This is the second part of my series of the fifty best albums of the decade. I am pretty convinced this is the part of my list where I turn into a hipster and some people will turn on me. I am also pretty sure Wilco fans will like a debate. That, or they will like to find my address so they can debate in person.
Albums number forty through thirty one. Enjoy.
40. You Forgot It In People, Broken Social Scene (2002)
A massive Canadian musical collective writes experimental masterpiece and suddenly becomes everyone's favorite band. Buoys the success of individual members like Emily Haines, Feist, and Kevin Drew.
Download: "Cause=Time", " Anthem for a Seventeen Year Old Girl", "Stars And Sons"
39. A Ghost Is Born, Wilco (2004)
The band survives a label change, creates album that documents Jeff Tweedy's insanity, plus a fifteen minute opus involving a synthesizer, which just kind of proves Tweedy's calculating ways. He called "Less Than You Think" the song even die-hard Wilco fans would hate. It's actually one of my favorite Wilco songs because it's so crazy.
Download: "I'm a Wheel", "At Least That's What You Said", "Less Than You Think"
38. A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay (2002)
They fail at being the new U2, but they succeed at being themselves. An album of acoustic mid tempo hymns and piano based poignant ballads, it remains their best album. Contemplative and haunting.
Download: "Politik", "The Scientist", "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face", "Amsterdam"
37. Illinois, Sufjan Stevens (2005)
Part of an insane, possible practical joke of an idea Stevens had to write an album for all fifty states, Illinois is one of the best concept albums ever recorded. Stevens sings both joyous accounts of the history and the people of the state, but also throws in a song called " John Wayne Gacy, Jr." Humorous, informative, and delightful. It never comes across as snide or superior.
Download: "Come On! Feel the Illinoise!", "Jacksonville", "Casimir Pulaski Day", "They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Our Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhh!!"
36. Fantasies, Metric (2009)
Emily Haines' thin sunshine ray of a voice is matched with eighties inspired keyboard riffs and lyrics about Beatles songs and De Lillo novels. More cohesive than their previous works.
Download: " Gimme Sympathy", "Front Row", "Help I"m Alive"
35. The College Dropout, Kanye West (2004)
No one has shaken up the world of hip hop quite like Kanye West. Hyper literate, unafraid of his own preppy image, he wrote songs critical of the current state of the genre and used samples from songs no one else would ever think of. The opposite of gangsta rap is the smart boy swagger brought to us by the son of a college professor.
Download: "Jesus Walks", " All Falls Down", "Through the Wire", "Last Call"
34. Hot Fuss, the Killers (2004)
Dynamic Las Vegas band immersed in eighties pop write bright songs about girls and becomes the biggest band on the planet for six months. They have had better individual songs on their follow-up albums, but those albums are messes thematically.
Download: "Somebody Told Me", "Smile Like You Mean It", "Mr. Brightside", "All These Things That I've Done"
33. Warning:, Green Day (2000)
Underrated adult album from the notorious juvenile punks. The beginnings of their later sound and themes are found here, on a less epic scale.
Download: " Minority", "Warning", "Macy's Day Parade"
32. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters (2004)
Disco never really died, because every once in a while, an artist comes along that reminds us disco was fun. In this decade, it was a band from New York who made it huge in England with their delightful ditties about the Wizard of Oz and out of nowhere covers of Pink Floyd songs. Easily the most fun I have ever had listening to a record.
Download: "Comfortably Numb", " Take Your Mama", "Filthy/Gorgeous"
31. Furr, Blitzen Trapper
Folky Portland band with a unique world view, they made an impact with their fourth album. Another great band in the history of the Sub Pop label, they write songs evoking the naturalism of the Oregon wilderness. They even sing about transmogrification. Certainly one of the great discoveries of the decade.
Download: "Furr", "God and Suicide", "Black River Killer"