I listened to a lot of music in the past decade, some of it cool, some of it even hipper than you can imagine, so hip it hasn't even been composed yet . I started with a huge list and narrowed it down to the albums that I really loved. I listen to these albums, they make me happy, and isn't that what music should make you? There are far more artists I could have included if I wanted to include singles, but I like the idea of noting entire albums vs. just a song. I left out some big names, but once I analyzed my play count data (I'm a nerd, remember?) and looked at the albums that have stood the test of time, I found my songs.
And then to confuse you, I didn't rank them! Behold! Your moderately alphabetized list of music! To be enjoyed! Mandatory!
I love Alison Krauss' voice; it's perfection. My favorite track is the title track: haunting, beautiful, melancholy, and just love it.
It's the album that broke Regina to the world. I like Soviet Kitsch, the album that preceded Begin to Hope, but every single track on this album is brilliant. On the Radio, anyone?
I don't care if you just yelled out, "EWW! Jimmy Eat World?" Yes. Jimmy Eat World. Bleed American.
I love The Killers. This album. All their albums. I love Sam's Town and Day & Age, too. I can't get over their music, I heart it so. Their show was fantastic--I think Brandon Flowers might be the best frontman in the biz. Hot Fuss in particular reset the music world, leading to a revival of great, emotional, synth-pop.
Keane is underrated.
Oracular Spectaculor blew me away. Sound systems were invented for MGMT.
Great songs, great storytelling. Losing Lisa kills me.
Tori Amos' Scarlet's Walk is her post-911 letter to America. Ostensibly a concept album with the songs covering Scarlet's journey, this is a softer, more accessible Amos. Don't let that fool you, Scarlet's Walk is still a little edgy, but absolutely amazing.
The Strokes Is This It? brought back dirty garage band rock. Thanks, boys.
Death Cab for Cutie's Transatlanticism blows me away. I don't know if there is a band that better encapsulates the aughts.
I can listen to Who Is Jill Scott? all day. Soulful, hip, fun, groovy, laid-back, Jill Scott has a way with you. I could have picked Alicia Keys to represent neo-soul, but I think Jill is less well known, and that's criminal.
A little French band that is still trying to get a bigger break, Phoenix is *cough cough* rising. I really like their music, and since I'm picking just one album per group, my vote goes to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
A few honorable mentions: 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin', U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind, Weezer - Green album, and Postal Service's We Will Become Silhouettes EP.
What am I missing? I bet I missed something I really loved. Do you think it was a personal affront that I didn't pick Radiohead? What albums defined the decade for you?