86.) Bob Dylan - Love and Theft (2001)

Bob Dylan's 1997 release, Time Out of Mind, was a true comeback. A haunting and beautifully scarred record that would garner Dylan a Grammy as well as be the impetus for the infamous "Soy Bomb" performance on the same show.

Dylan waited until 2001 to deliver his follow-up, Love and Theft, which, against all odds, was actually a better record than Time Out of Mind. Love and Theft, infamously released on September 11th 2001, was a true return to form and the best Dylan record of the decade (probably his best record since Blood on the Tracks which is saying a lot.)

Where Love and Theft was dark and moody, Love and Theft was, for lack of a better term, freewheelin' Bob Dylan.

The aughts has been kind to Dylan as it's easily been his best decade in decades - first Love and Theft followed by the "almost as good" Modern Times and the underrated Together Through Life. Add to these a number of absolutely prefect additions to his "Bootleg Sessions" and a well-received memoir that spawned a first-rate documentary by Martin Scorcesse and you could point to this as the most important decade in Dylan's career since his 1960's heyday.

But, it was Love and Theft that kicked it off and it's the perfect place to start. Love and Theft is all over the place in the best way possible with Dylan indulging his love for various musical stylings on one record. There are a myriad of highlights through the record - the rollicking "Summer Days", the bluesy "Lonesome Day Blues", the contemplative "Sugar Baby" and of course, "Mississippi" which ranks up there with the best in Dylan's entire canon.

A few weeks after the release of Love and Theft, The Strokes would finally release their long awaited debut, Is This It?, a game changer if ever there was one. But it still stands as a testament to Dylan's strength that - and even if it was only for two weeks - the best new rock release would be a Bob Dylan record in 2001.

87.) Cursive - The Ugly Organ (2003)

I've spent a lot of time thinking I'm against the idea of concept records only to realize that we're only fourteen records into this thing and this is the third concept record...unbelievable.

I guess I'm not against them after all.

I like Cursive. Of all the self-important, melodramatic, "woe is me bands" I think they're my favorite. I'll tell you this, disc for disc, I like them better than Bright Eyes. There you have it.

The Ugly Organ is my favorite Cursive record and I think it's probably because it was my first Cursive. I know that Domestica tends to get most people's votes but truth be told that's not even my second favorite Cursive record (which, if you're interested, is actually their latest Mama, I'm Swolen).

Before I move on I want to discuss the term "emo". Emo is a stupid fucking label that essentially means nothing. It's basically any music wherein the lead singer is male and shows emotion? I think. I guess the music has to be fast? But then Pinkerton is almost always referred to as one of the premier emo records. I just don't get it. Cursive are often called emo as are bands like the All American Rejects (who suck) and Fall Out Boy (who don't, but they're simply a pop band), so I refuse to use the term.

Okay. Back to one.

I like The Ugly Organ for a lot of reasons. The first being - it's ballsy. For all the stupid talk of Cursive being an emo band, I think The Ugly Organ is quite simply one of this generations great punk rock records. Sure, it's not punk rock in the traditional sense which (duh) is what makes it punk rock.

I also like The Ugly Organ because I didn't like it at first. As a matter of fact, I hated it. I thought it was just self indulgent meta bullshit. I hated it for the same reason I hated Dave Eggers at the time. I didn't want to care about these people and their lives. Shut up! But then, for some reason I did. Almost inexplicably. A switch went off and here we are. The Ugly Organ, I came to realize, was actually a compelling journey and for all it's navel gazing there was a story in there that I could relate to, that anyone could relate to really.

Looking back I don't necessarily think The Ugly Organ is all that autobiographical (especially after hearing Domestica - released first, but heard by me after). It's peppered in here and there, but with great success. And so what if it's a little self absorbed. Aren't we all?

88.) Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (2009)

is a great record.

No question about it. In fact, it's a really great record. It's basically a technical masterpiece. A lot has been made about how labored over Veckatimest feels - a fact that has been restated over and over as both criticism and appreciation over the ole' review circuit.

I happen to feel like it's a bit overstated personally and when used as criticism it's a bit unfair. Yes, Veckatimest lacks that sort of loose feel that it's spiritual brother Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion achieved - but so does Pet Sounds.

Anyway enough of that technical shit.

Veckatimest came out at an interesting time for Grizzly Bear. The internet had declared them an "it" band after their second album Yellow House was released to a ton of fanfare and they had a lot to prove here. The most impressive thing is not that this, their third, record is head and shoulders better than Yellow House it's the fact that Grizzly Bear basically sideswiped any real backlash - though there's still time hipsters so get ready!

They managed to avoid said backlash the old fashioned way - by making a wonderful record that while certainly benefitting from continuous listens also comes out of the gate swinging and basically buries itself in your head from the first note. In fact at this point it's hard to even imagine a world wherein "Two Weeks" doesn't exist - it has become that indelible.

The interesting thing about Veckatimest is that I'm pretty sure I could play it for my dad and even he'd like it. What's not to like? Gorgeous harmonies abound over meticulous arrangements and amazingly it's a fucking pop record.

The thing that astounded me personally about Veckatimest is that "Two Weeks" aside Grizzly Bear saved the best songs for last. The final three songs ("While You Wait For Others", "I Live With You" and "Foreground") are the stars of the show. And in an age when no one listens all the way to the end of a record anymore and if they do hear the songs it's probably out of sequence on some mp3 blog somewhere. If this is the case for you and you haven't heard these three songs side by side, do yourself a favor and do just that. It's a purely sublime twelve minutes - maybe the best in pop music all year.

89.) Green Day - American Idiot (2004)

American Idiot
is, without a doubt, the best mainstream rock release of the aughts. And I don't mean for the term to be taken as a slight. It just means the best rock record that sold a lot of copies. That's it.

No one predicted American Idiot, but someone should have. In truth Green Day, up to the point they released American Idiot, were one of the most underrated bands in rock 'n roll. Sure they hit big with Dookie, and rightfully so that record is snotnosed brilliance, but their career was on a "mainstream" slide for all the years that followed until, of course, American Idiot. This was criminal, especially when this is a band who released a record like 1997's Nimrod - which could be the best thing they've ever done.

But, I digress. This is supposed to be about American Idiot. I'm going to sidestep the politics of the record, as they're well documented, and focus on the music.

"Jesus of Suburbia" is nothing short of astounding. It's one of those moments that you imagine a band having when they realize everything has fallen into place. Pure magic. Unable to be duplicated. Though they would try on their next record - the inferior yet still worthy - 21st Century Breakdown.

American Idiot also had, well, "American Idiot" a real return to form for a band who wouldn't be very concerned with returning to form for the remainder of the record. It was almost like the last gasp of the old Green Day and a welcome hello to the new one in a single three minute gasp of loud, punk simplicity.

A lot of people have compared this, as I put it, new Green Day to The Who. Ok. I guess. I just like to think of them as grown-up versions of those kids who meant so much to us when we were kids and who continue to mean something to us all these years later. Green Day are a band that I feel like I saw grow up and with whom I also grew up.

I was there for their exciting infancy of 1039 and Kerplunk, watched them move on to "high school popularity" with Dookie and then through their awkward phase with Insomniac to their "college" experimental years with Nimrod and then when they moved back home and kind of fell into the old routine with Warning and ultimately through early adulthood and a new found sense of confidence and purpose with American Idiot.

The record is just as much a story about a band as it is about America (which, I guess in the grand scheme of things is as American as it gets), you just have to really care about the band to see it.

90.) Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs (2009)

While I was never one to hate on Death Cab For Cutie (I think a good majority of their records have good to great moments), if you were to tell me that come 2008 they would make a stone cold classic, an absolute masterpiece, I would have laughed. But fuck if it didn't happen.

When Narrow Stairs came out my friend, Mike Torpey, and I used to joke that Ben Gibbard must have called a meeting with his fellow Death Cabbers and it must have gone like this.

Ben: Hey guys, thanks for coming. Listen, I had an idea. It's pretty radical so bare with me for a second. Why don't we make a new record and make every song on it awesome.

Other Guy: What?

Ben: You heard me.

Other Guy: Every song?

Ben: Every song.

Other Guy: Awesome.

Ben: Awesome.

And it would go on like this for a while. It was funny because we didn't expect it. Every song on Narrow Stairs is awesome and it fits together so nicely as a whole which was something in short supply last year (although I should say 2009 has really brought the ruckus as the kids are wont to say).

And then there's "I Will Posses Your Heart." Wow. What a killer. The creepiest and without a doubt best moment in the Death Cab canon so far and, I'd imagine, to come. I'm not usually one to go for eight and half minute songs, but I was sold the first time I heard it. It's a perfect centerpiece (even though it falls second in the tracklist) to, basically, a perfect record and one no Death Cab bias should preclude you from hearing.

91.) Elliott Smith - From a Basement on a Hill (2004)

Elliott Smith was a great songwriter. Elliott Smith was a sad guy. Elliott Smith's sadness probably made him a great songwriter.

As someone who could have been labeled a huge fan of Elliott's, news of his death on October 13th, 2003 hit me with a wave of sadness but ultimately not a lot of shock. I do remember where I was in that way our parents remember where they were when JFK died or, to make it more modern, they way most of us remember where we were when we heard about Kurt Cobain. (I was in the Page office and was informed by a fellow page.)

At the time I guess it was marginally surprising in that in the months leading up to it there were all these articles being written where the thesis was "Elliott Smith is actually okay, you guys and his new record is going to be the greatest thing he's ever done." To most of us, those articles only served to make us skeptical. If they're yelling this so loudly it can't be true...and unfortunately it wasn't.

The record being discussed in all those articles was this one, From A Basement on a Hill and it's great, but not the greatest thing he's ever done (that's still Either/Or). But who knows really what it could have been. From A Basement was left unfinished, though it's often said not by much. It's rumored that the From A Basement that we own is pretty close to Elliott vision of the thing and it's a pretty beautiful record. Of course, it's haunted by the ghost of its creator. The last relic of what could have been an even more brilliant career than it already was. And in that respect it was difficult for me to listen to at first (it being released almost a year to the date of his death didn't make it any easier) and it sat on my shelf for a while. And then a year plus after its release I sat down and listened to From A Basement and I kept doing so for a long time after.

It was an Elliott record and I had come to miss Elliott's records and I especially missed being able to hear songs that I hadn't heard before. It didn't feel like an ending, which was what I feared. It felt like the next logical step in the progression of an artist I had grown to adore. There weren't any hints in the lyrics, or at least no more so than on any previous record, of what was to come. There was melancholy, of course, but there were also pop guitars and that voice. I loved that voice and still do. I was lucky enough to see Elliott live a half dozen times between "Either/Or" and "Figure 8" and that's what I miss the most about him. I'll always have the records, but I miss seeing him on stage where supposedly he felt uncomfortable but where, in truth, he was at his best.

I still miss Elliott like I knew him. And I guess -no matter how cliched this sounds- through his records I, and all his fans, did a little bit. So, this one's for Elliott.

92.) Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life (2008)

Based solely on their name it's pretty clear that Fucked Up aren't necessarily looking to become a household name, but who says they shouldn't be?

On the surface, it seems easy to describe the music of Fucked Up. It's hardcore. Pure and simple. Except it's not. Fucked Up are loud, for sure, but they're also terrific composers and musicians who add layers upon layers of guitar track over each song - not unlike the way Johnny Marr used to do in the Smiths - and though lead singer Pink Eyes doesn't really sing at all, his howl is undeniably powerful.

The Chemistry of Common Life was released on Matador and scored high on pitchfork's hipster scale almost in spite of itself. It's as if Fucked Up are saying "Come on. We dare you to like it." But you want to know a secret? It's far from being an impossible task...yes the lyrics are at times indecipherable - but take a look at them, they're smart, deep and spiritual- and the music often comes at you at 100 miles per hour all while threatening to spit you out all over the road, but when you strip all that away The Chemistry of Common Life is actually a pretty catchy record, even if they'd probably kill me for saying so.

"Crooked Head" and "Black Albino Bones" could have been played on radio if there was a different vocalist and the chorus on the epic opening track (incidentally one of the best opening tracks in recent memory) "Son the Father" is virtually impossible to shake.

What's even better about The Chemistry of Common Life is I like it ten times more today than I did three months ago and three months ago I liked it twenty times more than I did the three prior. It's one of those records. It didn't even make my "25 favorite records on 2008" and now it blows away at least half of them. Hindsight, you know?

The Chemistry of Common Life is a tough record to get through the first few times (maybe even the first few dozen) but stick it out. I hate referring to a record as a "grower" because, truth be told, all records are growers but sometimes you're more willing to stick with one over another. Make sure The Chemistry of Common Life lands firmly in that category.

93.) Cee-Lo - Cee-Lo Green...Is the Soul Machine (2004)

In between the time he helped put "Dirty South" hip-hop on the map with Goodie Mob and the time he became an international, multi-platinum superstar with Gnarls Barkley, Cee-Lo Green released two peerless solo records. This is the second.

The first was titled (brilliantly) Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections and it was weird. Like, really, really weird. All over the place weird. Proudly weird. His second, Cee-Lo Green...Is the Soul Machine is weird too, but it's a helluva lot more accessible.

Fill disclosure - when I was a Page at NBC I used to have to work audience for Last Call With Carson Daly and that's how I discovered this record. Cee-Lo performed on that show one night and was fucking nuts. I loved it. I went out and bought the record and it became one of my favorites for a long time. So, essentially I owe Carson Daly for Cee-Lo. I guess I would have found about him sooner or later regardless, but I can't say for sure. So, thanks Carson Daly. Thank you very much.

Cee-Lo Green...Is the Soul Machine (by the way, there's something so wonderful about his declaring himself THE soul machine as opposed to say, A soul machine) is a varied record for sure and it has it's share of quirks, but with the help of producers like Timbaland and The Neptunes he managed to focus just enough to create a left-of-center R&B masterpiece. Cee-Lo's basically the R&B/Soul version of Captain Beefheart. Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine didn't crossover the way it should have and it remains a lost gem, a record that I hope more people gave a chance to after the success of Gnarls Barkley because though Gnarls are great they have never recorded anything as absolutely perfect as "The Art of Noise" and yes, that includes "Crazy."

94.) Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)

And speaking of The Boss...

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, for me, ranks right up there with Darkness, Born to Run and Nebraska. I love this record. That these are not Springsteen originals means nothing to me seeing as how they are such a perfect fit for him. The project itself feels very Mermaid Avenue, and it is to a point, but I actually think that Bruce's execution is even better.

Springsteen was quite prolific in the aughts and he's put out some really good stuff, but none of it felt as free-wheeling, old-Bruce fun as We Shall Overcome. While both The Rising and Devils and Dust had some really great moments, they were kind of a downer - which is fine - it needed to be done, but We Shall Overcome has a very loose, ramshackle feel about it that those records didn't.

That Springsteen tackled these songs with such abandon at a time when who the fuck thought anyone wanted to hear some remakes of some old campfire slabs of Americana makes it's triumph that much greater. I know a lot of people revere Seeger and Springsteen actually didn't. He was, for all intents and purposes, a newcomer to Seeger's work at the time. He liked it and decided to record it. That he may not have necessarily felt beholden to the music probably allowed him to make, at it's core, a Bruce record.

And a damn fine one at that.

95.) Against Me! - New Wave (2007)

I know a lot of people are really, really attached to Against Me! and those people while they don't necessarily hate New Wave, they don't love it - preferring the stripped down sound of their early records like Reinventing Axl Rose and As the Eternal Cowboy...

Not me. I happen to like those records fine, but for me if I can only have one Against Me! record, I'm proud to say it's the polished sheen of New Wave every single time.

New Wave is awesome, but it's also stupid. The thing about Against Me! is they cling to their ideals which makes them a "political" band which is fine but it also produces songs with banal lyrics like "Stop/Take some time to think/Figure out what's important to you/You've got to make a serious decision." That a song with those lyrics turns out to be super fucking rad is the perplexity of Against Me!

I want to roll my eyes at how earnest and delusional they can be, but I just can't because the music is too much fun. New Wave always reminded me of one of those early Weezer records. Ten songs in thirty minutes played with abandon and an overwhelming desire to get you jumping up and down. All good things.

I saw Against Me! (I haven't even mentioned the absurdity of the exclamation point yet...just did I guess) twice on this tour and I had never seen them previously. I was amazed to see they smile. A lot. I had thought they were this angry band, but it's the opposite. They were having fun which is exactly what New Wave is for me. It's fun. A lot of fun. And at times, much like a lot of rock 'n roll in 2007, it sounds like Bruce Springsteen.

96.) Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2 (2000)

Here's a record I don't feel the need to defend in any way, which is nice.

In 2000 Aimee Mann was a woman without a record label despite fronting one of the good so-called 80's bands and releasing two really great (and in one case close to perfect) solo records. Undeterred, Mann self-released Bachelor No. 2 and it became the biggest selling record of her career.

Bachelor No.2 certainly feels like somewhat of a companion piece to her work on the Magnolia soundtrack (a few of the songs can be found on both records) but if you're going to go with just one, Bachelor No. 2 would be the choice. I've always loved a good singer/songwriter and Mann is one of our generation's best and this is still her best record, her masterpiece, her Car Wheels on a Gravel Road if you will.

There's not a bad song on here, in fact there's no song here that isn't pretty goddamn great. Mann's post-Bachelor output has been spotty (though there are still some gems) and she's never managed to be this cohesive again. Bachelor No. 2 felt like a statement. She'd been wronged by the music business so she poured her heart into these songs and came to play and not just lyrically - there is some really nice production work here and the arrangements and melodies are a stand out which wasn't necessarily the case before.

I was 19 when Bachelor No. 2 came out and it was a big college record for me and in compiling the list I was nervous that I was including it for nostalgia reasons, but then I listened to it again...and again...and again and I proved myself wrong. It's still as compelling today as it was when I was listening to it on a Discman walking to Keating Hall. It's one of the forgotten gems, which is kind of Aimee Mann's style anyway.

97.) Tegan and Sara - The Con (2007)

Tegan and Sara are not cool.

They don't even want to be.

I mentioned in my Rock 'N Roll post a few days ago about how uncool a record it is and, trust me, it is - but I think that's probably why Ryan Adams dismisses it. At one time he thought it was cool.

Tegan and Sara harbor no such delusions and their lack of pretension made The Con their best work to date and a record that has left me excited to hear what they do next.

Before The Con was released, Tegan and Sara started a viral marketing campaign that showed them working with producer Chris Walla in short videos about each song on the record. I saw these videos first and they probably played a part in my loving the record. Tegan and Sara are really wonderful - sarcastic, funny, tough, playful, self-depricating - it's virtually impossible to not fall in love with them and this was a shrewd business move. I remember watching the "Hop a Plane" video (if you haven't seen it no one liked "Hop a Plane" except Tegan, who wrote it) and coming out of it fully in the Team Tegan camp and as a result, "Hop a Plane" became my favorite song on the record.

Do I like The Con because of how much I like Tegan and Sara as people? Sure. But, I also like it because of the melodies and the harmonies and the hooks - it's pop music and I tend to like pop music. Would this record make the list if not for their personalities? I think so.

It's not a perfect record by any means (I personally can't stand "Are You Ten Years Ago"), but it's highs are really, really high (the title track and "Dark Come Soon" are particularly spectacular) and this record was a really big one for me in the summer of 2007, one I still revisit often and I guess in the end that's the test of a great record. It came out two years ago and I just listened to it last weekend.

But I skipped "Are You Ten Years Ago."

98.) The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love (2009)

Way to follow up a divisive record with another, huh?

Whatever. 2009 has seen me become smitten with The Decemberists prog-rock-opera, The Hazards of Love and though there are a bunch of records released in '09 that I like more, I don't think there's one that I've listened to more than Hazards.

People knock the Decemberists for being pretentious and it's a valid knock, they are. Colin Meloy writes lyrics with big words and literary aspirations - that's never been a secret, but the thing that sets Hazards apart (I mean, besides it being a song cycle about woodland queens, rakes and shapeshifters) is the fact that the thing fucking rocks.

What I love about the record is you can throw the story away. It doesn't matter. I still don't really know what happens, but I love the shit out of these songs. In fact, I consistently find myself listening to "Hazards of Love 2" hoping that maybe this time it won't be sad and could reasonably make for a good wedding song. It never does. But it's still pretty damn beautiful.

Aside form that there's "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid" with an MVP vocal performance from My Brightest Diamond's Sharah Worden, not to mention "The Rake's Song" which, for my money is right up there with the very best in the Decemberists entire canon.

The songs individually are great, but The Hazards of Love really works as a fully realized piece of art. Whether or not you care about the story is your business, but the sequencing here really works to take you for a ride.

I love the balls of the whole thing. It shouldn't work. It's completely ridiculous, but for some reason it does. And I'll say this, as far as "rock operas" go, The Hazards of Love is a whole lot easier to stomach than Tommy that's for sure.

99.) Ryan Adams - Rock 'N Roll (2003)

Alright, so it only took two entries for everyone to decide I'm full of shit. I know the rap Rock 'N Roll gets, but I don't care. I love this record.

I'm a Ryan Adams fan. For better or worse, I like the guy and his music. Ryan is a perfect example of my whole "once I decide I like something, I'm just going to continue to like it regardless" (I still argue in defense of those last two seasons of Gilmore Girls, so...) and I like Ryan Adams. In fact I was a fan since Whiskeytown and my fandom has never subsided.

But (and this is a spoiler alert) only one other Ryan Adams record will be finding it's way onto this list, meaning that I think that Rock 'N Roll is Ryan Adams' second best record (yep, better than Cold Roses). And that's true. I do. I love all the songs. I love that Rock 'N Roll never tries to be cool. I love that "So Alive" is the best U2 song that U2 never wrote (in fact it's mostly better than most songs U2 actually did write). I love that Rock 'N Roll is all over the place.

Because, that's rock 'n roll.

I'm pretty sure Ryan Adams himself even dismisses this record. Well that's dumb. And wrong. Adams is, for the most part, a hack. A good songwriter, but still a hack and he's at his best when he's being hacky...when he's relying on influences to shape his sound, and Rock 'N Roll is Ryan at his hackiest and best. Listen to "Luminol", "Burning Photographs" and "This is It" people. Those songs are as good as it gets.

100.) Be Your Own Pet - Be Your Own Pet (2005)

Believe it or not, the 100th slot was the toughest one to fill because it saw so many great records finally get scrapped from the list. No shit, this spot was between our victors Be Your Own Pet and the latest record from Taylor Swift, Fearless. I'm not kidding. But in the end Taylor Swift can't beat Jemina Pearl - I have some self-respect.

Art Brut (another band sadly left off the list - I'll stop doing this I promise) have a song on their latest record called "Slap Dash For No Cash" and the lyric goes "Slap dash for no cash/Those are the records I like/When something doesn't sound quite right." Yes, they were singing about the Replacements, but they just as easily could have been singing about the debut full length from these Tennessee teenagers, BYOP.

Be Your Own Pet was brought to me by my dear friend Sarah back when the MySpace thing was really in full swing and the first thing I heard was "Bunk Trunk Skunk" - "I'm an independent motherfucker/And I'm here to take your money/I'm wicked rad and I'm here/To steal away your virginity."

Yes, please. Count me in. There's something so scrappy, so imperfect, so great about this record that the band's breakup almost immediately following the release of their incredibly inferior second record, Get Awkward, felt exactly right. Sure, I was sad, but this was music made by kids and once they started growing up, even a little bit, it would just be disappointing. Besides, no adult can sing lines like "So how's your dudezone, dude?" or "My brain is on fire/My brain is on fire/So piss right in my ear" with a straight face.

That's what made this record so inviting. They meant it and they didn't give a shit. Sure, the tough girl shtick sometimes felt a little forced, but that was kind of what made it appealing.

But just when all the fun and silliness starts to become a bit much, they pull out a song like "October, First Account" which is still a true blue "Holy Shit!" moment. A great nuanced pop song amidst the fucking and the fighting - that was Be Your Own Pet and I will remember them fondly even if they kind of scared me a little bit when I saw them live.

The 100 Best Records of the Deacade The Intro

So, this is it. It's a new blog and it's devoted solely to one topic - 100 records. More specifically 100 records released this past decade. Even more specifically the 100 best records released this past decade. I'm calling it The 100 Best Records of the Decade. Catchy, isn't it? It should probably be called the 100 records released in this past decade that I, Pat Driscoll, like the most - but that's significantly less sexy. Anyway, these are my favorite records of the first decade of these aughts. There's 148 days left in the decade which means I should be able to finish this thing by then. I'm going to try and post one a day, but that almost certainly won't happen, so let's just see how it pans out.

I started this project a while ago and I'll have you know the list is compiled and, as of this writing, will cease to change. How can you be sure? You can't. It really doesn't matter anyway, but I promise...if that does anything for you. I know, I know some records haven't been released. Sorry to them. If something really jumps out and needs inclusion I'll expand the list.

Anyway, I went through all the records released in these 2000's and whittled them down to around 250 (I'll probably reveal the whole list after the whole thing's done) and then whittled them down some more and some more until I landed on 100. I really tried to squeeze some sentimental favorites on the list (Bleed American, Return to Saturn, any Sonic Youth or REM record released in the last ten years) but alas, I had to be diligent here.

Again, these are my preferences, so people who love Dan Deacon, Simian Mobile Disco, Justice and the like will probably have a lot to gripe about as they're not here (I know their records are great, but not my favorites) and hip-hop unfortunately is probably under represented. I love hip hop, but the 2000s have not been kind to fully realized hip hop records. Having said all that, I love these records. All 100 of them for different reasons, but purely. I love a lot of other records released this decade as well, but these are them...the 100.