For Fans of the Past Decade Pt. 2 (The Great)
That time has come. A decade ago we thought all the computers in the world were going to crash at the very least, or worse, become intelligent and destroy the human race as we know it. Well, like
Run-DMC Public Enemy said almost two decades ago, “Don’t believe the hype.”
But a lot has changed. The music industry especially, maybe more than any decade since the 60′s. While the Music Industrial Complex began to crumble musicians around the world almost immediately adapted (and adopted) to Web 2.0, utilizing social sites to reach more fans than ever before possible. In turn, sites like Myspace replaced traditional marketing, distribution, paparazzi, fan club, gossip mags, even venues. Blogs then became something more than any music magazine or MTV program could have imagined, a place with continuously streaming music, videos, criticism, praise and interaction for musician and fan in kind. Obviously this has produced more flashes-in-the-pan than you can hold in your iPhone. As every new band blips onto the blogosphere radar a new subgenre sprouts around it producing ever more collaborators and imitators, and another 10 gigs of music in your aggregator. No longer can people safely confine themselves to one musical sound or genre to define who they are. Hipsters get a bad name, and deserve most of what’s said about them, but when it comes to music… Well, let’s just say, it wouldn’t be the same without them.
With so much music at our fingertips what really floated to the top at the end of the day? Which albums did you seek out after hearing in an iPod commercial? What bands did you actually pay money to go see live? What was the last analog album you acquired? And what did you miss because you were just overwhelmed with the shere amount of indie bands being heralded as the next Big Thing? [editors note: Big Things are now extinct. Don't expect to see a Big Thing in the future.]
So where does that leave us? At the beginning, of course, but first we need an ending list. A final capsule of what was so we can continue with what is. This is my time-capsule. The albums I think made a huge impact in the past ten years.
This is the second volume. The middle 20 of 60 albums I chose. You can see volume 1 (the bottom 20) here. I hope that many of these will make you nod your head in agreement but I also expect dissent by the boat loads. That’s what this whole blog thing is about, interaction. So tell me what you think.
See the list below.
Download Snobcast here.
40. The Streets Original Pirate Material – Up until Michael Skinner came out I thought Slick Rick was the only Brit who knew about rap.
39. M.I.A. Arular – Up until Mathangi Arulpragasam came out I thought Panjabi MC was the only Indian who knew about rap.
38. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP – Barely sqeaking in the beginning of the decade, Eminem only topped this with that song from his movie about writing songs.
37. Dizzee Rascal Boy In Da Corner – Hey, another rapper from England… and he’s Black!
36. Kanye West College Dropout – This unknown backpack rapper does some beats for Jay-mutherfuckin’-Z and next thing you know gangsters wanna be hipsters and hipsters want to be gangsters and hip-hop is for ever flipped on it’s head.
35. Battles Mirrored – Math-rock? I don’t know what it is either but I know that this album hits harder than Fermat’s Last Theorem.
34. Band Of Horses Cease To Begin – Southern-rock from Seattle? Yeah, it works really well.
33. The New Pornographers Twin Cinema – Indie-rock supergroup from Canada playing power pop? Awesome!
32. Cloud Cult Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus – These are the cutest experimental indie rockers ever created, creating some serious music hidden in really cute melodies.
31. Dangerdoom The Mouse & The Mask – I’ve already posted my appreciation for Doom’s output this decade but this collaboration with Danger Mouse revolving around the theme of Adult Swim is definitely the most fun hip-hop album released this decade.
30. Common Like Water for Chocolate – Oh Common, Common, Common, what happened to you? This is the last link we have to the Native Tongues of the ’90s but then you went and made Electric Circus (which wasn’t as bad as most people would say) and then Kanye came out and you were forever regulated to riding his coattails.
29. The Streets A Grand Don’t Come For Free – No disrespect to Prince Paul but this is how you make a hip-hop concept album. Also, nobody else should ever make a hip-hop concept album.
28. Ghostface Killah Supreme Clientele – So yeah… Ghostface has just about worn out his welcome but this album proved that The Wu would thrive into the new millenium.
27. Jay-Z The Blueprint – Jay-Z was huge in the 90′s but the original Blueprint, now in its third installment, was like a turning point were Jay went from your normal rapper to an elder statesman of not just hip-hop but music in general (more importantly, it spawned a one Mr. West).
26. Lil’ Wayne The Drought Is Over Part. 2 – Remember the kid that invented the term bling-bling? Well it would take almost a decade for Dwayne Carter, Jr. to catch-up with the popularity of that slogan and if he doesn’t (quite plausibly) crash the bullet-train he’s currently riding he could be the rap mogul to replace that other Carter in the decade to come.
25. Lily Allen Alright, Still – She’s just so damn cute when she sings about not having good enough credit to buy a house or about her little brother smoking weed or even about douchey guys hitting on her at bars.
24. Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend – Everythings been said that needs to be said (anyway, Lil’ Jon, he always tells the truth).
23. Sufjan Stevens Come On Feel The Illinoise! – The one thing that makes me sad is that I have a feeling Sufjan only made it through two albums in his States Series and I was sooooo excited for New Mexico! You’re A State, Too!
22. Aesop Rock None Shall Pass – For those of you who think the only good white rappers are three punks from the eighties or some dude named after a brand of candy-coated chocolate or even some dude who loves college, better recognize!
21. Jens Lekman Night Falls Over Kortedala – I’m just going to use this space to shout out my favorite music producing country of the decade (Sweden) and some of the amazing musicians who just didn’t fit into this list, but on second thought probably should have, including: El Perro del Mar, Robyn, The Knife (who might have the best single of the decade with “Heartbeats”), Jose Gonzalez (who might have a top ten cover of the decade with “Heartbeats”), Lykke Li, Sally Shapiro, The Mary Onettes, The Radio Dept., Taken By Trees, Pelle Carlberg, and of course Peter, Bjorn & John (but I already mentioned them).
Download Snobcast here.