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This seems like a good point at which to step back and take stock of the EOD album lists. A bit later, I'll post the current top 250 albums from the 2000s spreadsheet and compare the rankings with those from the list of the decade's albums contained in the current Acclaimed Music top 3000 (which obviously only goes through 2008). For starters, though, I thought I'd post the top 2000-2009 albums from the recent AM Forum album poll. Here are the top 51 (i.e., the top 50 + AGAETIS BYRJUN, which I'm including even though technically it's a 1999 album):
1 The Arcade Fire Funeral
2 Radiohead Kid A
3 The Strokes Is This It
4 Sufjan Stevens Illinois
5 Radiohead In Rainbows
6 Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
7 LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver
8 The White Stripes Elephant
9 Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
10 The White Stripes White Blood Cells
11 Beck Sea Change
12 Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavillion
13 Interpol Turn on the Bright Lights
14 The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
15 Antony & the Johnsons I Am a Bird Now
16 Sigur Rós Ágætis byrjun
17 Daft Punk Discovery
18 Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
19 Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf
20 The Knife Silent Shout
21 TV on the Radio Dear Science
22 TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain
23 The Shins Chutes Too Narrow
24 The Arcade Fire Neon Bible
25 PJ Harvey Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
26 Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
27 OutKast Stankonia
28 Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
29 The National Boxer
30 Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
31 Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head
32 Gorillaz Demon Days
33 The Avalanches Since I Left You
34 M.I.A. Kala
35 Kanye West The College Dropout
36 Brian Wilson SMiLE
37 Joanna Newsom Ys
38 Radiohead Amnesiac
39 Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
40 OutKast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
41 Björk Vespertine
42 The Streets Original Pirate Material
43 Portishead Third
44 Primal Scream XTRMNTR
45 The National Alligator
46 The Libertines Up The Bracket
47 Super Furry Animals Rings Around the World
48 Animal Collective Strawberry Jam
49 Sigur Rós Takk…
50 Modest Mouse Good News For People Who Love Bad News
51 Godspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
All these albums are in the top 250 on the EOD spreadsheet (with the lowest being TAKK... at #218), and all (except MPP, of course) are in the top 200 albums of the decade at AM.
Clearly the most notable album we failed to vote for is The Blueprint, currently standing at #5 on the EOD list (but currently only #16 on the AM 2000 list).
What are we missing AMFers? I just bought the album, haven't even listened to all of it yet, so I can't pass judgment yet. There is a good amount to like, but I've yet to fall in love with anything except Em's verses on "Renegade" and Jay killing Nas on "Takedown." (I know, I've got to check out "Ether" next.) But that's something for a non-hip hop head like me... to have found some tracks to not just admire but become somewhat obsessed with.
There aren't a whole lot of heads in the forum, so maybe that's the sole explanation for Blueprint not being on our top-50. It seems like there was an instant recognition of the album in the hip-hop community (an immediate highest rating from the Source and XXL). But perhaps because it was released on 9/11/2001 the rest of the critical community didn't really push it until now. Were critics too busy trying to figure out what music and art would be meaningful post-9/11, and immediately dismiss Jay's unabashedly egocentric tracks? Clearly, though, time has helped Jay-Z. I suspect that there is now a understanding that Jay is on the short list of the most important figures in the last 15 years of hip hop, if not the clear #1, but that took some time to establish itself. And when critics look to see what his masterpiece is to explain that phenomenon (at least in terms of his music, and putting aside all the other ways he has grown in the public consciousness) they are either going to point to Reasonable Doubt (which was before he established his persona in the community and beyond) or The Blueprint (where he reaffirmed his persona).
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why The Blueprint is now a top-5 of the decade, when Kanye, OutKast, and maybe Lil Wayne seem to have been more widely acclaimed at the time they came out with their storngest albums? Or am I remembering this all wrong?
To be fair, The Blueprint was far from "unacclaimed" as it was put. It was one of the only albums of this decade that AMG gave on a 5 star upon it's release, and it's been considered a major favorite in a lot of publications.
I personally think it's a fantastic record, and one of the very few rap records I never get bored listening to. From the first moments of "The Ruler's Back" to the reprise of "Girls, Girls, Girls". It's a rap record that's structured like a classic pop record, with no real skits and silly filler that rap albums are prone to.
As for the "why", I think AM readers are primarily geared towards indie rock. It's as simple as that.
I think that just goes into the fact that this forum is not very hip-hop centric in opinion. It caters heavily to the indie rock staples. This has really been the decade where hip-hop took over the mainstream yet there are no hip-hop albums in our top 25. Thinking back on my own list, I think there was only one hip-hop album from this decade in my top 50 (Common's Be, which is now being retconned by this EOD lists as worse than Like Water for Chocolate but I disagree completely.)
I don't know...every time I sit down to write a top whatever of the 00s it comes out different. My only constants are Yankee Hotel Foxtrot #1, and Kid A #2. Everything else is subject to change.
Lately, I've been kind of sick of indie rock (it's the only new music I've listened to since I was 19, and I'm now approaching 26) and I've been favoring rap and electronic, just to catch up with what I missed.
I'm geared towards Indie-rock, but over the last 6 months I've been listening to a lot more hip-hop, The Blueprint included. I thnik it's an excellent record, and that the 70s soul samples compliment Jay Z's flow excellently. I think the most representative track of the album is Heart of the City, and it's also my favorite.
I heard Blueprint for the first time last week.
What Jay-Z is really great at is the wordplay. Musically it doesn't stand out much from the pack, and I'm asked to politely ignore the misogyny. I'd probably put it in my top 100 of the decade, but probably not my top 50.
The one album on the list I'm not completely sold on is The Knife's Silent Shout. I may have to give it some spins, but I was sort of disappointed after all the hype.
I'm not sold on a lot of the albums on this list but I do quite like Silent Shout. It's no great classic, but it's pretty good. I like Fever Ray much more, though.