It's February, which means it's finally time to say goodbye to the last decade. For the rest of the top 50, click HERE.
10) Spoon: Kill the Moonlight (2002 on Merge) – The second Spoon album on my list. Probably the most consistent band of the decade - Girls Can Tell, Kill the Moonlight and [editor: fixed this]Gimme Fiction all get mixed up in my head.
9) The New Pornographers: Electric Version (2003 on Matador) – Still a go-to record when I want to hear something upbeat and fun. The New Pornographers are another contender for band of the decade.
8) Beck: Sea Change (released in 2002 on Geffen) – This was Beck’s last really consistent album. Hopefully the record club thing and the production work with Charlotte Gainsbourg will re-invigorate him. You know there’s another mind-blowing album in there.
7) The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (2001 on Sympathy for the Record Industry) – I can count my friends who like Jack White on one hand, but he was a big part of six really strong records this decade (De Stijl, White Blood Cells, Elephant, Van Lear Rose, Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers of the Lonely). Impressive.
6) Pernice Brothers: The World Won’t End (2001 on Ashmont) – I enjoy pretty much everything Joe Pernice does, but this one’s his masterpiece.
5) Sufjan Stevens: Illinoise (2005 on Asthmatic Kitty) – This record holds up surprisingly well. I like an indie artist with some ambition.
4) Brian Wilson: Smile (2004 on Nonesuch) – Darian Sahanaja did an amazing job getting this out to the public. After listening to bootlegs for years, it’s great to hear a final product that stays true to the era. Some of the versions don't quite live up the originals, but seeing this performed live was one of the live music highlights of the decade.
3) The Shins: Oh, Inverted World (2001 on Sub Pop) – Chutes Too Narrow might be a little bit catchier, but it didn’t “change my life” the way this one did. This digs way deeper than the rest of the music labeled indie pop.
2) Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002 on Nonesuch) – I’m still more of a Summerteeth guy, but this one’s fantastic too.
1) Arcade Fire: Funeral (released in 2004 on Merge Records) – This one was a game changer. Unfortunately, we’ve all had to endure five years of overwrought indie bands with similar ambition, but far less talent.