Ashley’s Top 50 Albums of the 2000s: 30-21

27 Mar

Ok, week of school hell is over, time to get back to blogging.  This section is…I’m a little not as content with the placement of these albums, as, I’m pretty sure I actually don’t like some of them as much as 40-31.  Oh well, the numbering of the albums doesn’t matter as much as just letting y’all know what I think is great stuff.  I’m not going to have things to say about all of these albums, so if I don’t write anything, that’s why.  So, let’s get on with it.

30.) Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King (2009)

I poured my heart out in the review of this album for the top albums of 2009; not wanting to repeat myself, you can read the review here: (Ashley’s) Best Albums of 2009: 10-6.

What else I can say about GrooGrux King is this: I have loved Dave Matthews Band for most of my life, it was only with the release of this album, though, that I really got around to listening to his full albums.  I was a bit disappointed to find that he wasn’t very good where full albums were concerned.  This is not DMB’s strongest album, but it is, I believe, their most cohesive, and for that, it makes the top albums grade.

29.) The Stage Names – Okkervil River (2007)

So, remember that desert island thing I told you about?  At the same time I fell in love with Bloc Party’s “This Modern Love”, I heard one of those songs that just completely defines your life.  Or at least, it feels that way when you listen to it.  One of those songs that is “your story.”  That song, for me, is “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe”.  Perhaps the only reason I don’t love The Stage Names as much as I might is that nothing on it touches “Our Life…”.  You’d be hard pressed to write another song as good as that one, though, so I am lenient on my rating ;).  The Stage Names deals with the world of media/entertainment in a playful, slightly condescending way, and is quite the well-crafted album.  Unfortunately, Okkervil River and I have begun to go our separate ways, but there was a time when I would listen to nothing else, and it was a fun ride while it lasted.

28.) Shout Out Louds – Our Ill Wills (2007)

Sometime in 2006 or 2007 I decided that I was going to become indie.  I don’t quite know what on earth I meant by that, but, it is what it is.  Now, at the time, I didn’t know about websites like Pitchfork and Rate Your Music, so, I wasn’t sure how to begin listening to indie music.  All I knew was that I had 50 free downloads from eMusic, and that I had once heard that the band Polyphonic Spree were indie.  I was off!  Now, I look back on that time in my life as terribly, hilariously pathetic, but, for every 5 or 6 bad albums I downloaded, I found one or two that have stuck with me ever since.  Our Ill Wills is one of those albums.  There was a bit of backlash when I finally realized that the music I’d downloaded in that time was really bad, and for a while, I thought Our Ill Wills was likely just as bad.  I’ve come out on the other side of that thought-process, thanks mostly to Shout Out Loud’s new album Work, which convinced me to drag OIW back out of the “closet” and give it another spin or two.  Sure, the lead singer can barely speak English in a coherent manner, but their music is so fun, powerful and emotional, that it more than makes up for it.

27.) Blaqk Audio – CexCells (2007)

In 2007 I attended my first secular music festival (I had been to the World Pulse Festival in South Bend, Indiana many times prior to this, but that is another story), 102.1 The Edge’s EdgeFest.  This was quite an experience for me, I’d never done anything like it, and I was only there in the first place to see The Killers.  My friends that I went with were all there to see My Chemical Romance, we had some issues when they all wanted to leave after MCR’s set was done, Ashley was not a happy camper.  But, aside from that, I ended up seeing AFI at that show, and I fell in love, at least with their live shows.  My friend hooked me up with Sing the Sorrow, Their Self-titled and Decemberunderground (which, she informed me, was not very well liked by the fan base).  I loved Decemberunderground (which just missed out on making this list) and my friend informed me that if I enjoyed the more electronic direction that AFI was going in, I might be interested in a side project Davey and Jade had going on called Blaqk Audio.  When CexCells came out later that year I was a bit blown away.  I’ve always had this special place in my heart for Techno/Dance music, and at this point, synth-pop was not yet overtaking the airwaves, so CexCells was something special for me to hear.  Time has only made me love it more, and now that Blaqk Audio has a new album coming out this summer, it’s getting more plays by me than ever.  I think maybe that has caused me to over-inflate its ranking on this list, but it is what it is.

26.) Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More (2009)

25.) Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

24.) Metric – Fantasies (2009)

Wow, there are a lot of albums from 2009 on this list, I tried not to let that happen.  I’ve made my excuses already though.  Fantasies continues the synth-pop tradition that was prevalent in 2009, but what I love so much about this one is that it doesn’t take itself so seriously, it feels like the people making this music really enjoy what they’re doing.  It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s playful, it’s wonderful.  Well done, Metric.

23.) The National – Alligator (2005)

Deciding which album you like more, Boxer or Alligator, as a fan of The National is a serious matter.  I don’t want to say I like one more than the other, but obviously you haven’t seen Boxer on this list yet, so it must be forthcoming, right?  There’s much to be said for Alligator, the songs here move me the most of The National’s work, but I can’t ever seem to find myself listening to the album as a whole.  It’s a collection of great songs, my favorite of which is “Abel”, but the one I relate to the most being “Mr. November”.

22.) Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)

I want to just post one song that I am currently in love with, that I recently rediscovered. I hate forgetting about songs, but re-discovering them is a great enough experience to almost make up for it.

21.) The Cure – Bloodflowers (2000)

Bloodflowers almost makes me wonder why the Cure are even making music together anymore, if this is the kind of material they can produce when releasing something which is, for all intents and purposes, a Robert Smith solo album.  Or, maybe what I’m saying is, Robert should be left to his own devices more often.  Either way, Bloodflowers is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking things the Cure has ever released, and while I enjoy tracks from the albums following it, had the Cure ended here, I would have been ok with that.  Anything to retrieve them from the self-parody they currently are.  Robert Smith, grow up and dress like an adult.

Another 10 down, 20 to go.  20-11 will be up tomorrow most likely.  I hope those out there are enjoying reading this.

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