We are now at the end of the list that took ten years of listening to crap and awesomeness to make. I will forgive this decade Britney and the like because they brought me these ten albums. That's what makes it all worth it.
The final ten:
10. Stankonia, Outkast (2000)
The famed hip hop duo, one straight up old style gangsta, the other from some other galaxy, produced a nearly perfect album of wildly diverse themes and styles. This album took them from the underground and firmly entrenched them as the kings of hip hop for the decade. Whether you like loud and rocking drum and bass, traditional samples with traded verses, or deep funk, this album has it all for you.
Download: " Ms. Jackson", "B.O.B.", "So Fresh, So Clean", "Humble Mumble"
9. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix (2009)
The new apex of French pop. Delightful, bright, and so damn catchy that it's easy to become obsessed with individual tracks. An over arching theme of history and classical music cements the album, and it remains one of the perfect indie pop records ever crafted.
Download: "1901", "Lisztomania", "Armistice", "Love Like A Sunset, Pt. 1"
8. Kala, M.I.A. (2007)
Her intention was to work with Timbaland, and I have never been so glad an intended collaboration fell through. This album is a stark work of realism, where much of the music that was big in the 2000s was fluffy escapism ( see: the Black Eyed Peas' bigger hits after Fergie joined them). M.I.A. never winces from her ambition, and creates a piece of art that is fearless in its honesty.
Download: "Paper Planes", "Boyz", "Hussel", "World Town"
7. Gold, Ryan Adams (2001)
I forgive Ryan Adams a lot of things- drunken outbursts, bad records, marrying Mandy Moore ( okay, that's my own fan girl issue. I actually like Mandy Moore. A lot). This album remains my favorite of his solo work, a warm album about love, loss, and Sylvia Plath. His most famous tracks remain here.
Download: "Sylvia Plath", "When The Stars Go Blue", "New York, New York", "Firecracker"
6. The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem (2000)
He is a homophobe, a misogynist, and abusive in his lyrics. Every bone in my body tells me that I should object what he is saying. But I can't because he speaks of these things with a world weary humor and a truthfulness that cannot be ignored. Easily one of the best writer's in hip hop, he is backed with strong beats and fearlessness.
Download: "Stan", "The Way I Am", "The Real Slim Shady", "Criminal"
5. Bring Me Your Love, City and Colour (2008)
Stark songs about love. It's really a simple album by Dallas Green, so different than his day job with screamo act Alexisonfire, and while that band is certainly a great band, I always prefer Green on his solo releases, where his gift for melody and introspection shine.
Download: "Sleeping Sickness", "Waiting…", "As Much As I Ever Could", "The Girl"
4. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Flaming Lips (2002)
I'm sorry, but I love both the weirdo psychedelia of the 90s Flaming Lips, and the spaced out prog rock of the 2000s Flaming Lips. Both are entertaining as all hell, because both have Wayne Coyne, who is the most entertaining person in rock and roll. This, their melancholic masterpiece, remains their best known and best work.
Download: " Do You Realize??", "It's Summertime", "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1", "Fight Test"
3. Funeral, Arcade Fire (2004)
Wildly expansive, highly original arrangements from a music collective who used personal tragedy to create an album so unique that it's really hard for me to come up with the words I want to use to explain how much I love this record. I'll try with the following: brilliant, fresh, powerful, and magical.
Download: " Rebellion (Lies)", "Wake Up", "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)", "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)"
2. Kid A, Radiohead (2000)
Radiohead's desire to reinvent itself at every turn has created a catalog of work that is mind-blowing in its creativity and quality. This, their inspired peak, was an album of jazzy orchestral mass of strange songs and cryptic lyrics that was originally divisive, but once the dust settled and everyone remembered that not every album could be O.K. Computer, it became clear that Radiohead was at its best when they surprised us.
Download: "Everything in Its Right Place", "Morning Bell", "The National Anthem", "Optimistic"
1. White Blood Cells, White Stripes (2001)
My favorite White Stripes album changes constantly, but I keep coming back to White Blood Cells. Maybe it's because I discovered them with this album, but certainly it has something to do with the ambition of some of the songs. The primitive percussion of Meg White suits the elaborate guitar playing of Jack White, and they remain the best indie rock duo I can think of. Ferocious, ground breaking rock and roll.
Download: "We're Gonna Be Friends", The Union Forever", "Fell In Love With A Girl", "Now Mary", "This Protector"
That is all for the decade, everyone. I know that some things are missing, but honestly, these are the fifty records released in the last ten years I wouldn't be able to survive without.