Top 100 CD’s (2000-2009) –> #69 through #60

#69: Placebo/Black Market Music (2000) — the decade started with Placebo’s third album. I love the swagger they return with on ‘Taste in Men,’ it sets the tone for the record and shows the band weren’t just going to be one album wonders with ‘Pure Morning,’ and ‘Every You, Every Me,’ off of Without You… Melding their glam influences (sex, drugs, rock n’ roll) with a more straightforward sound and Brian Molko’s lyricism — which now expored more diverse fare (racism, religion, dysfunction). Check out: ‘Passive Aggressive,’ ‘Black-Eyed,’ ‘Haemoglobin.’

#68: Silversun Pickups/Carnavas (2006) — it’s interesting how I got turned on to these guys. I’d actually just started with R.S. and we were analyzing/comparing sales figures from Cold War Kids first record to SSPU. Two completely different bands with two paths in the indie-hipster world. I think SSPU’s are a bit more Americanized with the shoegazer freakouts and the comparison to the Pumpkins and, well heck, radio-friendly. A solid album from start to finish from an SP fan who thinks duplication with an update is the sincerest form of flattery. Check out: ‘Well Thought-Out Twinkles,’ ‘Rusted Wheel,’ and ‘Three Seed.’

#67: Kings of Leon/Only By The Night (2008) — this was the album that KOL officially traded in their indie/hipster rock credits for bonafide American crossover acceptance, something they’d been gunning for since the beginning of their career. But let’s face it, they weren’t ready for it until now. They needed to find the right production (which now paired up the duo of Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King) and continue in the flow of 2007’s Because of the Times. The result was their first (well deserved) Grammy. Check out: ‘Closer,’ ‘Sex on Fire,’ and ‘Use Somebody.’

#66: Coheed & Cambria/No World for Tomorrow (2007) — though Sony’s decision to put the regular version of this album in a simple slip-sleeve and sell it to fans was appaling to me, I dealt with it on the musical level foremost. C&C came into their own on this album (with little known fact, Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters fame, recorded skins on this record). It’s easy to draw Rush comparisons to this band, but when you get over that ‘hump,’ you realized these guys have the chops and a little updated nostalgia never hurt anyone. There’s still some killer riffs and solo’s any guitar geek would fawn over. Check out: “Feathers,” “The Running Free,” and “Mother Superior.”

#65: Thrice/The Artist & The Ambulance (2003) — 2003 was a bit of difficult year in terms of my focus in Thrice and the genre they represented at the time. This was also the same year as AFI’s Sing the Sorrow, Brand New’s Deja Entendu, Story of the Year’s Park Ave, and the Senses Fail …Depths of Dreams EP. It probably wasn’t until the middle of 2005, rolling into a Denny’s at the wee hours that I recognized the power of this album. It still shocks me the growth this band has exhibited over the past decade, really coming into their own. If you’re looking for the concrete to build a foundation though, this is the one. Amidst jagged guitars there are great signs of life here and a punk spirit alive and well within a bonafide rock band. Check out: ‘Under a Killing Moon,’ ‘All That’s Left,’ and ‘The Artist in the Ambulance.’

#64: Cure/4:13 Dream (2008) — it’s entirely possible this album could rest inside my decade top 100 on the strength of the atmospherics of the first track alone. ‘Underneath the Stars,’ is everything a Cure fan has come to know and expect. After the trainwreck of the self-titled 2004 Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn) produced effort, it honestly did take four years to right the ship, strip down and return to the glory of where the decade took shape with 2000’s Bloodflowers. While my boy JB hates ‘The Only One,’ for being too pop – it’s exactly what was so great about Wish-era Cure and F-U-N! ‘The Reasons Why’ was an extremely dark song that spoke to me in a very dark time. For their 13th album, 4:13 Dream is a homerun and Cure fans should rejoice… Check out: ‘Underneath the Stars,’ ‘The Only One,’ and ‘This. Here and Now. With You.’

#63: Black Keys/Attack & Release (2008) — The Black Keys finally came into their own on this release, thanks to some great songwriting and some exciting production by Dangermouse. Such great atmospherics amidst the blues rock here. Check out: ‘I Got Mine,’ ‘Lies,’ and ‘So He Won’t Break.’

#62: In Flames/A Sense of Purpose (2008) — The string of 2008 releases continues as Swedish metal act In Flames hit the countdown with their most commercially accessible album (number nine studio album, for those keeping score at home) to date, though a far cry sales wise from 06’s Come Clarity album. This album is so chock full of that good old driving European death metal sound, thrash and some fantastic keyboards along with some of the cleanest vocals by Anders Friden to date. Check out: ‘Sleepless Again,’ ‘I’m the Highway,’ and ‘Delight and Angers.’

#61: Metallica/Death Magnetic (2008) — from the opening strings of the opening track and the packaging, a Metallica fan knows something is different about this album that wasn’t there over the past 10-15 years. Their first official studio release with Trujillo in the fold and Rick Rubin producing, the well-oiled metal machine that is Metallica is back and on top of its game. The Bay Area Thrashers are back, cleaner and angrier than ever and ready to give us some serious whiplash. Check out: ‘That Was Just Your Life,’ ‘Broken Beat and Scarred,’ and ‘My Apocalypse.’

#60: Death from Above 1979/You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine (2004) — perhaps the best workout album of the decade. Seriously, I discovered these guys on a lark as I noticed they were supporting NIN on their With Teeth tour and I wanted to check them out. I’m glad I did. While their tenure in the decade was short (splintering off into MSTRKRFT and Sebastian Grainger, respectively), You’re a Woman… was one of the most unique sounding punk meets industrial albums to ever come to fruition. They even use cowbell. Check out: ‘Going Steady,’ ‘Black History Month’ and ‘Sexy Results.’

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~ by kjbox76 on November 21, 2009.

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