50) Radiohead: Kid A (2000 on Capitol) – After seeing this at the top both Pitchfork and Rolling Stone’s best of the decade I went back and re-listened to it. Being a fan of melodic guitar rock, I only enjoy listening to four of these songs. They were still a great live band around this time though.
49) Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights (2002 on Matador) – I haven’t listened to this in about six years, but it holds up a lot better than I was expecting. It’s still a little uneven, but an intense listen overall.
48) Elliott Smith: From a Basement on the Hill (2004 on Anti) – Like all posthumous records, this one was mired in controversy after his family brought in Rob Schnapf and Joanna Bolme to finish it even though they weren’t involved in the recording. Smith’s most inconsistent work but plenty of gems.
47) Soundtrack of Our Lives: Behind the Music (2002 on Republic) – This is timeless psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll done extremely well (and holds up better than some of the stuff on this list). After being a little too weird and proggy before, the band hit its peak on this record. They got the entire audience at the Troubadour down on the ground, which is an impressive feat in LA.
46) The Postal Service: Give Up (2003 on Sub Pop) – Almost seven years after its release, and you still can’t turn on your TV for five minutes without hearing one of these songs. After Ben Gibbard moved to LA (Jimmy Tamborello has always lived here), I’m sure Sub Pop’s Jonathan Poneman was hoping he’d finally get his follow-up, but the world’s still waiting (and sadly, settling for Owl City instead).
45) Fugazi: The Argument (2001 on Dischord) – In all honestly, this is the least listened to of anything on this list. I still prefer their early stuff, but it’s still Fugazi. Imagine the money they could make if they went off hiatus and did the festival circuit. I mean you know, they could donate it to charity or whatever…
44) Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (2008 on Jagjaguwar) – I’m a sucker for a really well done strummy, sensitive guy album. This might be the best one since Iron & Wine came on the scene.
43) Fruit Bats: Spelled in Bones (2005 on Sub Pop) – This record came around at the perfect time for me; it was the summer of 2005 and a few months into a great new relationship.
42) Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People (2003 on Arts & Crafts) – The band that launched Feist, Metric, Jason Collett, et al. I saw one of their first US shows at the Silverlake Lounge. I remember ordering the original pressing directly from Canada before it got released here.
41) The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely (2008 on WB/Third Man) – The appearance of this record on the list is a statement of just how hard (or rare?) it is for a band to make a straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll record these days. From top to bottom, this is just a fun record to listen to.