Saturday, December 26, 2009

My favorite albums of the 2000s

In no particular order...

  • Dopethrone, Electric Wizard, 2000. The wizard is smoking something on the cover...they don't call it stoner metal for nothing. Incredibly heavy.

    WARNING: this record is one of them "heavy metal" ones your mommy always warned you about. It talks about smoking dope and worshipping Satan. I am not kidding. You probably can't understand the words, but that's just how they seep insidiously into your subconscious mind without you knowing it. Flee now.

  • Machina / The Machines of God, Smashing Pumpkins, 2000. I remember being mildly disappointed in this record when it first came out. It started to get stale pretty quickly, and most of the songs sounded processed within an inch of their lives. Funny how the Corgan / "Pumpkins" records released in the interim have made it sound so much better in retrospect.

  • Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today, Slobberbone, 2000. They went downhill fast with their subsequent records...this one is them at their peak.

  • Original Pirate Material, The Streets, 2002. The novelty of heavily-accented British rap gives way to the realization that this stuff is actually more than that and not bad. Garage, they call it. That's GAIR-ij. As thematically dissimilar to the tired old "girls, money, and Bentleys" of American hip-hop as RenĂ© Descartes is to Dr. Phil.

  • Southern Rock Opera, Drive-By Truckers, 2002. On my all-time list, so of course it's here. Blew me away the first time I heard it and hasn't gotten old to this day. Tuneful, powerful, epic double album about what it means to be a "Southerner" (depicted most directly in "The Southern Thing", but much more eloquently in the record as a whole) as told through the rise and fall of a fictional rock band.

  • Magnolia Electric Co., Songs: Ohia, 2003. Listen to this weepy album late at night on a dark country road and ghosts will float out of your speakers.

  • Mary Star of the Sea, Zwan, 2003. Mostly disrespected. Mostly very good.

    (Sorry, no samples available).

  • Decoration Day, Drive-By Truckers, 2003. Hate to double-dip, but I do have a second-favorite DBT record. And it's too good not to include. Their darkest album, and the peak of Jason Isbell's tenure with the band -- "Outfit" and the title track are the two best songs he's ever written. And "My Sweet Annette" holds the distinction of being the first DBT song I ever heard.

  • Wrath, Iris, 2006. Anthemic, slighty-retro synth-rock, plain and simple. Top-to-bottom awesome.

  • Silent Shout, The Knife, 2006. Deep Cuts is an excellent album, but this one is The Knife at their best. Trippy scary plastic beats and skiddly screeches.

  • Zoysia, The Bottle Rockets, 2006. Thinking man's roots rock. Life and politics in small-town USA.

  • Age of Winters, The Sword, 2006. Call it poseur metal if you want, but this is good stuff. Honorable mention: the track "How Heavy This Axe." Not on this record, but I would be remiss not to mention it and the sheer coolness of the title.

  • Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady, 2006. Big, manic, and earnest. Horn section and all.

  • The Trials of Van Occupanther, Midlake, 2006. The lost Fleetwood Mac album from 1978. Mellow.

  • Untrue, Burial, 2007. Smoky, haunted dubstep.

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