Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Favorite Records of the Decade: Honorable Mention

So, in the spirit of list making, I've compiled a list of my favorite records from 2000-2009. This is comprehensive, and reflects everything from the roots of my musical appreciation in about 2002 to present. Things have been skewed to represent how I feel about certain albums today, but there were a number of albums from earlier in the decade that I was obsessed with and felt needed to be on this list.

I also limited the list to one album per artist, which seems dumb in retrospect, but kept me from compiling a list that had everything Spencer Krug, the Weakerthans, the Hold Steady and Okkervil River did this decade. There is one glaring exception on the main list, however, but it felt justified. It's not a perfect list by any means, and I'm sure I've forgotten many a record I obsessed over, but I figure off the top of my head was a pretty good way to go about it.

Now, though, here is a list of the albums that didn't make the cut, and while I would have loved to do a top 100, that just seems plain excessive. Here are the twenty that came REALLY close to making it:
Jeffrey & Jack Lewis – City and Eastern Songs
Comet Gain – Broken Record Prayers
Bright Eyes – Fevers and Mirrors
Death Cab For Cutie – The Photo Album
Silver Jews – Bright Flight
Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
Mount Eerie w/ Julie Doiron and Fred Squire – Lost Wisdom
Phosphorescent – Pride
The Constantines – Tournament of Hearts
Xiu Xiu – Fabulous Muscles
The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
Sufjan Stevens – Greetings from Michigan
Laura Veirs – Year of Meteors
Cass McCombs - Catacombs
Karl Blau – Beneath Waves
Kurt Vile – Childish Prodigy
Art Brut – It's a Bit Complicated
Interpol – Antics
No Age – Weirdo Rippers

And to start things off, here's the honorable #51

51.) The Killers - Hot Fuss
Island, 2004

I hated this band, or at least I really wanted to when this album came out. Then I took a road trip to California and my friend Jerry insisted that we listen to it while driving through Las Vegas, the Killers hometown. Later, I insisted we listen to it on our drive from Los Feliz to Westwood that we made for an entire week, and he refused. It lasted exactly as long as our commute, and this record was EVERYWHERE that summer in LA. It's like musical junk food, and my initial review for this when I was writing for Punkunited compared each song to a Hostess snack cake. That said, the first half of the album is about 100 times better than the second half. But the second half, I later came to realize, was pretty good. It's just that tunes like "Smile Like You Mean It," "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," and "All These Things That I've Done" are absolutely insanely good pop songs that still get stuck in my head to this day. Their masterpiece though, came on their ultra-mediocre follow-up Sam's Town, with "When You Were Young." I still listen to this album though, with no shame and none of that "guilty pleasure" bullshit. It's just fucking good.


  1. Man, I considered myself a 'Hot Fuss' apologist until really recently, when I started getting the notion that the album is way more loved by most people than most will admit.

    'When You Were Young' might be, like, my favorite Top 40 rock single of the decade, but over time 'Smile Like You Mean It' just keeps getting bigger and better in my head. It's the kind of track that you know the artist didn't realize would be as good as it is, because it's just too impossibly, unexplainably and massively fun for anyone to sit down and create.

  2. It's just so perfectly crafted as an Epic, capital E. Like, that build up towards the end of the song there's like, bells and shit. I think I like Hot Fuss so much because I feel like I'm in a movie when like, 5 of those songs come on. "Smile Like You Mean" it especially. I also feel like a teenager, which is also awesome.

  3. neko case deserves better than this. i'm shocked.

  4. Just you wait, Danielle! Neko will be making a VERY prominent appearance in the Best Songs of the Decade list!