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2000s The 300 Best Albums of the 00's  

Clark Benson
36k views 300 items

List Rules No live albums. No compilations.

The rock album theme of the 00s? Consistency. There were unquestionably less amazing records this decade than any other decade in rock. I probably listened to 3-4000 or so discs that came out in the "oughts" and gave just 3 *perfect* scores. But that doesn't mean everything sucked. Good, even great, albums came out in droves. By the same artists. Year after year.

Maybe it's just the way I listen to music (I'm pretty loyal to artists I like) but it was fascinating going through this exercise and seeing the consistency - for example, finding that all of the last 3 Mars Volta records were clustered together, along with the last 3 or 4 MMJ albums, TV On The Radio, Doves, Kings of Leon, the first few Iron and Wine records, etc. It's pretty much the case down the line, from the few credible superstar bands like Green Day, U2, Radiohead, to the old warhorses like Dylan and Springsteen on down to the many excellent bands that never get airplay in these fractured times. And those bands are really the heart of the great rock of the decade - the mid-level Bonnaroo/Coachella/Lollapalooza draws. Highly credible bands that play theatres and put out a bunch of records that aren't quite "10s".
At some point I'll be ranking my whole record collection. With far fewer "10s" in this decade, will I find that the overall number of great records (9+ ratings) are also lower this decade than in the 70's, 90's, 60's and even 80's? I can't wait to find out. I'm pretty damn sure the 70's and the 90's will blow this decade away, but not sure if the breadth of great albums was quite as consistent in the 80's or the 60's (I don't count jazz on this list - hard to compare apples to apples - so the 60's are hampered in my book by getting a pretty late start).

It's also fun to revisit records that - great as they may be - just don't seem a part of this last decade at all. Fatboy Slim? The last studio record from Rage Against The Machine? It also underscores how 2000-2001 frankly just had some more interesting stuff going on. Strange that 2001 feels like sooo long ago. A very fun exercise, this.

Wish I had time to write little blurbs about each record, but at the time of posting I just have too much going on. Blurbs/reviews will be trickling in.

The rankings took a lot of time, even with the ultimate listmaking tool at my disposal. To clarify for you readers who have gotten this far- I listened to (and am pretty likely to own) the entire decade's output by all but about 2% of the bands on this list, so (if you care) you can safely assume that, for example, having Motorhead's "Inferno" on this list does not mean I'm just I am just some dude who scored the odd Motorheaad album, but rather that Inferno was a surprisingly high-quality album by a band that hadn't put out anything consistently memorable in a long time. And so on.

I was originally planning a 200 or 250 item list, but some quality records would have gotten cut. So it's 300 - but in fairness, quality does start to drop around #275 or so.

Expanded Criteria:

Live albums and compilations of all sorts excluded. Had I included live albums, certainly Wilco, Warren Haynes, and many "official bootlegs" would have made the list. Other thoughts - Pearl Jam barely on the list, tho an absolute fave live band. Ditto for Phil and Friends, and Gov't Mule as well. Live versions are just better for these guys. When you make a list, you gotta have some rules (tho, when I do my 70's albums list, I don't see how I'll be able to exclude live albums - we humans are maddeningly inconsistent creatures).

And when I find myself deep in the weeds of trying to slice whether, say, the Starsailor debut beats Gillian Welch's "Time", I ask "if i had to live without ever hearing one of these which would it be?". Such is Ranking.
list ordered by

1
A Ghost Is Born is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

2
Is This It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Strokes

3
Boys and Girls in America is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Hold Steady

4
American Idiot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Green Day

5
The Dirty South is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Drive-By Truckers

6
Kid A is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Radiohead

7
De-Loused in the Comatorium is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

8
The Sophtware Slump is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

9
Decoration Day is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Drive-By Truckers

10
All That You Can't Leave Behin... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

11
Ancient Melodies of the Future is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

12
Merriweather Post Pavilion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Animal Collective - So many reasons why this record blows me away, it almost deserves its own list...
-I am only a marginal fan of their prior records, some i don't like at all, this was like a sea change
-great album cover
-the Grateful Dead connection (MPP was the venue where the AC guys would go see the Dead as kids)
-from seeing them live it appears they make this majesty wtih just 3 guys playing keys and synths?
I could go on, but this is quite simply the most innovative tuneful record I have heard since Kid A

13
Magic is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Bruce Springsteen

14
Now Here Is Nowhere is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Secret Machines

15
Aha Shake Heartbreak is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Kings of Leon - It's not perfect, I think there's a mediocre track or two, but to me this record has more of their utterly timeless tracks than any of their other albums.

16
No Line on the Horizon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

17
It's Blitz! is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

18
Hail to the Thief is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Radiohead

19
No More Shall We Part is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

20
Stories From the City, Stories... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

21
In Rainbows is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Radiohead

22
Oceanic is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Isis

23
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

24
Stay Positive is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Hold Steady

25
Amnesiac is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Radiohead

26
Renegades is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Rage Against the Machine

27
Love and Theft is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Bob Dylan

28
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bom... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

29
Ten Silver Drops is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Secret Machines

30
The Moon & Antarctica is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Modest Mouse

31
Ágætis byrjun is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Sigur Rós

32
You in Reverse is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Built to Spill

33
Panopticon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Isis

34
Toxicity is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
System of a Down

35
Turn On the Bright Lights is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

36
Heartbreaker is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Ryan Adams

37
At Dawn is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
My Morning Jacket

38
Frances the Mute is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Mars Volta

39
The Good^! the Bad & the Queen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Good^! the Bad & the Queen

40
Conqueror is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Jesu

41
XTRMNTR is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Primal Scream

42
Room on Fire is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Strokes

43
Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Bob Dylan

44
Blackberry Belle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
The Twilight Singers

45
The Rising is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band

46
Year Zero is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Nine Inch Nails

47
Return to Cookie Mountain is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
TV on the Radio

48
Our Endless Numbered Days is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's

49
Lost Souls is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
Doves

50
It Still Moves is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The 300 Best Albums of the 00's
My Morning Jacket