Exclusive Features
Anniversaries, Cover Stories, Editorials,
Interviews, Lists, and Comprehensive Rankings

CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

on November 17, 2009, 3:15am
view all

80. Gorillaz – Gorillaz

gorillaz CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Wait, hold on a second… did that dude from Britpop band Blur start a virtual band called Gorillaz that took hip hop, punk rock, electronica, dub and other miscellaneous genres he felt like digesting, squeeze them into a trash culture blender and push the button as if he hadn’t done anything else in his life? Huh? It turned out to be quite an awesome record? Cool! –Jesper Persson

79. Radiohead – Hail to the Thief

radioheadhailtothethief CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

After the deconstructed electro-rock of Kid A and Amnesiac, it only made sense for Radiohead to combine their newfound identity with the brute force rock of OK Computer and The Bends. With Hail to the Thief, Radiohead re-emerged as a living, breathing rock band, but not without ensuring that “the rats and the children” followed along.  –Drew Litowitz

78. Regina Spektor – Begin to Hope

regina spektor begin to hope CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

By turns ethereal and loud-mouthed, enchanting and exciting, and accompanied by the loveliest multi-hued music video, Begin to Hope established Regina Spektor as a major talent (not to mention it made us believe in love again). –Megan Ritt

77. M.I.A. – Kala

jacket CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Together with some of the hippest producers around, M.I.A. rose to stardom when weaving together the genre-mashing quilt that was her second album. Not just setting new standards for what “cool” and “hip” music is but also redefining the terms urban and world music, Kala was, and will remain for  the foreseeable future, one of the most original and memorable albums the 00’s had to offer. -Jesper Persson

76. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

of montreal hissing fauna cover CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Of Montreal pulled off a rare feat in 2007’s Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer? by creating a concept album when it seemed completely uncool to do so. Inspired by Kevin Barnes’ divorce and separation from his child, the result is a beautiful sonic journey through doubt, fear and loss. –Charles Poladian

75. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

dp packshot CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

One of the very best records of the year, Bitte Orca is blast of wonderfully uncertain rhythms paired with killer harmonies. And then there are those insane guitar parts that will equally satisfy fans of King Sunny Adé, Tom Verlaine, Ali Farka Touré, Arto Lindsay, and even Jimmy Page. What? Yeah, exactly. -Aaron Kelley

74. Metallica – Death Magnetic

metallica death magnetic CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Just when you thought they were over and done with, Metallica roars back at the world with a record that’s lightning fast yet melodic, lyrical but badass, potent, and simply pure metal. Death Magnetic makes up for lost time in the band’s history as the greatest in thrash metal, delivering Metallica’s quintessential coarseness, now mixed with the emotional maturity of three (sort of) aged musicians who can still rock the fuck out. –Maria Murriel

73. Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress

belle and sebastian dear catastrophe waitress 2003 CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Ace 80’s producer, Trevor Horn, amplified the band’s essential sound but kept its signature charm on this spectacularly good pop album. The great “Step into My Office Baby” structurally recalls 10cc at their creative best and their homage to Thin Lizzy, “I’m a Cuckoo”, is a sheer delight. –Tony Hardy

72. Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/Love Sounds

justin timberlake futuresexlovesounds CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

The album that fully broke the tether between N’Sync and Justin Timberlake. Justified tackled clean cut pop, but his sophomore effort went dirty, sparking off a lasting creative partnership with Timbaland and penning number one hits in “Sexyback”, “My Love”, and “What Goes Around…”. Many doubted Timberlake’s longevity, but he backed it up after a four year hiatus by going ‘adult’. –Will Hines

71. Astronautalis – Pomegranate

astronautalis pomegranate CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Astronautalis is among the most original and exciting new artists of this century. His storytelling and lyrical prowess, combined with an arsenal of historical fiction and a knack for the theatrical make Pomegranate one of the most unprecedented albums of the decade. –Cap Blackard

70. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American

jimmyeatworld bleedamerican 600445033429 CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

The band’s fourth studio record is one of those rare albums where every song could be a single. Bleed American provides equal doses of outstanding pop songs (“The Middle”, “Sweetness”) and thoughtful ballads (“Hear You Me”, “My Sundown”). –Justin Gerber

69. Weezer – Maladroit

weezer maladroit CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Somewhere along the past few years, Rivers Cuomo decided to be ironic, smugly musing on the perks and pitfalls of fame with campy throwaway tunes like “Beverly Hills” and “Can’t Stop Partying” (featuring Lil’ Wayne). But his quirkiness and genre hopping used to be a lot more sincere, and this is most evident on Maladroit, a wonderfully weird album that stretches itself between 70’s garage thunder (“Take Control”), sunny math punk (“Possibilities”) and um…space rock (“Space Rock”). Chocked with twisted, archaic lyrics, insane riffage, and a song whose video unabashedly celebrated The Muppets, Maladroit always sounds like the band is having fun, and for all the right reasons. –Dan Caffrey

68. Rilo Kiley – The Execution of All Things

rilo kiley   the execution of all things CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Rilo Kiley’s second LP cemented the band as indie’s coolest kids and lead vocalist Jenny Lewis as one of the best storytellers of this generation. Listen to “With Arms Outstretched” to feel the simultaneous sting of fleeting time and the joy of a hopeful future-and clap your hands while you do it. –Anthony Balderrama

67. Battles – Mirrored

battles mirrored CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Like a nuclear blast of innovation and sound coming from another universe closely resembling a mirrored room, Battles dazzled us, intrigued us and entertained us. Mirrored is a testimony of the fun in experimental music and came across as one of the most mind-bending, wildly eclectic and unpretentiously brilliant rock records of the decade. –Jesper Persson

66. The Living End – Roll On

livindroll CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

For the Australian trio’s sophomore release, The Living End continue its revved-up musical strikes from Green Day-inspired pop punk to Stray Cats-esque rockabilly and overall excellent musicianship. Guitarist Chris Cheney’s guitar roars loudly throughout the album, scorching everything in sight with the likes of “Roll On”, “Carry Me Home”, “Don’t Shut The Gate”, and the epic crusher, “Astoria Paranoia”. Talk about a rock album when it’s needed, Roll On not only delivers, but begs for immediate repeats…and this was in 2001! –Jay Ziegler

65. Patrick Wolf- Lycanthropy

patrickwolfalbumpic1 CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Patrick Wolf’s precocious debut was a statement of intent. His obsession with werewolf mythology was in full swing at 19; he changed his name (nee Apps, now Wolf) and released an album loosely exploring the process of transformation. Energetic songs like “Bloodbeat” slid in amongst the more melancholy “Pigeon Song”, whilst “The Childcatcher” explored pedophilic images, establishing itself as both twisted and brilliant. –Will Hines

64. Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy

okkerville bsb CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

In all its powerful alt-folk fury, Okkervil River’s remarkable narrative centered around an assumed character from Tim Hardin’s “Black Sheep Boy” delves into sex and drug abuse, manic depression, fucked relationships, and pretty much everything that falls in between. Will Sheff always had a penchant for vivid imagery and captivating songwriting, but not until Black Sheep Boy did his ambitions and stunning style balance out so damn perfectly. –Drew Litowitz

63. Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way

pedhot red hot chili peppers CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

By The Way proves to be a pivotal album in the Peppers’ career with Anthony Kiedis dropping his broken rapping for more consistent singing while John Frusciante is left with writing the melodies, bass lines, and chord progressions — a deviation from the punk funk fusion they had been known for previously. With tracks like “Can’t Stop” and “The Zephyr Song”, By the Way captured the ears of America in 2002. –Andy Keil

62. U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind

u2 atyclb CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Teaming up with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanios again, U2 made its comeback in 2000 with what’s widely regarded as the band’s third masterpiece. Dealing with the essential things in life, All That You Can’t Leave Behind hits on an emotional level with songs like “Beautiful Day”, “Walk On”, and “Kite”. –Joe Marvilli

61. The Roots – Phrenology

the roots phrenology l CoS Top of the Decade: The Albums

Phrenology was a lean, mean machine. Focusing on hip hop for their fifth studio album, Philadelphia group The Roots took three years to come up with a new sound, all but abandoning their lighter jazz roots. They brought some brilliant featuring artists to the table, and unleashed an experimental album that was groundbreaking yet accessible. –Will Hines

view all
1 comment