It’s a poet who knows shouting “SHE IS BEAUTIFUL” is more effective than, you know, poetry. But there’s an urgency and intimacy to Sea Change—its heartbreak feels real, and uncontainable—that’s oddly timeless. –Matthew Perpetua, Belle and Sebastian: “The Blues Are Still Blue”, The most-played song in my iTunes has no name: It’s “Untitled,” the opening track from Gas’. –Sean Fennessey. Golly, can’t wait to grow up! The overall effect is less redundant than generous, making Wonderful Rainbow like a pot of gold at the end of another invigorating sky-ride. Change does emo a few better by eschewing melodrama (well, mostly) for the real heartbreak of heartbreak: how very mundane it gets, feeling like shit about somebody. Auto-Tune? To this day there are thousands of people who don’t know what “Grindin’” is about, despite the fact that it is one of the most explicitly told songs ever. Act more stupidly.” That line from “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” the first single off Kanye West’s third album, has a way of sticking with you after every agitated all-caps blog post or awards-show freakout the man’s responsible for: West knows he’s making a scene, but like it or not, that’s just what he does. But the real magic of Mass Romantic lies in Carl Newman’s uncanny ability to craft a cohesive record without diluting the personalities at hand—note how Newman picks up a submissive falsetto to complement Case’s lead vocal in “Letter From an Occupant,” and how Bejar’s staggered phrasing is maintained even as “Breakin’ the Law” is transformed from hushed acoustic demo into fist-pumping album closer. Overflowing with Brian Gibson’s airplane-engine bass roar and distorted chants, Brian Chippendale’s punching drums, and a layer of viscous distortion on top, Wonderful Rainbow is an exhausting workout. Most of what was good about electroclash!) –Grayson Currin, Heading into the 2000s, Beck Hansen was the poster-boy for self-aware emotional detachment—his most famous come-on (“I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?”) may have very well helped usher in the (not so golden) age of irony. The duo construct a junkyard of chart-pop’s most ruthless tricks—swooping falsetto harmonies, rickety house percussion, buoyant reggae piano vamps, a swirling mélange of winsome samples—and yet for all this the songs remain as young and unspoilt as a first crush. It’s a vulnerable yet confident record, and not just because she’s able to effortlessly incorporate contributions from grunge heavy hitters like Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder like it ain’t no thing. –Tom Breihan, My Morning Jacket probably could’ve remade At Dawn over and over again and still ended up with the same font size on festival bills. Now that Wikipedia has spoiled all the Easter eggs, Night Ripper still sports brilliantly catchy (Big Boi Breeders), bizarrely virtuoso (Juelz Mangum Airplane), and oddly emotional moments (Biggie John) to tide you over as you squeeze a five-course meal into a piece of gum, Willy Wonka–style. Unified as much by Jim James’ inimitable tenor as a sense of play and adventure, Z housed feathery R&B (“Wordless Chorus,” “It Beats 4 U”), Who-bangin’ pocket-epics (“Gideon”), and their typical six-string slow burn (“Dondante”). Site also contains reviews, ratings & more. to Four Tet, Kanye West to Joanna Newsom—and the many sides of Radiohead, too—here are the albums who defined the decade. Press play and the first sound you hear is a siren-like blare of an open E string announcing with all the subtlety of Funkmaster Flex that SHIT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN. The music couldn’t be further from dub, but something of the latter’s haunted quality inhabits Grizzly Bear’s tape-soaked music. OK, he did that, too. Most of what was good about electroclash!) That unshakeable notion that you’re going to feel like a 17-year-old no matter what your driver’s license may say! –Amanda Petrusich. –Ryan Dombal. Projection! With The Cold Vein, Can Ox overstepped that line, straddled it, erased it: pissy project-housing elevators and corner bodegas became Jack Kirby battlegrounds, mathematics were dismantled and reassembled into bleak statistical proofs (“Life is mean/ And death is the median/ And Purgatory is the mode that we settle in”), pigeons turned phoenix, and the combination of Vast’s sociopath-cadence wordplay and Vordul’s relentless internal rhymes turned their lyrics into razors that could cut you sure as any twitchy stick-up kid could. So Lekman’s sweet, unposturing songs about first kisses, sublime haircuts, out-of-office replies, avocado-related mishaps, and asthma inhalers travel the Earth, using first-class samples when Lekman can’t fly somewhere himself (not even on the red prop plane from the video). Ghostface Killah – The Pretty Toney Album ; Clipse – Lord Willin' Bloc Party – Silent Alarm ; Lightning Bolt – Wonderful Rainbow ; Destroyer – Destroyer's Rubies ; Girl Talk – Night Ripper ; Deerhunter – Cryptograms ; Air France – No Way Down ; Wu-Tang Clan – The W ; DJ/rupture – Uproot –Ian Cohen, 2 Many DJs ushered in the anything-goes, nothing-matters, shuffle-meltdown vibe of ’00s parties, blogs, and DIY remixers, and some have never forgiven them. By the start of 2005, much of the previous year’s optimism and stridency gave way to seriously bummed indifference, but Bloc Party wasn’t havin’ it. “Song for Sunshine,” a cut authored by Stevie Jackson and Chris Geddes, stands as one of the band’s peaks, and its gorgeous, seamless merger of sunshine pop and Parliament funk is both a total surprise and the perfect counterpoint to anyone who would write the group off as a nothing more than a bunch of shambling, lisping folkies. That they still had the capability for indelible love songs (to women in “The F-Wor”; to hip hop in “A B-Boy’s Alpha”) magnified their humanity; that they spit every syllable over the majestic, rust-covered doom of peak-power El-P reinforced their legend. Music reviews, ratings, news and more. But it’s “Over and Over” that reveals most. After Picaresque, the Decemberists made the leap to Capitol Records and kinda sorta grew a pair, exploring harder rock and epic concept albums. Whether pleasuring herself backed by angelic harps and strings on “Sun in My Mouth” or allowing herself pleasure on “Cocoon,” the singer whispers and clicks her way to ecstasy slowly, deliberately. Our own Nick Mirov said it best, way way back in 2001: “(T)hey no longer sound like the Pixies, Gang of Four, or Wire...they sound like Spoon now.” –David Raposa, At once unassuming and swoon-inducingly gorgeous, Yellow House found Grizzly Bear shedding the crackly, lo-fi chrysalis of their formative years. ..., on the other hand, starts with a grotesque hippo-legged prog cover of “Peter Gunn,” slaps Basement Jaxx on the top, and blasts off. Arriving in the first month of 2000, XTRMNTR hit the Brits like one of those red pills in The Matrix, jolting hungover New Year’s revelers awake to face the reality of England’s “military/industrial illusion of democracy,” whose true goal is to “exterminate the underclass.” But if the Scream were calling for all-out class warfare, they didn’t skimp on the heavy artillery: shotgunned funk (“Kill All Hippies”), fuzz-punk splatter (“Accelerator”), militant house workouts (“Swastika Eyes”), and brown-acid jazz (“Blood Money”). Our new-new-romantic overanxious urbanite narrator of the Dismemberment Plan—let’s call him Travis—seems to have got himself good and heartbroken sometime between 1999’s landmark art-funker. An exegesis on routine, lovemaking, dancing, boredom, and the ever-eroding sense of the new in the world– “like a monkey with a miniature cymbal”– this is the band fully formed. –Tom Ewing, The fact that her most explicitly sexual album is also her most submissive might be a bummer to those who got off on Björk-as-huntress power trips of yore. Lil Wayne’s most recent truly great mixtape should probably be remembered as the one that forced its stoned creator to look outside rap if he wanted to get much higher. Your California Privacy Rights. View reviews, ratings, news & more regarding your favorite band. But there’s an urgency and intimacy to, its heartbreak feels real, and uncontainable—that’s oddly timeless. Back in early 2007, before frontman Bradford Cox’s every move was documented online, Deerhunter used their second album as a canvas on which to chart their aesthetic transformation. –Tom Breihan, Before there were a thousand articles about the “Montreal scene” or a string of side projects by the band’s busy members, there was simply Wolf Parade’s debut, an unabashedly open-hearted collection of offbeat instrumentation—yes, that is a Theremin on “Same Ghost Every Night”—and timeless melodies delivered by the group’s dueling shivery frontmen. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. –Matt LeMay, Listen: The New Pornographers: “Letter From an Occupant”, Nobody really took Jay’s retirement seriously, but The Black Album did close one book: It was the last time we heard Jay’s snarling swagger fully intact. –Grayson Currin, Listen: Joanna Newsom: “Sawdust & Diamonds”, Heading into the 2000s, Beck Hansen was the poster-boy for self-aware emotional detachment—his most famous come-on (“I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?”) may have very well helped usher in the (not so golden) age of irony. Good advice that won’t get you rich: “The best way to touch your heart is to make an ass of myself.” It feels true, doesn’t it? , the three-year wait between the group’s only major label effort and their full-length Merge debut was long and seemingly interminable. Lyra Pramuk: Fountain. Comedy may equal tragedy plus time, but on Rings, the Furries get their laughs in before it’s too late: “Earth will become Saturn II,” Gruff Rhys declares on the title track, describing a planet so addicted to consumption that it’ll one day be encircled by its own waste. At some point the grandiosity should turn to bloat right? They had fun on the weekends (“When the Last Time”), they stunted on other rappers (“I’m Not You”), and they built an elegiac shrine to their homestate (“Virginia”). Getting used! Taken all at once, Rubies is decadent, mapping a haute couture class system of well-off hipster intellectuals, idle painters, subcultural demigods, and of course, the beautiful women always just out of reach; Bejar further cuts his observations with tweedy references to Ezra Pound, Tchaikovsky, the Incredible String Band, and Greek mythology. –Jess Harvell, Nerdiest indie rock album of the decade? Questionable employment options! But while the rest of the world was ready to party like it was 1999, the Scottish tech-rockers were soberly bracing themselves for the 2000s—which, through their bleary eyes, were already looking plenty bleak even before 9/11 and Bush/Blair wartime alliances muddied the picture further. Even more breakups! And that kind of utility is rare. –Jayson Greene, On Twin Cinema, Carl Newman and his band of moonlighting luminaries (including Neko Case and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar) build a film-studio lot’s worth of outlandish sets, and seek to discover that special something that keeps us returning to pop music. The music couldn’t be further from dub, but something of the latter’s haunted quality inhabits Grizzly Bear’s tape-soaked music. –Rob Mitchum, In the vivid worlds he creates as Destroyer, Dan Bejar is a cad, a self-conscious socialite, and the bard of a made-up bourgeoisie, and Destroyer’s Rubies is his best-yet work under the moniker. Nominally a withdrawal into Lekman’s most provincial fantasies, Kortedala lets insularity become a Trojan horse for globalization—after all, Gothenburg is a place where national indie-pop heroes argue over tennis about Christina Aguilera remixes. So “Use It” is a powder-keg of kinetic energy, while “The Bleeding Heart Show” (a song so awesome it made a University of Phoenix commercial seem transcendent) commemorates a missed gig with one of the most towering codas of the decade: Fuck playing for a cause—music is the only cause. Fortunately, the Friedberger siblings weren’t so dismissive, and Blueberry Boat is a modernized celebration of those weird, wonderful detours, both matching and updating the gaudy, playful ambitions of a young Pete Townshend or Ray Davies. s “Georgia...Bush,” but it has everything else except flow-killing DJ tags: Wayne’s fully ripened rasp, top-flight instrumentals, rhymes creative enough to swallow both them and bigger rappers whole, , Grey Poupon, “Raspberry Beret,” syrup, pills, weed, Bloods, Brett Favre, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Donovan McNabb, Pam Grier, a Jamaican accent, an insane “Crazy,” a heartfelt ode to Ciara, a hilarious explanation for kissing his hip-hop benefactor. And this: “I don’t rap, I just shit like a newborn.” It’s dedicated to Wayne’s grandma, and he hopes you got it for free. Pitchfork's 200 Best Albums of the 2000s - Page 2 show list info From M.I.A. Catch up every Saturday with 10 of our best-reviewed albums of the week. © 2018 Condé Nast. Kele Okereke is half Paul Revere, half Bono over fighting-trim tracks that stood out as rhythmically vital and melodically sharp even as it seemed like every new hyped band was getting up for the downstroke. Music Quiz / Pitchfork's Best Albums of the 2000's Random Music or Album Quiz Can you name the Pitchfork's Best Albums of the 2000's? Few songwriters could be responsible for both the bouncing neon synths and David Bowie warble of “I’ll Believe in Anything” and the swaggering slow-burn and breathy, Bruce Springsteen–ish croon of “This Heart’s on Fire,” but Wolf Parade prove that one, Belle and Sebastian had been toying with R&B, glam, and funk for much of their existence, but by the time the group recorded, , their musical chops had finally caught up with the quality and ambition of Stuart Murdoch’s songwriting. View reviews, ratings, news & more regarding your favorite band. But, even if XTRMNTR was just a pose, who doesn’t love a man in uniform?– Stuart Berman, Listen: Primal Scream: “Kill All Hippies”, By 2002, Neko Case had already emerged as one of the most gifted vocalists on the indie landscape, and with her third solo album, Blacklisted, she established herself as a top-flight songwriter as well. Hot Chip make it feel downright essential. Freddie Gibbs / The … –Marc Masters, Listen: Lightning Bolt: “Dracula Mountain”, What a dumb name for this album. Sea Change is easily Beck’s most melancholy record, and the shift was temporary (its follow-up, 2005’s Guero, recalls the goofy excess of Odelay). Look at what follows it, and the backhanded buzzword for naysayers and disgruntled fans is “professional.” You Are Free is, to this point in her career, the last time that Chan Marshall has sounded like the Cat Power most admire—the doe-eyed waif gifted with an awkward poetic grace and burdened with world-weary wisdom. But each track’s muscular incline eventually delivers a rewarding endorphin high. On Vespertine, heaven is lust. An exegesis on routine, lovemaking, dancing, boredom, and the ever-eroding sense of the new in the world– “like a monkey with a miniature cymbal”– this is the band fully formed. The push-and-pull of an on-again-off-again relationship! “You’re trying too hard—surrender,” she tells herself; “I can’t say no to you,” she admits. With the Neptunes as their guardian angels, the Virginia duo did more than just talk dope deals. It’s probably a stretch to call Do Dallas “subversive” when the production gives your speakers razor burn and the “ballad” is called “Fuck This Band.” But think about 2002, when the prominent memes of rock music were wish-fulfillment fantasies of empathy, togetherness, hope, solace... heck, most of the anger was more of a cry for help than anything. , the atmosphere Wolfgang Voigt built from his imagined Black Forest, isn’t an obvious choice but it always seems tailor-made for our lives. On, , heaven is lust. It’s a Pied Piper in a stained white T, leading an irony-enfeebled generation to a candy colored land of unfettered joy. Maybe sincerity doesn’t age. A certain old-timey feel prevails—there’s even a waltz, “Marla,” written 70-odd years ago by a late relative of singer Ed Droste—but the shadowy, dust-moted depth of the music moots its rootsiness. But Vespertine’s docile tranquility offers its own form of strength. Their breakout single, “Off the Record,” managed to be the only song outside of the Sincerely Yours label to evoke the chill-out music of Jamaica and France at the same time. What’s truly amazing about the artistic evolution of Tony Starks is how he’s managed to become a wise, world-weary vet without turning into a bitter old crank, pining futilely for the return of some utterly extinct Golden Age. –Tim Finney, Listen: Tough Alliance: “Something Special”, In retrospect, it’s sort of hilarious people made a big deal of this album as an indie-dance crossover; the notion that rock listeners might recoil in horror at the thought of—gasp!—a minimal beat underneath a pop track. Of course they never did it again; how could they have? The sonic and emotional largesse of A New Chance still shocks, its endlessly unfolding vistas of heartbreaking optimism feeling touchingly generous—they set themselves up for disappointment so we don’t have to. 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