Hello friends, welcome back. A couple weeks ago this music blog Culturebully hit me up about contributing to a list they were working on: The Top 5 Albums Of The Decade. Yowsers, that is a rough one. I have a hard enough time remembering what albums even came out this year, so trying to really think about a whole decade proved to be quite challenging. How could I say no to making a list though? That is what I do. Below is my best attempt at it, along with some honorable mentions. It is probably not very right as far as the best of the decade, but after giving a ton of thought to the 5 modern albums I’ve listened to the most in the last ten years, I think it is fairly right on. So here goes nothing:
1.) Jay-Z – “The Blueprint”/”The Black Album”
Yeah I am aware that this is technically cheating, I couldn’t decide though. I didn’t get really really get into Jay-Z until around the time that The Dynasty dropped, so by the time The Blueprint was coming out I was in full on Greatest Rapper Alive mode. This was definitely the last album that I went out and bought at midnight on a Monday night. The Blueprint is truly flawless, (probably) my favorite rap album ever made. And I can’t even remember how many dance parties have been incited because of the Black Album. So close to being flawless as well, if only a few of the beats were a little more timeless. It is still right up there though. Lyrically, Jay was completely untouchable on these two joints. The man can still do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. He could just use a couple Lava Bangers in his life these days.
2.) Cannibal Ox – “The Cold Vein”
This album came out right around the time I was starting to make beats, and it just completely floored me. El-P’s production was like nothing I’d ever heard before. And Vast and Vordul together were incredible; completely out of their minds. It was like rap music had never even existed before this record. Pigeons turned Phoenix. And it still slays to this day.
3.) The Flaming Lips – “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”
When this one came out I thought it was cool, but that was about it. Somehow over the years though I just keep listening to it. Nothing super groundbreaking, but it makes me feel both happy and awesome at the same time, which I’m into. And I don’t care how cynical you are, singing along to “Do You Realize” live with a bunch of hippies surrounding you is still a pretty incredible feeling.
4.) Hockey Night – “Keep Guessin”
I can’t believe this actually made the list. Hockey Night were an awesome band from the Twin Cities. TPC! played with them down in Texas years back and swapped albums. This record somehow ended up being played in the van about 78 times on our way home. Imagine if you died and went to heaven, and there was a huge golden river that you tubed down all day everyday with an endless supply of Mike’s Hard Raspberry Lemonade. That’s kind of what this sounds like. For some reason it’s always the first thing I want to play when people are over, just a really feel good record. It is an absolute travesty that these dudes had to part ways when they had just mastered everything. Total bummer.
5.) The Killers – “Day & Age”
I am prepared to take a lot of heat for this one. I haven’t gotten into my strange love/fascination with The Killers on Tuesdays With Lazerbeak yet, so what better time than now. I have no idea why I like these guys and I have no idea how to explain to people why they are good, which is why the only other people I know that like this band are my wife and her brother. It’s OK though. For some reason I feel like they are the last real American rock band or something. They’re total assholes, but somehow it works. And they take risks and write about weird Mormon things. Plus there is just a ton of really over the top saxaphone and bongos on here that get me everytime. I went to their last concert here completely by myself, surrounded by some very strange people, and had an awesome time.
So there you have it. Kinda weird, but it feels good to at least take a stab at it. Don’t forget to check out Culturebully too, they have a bunch of other people’s lists up on their site as well. I couldn’t leave without throwing in a ton of Honorable Mentions. A lot of these came really close to cracking the Top 5.
Freeway – “Philadelphia Freeway”
T.I. – “Trap Muzik”
The Hold Steady – “Separation Sunday”
Ten Grand – “This Is The Way To Rule”
D’Angelo – “Voodoo”
Daft Punk – “Discovery”
Randy Newman – “Harps and Angels”
Outkast – “Stankonia”
Wilco – “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”
Scarface – “The Fix”
Usher – “Confessions”
Phoenix – “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”
Next week I’m gonna try a top 5 of 2009, which will hopefully be a lot easier and a lot less time consuming. Don’t forget about the Dessa “A Badly Broken Code” album pre-order that is going on at the webstore. She made an incredible record that is sure to be on many best of lists to come next decade. For real. See you next week.