / sometimes I don't agree / with my thoughts on being free."

25. Green Day: American Idiot (2004, Reprise)

"And in the darkest / if my memory serves me right / I'll never turn back time / forgetting you / but not the time."

26. Why?: Alopecia (2008, Anticon)

"I'm lucky to be under / this same sky that held / the exhale from your first breath / like a ring on a pillow of clouds / by you my tongue may stutter / but my gift heart screams clear and swells / to burst between the wrapped lengths / of its bowed ribbon cell."

27. The Avett Brothers: I And Love And You (2009, American)

"I wanna fit in to the perfect space / feel natural and safe in a volatile place / and I wanna grow old without the pain / give my body back to the earth and not complain."

28. The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (2003, Sub Pop)

"Mercy's eyes are blue / and when she places them in front of you / nothing holds a Roman candle / to the solemn warmth you feel."

29. Cursive: The Ugly Organ (2003, Saddle Creek)

"Oh, please don't barrage me with the questions / to all those ugly answers / my ego's like my stomach / it keeps shitting what I feed it."

30. Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006, Domino)

"Anticipation has a habit to set you up / for disappointment in evening entertainment but / tonight there'll be some love / tonight there'll be a ruckus yeah / regardless of what's gone before."

31. Kanye West: Late Registration (2005, Roc-A-Fella)

"Before you ask me to go get a job today / can I at least get a raise on the minimum wage? / And I know the government administered aids / So I guess we just pray like the minister say."

32. Down to Earth Approach: Come Back To You (2007, Vagrant)

"Don't be so forgetful / and just let yourself be happy for a minute / be forever grateful / that she changed your mind to a warm home from a prison."

33. Fleet Foxes: Self Titled (2008, Sub Pop)

"The world is alive now / in and outside our home / you run through the forest / settle before the sun / darling, I can barely remember you beside me / you should come back home / back on your own now."

34. Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers (2003, Virgin)

"And here is your reflection / in a building uptown / a ghost inside some Madison Avenue display / like water under bridges / you're slowly passing by / as you sail between the rooftops and the sky."

35. The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America (2006, Vagrant)

"I feel Jesus in the clumsiness / of young and awkward lovers / I feel Judas in the long odds / of the rackets on the corners / I feel Jesus in the tenements / of honest, nervous lovers / I feel Judas in the pistols and the pagers / that come with all the powders."

36. Ben Folds: Rockin the Suburbs (2001, Epic)

"Next door there's an old man / who lived to his nineties / and one day passed away / in his sleep / and his wife, she stayed / for a couple of days / and passed away / I'm sorry / I know that's a strange way to tell you / that I know we belong."

37. Northstar: Pollyanna (2004, Triple Crown)

"And there's God / there's me / there's Saturn / there's me / and forget everything in between."

38. Punchline: Action (2004, Fueled By Ramen)

"With the world in my hands / could I change it if I want? / and who are you to answer that for me / if by chance, or a cheater/ I'd leave it up to neither / confidence rules present tense / and it could shatter all my dreams."

39. Wilco: A Ghost Is Born (2004, Nonesuch)

"And the sun gets passed from tree to tree / silently, and back to me / with the breeze blown through / pushed up against the sea / finally back to me."

40. Midtown: Save The World, Lose The Girl (2000, Drive-Thru)

"Regrets are worthless / they misconstrue the past in sight and sound / and as lines recede / no one speaks a word of his lust / a word of dreams that've been left to rust / the TV's on and everyone stays calm."

41. Blink-182: Self Titled (2003, Geffen)

"My head is made up of memories / most of them useless delusions / this room is bored of rehearsal / and sick of the boundaries / I miss you so much."

42. Ryan Adams: Gold (2001, Lost Highway)

"Well, everybody wants to go on forever / I just wanna burn up hard and bright / I just wanna be your firecracker / and maybe be your baby tonight."

43. Rufus Wainwright: Poses (2001, Dreamworks)

"Can't expect the world to be your Raggedy Andy / while running on empty / you little old doll with a frown."

44. Vampire Weekend: Self Titled (2008, XL)

"Oh your collegiate grief / has left you dowdy in sweatshirts / absolute horror!"

45. Taking Back Sunday: Tell All Your Friends (2002, Victory)

"Think of all the fun you've had / the finest line divides a night well spent / from a waste of time / and think of all the days you spent / alone with just your TV set / and I / well I can barely smile."

46. John Mayer: Room for Squares (2001, Aware/Columbia)

"Friday evening we've been drinking / 2 AM I swear I might propose / but we close the tab / split a cab / and call each other up / when we get home / falling asleep / to the sound of sirens."

47. New Found Glory: Self Titled (2000, Drive-Thru/MCA)

"Here's to us fools / that have no meaning / I tip my glass to you / let's toast the night away to friends / and forget about tomorrow."

48. Audio Recording Club: In the End, We Are All Light (2007, Self-released)

"Doing 80 / down the highway / as Jim Adkins sings the lullabies into my head / he swears he’s one small instrument / and every car I pass along / is one more car closer to home / to everything I know and love / cause that’s all I’ve been thinking of."

49. Fall Out Boy: Take This To Your Grave (2003, Fueled By Ramen)

"My smile's an open wound without you / And my hands are tied to pages inked to bring you back / Tonight the headphones will deliver you / the words that I can't say."

50. Race The Sun: The Rest of Our Lives is Tonight (2004, Fidelity)

"Farewell pleasant town / hope you sleep well tonight / again we'll race back to you / fight to get lost in your streets / cheat toll booths as locals / engrave our names in park benches / we'll find an alias."


Tim said...

yankee hotel has got to be my No. 1 also. i knew there was a reason i liked this blog.

Greg said...

Ahhh at least someone else in the indie community will admit that they like John Mayer

Unknown said...

I don't know that its s good idea (while calling Time magazine 'negative') to relate Lady Gaga to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Classy move. Last time I read this blog, and I'm not even a Lady Gaga fan.

Tim said...

Oh darn, sorry Scott. So I guess you missed our "Best Albums of The Century" post when we compared Lady Gaga to The Great Depression, The Holocaust and Assassination of Martin Luther King? And you're right, we really ought to lay of Time, it's just always been tough for us since their Entertainment Editorial staff gang raped our grandmothers. Thanks for the feedback!