-OutKast, ‘Hey Ya!’
We’re finally at the (pseudo) halfway point of the CDP’s Top 250 Albums Of The Decade. Today we feature some indie classics, mainstream heavy-hitters and personal favorites. Enjoy.
125. OutKast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
124. Build To Spill – Ancient Melodies Of The Future
123. OK Go – OK Go
122. Smoking Popes – Stay Down
121. Nicole Atkins – Neptune City
One of the biggest hip-hop albums of all-time, the joint-yet-solo Andre 3000/Big Boi album produced huge #1 hits in ‘I Like The Way You Move’ and ‘Hey Ya!,’ the latter of the two easily taking its place as the biggest song of the entire decade. Built To Spill is a band that, when I have the patience for them, seem to grow on me more every time I listen. OK Go’s debut album was wall-to-wall power pop with precision sensibilities and a whole lot of fun. The Smoking Popes returned to the fray in the 00’s with Stay Down, a must-have and return to glory for one of my favorite ’90’s’ bands. At #121 comes Nicole Atkins, a woman whos voice and attitude absolutely blew me away when I first saw her perform. I had predicted huge things for Neptune City (I had hoped she would rightfully eclipse Feist), but it didn’t make quite the dent that it has deserved.
120. Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster…
119. Animal Collective – Feels
118. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
117. Pale Young Gentlemen – Black Forest (Tra La La)
116. Cut Off Your Hands – You And I
The hardest working band of the last five years, Los Campesinos! released this album mere months before producing their follow-up, and Hold On Now, Youngster… is a magnificent slice of indie/twee/pop cobbler. Animal Collective has fallen off my radar in recent years, but their 2005 breakthrough Feels is still beautiful. Bloc Party showed up in the states as another ‘Greatest Thing Ever’ from the UK, but much like Arctic Monkeys, they have survived the overexposure to continue to create decent albums. Madison band Pale Young Gentlemen placed themselves squarely in the spotlight after the release of their chamber-pop epic Black Forest (Tra La La). After a slew of singles and EP’s, Cut Off Your Hands finally made a proper album in 2008, and the New Zealand based post punkers did not disappoint.
115. Mastodon – Blood Mountain
114. Minus The Bear – Highly Refined Pirates
113. Jets To Brazil – Four Cornered Night
112. Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
111. Brand New – Deja Entendu
Is Mastadon the best metal band in the world right now? Maybe not, but Blood Mountain makes a case for the Georgia quartet that seems to exceed expectations with each release. Minus The Bear’s math-rock/shoegaze/electro-dreampop/guitar noodling sound is uniquely their own, and Highly Refined Pirates was our full-length introduction to an impressive and extremely talented band of happy mopers. With Jawbreaker being one of my favorite ’90’s’ bands, I naturally gravitated towards Jets To Brazil after their breakup, and I find myself to this day listening to Four Cornered Night on a weekly basis. I avoided Les Savy Fav for as long as I could, certain that I would abhor their sound and theatrics. I am an idiot, and I was completely wrong. Finally, Brand New’s evolution from Your Favorite Weapon to Deja Entendu was something completely unexpected by nearly everyone around them, and it paid off in spades. Not that I don’t still crank ‘Jude Law And A Semester Abroad’ from time to time, but their later work is something that most bands of their mold never get the chance to do.
110. Pollen – Chip
109. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
108. Bright Eyes – Digital Ash In A Digital Urn
107. Caesars – Paper Tigers
106. Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
Poor, poor Pollen. An amazingly talented rock quintet that somehow slipped through the major label cracks time and time again, I still listen to their albums and am blown away by their structures and style. I saw Pollen three times when they were touring on Chip, and they brought the house down every time. Franz Ferdinand sort of took that nation over when ‘Take Me Out’ hit the airwaves, but even three albums into their tenure, they still fill the dancefloors and write insanely catchy tunes. One of Bright Eyes’ two releases on 01/25/05, Digital Ash In A Digital Urn slipped off of my radar initially (in favor of the superior I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning), but is far too deep, lush and heartfelt to not be mentioned and highly ranked. Paper Tigers, a beginning-to-end blast of hooks, choruses and expert pop songwriting, reminds me to find out what exactly they’re feeding the Swedes to get them to understand melodies so well. You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine is loud, abraisive, sexy, sweaty, dirty, danceable and can probably get you pregnant if you listen to it long enough. Who says two scruffy-looking Canadians can’t bring the sex every now again again?
105. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
104. Cake – Comfort Eagle
103. Less Than Jake – Borders And Boundaries
102. Girl Talk – Night Ripper
101. Green Day – American Idiot
A majorly-hyped album on Pitchfork and the rest of the web, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is an example that regardless of a label, manager or production deal, simple word of mouth will always work if you’re a genuinely good band. Cake’s Comfort Eagle was my favorite Cake album of the decade, doing what they do best (and what nobody but Beck can seem to replicate). After Hello Rockview, Less Than Jake had some huge expectations to fill, and Borders & Boundaries received a bit of negative criticism upon release. However, it still sounds to me like their most ‘mature’ album yet, and something that I’ve really grown to appreciate as I get older. Girl Talk’s third album, Night Ripper, redefined the Mash-Up scene and made a superstar out of Greg Gillis. It also perfectly represented the ADD-addled iPod Generation, or those of us from the 80’s who no longer have the attention span for anything anymore. Finally at #101 is American Idiot by Green Day, unabashedly my emotional favorite band of all-time. Not many bands get to take their place on the top of the heap two different times in their career, but American Idiot went instant-platinum, earned Grammys and solidified Green Day’s place in the upper echelon of rock royalty.
Thanks for reading the CDP Decade In Review. Sound off in the comments section, enjoy your weekend and get ready for the Top 100 Albums Of The Decade next week.