It’s Good Enough for Me

Note: This Post is by Rick Wright, We Are Now’s new music writer.  He’ll have his own lede soon

I was the last in my group of friends to get a CD player. Then the last to get a cell phone. I finally opened a Facebook account 5 days ago, but I haven’t gone back since and don’t think I want to.

I’m a slow processor. I explore all the angles and I allow ideas to gestate, input feeding off other input. I like my friends’ influence on my other friends. I like Fantastic Mr. Fox tempered with a Bottle Rocket reviewing. I like tequila infused with chili peppers. Slowly.

2010 hasn’t had a lick of a chance to incubate a top ten list yet. My friend Mike Kelly said it best: Annual Lists are too short-term, you have to let albums age (but he also stated that “quantifying everything into lists is an impulse that is bad for us,” which is clearly untrue. I mean, my Pap-pap always kept in his shirt pocket a little notebook just full of lists. As the old saying goes, if it was good enough for Pap-pap…).

So let’s let 2010 breathe a bit. Instead, I’ll sort out a top 50 albums of the last decade. ‘Cuz that’s easy.

Sheesh.

As I sat here sifting through all the music I collected over the last ten years, a list of ten principles that would define the list became evident:

1. The last decade started Jan 1, 2000, despite what anyone else says to the contrary. The cultural impact of the two and three zeros and of escaping the nineties and of Y2K paranoia was immense and refreshing. I don’t think anyone batted an eye when the ball dropped us into 2001, did they? And frankly, just listen to the records of 2000. They fit better here than there.

2. For every album on my list there must be hundreds of records I was never exposed to. Please, great Albums, expose yourselves to me and I will reevaluate this list next year.

3. One year would surface as being the unquestionable king of the hill of the decade, showcasing more amazing music than any other year. More on that later.

4. The list must be solely made up of full length albums. No compilations, no EPs, no live records, no best of’s, no re-releases. Its gotta be studio and its gotta be a new work of substantial length.

5. The list won’t just be a run down of each year’s top ten list. All albums of the decade will be weighed freshly, disregarding my prior lists.

6. To make this list, an album must be innovative, yet accessible,

7. It must be unique, yet alluring,

8. It must be bold, yet sustainable,

9. And its gotta be judged against the best works of all time, not just against the sea of adjacent releases.

10. And finally, the Top 50 will really just serve as research for a much more interesting list: the Top Ten Most Important Artists of the Decade.

So, without further ado,

A countdown

50. Simian – Chemistry Is What We Are
49. Sloan – Never Hear the End of It
48. Prefuse 73 – Surrounded by Silence
47. Autolux – Future Perfect
46. Luke Temple – Hold a Match for a Gasoline World
45. Caribou – Swim
44. Pedro the Lion – Control
43. Blitzen Trapper – Furr
42. Elbow – Leaders of the Free World
41. Liam Finn – I’ll be Lightning
40. Radiohead – Amnesiac
39. Stereolab – Margerine Eclipse
38. Black Mountain – In the Future
37. Brightblack Morning Light – S/T
36. the Books – Lost & Safe
35. Psapp – Tiger, My Friend
34. Levi Fuller – Colossal
33. Caribou – the Milk of Human Kindness
32. Pinback – Summer in Abaddon
31. Beck – Guero
30. Radiohead – In Rainbows
29. American Analog Set – Know By Heart
28. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
27. AU – Verbs
26. Boards of Canada – Geogaddi
25. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
24. Duster – Contemporary Movement
23. Hood – Outside Closer
22. Caribou – Andorra
21. Elbow – Asleep in the Back
20. Radiohead – Kid A
19. Múm – Summer Make Good
18. Sufjan Stevens – Come on, Feel the Illinoise
17. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue
16. Animal Collective – Sung Tongs
15. Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
14. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
13. Sparklehorse – It’s a Wonderful Life
12. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
11. Spoon – Kill the Moonlight
10. Gorillaz – Demon Dayz
9. Justin Timberlake – FutureSexLoveSounds
8. Elliott Smith – Figure 8
7. Four Tet – Rounds
6. Beck – Sea Change
5. Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
4. D’Angelo – Voodoo
3. Wilco – A Ghost is Born
2. Caribou – Up in Flames
1. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House

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