Sunday, September 18, 2011

Paste Magazine's Best Albums of the 2000s

Paste magazine published a list of the top 50 albums of the 2000s (2000-2009).  Sadly, we have to specify the exact range of years because it's the decade that never got named.  Here's their top 10 with Sufjan Stevens at #1.  I have a lot of trouble thinking about the best albums of the 2000s because I stopped listening to albums early in the 2000s.

In fact, some of the last CDs that I listened to over and over again all the way through are from 2000 or 2001.  Even then, I mostly only listened to single CDs when I was somewhere the speakers connected to my 400-CD-changer couldn't reach.  There should be a museum of the most rapidly obsolete technology for items like that 400-CD changer.

Anyway, back in 2000 or maybe 2001, when I was digging a hole for the sump pump in the crawl space of our new house, I had a boom box that I listened to under the house.  Ryan Adams' "Gold" and the Old 97's' "Satellite Rides" were my digging music.  Nothing really says "I just spent all my money and left the city and now I'm getting muddy and my back hurts" like major label alt-country CDs.  Ryan Adams' "Heartbreaker" make the Paste list at #23, and that is a good record, but "Gold" was better digging music.

I think Paste left off Neko Case.  Maybe I just don't understand the Paste demographic, but I think Neko Case had at least two CDs, if not 3, that could have been strong contenders for best of the decade.  Sharon Jones and Calexico are also surprisingly absent.  I'm not saying this just because they would have been on my own list.  I'm saying they seem like the sort of artistis who belong on a Paste list.  I'm interested in their selection of Outkast at #8 with Stankonia.  Would that have made their top 10 if Outkast hadn't broken through commercially with "Hey Ya" later in the decade?

In any case, CDs just don't work well for me as the unit to be ranked, especially for the 2000s.  That's why when I made my list I made it a best 300 songs list.  Nonetheless, the Paste list did remind me of a number of records I've been meaning to get around to listening to someday.  Rufus Wainright is on their list at #16.  I assume from what I read about him that I'd like Rufus, but I've just never gotten around to buying any of his stuff.  Maybe if I do I'll feel he was cheated out of a spot on my own best of the decade list.

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