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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The best albums of a double-0 decade

    OutKast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below: The Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast kicked off the decade with Stankonia, but their greatest achievement had to be 2003’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below dual album. Essentially two separate albums released by each artist, Speakerboxx/The Love Below spread quickly through the hands of every music fan. Who doesn’t remember clapping to “”Hey Ya”” or watching “”The Way You Move”” on MTV? As a complete departure from prior OutKast works, Speakerboxx/The Love Below made its way into the decade hall of fame.

    Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica: As the new millennium rolled around, so did Modest Mouse’s first album on a major record label. The Moon & Antarctica grabbed the attention of indie music fans everywhere. With praise from several heavy hitters in the music industry, The Moon & Antarctica was lauded for its witty lyrics and in-depth criticism on fascinating subject matters.

    The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots: In 2002, The Flaming Lips released their most successful album to date, gaining the status they had been seeking since the early ’80s. The final track on the album, “”Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)”” earned a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and hits like “”Do You Realize??”” made their way into mainstream music. Their electronic, psychedelic-inspired rock shaped their late-career Renaissance, which was well deserved.

    The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow: Albuquerque’s indie claim to fame, The Shins burst onto the popular music scene when “”Scrubs”” star Zach Braff used two of their songs in 2004’s “”Garden State.”” However, 2003’s Chutes Too Narrow changed the direction of the Sub Pop band, giving it the well-deserved title as one of the best albums of the decade. With their bittersweet indie pop sound, The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow popularized a new genre that defined the indie world.

    Black Moth Super Rainbow: Dandelion Gum: If you haven’t heard the eclectic sounds of Pittsburg’s experimental outsiders Black Moth Super Rainbow, you have been missing out on one of the most eccentric albums from this decade. Fronted by musician and vocoder Tobacco, Black Moth Super Rainbow works with previously-recorded music to make it even more amazing. Dandelion Gum is a musical-lover’s wet dream and a stoner’s standby. The album catapulted the idea that great music can be created without beautiful lyrics. 

    The Tallest Man on Earth: Shallow Grave: The Swedes always seem to hit home when it comes to cranking out wonderfully complex folk artists. The Tallest Man on Earth is the moniker for Kristian Matsson, a man who croons like Bob Dylan and finger picks like nobody’s business. His exceedingly talented debut album, Shallow Grave, released in 2008, produces a mature sound and intellectual lyrics that musicians strive to create. If Shallow Grave is any indication of what to expect from The Tallest Man on Earth in the decade to come, then there will be a changing face in the world of folk music.

    Rufus Wainwright: Want One: Son of famous folk singer Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright burst on to the scene in 1998. The highly experimental Want One, however, wasn’t released until 2003. Originally part of the two-disc set Want One and Want Two, the avant-garde baroque pop singer creates an odd mix of sounds that lays out the sordid drama of his own life. The music in Want One soars over operatic peaks, earning Wainwright a seat among musical geniuses. 

    Sufjan Stevens: Sufjan Stevens invites you to: Come on Feel the Illinoise: As an ode to America in a declining patriotic state, Sufjan Stevens promised to record one album for every 50 states. Illinoise was the second album in his painstakingly difficult project. Although Stevens hasn’t kept up with much of his 50 states promise, Illinoise hit on Steven’s opinions on love, life, faith and home. Songs like “”Chicago”” wonderfully express Steven’s wistful demeanor, capturing the attention of singer-songwriter lovers.

    The White Stripes: White Blood Cells: We should just call this the decade of Jack White. With an album, new band, compilation or movie released every year (except 2002, but we will give him a break on that) Mr. White has been one busy music-creating machine. 2001’s White Blood Cells is by far the best White Stripes album to date. With a seemingly simple drum beat (criticized by the music industry, but which works well with the sound) and distorted electric guitar cranked to the max, White Blood Cells embodies the dirty kind of rock and roll.

    Madvillain: Madvillainy: Hip-hop big-timers MF DOOM and Madlib teamed up in 2004 to create Madvillainy, which, despite the unfriendly-to-commercial-radio sound, received much anticipation and was considered one of the greatest releases in the history of underground rap. With short songs, few choruses and obscure lyrics, the hip-hop duo created a masterpiece in the underground world.

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