Friday, December 18, 2009

Lex's Top 10 Album for the Decade

First of all, let me explain that I am awful about expressing my reasons for loving an album. Sometimes the music just strums my heart strings the right way, other times it might be that I relate the album to a specific time in my life that stands out. It could be the musicianship, the energy, or I could just be crazy for loving it. Whatever the reason (and in no particular order), here are my top 10:

Spoon: Girls Can Tell - 2001
To me, this is a perfect album and is on my all time favorites list, not just my decade list. Everything Hits at Once was the first track on the first mix CD Chris ever made me. After the first listen I was hooked on Spoon (and Chris, of course) This album has been with me for the best and worst days ever since.
2 more reasons to love this album: the cover art, and the perfect album name.

The Natural History: The People That I meet - 2007
First heard this band when they opened for Spoon at the El Rey Theater. I was outside smoking cigarettes (yeah, we were cool back then) with Chris and Morgan when we heard the band start to play. Normally we would have stayed outside through the whole opening act, but something caught our ears and we decided to check them out. A couple of EPs & LPs later, the band disintegrated… this beautiful album is the last of The Natural History. If you haven’t heard it yet, get your hands on it soon. I promise it will be playing in your head for weeks to come.

The Crystal Skulls: Blocked Numbers - 2005
This one was something I had to listen to a few songs at a time. Hussy & Airport Motels were the first two songs that really got me boppin’. Now the album is on regular rotation every few months. Great for long car rides.

The Duke Spirit: Cuts Across the Land - 2005
Two Words: Leila Moss. Energetic album! Makes me want to be a rockstar!. This is my favorite album to rock out to by myself.

The Walkmen: You and Me - 2008
Moody. I can listen to this album for weeks at a time. There is just something special about the sound, and the emotion that fills yur ears when you listen to this one.

Outkast: Speakerboxxx - 2003
Just straight up fun. Sure, it isn’t one that I can listen to all the time—but it never fails to ake me wanna dance.

Lucinda Williams: world without tears - 2003
I bought this and it sat on the shelf for 8 months before I finally gave it a real chance. I love Lucinda’s voice. Imperfect, but always a little raw and real. The song writing on this one is great. She is simple, but sometimes the imagery is just right.

Aimee Mann: Bachelor No.2 - 2000
While searching my brain for missing pieces in my decade list I came across this. By no means is it perfect, but it just had to be this way. Aimee Mann just has an emotional effect on me that I can’t explain.

Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - 2002
What can I say about this album… It was my first taste of Wilco and again, happens to be my favorite Wilco albums. Great balance of pop and sadness. Wilco is always a good choice.

Radiohead: In Rainbows - 2007
I was so excited to hear this for the first time. Although all Radiohead albums are amazing, and they should all really be on this list- this one was perfect. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I still hear new exciting things when I listen to it today.


Paul said...

Great stuff, Lex. Regarding the Natural History, there is really nothing more fun than having no expectations for an opening act and being blown away by them. I had a similar experience with a band named Priestess I saw open for Early Man. I'm sure there are others but that's the one that immediately comes to mind.

Thomas McMahon IV said...

Really interesting to see In Rainbows on there above the other Radioheads of the decade. I need to spend more time with that album.

Crystal Skulls are (or were) great. It was bittersweet to see the lead guy drafted away by Fleet Foxes. Sounds like there won't be any more Crystal Skulls, although maybe that would've been the case anyhow.

Paul, I remember you being blown away by a then-unkown band called Lit when you saw them open for Zebrahead freshman year of college.

Daniel said...

Great list, Lexie! I would include many of those on my list...if I had one.

How good is that Natural History album? Such a shame about them...

Re: In Rainbows - it's a fantastic album and to me feels more human than the others of this decade. Not sure if it's my favorite but I understand your choice. I have some really great memories of running in Griffith Park at night and listening to it.

Chris said...

Way to break this thing down ; )
Honestly though, you and I share a lot of the same music and probably half of these at least, would be/are on my top 10.

It's funny how certain records kind of come out of nowhere and end up really making a lasting impression. That 1st Crystal Skulls record did it for me. I'm sorry to hear from Tom's comment above, that I probably won't be able to see them live. I'm sure they put on a great show. Smooth.