Monday, December 14, 2009

A Decade of Ditties

Lately, I've been seeing lots of lists of the decade's top movies, albums, books, etc., but if I were to compile a list of my favourite albums from 2000 to 2009, I'd be writing for a very long time. So I'm doing something a little different.
But first, a little back story: Last week, I was scanning around on my iPod, looking for something to go with my mood. It was chilly outside, and I wanted to hear something powerful that I hadn't heard in a while. I eventually settled on PJ Harvey's "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea." I really like this album, and considering the amount of music I have, I listen to it comparatively often. But for some reason, this particular time, as soon as I heard those first guitar chords ring out, I was instantly transported back to the winter/spring of 2000. It was my first winter in Japan, and I was loving life. This album was playing in my car non-stop that year, and to this day, whenever PJ belts out "Good Fortune" or "You Said Something," I get all nostalgic for driving on the left-hand side of the road.
This whole scenario got me thinking about the albums that define certain eras for me; particularly, if I had to pick my personal album from each year, what those albums would be. This isn't necessarily my pick for the best album of each year. It's more like the album that takes me back to that year.

2000 - "Return Of Saturn" by No Doubt
2001 - "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea" by PJ Harvey
2002 - "Bleed American" by Jimmy Eat World
2003 - "Elephant" by The White Stripes
2004 - "Coral Fang" by The Distillers
2005 - "Antics" by Interpol
2006 - "Show Your Bones" by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2007 - "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" by Modest Mouse
2008 - "Stay Positive" by The Hold Steady
2009 - "These Four Walls" by We Were Promised Jetpacks

Like I said, these aren't really the best albums of each year; just the albums that I'll always identify with these spans of time. Radiohead's "In Rainbows" is probably a better album than "WWDBTSES" by Modest Mouse, but when I hear the Radiohead, I don't think about rocking out while southbound on I-15 getting ready to party with my friends in SLC. I love how music is so transcendent. It can make us feel things, take us back in time, and tug at our emotions like nothing else.
By the way, if I did make a decade-spanning list of the best albums, it would probably be a hybrid of this one from NPR and this one from The AV Club. Hope you appreciate them as much as I do.

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