Albums of the Decade (FINISHED!)

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  1. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002). Not about Wilco, nor the story. I have yet to hear a refutation of the YHFcentric universe model.
  2. David Thomas Broughton - The Complete Guide to Insufficiency (2005). See title; my #1 when I'm more a human being than a writer/fanboy.
  3. Department of Eagles - The Whitey on the Moon UK LP (2003). The sort of eerie that can only come from partying with dust bunnies.
  4. Portishead - Third (2008). You really fucked it up for any group that wants to make a passive/sterile comeback ever again, Portishead.
  5. Solex - Low Kick and Hard Bop (2001). "This needs to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie." Both of us like kids in a candy store.
  6. The National - Alligator (2005). They'll prolly continue to make good U2 albums forever; this scrap collision is the waterworks, though.
  7. Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000). No one expected them to invent again a whole new kind of warm & honest.
  8. Califone - Roots & Crowns (2006). My sweet lord, when they maxed out on songwriting and noise simultaneously. This they goddamn OWN.
  9. Supersilent - 6 (2003). I get the sense that the hollow'd synth-epic has a long history, but picture me giving a damn. Here is no why.
  10. Radiohead - Kid A (2000). Anxious, millenarian cogs. I'm an obstinate guy, but I can no longer deny that this album is my blueprint.
  11. Manitoba - Up In Flames (2003). After Swim I vowed to return to Handsome Dick's moniker. Tidal, vast; it was never electronic.
  12. Microphones - The Glow, Pt. 2 (2002). Intricately orchestrated lo-fi never really took off -- probably b/c it's harder than it looks.
  13. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (2000). No way is this a threshold of gnarled/mainstream. Fact, it's shaped exactly like the earth.
  14. Broadcast - Tender Buttons (2005). Their last: a beating battery, its stripped-duo sound bare, Trish human but her world tangled wire.
  15. Califone - Quicksand/Cradlesnakes (2003). Their shapeliest: dig the space, the transitions, the unscribbled lyrics, the bluegrass jams.
  16. Six Organs of Admittance - School of the Flower (2005). For a prolific artist, you gotta attribute it to the free jazz drummer's billow.
  17. Antlers - Hospice (2009). About belief: that a hurricane of words can map a relationship's contours, that music really can redeem us.
  18. Books - The Lemon of Pink (2003). The most meaningful glitch/electro-folk album I know.
  19. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004). They say it fades if you let it.
  20. Fog - 10th Avenue Freakout (2005). Lonely & confused man funnels all his wants into Perfect Record, ends up lonelier and more confused.
  21. Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow (2002). Hip hop retrofuturism? Chugs on like the stigma never even happened, sharp yet somehow oldschool.
  22. Dirty Projectors - The Getty Address (2005). Oh Hell I'm a sucker. An electronic album comprised of jazz and Stravinsky refs. Donzos.
  23. Amen Dunes - Dia (2009). Just when you think it's gonna be all crooked 4track psych shapes and gummy drones, he hits you with SONGS.
  24. Islaja - Ulual Yyy (2007). The quandary: alien or tropically Darwin? Oh wait: Finnish. None, nor "Bjork's heiress," does it justice.
  25. Akron/Family - s/t (2005). You win, Liz. Vaporous folk has never has such sonic stitching. "Walking in circles that gradually grow."
  26. Grandaddy - The Sophtware Slump (2000). Anyone can play guitar? More like, anyone can record OK Computer. Touching poems by a robot.
  27. Emperor X - Central Hug/Friendarmy/Fractaldune (And the Dreams that Resulted) (2005). Funnest album ever.
  28. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi (2002). IDM junkies who skip a third of this album's tracks just don't want to admit how creeper it is.
  29. Pumice - Pebbles (2007). Best no-fi/"shitgaze" album of the decade. Without that hiss he couldn't blend his seizures and mires.
  30. White Denim - Workout Holiday (2008). Singer's flamboyant and guitars are oft spindly/African, but this is still punk as hell.
  31. Wrens - The Meadowlands (2003). christ: emo that ages like red wine, but youre on a bender so you dont notice till it's vomit/catharsis.
  32. Deltron 3030 - s/t (2000). thus birthed clint eastwood, eh? krs-one-esque legend's rock solid topia on race and evolution.
  33. Vic Chesnutt - North Star Deserter (2007). this blacklunged troubador doesn't follow reasonable dynamics convention here. prepare to be bludgeoned.
  34. Books - Thought For Food (2002). No one's done pan-interconnectedness like this before or since.
  35. Natural Snow Buildings - Shadow Kingdom (2009). What gets me is how brevity can anchor length--wouldn't be the same w/o 13 mins.
  36. War on Drugs - Wagonwheel Blues (2008). An emblem of all I wish to stumble upon. Draw+quarter if necessary, but don't reverse footage.
  37. Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002). A live rendition of one of the lesser songs here still towered over the set.
  38. Odd Nosdam - Burner (2005). We eventually have blind faith that the chords will ratchet. I eat up two-chord songs like I chow binaries.
  39. Avey Tare and Panda Bear - Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000). "Time to blow some motherfucking minds here." -NS
  40. Four Tet - Rounds (2003). A babushkan study in scale. Dated only b/c cultural producers don't know a thing of beauty when they hear it.
  41. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury (2006). The distillery: not a culture-sensical drum, not a line sans venom, not a tone that won't die alone.
  42. Keith Fullerton Whitman - Lisbon (2006). Improvised vs. composed don't mean shit, and it takes a transcendental laptop-slice to say so.
  43. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - s/t (2005). "You're really dating yourself with that shirt." Why must this gem last only as hype-metonym?
  44. Elephant Micah - And the Loud Guitars (2004). Oft-huge music by a twentysomething, supplants Solutions for something unreachably Bigger.
  45. Woods - Some Shame (2008). The Dead have nothing to do. This tour-only cassette by the, what, "lo-fi kingpins" still, reliably, uplifts.
  46. cLOUDDEAD - s/t (2001). Weirdly, "ambient hip-hop" practically says it all. No one was dumb enough to try THAT again. Ha! Whewf!
  47. Mountain Goats - All Hail West Texas (2002). The boombox's last gasp is enough to inflate lullabies to raw, beltalong proportions.
  48. Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein (2001). Free jazz + psych-noise coiled into hip-hop = a Pere Ubu-esque carnival ride thru hate 'n' history.
  49. Russian Futurists - Let's Get Ready to Crumble (2003). DIY 'doxes like miniscule hugeness, flat depth, 80s kitchbag resonance.
  50. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum (2007). A sticky microcosm. Falling in love, clubbing, basking, all through a compound eye.
  51. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Twinkle Echo (2003). The fuck can I say man. It's just an idea. It frees. It soars. It's my thing.
  52. Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond (2007). How many 80s legends reunite, throw in the towel to classic rock tropes and age, self-transcend yet fuse?
  53. Dirty Projectors - The Glad Fact (2003). Longstreth built it all from this: music theorist, nostalgic, winding through his chords.
  54. Broadcast - Haha Sound (2003). Probably their prettiest, certainly their most colored-in; the precedent both surer and further.
  55. Thanksgiving - Welcome Nowhere (2004). Pacific nw ludditic coziness, f bpb soundalike syndrome. Shout out to fairkid and that time.
  56. Animal Collective - Feels (2005). B4 mpp broke my heart and ate the musical landscape, this'un was both lush as hell and madd longit
  57. Music Tapes - For Clouds and Tornadoes (2008). Saw player for nmh tells all.
  58. U.N.P.O.C. - Fifth Column (2002). He's a melodic spider-monkey, but more importantly, his blistered voice is just impossible to forget.
  59. Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007). So the honeymoon is over; who cares? This album's still "I"mportant both to me and to their legacy.
  60. Notwist - Neon Golden (2002). This is the decade gestalt right here man, and too pared to sound dated. Some records just feel right.
  61. Illogic - Celestial Clockwork (2004). Burlap spokeword lyrics too heavy to sling like this. And the beats just get weirder and weirder.
  62. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca (2009). A victory lap as far as I'm concerned. In case anyone thought African scales were old hat...
  63. Deer Tick - War Elephant (2007).Smells like beer and onions, hurts like hell: "An eternal testament to how we are so animalistic."
  64. Clinic - Internal Wrangler (2000). Art-punk from another dimension, only marginally bruised from repetitive high-five followups.
  65. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (2005). A labor of love/craft like Amish barn-raising. Cemented minimalism's "no duh" pop-throne with warmth.
  66. Six Organs of Admittance - You Can Always See the Sun EP (2002). Or the best track of the decade? What do you call the goddamn Sahara?
  67. Broadcast - The Noise Made By People (2000). Before Trish's humanity/mortality (RIP) they were an entity, rock-solid as an icy planet.
  68. Koop - Waltz for Koop (2001). A bubble bath in the sheer aesthetics of jazz: drum brushes/walking basslines. Too smooth for electronica.
  69. Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat (2004). Shrewd harmonic archaeology for such a whoopee cushion opus. All tones are bound to some PLACE.
  70. Sigur Ros - ( ) (2002). The gutsy followup's still the album to beat, the wall to climb, etc. Perpendicular to heaven and hell.
  71. Subtle - For Hero: For Fool (2006). "The utmost in luxury blood." So abstract and intricate, encapsulation mocks it like Derrida.
  72. Jim O'Rourke - I'm Happy and I'm Singing and a 1, 2, 3, 4 (2001). Every time I suspect this is a hipster bullshit pick, I snorkel again.
  73. Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? (2003). When I first heard it the phrase "furious indie pride" popped and didn't stop.
  74. Xiu Xiu - Knife Play (2002). I liked the arty smear of Stewart's internal pressure more than the tin cans of his external. Vomit detail.
  75. Japandroids - Post-Nothing (2009). "[The title]" indeed: only true blindness/true youth can breathe life into such Pabsty bro-wisdom.
  76. Califone - Roomsound (2001). Here: the dirt-clod tuber monolith they later hacked n electro-fried, in case you suspected tweren't there.
  77. OOIOO - Armonico Hewa (2009). Fuck Dungen, this is psych like GenXers yelt it. Like the mouth is still the best wah pedal we've got.
  78. Destroyer - Your Blues (2004). A peak twofer1 more than anything: schmaltz/sound obsession AND cryptic vox that knew what they wanted.
  79. Fugazi - The Argument (2001). Drives the "post" through their own "core," get it. No need for a running jump; it's caustic, it'll creep.
  80. Ugly Casanova - Sharpen Your Teeth (2002). An ode to The Album Project: I can't think of an album that's more of a dusty polaroid.
  81. Kanye West - Late Registration (2005). Floodgate after floodgate. If there's a revolution here, it's that history still breathes.
  82. Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet (2006). Shudders like palimpsest, like it could mean something, like Earth makes this much noise.
  83. Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark (2003). I do not know what the hell sunk that made them want to stop rocking straight blues.
  84. Radiohead - Amnesiac (2001). Understandably the most exciting TIME to be a Radiohead fan: Squarepusher flush with smeary jazz, cmon.
  85. Fire Show - St. the Fire Show (2002). Post-noise: Brian Deck's color-arsenal aimed inward, pop bottles jabbing rims, and a mouth/a plea.
  86. Prefuse 73 - Meditation Upon Meditations (2009). Wait which one's that? Only the pastiche that almost shrugged its way out of happening.
  87. Bjork - Vespertine (2001). On the one hand, lamely automatic on both of our parts. But then falling asleep during sex can be meaningful.
  88. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista (2008). Deejaying the silence surrounding the discotheque at night. An overtone rave, man.
  89. Burial - Untrue (2007). Back when he anonymously invented it in his parents' basement, I didn't expect anyone to argue "dubstep enough."
  90. Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse (2004). Course it's not punk anymore, but veterans amber legacy and sculpt noise without even thinking.
  91. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People (2002). An unlikely unifier/litmus test, all sandy jams & hihat hiss. But what carriage!
  92. White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001). Said it once before but it bears retweeting now.
  93. Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery (2009). Warped pop from a dimension housing a restless garbage lid/disposal & vacuum proletariat.
  94. Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain (2006). A worn document validating New Age nonsense, that watched twigs form shapes, etc.
  95. The Good Life - Album of the Year (2004). More P.O.V. than chronology, but this is better--beginning/middle/end in moment after moment.
  96. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (2006). Model intersection: lurch-loops/processed guitars as hollow arteries for the past.
  97. Ned Collette - Jokes and Trials (2006). Like watching homemade plastic-bag-parking-lot footage: The Antipunchline Strikes Nonetheless.
  98. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight (2002). If the Strokes were actually withholding/opaque/cool enough to "starve indie rock into new shapes."
  99. Marmoset - Tea Tornado (2009). How so many crawled out of their skin when this guy's sardine breath and denim were a little too close.
  100. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (2005). Springloaded power-pop can only once explode like this without sounding mad cheeseball.