Breaking Down Paste’s Top 50 of the Decade

Paste’s Top 50 albums of the decade is worth checking out not as some final authoritative list, but as 50 interestng albums to consider–and you can really consider them since they are streaming them on their site.  I have doctored the list with a little color to represent albums I already have (not that many actually), albums on the list that I think will probably go on my consider to buy list, ones I suspect might interest me and albums I am quite sure I don’t care about.  Everything else (a considerable everything else) is just in the I don’t know enough about category.

Pastes Top 50 of the Decade

50 Björk – Vespertine (Elektra, 2001)
49 Libertines – Up The Bracket (Rough Trade, 2002)
48 Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose (Interscope, 2004)
47 Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Domino, 2006)
46 Once – Music From The Motion Picture (Columbia, 2007)
45 Radiohead – In Rainbows (self-released, 2007)
44 The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music (Lost Highway, 2003)
43 Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala (Secretly Canadian, 2007)
42 Jay-Z – The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella, 2001)
41 LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (Capitol, 2007)
40 TV on the Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain (Interscope, 2006)
39 Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge, 2007)
38 Gentleman Jesse – Introducing Gentleman Jesse (Douchemaster, 2008)
37 Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop, 2004)
36 Pedro The Lion – Control (Jade Tree, 2002)
35 Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino, 2009)
34 Various artists – O Brother Where Art Thou? (Mercury, 2001)
33 Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head (Capitol, 2002)
32 The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Warner Bros., 2002)
31 Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism (Barsuk, 2003)
30 Damien Rice – O (Vector, 2003)
29 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar, 2008)
28 Paul Westerberg – Folker (Vagrant, 2004)
27 Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day (New West, 2003)
26 Over the Rhine – Ohio (2004)
25 Sigur Rós – Med ud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust (XL, 2008)
24 The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop, 2003)
23 Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (Bloodshot, 2000)
22 The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (Capitol, 2006)
21 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (XL, 2008)
20 The National – Boxer (Beggars Banquet, 2007)
19 Beck – Sea Change (Interscope, 2002)
18 Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (Universal Republic, 2007)
17 Kanye West – The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella, 2004)
16 Rufus Wainwright – Want One (Dreamworks, 2003)
15 Patty Griffin – 1000 Kisses (ATO, 2002)
14 The Strokes – Is This It (RCA, 2001)
13 Josh Ritter – The Animal Years (V2, 2006)
12 Spoon –
Kill the Moonlight (Merge, 2002)
11 The Hold Steady – Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant, 2006)
10 M.I.A. – Arular (Interscope, 2005)
09 The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You (Columbia/American, 2009)
08 OutKast – Stankonia (Arista/LaFace, 2000)
07 Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator) (Acony, 2001)
06 The White Stripes – Elephant (V2, 2003)
05 Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (Saddle Creek, 2005)
04 Radiohead – Kid A (Capitol, 2000)
03 Arcade Fire – Funeral (Merge, 2004)
02 Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch, 2002)
01 Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty, 2005)

Do let me know if I should reconsider any of my assessments.


~ by cps42 on November 4, 2009.

4 Responses to “Breaking Down Paste’s Top 50 of the Decade”

  1. I’m not going to try to change your mind on the Kanye or Jay-Z (they really are both incredible albums, as is Kanye’s latest, despite his being a complete jerk). Bjork’s Vespertine, on the other hand, merits more attention. T. really loves this album, and when we were first dating, she had me listening to it a lot. I’ll readily admit to not being a big Bjork fan, but this one has definitely grown on me over time – there’s a lot going on in the music, it’s very emotive and sensual. It’s the perfect late-night with candles album, imo. I also wouldn’t write off Amy Winehouse. She’s a trainwreck, but she’s nailed the jazz/blues chantreuse, and it’s hard not to find the fun in “Rehab” (yes, in spite of her need for it).

    I need to find Beck’s Sea Change for you. It’s a stunningly gorgeous “break up” album. I’m not sure it would’ve made my “best of decade” list, though.

    You might dig Animal Collective – they’re definitely of the lush Brooklyn scene that Grizzly Bear and The Antlers come out of.

    That said, including Coldplay in any “best of” list completely invalidates it. Jeebus, there was nothing redeeming about that album. And including soundtracks in “best of” lists? Don’t get me wrong, I love the “O, Brother!” soundtrack, but compilations are not albums.

    Finally, I don’t think Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has held up over the years since its release. No 2 is way too high, and Kid A should’ve been #1.

  2. figured i would hear from you on the Beck front (and actually on the Radiohead front too–expecting Linz on that one) but the Bjork feedback is interesting. I didn’t even begin to pick apart the list. For instance, as new as I am to the Avett Brothers, the idea that I&Love&U is there rather than Emotionalism is just silliness. But hey, I think of lists as conversation starters rather than anything definitive.

  3. Yeah, you really do need to give that Vespertine a listen. It’s one of my absolute faves, and pretty much all Bjork up till then left me cold. I’m pleased also that your friend Wobs noted the virtues of Amy Winehouse. That album is full of excellence. Listen to the title track which I find utterly fantastic in every respect.

    What about M.I.A.? I think that album is awesome.

    I could write a whole tome about this. For instance, wtf that you don’t already have Sufjan Stevens. Or Vampire Weekend. Or Gillian Welch, the entire catalogue. Get on it.

  4. OK, clearly I need to get busy and I guess Bjork needs to go on the list (no puns on the cold comment, right?). I knew you would be shocked about Illinoise–and just for the reord I have Gillian Welch, just not that one (okay, that’s lame). But can I say that the whole back story on Winehouse is just about too much for me to endure and really gets in the way of listening to her, although granted I enjoyed everything I have heard off of that album.

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