PREVIEWS: CLICK on the links for a review and links to the bands’ websites!
We cried, we fought, we quoted lyrics – a lot of love went into this list. Check out the albums that we think were the most important from the past 10 years,and then let us know what you think we’re missing.
20 Watts Best of the Decade List Continue reading
TOP TRACK: “99 Problems”
The Black Album was supposed to be Jay-Z’s last. After seven years of cutting an album a year – no small feat, by any measure – the legendary emcee announced that he was leaving the world of hip-hop for good.
Thankfully, that was not the case. But even if his career had ended at The Black Album, Jay-Z would still have quite a legacy. In fact, no album epitomizes his Continue reading
TOP TRACK: “Chicago”
Sufjan Stevens may have abandoned his ambitious plan to record an album for each of the 50 states, but that doesn’t make the second installment of his would-be epic any weaker. A slight departure from Stevens’ earlier stylistic dabbling, Illinois is where Stevens’ skills as both a composer and a storyteller complement each other best, resulting in a difficult and occasionally eerie body of minimalist indie Continue reading
TOP TRACK: “Idioteque”
Radiohead were in disarray after 1997’s groundbreaking OK Computer. Frontman Thom Yorke got the spins every time he touched a guitar, the band lay exhausted from an extensive touring schedule and the group no longer had any interest in writing rock music. Somehow, these were the conditions that brought Kid A to the world.
Kid A met and disappointed all expectations at once. The “saviors of rock ‘n’ roll” Continue reading
TOP TRACK: “Rebellion (Lies)”
No other album of the past decade has spoken so profoundly to so diverse a group of people as Arcade Fire’s Funeral. From the unassuming piano line that opens “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” to the triumphant flood of crooning and orchestration that closes “In the Backseat,” Arcade Fire’s seminal debut exemplifies the marriage of delicately layered instrumentation and poetic, passionate lyrics. It’s a photo album registering transient shots of everyday existence, developed in stark definition and taken from the full spectrum of human sensation, from rapture to terror, from love to hate.
The result is an oddly uplifting album Continue reading
TOP TRACK: “My Girls”
After all the hype (album of our generation!), all the nitpicking (way too long!), and all the confused winces (what is this junk?), Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion stands alone in its daring to embrace the weirdness of both the band creating it and the world around them.
Welding syncopated techno-tribal drum blasts, free-form noise, giddy Continue reading
TOP TRACK: “Flashing Lights”
One of the greatest battles a hip-hop album faces is the struggle to remain relevant despite the passing of time. This holds especially true for mainstream rap. With its now-inextricable links to pop music, the subgenre has become increasingly time-contingent and disposable. Listen to any other rap album from 2007, say SouljaBoyTellem.com, and you’ll realize how distinctly “2007” it really is. But Kanye West’s Continue reading