#1) Queens of the Stone Age Songs For The Deaf
Prior to the album’s release I remember listening to a raw demo of “Song For The Dead,” which was essentially Dave Grohl’s drum-intro looped on repeat for six minutes. I had never heard anything like it before. Grohl’s hand is heavy on the album, as is bassist Nick Oliveri’s (who left the band before QOTSA’s next record), both of whom gave the album its unbelievably robust backbone. Looking back, Songs For The Deaf seems like a record that was a product of its elements which could never have never been created at any other time, or nearly as masterfully if any of its parts were missing.=
#2) The White Stripes Elephant
The White Stripes were the best band of the Aughts, and any of the duo’s albums could have fallen into my top 10 favorites of the decade. Elephant just happens to be my favorite.
#3) Danger Mouse The Grey Album
This album completely changed the way I approach listening to music. Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals, a direct descendant of The Grey Album, would also be on this list had it been best 11 or 12 of the decade.
#4) LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver
“All My Friends” might have received the most acclaim from the record (and deservedly so), but I continue to fail to find a fault in any of Sound of Silver’s other tracks.
#5) Justice Cross
Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay were the icons who led a casually nihilistic club movement that helped reintroduce electronic music into the mainstream’s conscious (which consequently led to the the gross overuse of a term which has come to mean nothing: “hipster”). Cross was their soundtrack.
#6) Sufjan Stevens Illinois
There remains no better example than Illinois as to why Sufjan Stevens was heralded as one of the best songwriters of the decade. The album is chilling, delicate and achingly beautiful from start to end.
#7) Kanye West The College Dropout
No other musical artist has had as much of an impact on pop culture this decade as Kanye West. The College Dropout was the record that essentially started it all, and still remains his most complete album.
#8) Hank Williams III Straight To Hell
A musician that singlehandedly made country music less shitty to me. The broad genre is still pretty bunk on the whole, but rebel country has an edge that makes it as punk as any other type of modern music; the face of rebel country is Hank III.
#9) Andrew W.K. I Get Wet
I was introduced to Andrew W.K. with a description that likened his music to a cross between ABBA and Slayer. The man’s enthusiastic approach to everything he does has made him easy to love, but his music is what has left me coming back after nearly 10 years.
#10) Danger Doom The Mouse and the Mask
Is it the best hip hop album of the decade? Nope. But The Mouse and the Mask gave MF Doom a medium to further explore the comedic element to his lyrics, trade verses with Talib Kweli and Ghostface Killah, and interact with some of Danger Mouse’s most enjoyable beats to date. While its ties to the Cartoon Network might have negatively affected its credibility (at least on tha streets), it remains one of the best surprises of the decade.