Canadians Talking Tech

Noah’s best albums of the decade

by Noah Bloom Posted in Music, Reviews

Very few things are as powerful as music to evoke feelings and bring people together. On that lofty note, here are my ten favourite albums from 2000-2009. The album as a cohesive entity might be dying in favour of single tunes and groupings of tunes into a single product. I’m hoping bands like these hang on to the concept of an album. (Do consider owning the whole thing instead of picking only a few tunes.)

1. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004). This Montreal made it big this decade. Still, this album only grows on you, and it’s even more powerful after seeing their unique live performance. The production of this album is also tremendous.

2. Beck – Guero (2005). I originally thought Beck was going to be a one hit wonder with Loser. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He is without a doubt one of the most innovative composers of the decade.

3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008). I’m thrilled there are albums like this that you can listen to straight through. It’s full of frighteningly sweet vocal harmonies.

4. Eddie Vedder – Music for the Motion Picture Into the Wild (2007). I do love to see when soundtracks are more than licensed singles. Eddie Vedder wrote these tunes specifically for this movie, which happens to be a terrifying and majestic flick.

5. Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert (2005). I believe John Mayer is the most talented guitarist on tour right now. It’s a shame he continues to be pulled in the direction of pop, but this album is pure legendary blues chops and tonal exploration.

6. Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007). I’m not sure what draws me more to put this album on the list: its revolutionary “pay whatever you want” sales model, or the fact that it’s just so damn good and a completely musical escape.

7. The Strokes – Room on Fire (2003). This is my favourite album from the The Strokes. It didn’t do as well commercially as their debut Is This It. Still, their simple guitar ditties somehow make a big rock sound.

8. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008). This album sounds like a change of pace: some East Coast preppy rock. Dig it.

9. The White Stripes – Elephant (2003). This was their major label debut, but still it was recorded over 2 weeks using a four-track covered in duct tape. Keep it simple stupid.

10. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002). Somehow Wilco is still off the beaten track, despite Jeff Tweedy’s solid songwriting. Check out their free concert at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

11. Bonus album is my very own. From my erstwhile Montreal rock band, here’s Far From Shore’s Wazo. There are still a few copies available online, or always from iTunes.

Some other (not huge) best discoveries of the decade: Bloc Party, Bon Iver, Cat Power, Danny Michel (Canadian), John Mayer (I still claim I discovered him as an opening act in a small bar in Cambridge, Mass), My Morning Jacket, Patrick Watson (I knew he was destined for musical greatness 15 years ago), Regina Spektor, The National, The Raveonettes, The Stills (another Montreal band), etc.

What are your favourite albums? Share them below.

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