Top 100 CD’s (2000-2009) –> #40 through #49

#49: Desaparecidos/Read Music, Speak Spanish (2002) — Conor Oberst can categorically be described as a hipster voice of this decade.  But save for a few tunes here and there under his Bright Eyes moniker, it was really his harder rocking outfit that got me between the eyes. Read Music… was a beautiful pastiche of fuzzed out guitars, atmospheric keyboards, and middle-class rants and raves.  Check out: ‘Man and Wife, the Former (Financial Planning),’ ‘Greater Omaha,’ and ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’

#48: Depeche Mode/Playing the Angel (2005) — If there were ever a band who could come back from a bunt (Exciter, 2001) to hit a homerun again, it’s Depeche Mode. While the album could be summed up in one song (‘Precious’) it is again a summary judgment that propels this album into my Top 50 of the decade. Check out the ferocious opener ‘A Pain That I’m Used To’ the driving ‘Suffer Well’ or the silver lining of ‘Nothing’s Impossible.’

#47: Cure/Bloodflowers (2000) — At the start of the decade, the Cure unleashed what has been described as the third installment in a trilogy of albums (Pornography and Disintegration, making up the other two…) The lazy, almost seven-minute opener, ‘Out of This World,’ is classic Cure, replete with acoustic guitar, piano and jazzy drumming. From there, Smith and Co. launch into the 11-minute ‘Watching Me Fall,’ and fourth track, ‘Maybe Someday,’ is the melancholy pop-gem fans have grown to love. Epic closer ’39,’ rounds things out in typical gothic muse. An easy selection for T50 of the decade.

#46: Radiohead/In Rainbows (2008) — As Radiohead worked to turn how we absorb music on it’s ear in 2008, what almost gets missed is the fact that this album was their most complete body of work since The Bends.  This is not to say they did not release some stunning music throughout the decade, but In Rainbows is just one of those apex points and culmination of their entire body of work.  Love them or hate ’em, there are great tunes throughout.  Check out: ‘All I Need,’ ‘Reckoner,’ and ‘Videotape.’

#45: Audioslave/Revelations (2006) — it amazes me how great a songwriter and vocalist Chris Cornell is when he’s got a band behind him — when he strikes out on his own? Yeah, not so much. Audioslave’s stamp on the decade was only three album deep and two of them are absolutely essential. In the 45-spot, Revelations picks up where the self-titled debut left off – an amazing rhythm section, a great guitarist and soulful, funky rockin’ tunes from a former godfather of grunge. Check out: ‘Sound of a Gun,’ ‘Original Fire,’ and ‘Wide Awake.’

#44: Richard Ashcroft/Keys to the World — There are just some albums that you don’t listen enough to that you should. This is one of them…because every time I do, I say to myself ‘Damn, this is a great album!’ While Ashcroft’s first two solo forays post-Verve would not compare in any meaningful way to Urban Hymns, this is British pop rock in all it’s semi-brooding finest. It’s upbeat, driving and subdued. While Ashcroft may never get the solo success he feels he deserves, I for one thoroughly enjoyed this effort when I was about to give up on him. Check out: ‘Break the Night with Colour,’ ‘Keys to the World,’ and ‘Cry ‘Till The Morning.’

#43: Coldplay/X&Y (2005) — love or hate Coldplay, you have to admit they are some talented musicians. While, at times they can come off a bit pretentious, I’d challenge that their music is more heartfelt than anything Jack White’s done. Such is the case of apples and oranges or in this case, X’s & Y’s. This album upped the band’s ante and produced their most complete album of the decade. While overlooked from a Grammy standpoint, this album featured more heart than anything U2 has put out this decade – and you can quote me on that. Check out: ‘Fix You,’ ‘Speed of Sound,’ and ‘Swallowed in the Sea.’

#42: Killswitch Engage/Killswitch Engage (2009) — finally, on their third album, KSE live up to the potential I’d hoped they had. This is arena rock in 2009 in all of it’s anthemic glory. Howard’s vocals soar, Adam’s melodies outshine the darkest corners, and the drumming is spot on. Eff Roadrunner for not doing more with this record. These guys should be out on tour with either Metallica or Slayer right now. Check out: ‘The Return,’ ‘A Light in a Darkened World,’ and ‘In a Dead World.’

#41: Kings of Leon/Because of the Times (2007) — I remember getting this album just prior to my Placebo roadtrip with McCabe and Sarah and terrorizing them with it in the hotel room in Boston. I was just blown away by how good it was and wanted to play it over and over again. Any confusion as to whether this band was going to fall into obscurity after 05’s Aha Shake… were quickly dispelled. Caleb Followhill managed to learn how to enunciate just enough for listeners to understand what he was singing about and the backdrop of sound helped paint the stories. Check out: ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘Charmer,’ and ‘On Call.’

#40: Low vs. Diamond/Low vs. Diamond (2008) — I’m alive today because of this CD. They’re a more earnest/less pretentious version of the Killers. In the midst of a deep depression, this CD landed on my desk and kept me playing ‘air drums,’ and brooding on a pair of headphones until I snapped… out of it. It’s a theme record about recovery and lifting up the spirit and soul without being a Christian record. We need more bands like Low vs. Diamond. Check out: ‘Killer B,’ ‘This Is Your Life,’ ‘Actions are Actions,’ and ‘Song We Sang Away.’


~ by kjbox76 on November 22, 2009.

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