Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Best Albums of the Decade: 10-1

As pop culture aficionados, your friends at Culture Blues are not immune to the end-of-decade lists currently overwhelming the internet. As the year comes to a close, and we get progressively lazier, please enjoy Listmania, where Culture Blues ranks their favorite shit in a bunch of different categories

The orchestra swells as we reach the conclusion of our list of the Decade's best albums. This is the cream of the crop people; all of these records were not only great, they were also groundbreaking, innovative, and ARE the best! If you missed any (or want to relive the experience) the following links will take you to where you want to go. 50-36, 35-21, 20-11.


10) Neon Bible - Arcade Fire

(10) Neon Bible - Arcade Fire


I went back and forth for a long time on this one. I knew that I was going to put an Arcade Fire record here at number 10, I just had a hard time with whether it would be Funeral or Neon Bible. This quandary essentially boils down to the age-old musical argument... Which is better: The raw vibrancy of a debut, or the refined sophistication of a later release? There is no definite answer to this question; some debuts are stunning (Appetite For Destruction, Slanted and Enchanted, Led Zeppelin, Are You Experienced?), they have the unrestrained passion of songs that the artists had been working on their entire lives. On the other hand, when a band's soul becomes unfenced by no longer needing to worry about day jobs, and record labels allow them to explore and experiment in the studio, the results are often astonishing (Led Zeppelin 2-3-4, Electric Lady Land, O.K. Computer). As you can see, I have thought about this for a while.

In the end, I decided to go with Neon Bible because it is just a more complete experience than Funeral. The sound that emanates from your speakers when listening to Neon Bible is a beautiful jumble of Baroque-pop that fills your ears with resplendence. You can hear the traces of a variety of instruments swirling through Neon Bible's mix; they're all played with the Polyphonic Spree-like joy of the "if you got em', play em" mentality that is an Arcade Fire recording process. This record is lush, riotous, and at times quite French (Canadian) but it sustains a warm glow throughout its 47 minute run time. With songs like the mandolin tinged Keep The Car Running, the organ meets accordion radiance (you read that right) of Intervention, the AF trademark violin + snare punctuation of No Cars Go, and the GMajor stomp of the Springsteen influenced Antichrist Television Blues (my personal fave), I can lay my head down tonight confident that I chose the right record. (GC)



9) The Marshall Mathers Lp - Eminem

(9) The Marshall Mathers Lp - Eminem


What does it take to be the first white rapper to ever sell a bagillion records AND earn some legitimate street cred? Well, first, it helps if you don't look like this, or sound like this. Then, it is important to get a respected mentor who is a superstar rapper/producer/entrepreneur, and finally you have to NOT be a gimmick. After the release of Eminem's hugely successful Slim Shady LP (an album full of all the hits and "funny videos" that one could want), people were lined up around the block to see if the rapper could deliver a follow up that... Well... Delivered. Once the Marshall Mathers LP dropped, it was obvious to everyone that he was no gimmick. Eminem was the perfect figure for his time; a brash, intelligent, and media savvy emcee, he was the last salvo of MTV's relevance (for a person who said he hated all things TRL, he seemed to be on there a whole lot).

There was a tone of humor to Eminem's first record which all but vanished from the Marshall Mathers LP. Em's second major label release is a much darker and more personal album, that ruminates on his rise to the top of the charts, and calls out all of the people who pissed him off along the way. A highly explicit album, numerous lines were censored on all retail versions due to allusions to the Columbine tragedy, and descriptions of dead toddlers. This album was wrought with all the controversy a record label could dream of for its biggest star; the Marshall Mathers LP was protested by Women's advocacy groups, derided by anti-defamation leagues, and generally hated by anyone who took offense easily. Of course, all of this is merely a footnote in the tale of an album that should only be judged by its musical content. Songs like I'm Back and Kill You are undiluted portrayals of Emenim's wit, self-awareness, perspective, and signature delivery, while Kim is a frantic, grim, and at times too-real fantasy sequence where he kills his ex-wife (it is seriously intense). This record also has his two most successful singles, Stan and The Real Slim Shady, songs that are both great, but after 10 years we have all heard far too many times (it is okay to admit it). (GC)

8) Fever To Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

(8) Fever To Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs


The philosophy that Karen O and Nick Zinner adopted when forming their band was simple; essentially they wanted to care more about attitude than they did about theory, and the result of this doctrine is Yeah Yeah Yeahs, THE most original band to come out of New York this decade. This band IS the reason that Brooklyn became the Mecca for ALL hipsters and D-Bags the world over (trust me, as a life-long New Yorker, I can assure you that Williamsburg was anything but a desirable locale in the 90s). There have been few E.P.s that I can remember that got people in as big a tizzy as Master (Y.Y.Y's first release), you could literally hear the squeals from the Village Voice offices all across the city, and the salon lines for asymmetrical haircuts wrapped around the block. The kids were going nuts, and they were salivating for a full-length album to sink their teeth into... The pressure was not too much for Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Fever To Tell fucking kills; it is raw, visceral, and wants to kick you in the head. There are elements to this record that are so edgy you definitely need a tetanus shot before a listen: the "now everyone is using it" Echo-Plex delay, the RP-20 loop mastery, the angular and sputtering drum dynamics, and of course the supernatural growl and timbre of Karen O's voice (one of the best studio voices in rock today). The whole is much greater than the sum of its badass parts though; Fever To Tell has some intensely exhilarating songs on it! The opener (Rich) starts of with eighteen measures of an "analog-round" Echo-Plex loop, before unleashing a torrent of post-punk fuzz, Man is a free form bombastic blues for a generation of kids that know nothing about the Mississippi Delta, and No No No has the kind of shifts in feel that you wold expect from a prog band. The two greatest moments on the record are the exceptional Y Control (my favorite song off of Fever To Tell, and a staple of Friday nights all over the city) and their "MTV hit"/sweet love song Maps; both show more clear versions of the band's appeal... and why they acquired their renown. (GC)

7) Late Registration - Kanye West

(7) Late Registration - Kanye West


Like I mentioned back in number 26, Kanye West is an unlikable fellow. He also put out three tremendous records in the Oughties (fuck 808's). Much like the Arcade Fire entry in the top ten, this slot was debated furiously; the arguments for College Dropout vs. Late Registration were fierce, feelings were definitely hurt, and in the end we went with Late Registration 'cause it had a tiny bit more polish and didn't have a song with the word Jesus in the title (kidding...kinda). This album does not contain the story of his near fatal car accident (College Dropout), nor was it the one that had him opening up for U2 (Graduation). This record featured the Kanye that we should have had forever; a different Kanye, a kinder, gentler Kanye... one whose voice had a now nowhere to be seen mix of humility, and appreciation of his success. A very human, very un-Kanye, Kanye.

The first element that draws one's attention on Late Registration is the production. The near absence of auto-tune makes this just about the greatest interpretation of Chipmunk Soul to date. The merging of mo-town and traditional boom-bap within the digital sphere of pro-tools makes the beats on Late Registration damn near flawless. Once you process the digital ear candy of songs like Gold Digger and Touch The Sky, you are engrossed and entertained by the lyrical content of the rest of the record. Heard Em' Say (my favorite track on the record) depicts the antithesis of a postcard urban universe, with its pun-riddled verses about government aide and cop cars it provides a sublime accompaniment to the piano accented Philly-sound arrangement. Hey Mama is a song that is even more poignant now, in the light of the tragedy that befell Mr. West's mother, than it was at the time of its release, and Roses tells a sorrowful tale of hospitals, x-rays, and mortality. All in all, Late Registration is a complete and oddly admirable record from an emcee who now demands we bow in the presence of his greatness. (GC)

(06) Is This It? - The Strokes

(6) Is This It? - The Strokes


When I was in college it took me a while to understand why everyone was wearing a studded belt and no one combed their hair. On my way from class to class I would pass students wearing super tight black jeans and denim jackets, and wonder if they were all a part of some gang that my fade would not allow me to join. I finally built up the courage to ask a friend about the style fad that had our school in its grips and his answer was short and concise... "It's all on account of The Strokes" he said. I looked at him blankly, and he went on to tell me about this five piece from the Lower East Side; their sound (the terms neo-garage or garage-rock revival had not been coined yet), their style, and of course, their record. After class, I went to my local music shop (this is before BitTorrent) hopped on the train, popped it into my CD player, and instantly understood.

You see, music has an indefinable ability to take a location on our planet and turn it into the most important place of the moment. Like the spandex clad Los Angeles of the 80's, and the flannel draped Seattle of the 90s, the Oughties belonged to New York; it was just split into two different phases. A few years before they all took the L train across the East River, hipsters used to fill hole-in-the-wall bars on the Lower East Side and pretend to be these dudes. The style wasn't new, they didn't invent a genre or anything. What they did do was stake a claim on cool. The Strokes took a look at the pop star/model dominated music scene, and effectively made it all obsolete with their cynical, stylized, and dispassionate debut. These are the kind of kids who can't be bothered to be impressed by a single thing you say or do, and it is that aloofness that make this record rad and lands it here on the countdown. Just listen to the apathy of Someday, the whine of Hard To Explain , and the downright irreverence of Barely Legal,and it is easy to see why they became the champions of the disaffected. It isn't all eye-rolling and smirks though, two of the more lively songs on the records are also the band's biggest American and U.K. hits (Last NightN.Y.C. Cops), and show that they can sweat a little... If they can be bothered to, that is. (GC)

(5) Elephant - The White Stripes

(5) Elephant - The White Stripes


I distinctly recall a summer where the mainstream media was trying to lump The White Stripes in with all the other "The" bands of the turn of the Century (you remember The Hives, The Vines etc.). Man, could that uninformed generalization have been more wrong? While the rest of the bands with the word "The" in their name were trying their best to be The Stooges-light, The White Stripes wanted nothing more than to be different from everybody else. Starting way back with the bands self-titled debut in 1999, Jack and Meg White had been trying to post-punk the blues in a way that wasn't derivative or banal. Each release that followed pushed the band towards their goal (they did need to learn to play their instruments after all), and in 2001 they released White Blood Cells, an album that almost killed the garage-rock revival before it started (after all, there are no Hotel Yorbas and We're Going To Be Friends on their contemporaries' records). White Blood Cells could have easily made it onto this list, it is a really good record... But... Elephant is better.

From the second you hear the octave dropped B that starts off the faux bass-line riff of Seven Nation Army, you can hear the evolution; their sound had expanded, their songwriting was better, they were the new and improved White Stripes, and they wanted to show off. Whatever algorithm Jack White uses to come up with his tunes had been perfected during the recording sessions for Elephant, and we, the listeners, would reap all of the benefits of his now-refined messy genius. The White Stripes were now using their aesthetic to showcase themselves to a very formidable degree; songs like The Hardest Button To Button and I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself sound like no one else in music and are as impressive as they are singular. The greatness of this record is not limited to its radio dominant singles; there are some really great tracks that were not as "mainstream friendly", like the surf/psycho billy inspired Hypnotize, the deconstructed near avant-garde artistry of Little Acorns, and the melt your face off blues freak-out that is Ball and Biscuit! Thank god they weren't just another "The" band. (GC)

(4) Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips

(4) Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips


"Her name is Yoshimi, she's a black-belt in karate." She is also the protagonist of my favorite record of the entire Decade, the unforgettable Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, by The Flaming Lips. The tenth album in the Lips' illustrious catalogue, Yoshimi tells the story (loosely) of  a young lady who must battle an army of robots who view us humans as mercurial, irrational, and undeserving beings. As it weaves this tale, it also provides us with unfathomably deep (and sometimes rather maudlin) ponderings on issues as diverse as mortality, vanity, love, deception, war, pacifism, and artificial intelligence/emotion. It is a record of unparalleled and inconceivable sonic achievement, with staggering production and compositions of unsurpassed and seemingly endless creativity. The journey this record takes you on cannot be measured with "11 songs" or "47.4 minutes," but rather, with a feeling of escapism that is beyond words. This isn't an album. This is a TRUE work of art.

When I first got my hands on Yoshimi, it was among other burned CDs that I had gotten from a band mate. I was not aware of it in any way other than it was new Flaming Lips and I was a big fan of The Soft Bulletin. I gave it a listen first, intending to do no more than give it the musical equivalent of a skim... I never got around to hearing those other records. My mind was completely blown. Every track that came through my speakers was an aural conquest; first I got myself familiar with "story tracks", the filtered jangle of the semi-acoustic Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt.1 and Fight Test, the trip-hop melancholy of One More Robot/Sympathy 3000/21, and the heartbreaking downtempo ambience of All We Have Is Now. After I had fully appreciated those songs, I let myself explore the atmosphere of their instrumentals (Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon, and Yohsimi Battles Pink robots Pt.2), their non-story amazements  (Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell, In The Morning of The Magicians), and every other second of this record's near life-changing majesty. The density of wonder on this record is impossible to take in all in one sitting, thankfully that gives you an excuse to hear it again and again. (GC)

(3) Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco

(3) Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco


Of all of the records in the top ten, this is the only one of them that can be classified as vulnerable. Jeff Tweedy is the kind of singer/songwriter that has no problem being candid with his poetry and confessions. The opening lines to Wilco's fourth studio album are, "I am an American aquarium drinker/ I assassin down the avenue," "I'm hiding out in the big city blinking/ What was I thinking when I let go of you." That kind of sincerity is often hard to find in music, most artists are so hung up on sounding deep, or not sounding trite, that they forget how powerful feelings and honesty can be. Wilco's lack of put-on is one of the reasons they have the most devoted fans in music, and why they have survived for so long through the ever changing industry terrain of the near 15 years they have been releasing records. They have a couple of albums that can be considered classics (A Ghost Is Born, Summerteeth) but chief among them is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

It is worth pointing out that Wilco's record label did not want to release this record; due to a failed merger (or some other boring business bullshit) Warner Brothers. was under a lot of pressure to cut costs. They appointed some clueless asshole (Mio Vukovic) to monitor the progress of this record and pitch suggestions to the band, and he detested it. After Vukovic sufficiently poisoned the well at Warner, the execs believed there was no single on the record, and in June of 2001 they asked Wilco to leave the label. Instead of financial compensation, Wilco asked for the masters of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The band then decided to stream the record on their website (a radical idea back then), while they shopped it and finally ended up singing with Nonesuch, a different subsidiary of Warner Bros., who took them back after critical acclaim helped them realize the gravity of their mistake (man the industry is screwed up sometimes).

All controversies aside (there is another one involving longtime member Jay Bennett's release), Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the most heartfelt, noisy-yet-serene, and winsome records that has been released in the post-alternative world. It is one of those pristinely pure records that sounds good in your dreams, your headphones, your car, and your memories. It is an American Classic that was just awaiting its unveiling and discovery; I can not ever recall a record shattering expectations that were SO oxygen thinning high- this record was supposed to be amazing, and it is. I could list just about any track of this album and proclaim it a highlight; there is the bubble-like delicacy of the percussion that introduces I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, the violin adorned peacefulness of Jesus etc., subliminally non-invasive electronic blips and drum-machine flourishes of Heavy Metal Drummer, down-strum chill of Kamera, or coked-out Country ramble of I'm The Man Who Loves You (complete with horns!). This record is SO good it doesn't just belong on this list of praise, it belongs on ALL lists of praise! (GC)

(2) The Blueprint - Jay-Z

(2) The Blueprint - Jay-Z


One has to assume that the South Bronx residents who got together for block parties in the late 70s were completely unaware of the fact that they were starting a cultural revolution. Built on a foundation of DJing, break dancing, graffiti, beat boxing, and rapping, Hip-Hop emerged from the public basketball courts and parking lots of "the Boogie down," and onto the social landscape, due to the hunger (both literal and figurative) and reality of the street. Since its early days of Kangol hats and gold rope-chains (I really wanted one of those back then), the one time "passing fad" has become the singular most influential cultural entity post Kurt Cobain, and NOTHING has even come close to dethroning it. Once the genre began to develop its own genuine stars (no offense Sugar Hill Gang), and America figured out how to accept/market it, Hip-Hop became mainstream and developed its own icons and legends like Biggie, Pac, and Jay.

The story of Jay-Z is the quintessential post Lyndon Johnson urban metropolis fairy tale. A now almost timeworn saga of rising from the projects to the top of the charts, that still shines as a beacon of hope to kids today. Jay-Z has reached levels of power and money that would make Solomon blush; he has his own clothing line, cologne, vodka, shoe, watch, night club, basketball team, satellite, and string of islands in the south pacific, all of which were earned thanks to his flow, esprit, and guile. This kind of success has only been equaled by one of his "peers," but Puffy can't rap worth a damn and is no more than Biggie's coattail rider, while Master P's "empire" was amateurish at best. Such are the width and breath of Jay-Z's accomplishments, he is the only emcee to have truly conquered the street and Madison avenue; there are a myriad of reasons for his supremacy, Reasonable Doubt, Hard Knock Life, Life and Times, and the aiguille of his catalogue, The Blueprint.

In order to combat bootlegging, The Blueprint was released a week ahead of schedule. Roc-a-fella executives could not have predicted that the new release date was the blackest and darkest day of this American Decade; not even 9/11 could keep The Blueprint from attaining its place in the annals of Hip-Hop. The legend of The Blueprint begins with the recording process; it is said that it was cut in two weeks, and Jay allegedly penned the lyrics in TWO DAYS! At the time of The Blueprint's conception, Mr. Carter was experiencing some trials and tribulations (he was awaiting two trials for gun possession and assault), he used the recording process to block out the worries and distractions which led to a renewed focus and vigor. All of these factors created an environment that produced Jay-Z's greatest record, an album that managed to blend the mainstream appeal of Soul & R&B (yes Kanye is on board as one of The Blueprint's many producers) and the vivid street poetry/prose that Jigga has made his own. With colossally huge hits like IZZO and Girls, Girls, Girls this album's radio play was not just relegated to the country's rap stations, those jams made this record a must have, but it's tracks like Never Change and Song Cry that show off the glory of this album with their heartfelt proclamations and throwback samples. My favorite track would have to be the brutal "diss track" Takeover, a cut that bends Nas over Jay's knee and gives him the spanking he deserved for trying to blast Jigga (Nas should have known better).

In the now almost ten years since The Blueprint dropped, Jay has retired and come back and continues to be the foremost personality in the game (your folks know who Jay-Z is); this album still serves as a template for Hip-Hop records today (we are talking hundreds of copycat albums people)... and you know what they say... imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. (GC)

(1) Kid A - Radiohead

(1) Kid A - Radiohead


You know you saw this one coming. Putting this list together took a lot of work; numerous hours were spent listening to records (you have to immerse yourself in order to get to the heart of something), researching band histories, and tracking down album art. There were some extensive deliberations, moments of doubt, and even, some wonderful periods of discovery. A lot of this list was fluid and amorphous as it was compiled, but there were a few albums that were set in stone; Kid A was one such record. I knew on the first draft of this list that Kid A would be number 1; it is the kind of bold and forward thinking statement that you know art was intended to express. Radiohead saw the future with this record; the specter of the information age was looming on the horizon and Thom Yorke and company were among the first to be made uneasy by it. Kid A is a reaction to a cold world of technological dehumanization, it is a treatise on the prospects of a digital Millennium and the new anonymous face of disaffection, it was also so far ahead of its time sonically that bands are still sprinting in an attempt to catch up.

Few bands ever drop a record as monumental and seminal as O.K. Computer; in the band's excellent documentary, Meeting People Is Easy, one watches as the press actually asks Thom Yorke questions like "What is it like to know that you have made the best record of the last twenty years?" and "Were you aware of the impact this record would have on the music world as you were recording it?" This kind of insane hyperbole scared the crap out of Radiohead... They were well aware of the fact that there was no possible way they could release a record that would be able to match the vision and acclaim of O.K. Computer (Zeppelin had a similar problem after they released 2). So what did they decide to do? Well, they took the hardest of all possible lefts and spat in the face of convention by putting down their instruments and reinventing the band of the moment.

The very first sound that you hear on Kid A is the middle C of a Nord Lead,; not a Fender Telecaster, not a Takamine acoustic, not even a Remo drum head, but a Swedish keyboard. After that the convoluted, warped, and almost indecipherable samples of Yorke's voice begin to fade in and out of hard pans, before he assures you that Everything is in its Right Place. I have heard many people's stories about their experiences listening to Kid A for the first time, in most cases people didn't get it, some were annoyed by it, and others disappointed, but they admit that upon further exposure its genius came into focus. I like to compare it to the first time one sees an impressionist painting; your entire life you are exposed to the trained hands and eyes of classical masters, so it comes as quite a shock when you see some Van Gogh or Monet for the first time, but after your mind is opened to the possibilities of art you become aware of other forms of greatness.

Kid A is a work of unquestionable greatness, it is an album that could have only been made by an absurdly talented band with nothing to lose. Over the course of ten tracks, Kid A takes you to a world of sounds that are as captivating as they are foreign. It is an album that doesn't just have atmosphere, it has an entire ecosystem of ideas and aural wizardry. This magnificent record is woeful at times (How To Disappear Completely), uproarious at others (National Anthem), and downright heavenly when the time calls for it (Motion Picture Soundtrack). Kid A is also responsible for exposing the masses to an entire genre of underground electronica and trip-hop; there were NO other albums in the Billboard top 200 with songs on it like the gloomy Morning Bell, or the I-can't-believe-this-is-SO-amazing Idioteque (seriously Idioteque is downright remarkable).

I would love to be able to ask Thom Yorke how he and his band-mates felt, when they learned that they could essentially do no wrong. Of course, he would probably just snicker and roll his eyes; but I bet somehow... that would be awesome too. (GC)

Wow that certainly was a labor of love! We here at Culture Blues hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed making it. Now go out there and check out the records that you aren't familiar with.

Editor: Giovanny Caquias

Panelists & Contributors: Jeremiah White, Bill Magee, and Carl Alter (if only in spirit)

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10 Responses »

  1. Well done sir. While I'm not huge on Radiohead, I have an immense amount of respect. Blueprint as number 2 rock my proverbial socks off. And while I had issues with the rest of the 50, it seemed as though the top 10 I was onboard with for each slot. Very nicely done. Altough, the blatant omitting of Nelly's "Country Grammar" is astounding. Am I kidding? Kind of...

  2. Thanks so much man! It really was a lot of work, but also an intensely satisfying process. Being from Brooklyn I HAD to get Jay on the list as high as possible (there is a decent argument that any of the top three records could be considered the best of the Decade). I totally understand having issues with the rest of the 50 (I have some too), and that is the beauty of listmania. BTW, I assure you Country Grammar was 51!

  3. Way to go, G. I know this had to be pretty tough, so props for putting in the work.

    I pretty much exclusively listen to hip hop, but I respect your music IQ so I'll take your word on a lot of this stuff. Blueprint at #2 pretty much made the list for me. I go back and forth between that and Reasonable Doubt as my favorite Jay albums (I ride for Jay pretty hard), but I think Blueprint gets the nod due to the amazing beats.

    So on to my beefs.

    I understand that a list like this is really hard to make- you're not going to please everyone. And I get that, no matter how hard you try, something like this is going to be subjective to a point.

    I think that R&B is largely missing. So is country... but, hey, you're not going to get a Tim McGraw argument out of this guy.

    Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds deserves a place on here I would say. (Hey man, you opened up Pandora's box with the Gaga).

    Could DEFINITELY use some Roots Crew. Phrenology came out in '01, seems like a good pick.

    Not sure I'm too down with the exclusion of College Dropout. I think that Late Registration is better, but CD was first and has contextual significance. Certainly worthy of top 50. He rapped a song with his jaws wired shut!

    I'd probably get American Gangster on here as well.

  4. Phrenology is a major oversight to me, and it's one I definitely should have caught. Not many albums got more play in my Hyundai Accent during college than this. And it gave The Roots an improbable mainstream hit that I just heard on ESPN during a sporting event, yesterday. This was an inexcusable misstep, especially considering the fact that Ghostface is on here.

  5. 10) High on Fire - Surrounded By Theives
    9) Dead Meadow - Shivering Kings and Others
    8) McLusky - Do Dallas
    7) Trail of Dead - Source Tags and Codes
    6) Cage - Movies For the Blind
    5) Suicide File - Twilight
    4) Comets on Fire - Blue Cathedral
    3) Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
    2) Clutch - Blast Tyrant
    1) Hot Snakes - Suicide Invoice

    honorable mentions:
    Strokes - Is This It
    Pearls and Brass - S/T
    Witch - S/T
    Firewater - Golden Hour
    Gorillaz - S/T

    just off the top of my head, forgot a bunch of stuff im sure...

  6. I like your mention of Cage here, Michael. This has made me listen to Cage again.

  7. I actually wanted to talk about the inclusion of Movies for the Blind over Hell's Winter. I just do not get the appeal of Cage from the shock rap days or whatever you want to call it, although I think many older fans of his feel the same way about the emo rap he puts out now.

    I like Hell's Winter a lot. I've only heard portions of Movies For the Blind and his latest one, which really seems like crap. Have either of you heard it? This seems like one artist who is destined to just have one album in my iPod forever, when he was somewhere between his former self and his current self.

    How excited is everybody for the Shia LeBeouf Cage biopic?

  8. well, personally i like his "shock rap" as you call it millions times more than his newer stuff and i really think movies for the blind is one of the better rap albums ever put out. could be because i still love really angsty crap.

    hells winter got a big mehhhhhhh from me when it came out because he deviated so far from what i loved. since then it has grown on me but not to level of movies.

    as for his new one, honestly never listened to it.

    i am however, a huge fan of any of his collaborative works with...well, everyone. eastern conference all stars, nighthawks (awesome stallone movie too fwiw), weather proof, smut peddlers, etc.

  9. firewater - golden hour

    imo. so eff good.

    "this albums is so good, everyone should like it" - ackypoo
    "do you know how much of an asshole you sound like when you say that?" - ben van iten


    "hey, this is pretty good, what is this?" - ben van iten


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