Best Albums of the 00s

Bubbling Under 00s

Not only has another year caught up on us, but so has another decade. It feels like only yesterday that I was partying like it was 1999 and getting ready to ring in the new millennium. 2009’s not even over yet, but already a number of magazines and web sites have published their Best Album of the Decade lists. The 150th edition of Uncut magazine has 150 albums from the 00s while Pitchfork has gone for 200. My own list is less comprehensive as it contains just a dozen of my favourite albums for the last ten years. I’m going to look at each of these albums over the next three months, but first I’m going to have a brief look at a few that didn’t make it

Is This It (2001) – The Strokes

The debut album by this band from New York owed a lot of its sound to earlier bands from that city such as The Velvet Underground and Television. Maybe that’s why I like it. Here’s a version of my favourite song from the record

Last Nite (Strokes cover) – Adele

Back to Black (2006) – Amy Winehouse

I had been a big fan of Winehouse’s first album, Frank (2003), particularly for the singer’s voice and attitude and the humour and quality of her songs. Her second album was no different, but was was far more consistent. A contemporary British act do a nice job of one of those songs

You Know I’m No Good (Amy Winehouse cover) – Arctic Monkeys

Vampire Weekend (2008) – Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend, also from New York, created a debut with a simple sound that drew on the rhythms of African music. This influence is most evident on Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, a song that refers to Louis Vuitton and Benetton as well as Peter Gabriel. And here he is being backed by Hot Chip on their version of the song

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend cover) – Peter Gabriel & Hot Chip

33 1/3 (2007) – Susheela Raman

Susheela Raman had been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for her first album in 2001. 33 1/13 was released independently and contains her versions of tracks from albums from the 60s and 70s. I enjoy her different takes on songs by Dylan, Henrix, Lennon and the opening track by the aforementioned Velvet Underground

I’m Set Free (Velvet Underground cover) – Susheela Raman

For Emma, Forever Ago (2007) – Bon Iver

Bon Iver is the moniker of Justin Vernon and his debut album came about during the three months that he was living in his father’s log cabin outside Wisconsin, MA. He had been recuperating from illness as well as the breakup of both his band and a relationship with his girlfriend. Here is a version of one of the songs on the album

Wolves (Bon Iver cover) – Ellie Goulding

White Blood Cells (2001) – The White Stripes

The third album from Jack and Meg White was the one that put them on the musical map. Their simple sound is a mixture of blues and garage rock while their simple image is a mixture of red, white and black. This is Cat Power’s stripped-down version of one of the album’s songs

Dead Leaves & The Dirty Ground (White Stripes Cover) – Cat Power

Up Front & Down Low (2007) – Teddy Thompson

Teddy Thompson is the son of Richard and Linda and I first came across him when he sang a few songs on the soundtrack of the Leonard Chen film, I’m Your Man. His third album is mostly comprised of his versions of his favourite country songs including this one by George Jones

She Thinks I Still Care (George Jones cover) – Teddy Thompson

Orphans (2006) – Tom Waits

Orphans comprised of 56 tracks across three cds that included unreleased material as well as stuff that had only appeared on other people’s albums. One of those albums is Wicked Grin by John Hammond that includes a dozen Tom Waits’ compositions as well as the man himself on guitar and vocals. Scarlett Johansson also released a whole album of Waits’ covers during this decade. She also had a go at Fannin Street, but doesn’t do as well as Mr Hammond

Fannin Street (Tom Waits cover) – John Hammond

Modern Times (2006) – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan reached his sixth decade in 2001 and has had one of the busiest and most successful times of his career over the last ten years. The first volume of his autobiography, Chronicles, was published; Martin Scorsese made a great documentary about him; Todd Haynes made an intriguing biopic about him; he put together an excellent radio series called Theme Time Radio Hour; and he made a few albums. Modern Times is my favourite album of his from the last fifteen years. It includes a track called Workingman’s Blues #2 and its title refers to an earlier blues number by Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Workingman’s Blues – Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee


One thought on “Best Albums of the 00s

  1. Its great to read someone includes amy winehouse among the best albums of the decade, Ive made a very long list,u can read it in my blog, into myspace. Have a look. Ive listed 110! Love to read others lists!

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