Finer Feelings: My Favorite Albums of the ’00s, #30-21

Man oh man,I can hardly stand the suspense!  Then again, I know what lies in the #1 spot.  Don’t worry, we haven’t got that much longer to go, so refresh your memory with THESE, and check out the newest additions below!!

30. YazbekDamascus (2001)

Released after Yazbek wrote the music for “The Full Monty,” the showmanship and exuberance heard on Damascus (as well as the variety of songs) does indeed make it sound like a musical.  A dark, self-deprecating musical that your mom should probably never listen to.

29. Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsDig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (2008)

Nick Cave is just an effortlessly powerful musician that just about everything he records is solid gold.  This album, which draws heavily from the Grinderman project, is one of his best.

28. Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsAbattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus (2004)

That’s right, I’ve got 2 Nick Cave albums back-to-back!  This double album showcases the two distinct sides of Cave’s songwriting: Abattoir Blues is the brawl-inciting rocking disc, and The Lyre Of Orpheus explores the slow-burning and haunting balladry that has defined the other half of Cave’s career.

27. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes (2008)

Endlessly charming, the debut album from the folk-harmony revivialists is a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by, as Iggy Pop say, “idiot thugs with guitars banging out crappy music.”  Fleet Foxes sure aren’t “idiot thugs,” but they do knock out a set of tremendously mature songs for a bunch of kids.

26. Big Bad Voodoo DaddySave My Soul (2003)

Though the New Orleans jazz theme doesn’t carry through all of BBVD‘s fourth album, there’s enough of it to make this one of their finest.  Also, I wooed my first lady-type of the decade with “Simple Songs.”  It didn’t last, but it’s still a swoon-worthy tune.

25. The Bird And The BeeThe Bird And The Bee (2007)

Jazz and electronica (and Inara George‘s incredible voice) gel to make one of the most alternately cool and cute albums of the decade.  Their follow-up from this year really belongs on this list, but it’ll find a spot on my year-end list for sure.

24. WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

Spooky, out-there, heartbreaking.  These are words you probably wouldn’t use to describe Summerteeth, but YHF transcends even the band that made it.  I don’t think of this album as being a Wilco album; it’s just one of those records that simply came to be.  If you need proof, just listen to A Ghost Is Born or Wilco (The Album) and wonder how the same band made all three.  It just can’t happen.

23. Hot ChipMade In The Dark (2008)

More eclectic than The Warning, Made In The Dark shows that Hot Chip can amp up the beats when they need to, and slow things down just as well.  “Hold On” is one of the better “Crosseyed And Painless” rip-offs, and “Shake A Fist” is a menacing blast of dancefloor-smashing fun.  We’ll see how well One Life Stand follows this album up.

22. Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion (2009)

Clearly, it’s not my favorite album ever, but it is a tremendous leap forward for the previously barely-listenable experimental group.  Who would’ve guessed that the loonies behind the mess that is Feels would be able to make an album as focused yet creative as this one?  Open up your throat and let the sun shine in.

21. Peter Bjorn And JohnLiving Thing (2009)

No one but me seems to love this album, but it’s a great shuffling of PB&J‘s sound.  Contributions from all three members are very strong, and the songs build and shift expertly.  Just because they’re making dark pop music doesn’t stop them from being a pop group, and these guys are one of the best around.


…on to the next steps!


~ by E. on November 18, 2009.

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