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Anton Djamoos The 2000s marked the first decade that I could follow music for the decade from its begin to its end and it's honestly probably the only decade in my life that will be like that. In the 90s I was too young and the 2010s and every decade on will probably be too filled with other non-musical endeavors like paying bills, raising children, and other adult stuff. That means that this decade is pretty important and it made it extremely difficult to pick what I felt were my favorite albums of the decade. No Jimmy Eat World? Blasphemy, but they don't have a single album that I feel is better than any of the albums on this list. No Radiohead? This is my favorites and, honestly, I don't think they're as great as everyone else does. Use that excuse for why I didn't include anything you think deserves to be on this list. Hope you enjoy the list, even if you don't necessarily agree with it and let's look forward to a great next decade in music! Midtown reunion?
- Thrice Live at the House of Blues
Record Label: Vagrant Records
Release Date: Dec. 9, 2008
A live album? Thrice is just too good for this not to be on my list. As I have not felt that any of their albums were strong enough to make it onto this list, this one takes the band in their live element and takes all of their best songs and actually enhances them from the album versions. A compilation of the band's best material, the sound and performance are head and shoulders above other live albums, to make for a unique listening experience of one of my favorite bands of all-time.
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
Record Label: Interscope Records
Release Date: May 23, 2000
The game-changer for rap. No, I can't profess to be an expert in rap (nor even a novice), but this album came out when I was 15. Of course I'm going to identify with Eminem's angry-at-the-world lyrics, but I think I was more impressed with how he strung together phrases effortlessly and did social and political commentary without any fear. The song "Kim" is brutal, but intensely personal and encapsulating a personal connection that the listener has an immediate reaction to. The album is shocking and offensive to anyone that would listen to it, but that doesn't detract from its brilliance. I still listen to it to this day.
- The Dear Hunter Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
Record Label: Triple Crown Records
Release Date: May 27, 2007
Casey Crecenzo took the epic feel from The Receiving End of Sirens and, with complete creative control, turned it on its head with The Dear Hunter, allowing for a rock album that was like a jaunt down a river on a steamboat in the 20s. Does this sound interesting? Maybe not, but it ended up being one of the most creative albums I've ever heard, with sonic influences ranging from southern rock to progressive to classical. The band has its own special brand of music that is unrivaled for me by anything else that's come out in the past few years and this is the best thing the band's recorded so far, so it deserves inclusion on my list.
- Say Anything ...Is A Real Boy
Record Label: Doghouse Records
Release Date: August 3, 2004
Max Bemis was angry, self-loathing, crazy, and arrogant, and we were the lucky ones that got to benefit from Max's issues to get this album. A hugely personal collection of snarky riffs at the culture he grew up in and the people that have wronged him in the past and will in the future, Bemis created the definitive album of his career before he even had a chance to make other music. Can he ever top what he did on this album? Funny at one point, sad in the next line, the way he turns a phrase on this album was something I'd never expected in the scene. It's never been more fun to sing along with someone's misery.
- The Receiving End of Sirens Between the Heart and the Synapse
Record Label: Triple Crown Records
Release Date: April 26, 2005
Everything is going on in this album. In between clashing cymbals, three singers, electronics, and sometimes three guitars, the band does everything right on this release. When it came out, it was one of the most fresh things I had ever heard and everything is done meticulously with an uncanny precision. I'm always discovering new elements to this album and I always always always enjoy listening to it.
- At the Drive-In Relationship of Command
Record Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: September 12, 2000
Pure spastic energy and passion, this one may not have lyrics that are intelligible and may have maracas on certain songs, but it's the combination of every thing that makes no sense into an album that makes perfect sense. Does that make sense? No. But listen to it, and you'll understand why this album hooked so many. You can't not headbang to these songs. Though some may think that the band is martyred for ending right before they hit their mainstream peak, listen to the album and you can clearly see why so many people hold them in such special regard. They truly empowered the rock scene and put passion on display.
- Brand New Deja Entendu
Record Label: Triple Crown Records
Release Date: June 17, 2003
The game-changer. This is the album that started the craze of the "mature" pop-punk sound and did it with such brilliance that, really, it will never be duplicated. You can take any album from a genre and see how it revolutionized every thing else in that genre, from Pet Sounds to most of the Beatles albums, and Deja Entendu did just that for our little scene. No more were bands going to get away with the simple, snotty three-chord songs, substance became key and many other bands set out to make their own Deja. Pretty much a perfect album in every respect, it found Jesse Lacey channeling his teenage angst from Your Favorite Weapon and his clever wordplay into a much more mature and honest album that really spoke to everyone that heard it. Who wasn't impressed by this album when it first came out? The pop-punk kids loved it, the indie snobs respected it, the rock fans rocked to it. Seven years later it's lost some of its luster in terms of breakthrough albums, as the band has shown that they have had the potential all along with their follow-ups, but this is the one that really ensured that the band was going to be a force.
- Midtown Save the World, Lose the Girl
Record Label: Drive-Thru Records
Release Date: March 9, 2000
In early 2000, my friend was showing me this awesome Internet thing called Napster. I knew next to nothing about computers/online at the time so I was both perplexed and amazed. He downloaded songs from two bands that I had never heard of, One Cool Guy and Midtown, both native New Jersey bands. I loved both and went home intending to do this Napster thing myself. I downloaded the program and, on my 56k connection, my choices were limited so I downloaded two songs by Midtown at random, "Just Rock and Roll" and "Let Go." These songs had me hooked from the second I heard them; I knew that I had to go out and get this CD. It was difficult to find it at first because Drive-Thru was a small label at the time but eventually I found it and it became history. I think the tri-vocal harmonies initially caught me but everything about it was so different from anything that I had been listening to and appealed to me in a different way: it was fun, it was honest, and it rocked. I found it particularly interesting that the guys of Midtown were hardly older than I was and were from my area of Milltown, NJ. At the time, I must have been the only person who didn't know the words to Jay-Z's "Can I Get A," but I didn't care because I was too busy singing along to songs like "Come On" and "Recluse." This album made me officially become obsessed with music and led me to other bands in the genre such as A New Found Glory (remember when they had the A?), Unwritten Law, Thursday, Millencolin, and At the Drive-In. Save the World, Lose the Girl was an album that changed my life, as it set a course for what my musical tastes have become. If it weren't for this album and this band, I would honestly be a completely different person. Years later, I still have this album in regular rotation and still love it as much as when I heard it that first time back in 2000 only now every song retains its own memory. Hey, it's just rock and roll.
- Midtown Forget What You Know
Record Label: Columbia Records
Release Date: June 24, 2004
Midtown was dead to me more than once. After Living Well is the Best Revenge didn't fare well mainstream and the debacle between Geffen/Drive-Thru, Midtown was tossed to the side and they all but disappeared. It was at this time that I nearly gave up on the band and turned to find another favorite band until there were hints of return. They started updating their web site. They got this new thing called "Myspace" (before it became huge) and they debuted a new song they had written on their own, "Is It Me, Is It True?" The song was so different but so welcome. "Sex is old, old and boring..." The first time I heard that line, I was thrown back. What is this pop band doing with lyrics like this? When they returned, they hit me perfectly when I needed them, as I started questioning life around me with the same insecurities everyone feels with college and higher learning along with all of the bull shit that comes with being an adult. Pure introspection on the part of Mr. Saporta, this album was medicine and it helped me cope through break ups and the dramas that come with growing up. The best pure rock album I've ever heard, I can listen to this album whenever and find new things to love about it. Any of you that bad mouth his work in Cobra Starship, listen to Gabe Saporta's lyricism on this and realize that he can really write fantastic lyrics. The biggest "should have been" album I've ever heard in terms of mainstream exposure, this one will always be mine.
- Thursday Full Collapse
Record Label: Victory Records
Release Date: April 10, 2001
The easiest selection for this list, as it's my favorite album of all-time. Midtown was the band that ushered me into this music scene, but Thursday was the one that cemented it with this album. The first time I heard it, it was unlike anything I'd ever listened to and everything about it just swelled with passion. These were guys from the same area in New Jersey I was from talking about the same things I was thinking about and just playing their hearts out. I respected the fact that Geoff wasn't the best singer and the fact that there were imperfections about the recording; the raw nature of this album really made it that much better. If you're looking for an album to perfectly encapsulate the underground movement and the true passion that gave rise to the term "emo" in the mainstream, look no further than this album, as it is the crown jewel of the scene and what it can really bring.
09:25 AM on 01/17/10
that eminem cd came out in 2000, i believe.
09:50 AM on 01/17/10
Marshall Mathers LP is definitely one of the best records of the decade
10:25 AM on 01/17/10
The best AP staff list by a country mile. Live at the House of Blues, Marshall Mathers LP, Act II, Between the heart and the synapse and Deja Entendu are all also on my top 10 albums of the decade for the exact reasons you've mentioned above.
10:26 AM on 01/17/10
It certainly wasn't 2003.
10:56 AM on 01/17/10
full collapse number 1 = YES!
11:09 AM on 01/17/10
AP.Net's resident comedian.
Brilliant List Anton!
11:37 AM on 01/17/10
I absolutely love this list and I definitely agree with Anton's intro. If you were a teenager or in your early 20s during that time, the music of the past decade most definitely defined you. I know it did for me.
11:38 AM on 01/17/10
Thanks for including ...is a Real Boy. That album made my decade.
02:07 PM on 01/17/10
Full-Collapse is the first album I ever bought with my own money back in middle school. I had to sneak it in the house because my parents didn't want me listening to anything other than DC Talk and The Newsboys. That album is pure gold.
02:11 PM on 01/17/10
Awesome list, that live Thrice album is a favorite. And Deja, Say Anything, Midtown, and Thursday, nice. Agree with the intro as well.
02:41 PM on 01/17/10
Love the Midtown love... but surprised Living Well Is The Best Revenge isn't on there.
03:51 PM on 01/17/10
Love to see Live at the House of Blues on there. It's probably my favourite live album of all time.