Top 100 CD’s (2000-2009) –> #1 through #10

#10: Iron & Wine/Our Endless Numbered Days (2005) — thank you, Sam Beam for coming into my life one warm Spring day with your quiet charm, soft-spoken melodies, and heart-warming spirit. You single-handedly revived folk music in the 21st century and paved the way for a number of would-be independent singer-songwriters. Check out: ‘Each Coming Night,’ ‘Sodom, South Georgia,’ and ‘Passing Afternoon.’

#9: Metallica/St. Anger (2003) — I’m probably going to get a lot of shit for this one, but this is one of my favorite Metallica albums because it’s so raw and unrefined. I love the fact that the drums sound like shit. And yeah, it sounds like it was recorded in a garage. And it was again produced by Bob Rock. There were a lot of demons exorcised on this recording. And when I’m angry – this is a good album to put on and roll the windows down and just scream along to. Check out: ‘Frantic,’ ‘St. Anger,’ and ‘All Within My Hands.’

#8: Nine Inch Nails/With Teeth (2005) — when NIN returned six years after The Fragile and five years into the 21st century, the fanbase was rabid for what Trent had cooked up in a vastly changed musical landscape. In my mind this is the apex of NIN’s existence, exploring all of it’s sound in such a complete way. While they may have started as an industrial band, Trent and Co. round out the aural textures on With Teeth and is stands as one of the greatest albums of the decade. Check out: ‘All The Love in the World,’ ‘Only,’ and ‘Right Where It Belongs.’

#7: 30 Seconds to Mars/A Beautiful Lie (2005) — perhaps having Jared Leto as their frontman has helped to provide a cinematic framework for their music. They have an almost cult-like following to their sound, so something must be working. I’m ashamed to admit I still have not seen them live and feel cheated because of it. This is an album that lyrically and vocally hit me right between the eyes – at times aggressive, at times soft…but always epic – which is exactly what rock is supposed to be. Check out: ‘Attack,’ ‘The Story,’ and ‘From Yesterday.’

#6: Dredg/Catch Without Arms (2005) — another album where critically the band gets blame for becoming too commercial. There’s not a lot of distance between number one and number six in terms of the decade’s greatest albums and this was definitely a decade-defining album in my life. For anyone who feels anything from music – this is a must own. The textures explored throughout this album are much more complex than one gives them credit for. Again, this is a lyrical album that has evoked both tears of joy and of pain. The framework created along with those lyrics is equally potent and powerful. Check out: ‘Zebraskin,’ ‘Planting Seeds,’ and ‘Matroshka (The Ornament)’

#5: Audioslave/Audioslave (2002) — mixing parts of legendary 90’s groups RATM and Soundgarden? An odd pairing but the world is up for it. While the creativity only lasted three albums in four years, it was their opening salvo that is chock full of radio and arena staples. Not a bad song on the album and it stands up completely some seven years later. Check out: ‘Cochise,’ ‘Shadow on the Sun,’ and ‘I Am the Highway.’

#4: Placebo/Meds (2006) — Placebo is one of my all-time favorite bands and picked up the slack once the Pumpkins left the stage in 2000. They released four studio albums, a covers record and a greatest hits collection in the decade. While 2003’s Sleeping with Ghosts is still the bands best-seller stateside, Meds will over take 2001’s Black Market Music as #3 here in the U.S. shortly. Meds boasts cameos from Alison Mosshart (Kills/Dead Weather) and Michael Stipe (R.E.M.). There are no less than six to seven singles on this album and it translated brilliantly live. Easily accessible but never forgettable. This is the crown jewel in the discography to date. Check out: ‘Drag,’ ‘Blind,’ and ‘Pierrot the Clown.’

#3: Jimmy Eat World/Bleed American (2001) — this is one of the greatest albums, ever(.) From the rocking lead off one-two punch of ‘Bleed American,’ and ‘A Praise Chorus,’ to the 2001 radio staples ‘The Middle,’ and ‘Sweetness,’ – every track on this album is better than the last. Your head bobs to each pop gem. I dare anyone to listen to this album and not be reminded of a simpler time where radio singles still mattered. While haters can say this was force-fed down our throats (I didn’t like ‘The Middle,’ at first) the pop genius of the sum is equal to its parts, ultimately. This album and (#2) on my list, DID define our decade…so here’s to the boys from Tempe, AZ

#2: My Chemical Romance/Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004) — this band changed my life when I saw them live on the inaugural voyage of Taste of Chaos in 2005. All I knew of them at that point was that they were like the poster boys for Hot Topic. I’d gone to see The Used, KSE and Senses Fail. But it was Underoath and MCR that blew me away and MCR definitely stole the show. I immediately had to pick up the album. The band just kicked ass at channelling The Misfits and the Pumpkins. They brought rock n roll back to something important on this album. Perhaps they tried a bit too hard on the follow-up, but they still garner my respect for one of the finest albums of the decade. Check out: ‘Helena,’ ‘Give ‘Em Hell Kid’ and ‘Thank You For The Venom.’

#1: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals/Cold Roses (2005) — heartache provides a tender backdrop for this double-album. Ryan has my nod for artist of the decade and it’s on this release that he turned heads (and ears) from a casual listener to earnest ones. With each listen of these two discs I gain something new, whether it be a new insight from the lyrics or my ears pick up an aural nuance. He channels Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Dylan on this release. That’s some pretty heady company. This album also represents a sea change and maturity in my musical tastes this decade. I’m working on a project now that will be unveiled early next year recounting the Top 100 of the 90’s and you’ll see what I mean. In the interim – please check out this album. There are too many tracks for me to list that you need to check out…but ‘Cherry Lane,’ ‘How Do You Keep Love Alive?’ ‘Easy Plateau’ and ‘If I Am A Stranger,’  should get you started.

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~ by kjbox76 on December 31, 2009.

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