So who exactly were the most influential musical artists of the past decade? Springsteen? Radiohead? Clay Aiken?
Well okay, two out of three ain't bad, right? But as we draw ever closer to the dawning of 2010, perhaps the more important question is why should we care? Fear not my friends, because your Rockologist has answers.
For sure, there are certain things which remain both constant and consistent when one decade bleeds into another. The doomsday nuts come out like clockwork, for one thing. In 1999, it was Y2K. This time around its the Mayan prophecies about 2012.
The other constant is the ongoing debate about whether decades begin and end with the double zeroes, or with the numerical designation of '01. For our purposes here, we're going to go with the 00's. Since both Rolling Stone and NME have already set the precedent, Blogcritics would be hard-pressed to go against the established grain by coming out with our own belated lists next year, right?
But back to the central question at hand: why should we care?
At a time when most of us in America are just waking up from the long national nightmare of the Bush years, only to find ourselves staring down at the cold, waking reality of more of the same under a President Obama who bares little resemblance to the candidate who so captivated us in '08, perhaps we shouldn't care.
But if nothing else, music represents escape from that hard, cold reality.
And for those of us who spend long, lonely nights huddled over our computers worrying and writing about it when we really should be out there trying to find real jobs (or at least trying to get laid), music represents something more.
A lot more actually. We care about where it has been because those memories represent unique snapshots in the fabric of our own lives. We care about where it is going because, in a lot of ways, it represents our hopes and dreams for an uncertain future.
Beyonce and Jay Z aren't likely to change that future anytime soon, but the fact remains — The Beatles and Dylan once did.
But enough of that sort of heaviness.
My own picks for my favorite albums (note that I said favorite, not best) of the past ten years will be coming in the third and final installment of this recap of the past decade and the past year. Those will come down to my own opinion, and nothing else.