As I was searching around trying to find some sort of list of top albums of the decade, or top bands of the decade, or even top songs of the decade I came across a blog for Paste Magazine. This blog has lists of the day; I went through looking at these lists and came across their list for top 50 albums of the decade. I found myself agreeing with many of the choices that they made, and I enjoyed reading about the music I did not know. What I did after reading this is I chose my top 5 albums from that list, and then I chose my top 5 albums from the decade that were not on this list; below I am going to write about why I feel my 5 albums should be on the list and the contributions they made to music, and I will discuss my feelings on the 5 albums I chose from their list and I’ll summarize the reason the blogger put them on his or her list. Also, here is a link to the full list in case you want to see some of the albums that I did not choose to discuss: http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2009/11/the-best-albums-of-the-decade.html?p=5
My 5 Albums
Dave Matthews Band- Stand Up
Stand up by Dave Matthews Band is my favorite studio album by them. Although DMB is known more for its live performances than its studio albums, this album just hits the spot when I’m feeling some Dave. This album is also particularly memorable for DMB fans because this is the last album with LeRoi Moore, the saxophonist for Dave Matthews Band who died in August of 2008. Some of my favorite songs on this album are Everybody Wake Up and Dreamgirl. To me the album feels like it’s a call to stop being so lazy, to stop letting everything move right by. It calls for people to stop this apathy that we have grown so used to having, and to become active participants in whatever it is you feel needs to be changed or has problems.
Girl Talk- Feed The Animals
This album is my favorite by the mashup artist known as Girl Talk. I included this album on my list as much for the music, as I did for the way that Girl Talk chose to release the album. Instead of paying a set amount for the album, you could pay as much or as little as you wanted, even nothing for the album. If you choose to pay nothing for the album you get asked why you chose to not pay and are giving some answers to select from, but if you choose to pay more than $10 you get an actual CD not just the mp3 version of the album. I liked the way that he was able to incorporate so many different songs into one and make them sound like they were supposed to be used like that. Every song on this album is fun and high-spirited, they all just make you want to have a fun time.
Green Day- American Idiot
This album, although considered to be a sellout album by many hard-core Green Day fans, really felt like it worked really well. It took on what was going on in the country at the time, the Iraq War and the disapproval of what George Bush was doing and put it into song form. It expressed the ideas of the nation in terms of an album that was fun to listen to and easy to agree with. With songs like American Idiot, Holiday, and Wake Me Up When September Ends, this album is both entertaining and it was up to date with current events. This is my favorite Green Day album; it represents the way that I was thinking at that time and what I thought needed to be done for this country to turn it around.
U2- All That You Can’t Leave Behind
This album is just so well composed, it has such great songs on it that all meld together amazingly to form an excellent album. Beautiful Day is my favorite U2 song, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of is also right up there. This album is perhaps the best U2 album, it all works perfectly. The way it was produced engineered, it was perfectly made to listen to at any time. Its calming and makes you feel what Bono was feeling when he wrote these songs. There is so much emotion portrayed through these songs, it’s just a perfect album for me.
Red Hot Chili Peppers- By The Way
This is my favorite album on this list. After reading Anthony Kiedis’s biography, and understanding what this album is talking about, I feel like it enhances it by an unimaginable amount. Each of the songs on this album could be a single. Each song is amazingly composed and each one tells a different story. By the Way, the song, continues the story of this girl Dani that was started in Californiaction and ends in Dani California. Whenever I listen to one song off this album, I am drawn to listen to the entire album. It just works so perfectly and fits together to tell an amazing story.
5 Albums off Paste Magazine List
This is an album that I bought about 2 months ago. I was sitting in my room and I was craving some Outkast, I checked my library and found that I did not own Stankonia, and I felt the need to have it. That ended up being an amazing purchase, you have two totally different rappers on this album. You have to slow drawn-out flow of Big Boi, and Andre 3000s craziness, his fast raps, and ridiculous lyrics. With featured performers like Erykah Badu and Slimm Calhoun amongst others, this album does it all.
White Stripes- Elephant
I still remember the day that I first heard that seemingly heavy bass line, but actually a guitar riff, in Seven Nation Army to start off the album. People where not sure what to expect from this album, with the White Stripes having released a prior album that was good but people where not sure where Jack White would go with this album. He ended up producing perhaps his best work of his career, and definitely the best work with the White Stripes.
Radiohead- Kid A
This album followed Ok Computer, which when it came was predicted to be Radiohead’s best album of there career. No one thought they would be able to make anything that could top it, but they did. Kid A with its experimentation with various sounds and effects just did it. There is no other way for me to put into words how this album is or how it works, it just does. Every song seems to say something new to me, and paints a very vivid picture in my mind.
Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
This album is very new to me. I have only begun listening to Wilco since sometime in the summer, after there new album Wilco came out. This album is a little less poppy and has a little more edge to it. The record company dropped Wilco after hearing this album, and instead the band streamed it for free, then a new record company picked them up and released the album, and through all of this the band stuck to the album as they had originally made it.
This album is kind of surprising one to be thrown on this list. I had not heard about it until I read this for the first time two weeks ago, since then I have listened to the album several times, I found that it is much different than the MIA that I know, the only song being Paper Planes prior to this. She made fun music to listen to, about very serious topics. Its incredible how much different the lyrics are from what you would expect from the melodies of the songs. When some of the songs are played on MTV and other such channels, some of the gunshots and other noises and lyrics have to be censored because of the picture she is trying to show. She is trying to show the world that she was raised in. Her father was involved in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which is a violent groups that wants to break away from Sri Lanka and create there own country. This album tells the tale of the life that she led, and how she grew up with everything that there was around her.
All of these albums I would highly recommend to people to listen to. They are all very different from each other, and all bring up different points in different ways. I would also recommend reading the full list of the 50 best albums of the decade, there are some really excellent albums that I heard about and began to listen to from reading about them in that list.