Ashley’s Top 50 Albums of the 2000s: 20-11

28 Mar

We’re almost done now.  Who will rule the top 20?  Find out…next!

2o) Our Lady Peace – Gravity (2002)

The same friend who introduced me to AFI forced upon me, one find day back in 2006, A Decade, Our Lady Peace’s greatest hits.  My expectations were dubious at best, but I gave it a whirl.  In my head the only music she cared much for was heavy rock, and that wasn’t really my cup of tea.  I was surprised by what I heard with OLP.  Cheesy 90s alternative rock, but for some reason it actually stuck with me, and I ended up getting the rest of their albums from her.  Then, the great iPod crash of 2008 occurred and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Even more unfortunately, her computer crashed at nearly the time, so we were both minus the albums.  I’m too cheap to buy them myself, and she’s too lazy to rip them back to her computer, so I have to rely on Napster.  Um, I’m not sure what the point of this story is.  I really like this album, it’s a good collection of their work (their best album is easily Spiritual Machines, but that came out in the 90s)

19) Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008)

18) Bruce Springsteen – Magic (2007)

One day I decided that I was going to become a fan of Bruce Springsteen (I make these decisions on the spur of the moment all of the time if you haven’t caught on yet).  Napster was pimping his newest single “Radio Nowhere” so I figured that was as good a place to start as any.  In this day and age, I don’t hear many songs that rock like that one does, and I was compelled to buy the album.  Now, the rest of the album doesn’t quite rock the way that one does, but I usually hate politically inclined albums that are patently obvious, but there was something about Bruce’s honest delivery that made me make this exception.  Some of the tracks here are throwaway, but the ones that its obvious Bruce poured his heart into, those are the ones that move you, that make you question what it is it means to be an American.  Makes you wonder about “who we are, what we’ll do, and what we won’t.”

17) The Horrors – Primary Colours (2009)

16) Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (2007)

15) Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours (2008)

I’ve mentioned previously in this little list that I have an affinity for dance/techno.  What’s missing in my life is a whole album of it that I really love.  Even with In Ghost Colours, I don’t think I’ve quite found what I’m looking for.  For all of its pros (and there are many, this is one sweet-flowing, dancey, poppy, fun (there’s that word again) album) there is one con above them all that I can’t quite get over:  I don’t think Cut Copy are enjoying themselves.  It feels like they’re trying way too damn hard to write the greatest dance album of their time.  For many, they did it, hell, it’s the highest ranked album of its kind on this list at any rate.  But, it doesn’t feel natural to me.  The music is fun, but it feels like it’s taking itself far too seriously, and I have a hard time reconciling those two.

14) Passion Pit – Manners (2009)

13) The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee (2002)

One day, like many others, my (not yet)boyfriend told me I needed to hear Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats.  Now, it just so happens that one time Ian McCulloch said that Bono was nothing but a “Soddin’ Mountain Goat.” So, of course I had to accept.  I don’t know what I expected, but being knocked over by the pure power of what was at its heart prose put to music, and terribly depressing prose at that, was not it.  I listened to Tallahassee a couple times that night, if I’m not mistaken, because I was so touched by what it was saying.  The story doesn’t connect to me quite as much as does another album of theirs, and whether or not I’ll tell that story when the album pops up a little while down the road is not yet clear to me.  Wait and see!

12) The National – Boxer (2007)

“Do you really think you can just put it in a safe behind a painting lock it up and leave”?  I really don’t always get why Matt Berninger gets such shit for his lyrics.  For every 2 or 3 bad idioms or lines, there is at least one far more powerful and beautiful one.  It’s just a pet peeve I chose now to mention, because I think behind those sometimes ridiculous lyrics he really has a great talent.  Boxer came to me when the curator of this here blog decided he was going to do a world cup style  tournament to find the greatest band of all time.  Making the highest league was The National.  Which, blew my mind because I’d never even heard of these guys.  Curiosity got the best of me, and I sought them out via the Youtube.  I wasn’t too impressed with “Mistaken For Strangers” but I figured I needed to delve deeper.  The next on my list?  “Fake Empires”.  I was lost withing about 30 seconds.  I went to, of all places, the library, and rented Boxer.  Don’t tell that I ripped it to my computer :shh:.  For some reason, I only really love The National in the summer, I could find the stats on last.fm to back this statement up, but I hope you believe me at my word.  It’s a little unfortunate, but spring is here, and The National’s time is almost nigh.

11) The Killers – Day & Age (2008)

Albums leak these days.  That is just how it is.  And yet… For weeks I waited for Day and Age to leak, and for weeks it eluded me and everyone else.  Never fear, the release date in Japan was approaching, it wouldn’t be long after that.  Then the release date in Japan came.  Midnight, in Japan, I waited restlessly at my computer for the leak.  1 AM in Japan, still no leak.  Monitoring a Kanye West message board, of all things, because talk of a leak is not allowed on The Killers message board, and for some reason, we refugees chose here to center our efforts.  2 AM in Japan, at this point, you have got to fucking be kidding me, NO ONE in Japan is awake?  Hours pass, still no leak.  Finally it was time for AFI/OLP fan-friend and I to go out to get some dinner.  I was out for a few hours, and when I returned home to check the usual message boards, all I found was message after message of “Where’s Ashley, has she heard it yet?”  Yes, Day and Age, at about 6 or 7 PM in Japan, had finally leaked.  That’s just…insane.  These days, anyways.  Even Justin Freaking Bieber’s new album leaked about two or three weeks before it was due out!  Anyways, I downloaded the album just as fast as I could, and prepared myself.  I was completely and utterly disappointed.  I listened again. The disappointment began to dwindle.  I went to bed (It was about 3 am at this point).  The next day I listened to it a few more times.  My initial reactions of heartache and despair began to dissipate.  People, listen to me.  I am not one to say that an album is a “grower”.  This one is.  It’s wonderful, and for a while there, was possibly one of my favorite albums of all times.  Our passion has cooled, as all relationships with music will over time, but it is still an interesting piece of work that I’ve yet to completely wrap my head around.  Damn it, The Killers, all you had to do was include “Tidal Wave”.

Tomorrow I will post 10-6…maybe, Sunday’s are a bit busy for me.

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