This was a great time for me to reminisce over the last decade of music and what it meant to me…rocking out with roomies in college and then trying to start a lame band, cruising up and down Pacific Coast Highway, walkmen in airports and third world countries, the switch from lugging 3 CD cases in my car to 1 small iPod, trying bands out live in concert, choosing my own wedding music, and great road trips with my wife. Music is an amazing thing and it amazes me even more the memories that come up from all these albums. I had to do a separate list for ’09 since they feel too recent to be considered “classic” yet and the rest have had a chance to really settle in and become a part of my collection. Like ‘em or not, here are my top 30 picks of the decade followed by my top 10 of 2009. (I’ve also included a favorite song from each as a starting point if you are interested in checking them out.)
2000 Lifehouse- No Name Face
Huge favorite for me while at Pepperdine, especially seeing him live at the Whiskey watching a bunch of bikers rocking with arms raised in praise
2000 Robbie Williams- Sing When You're Winning
Big fan of Robbie’s during Heidelberg and this one before he went a little nuts was one of my favs
“Singing for the Lonely”
2000 Jack Johnson- Brushfire Fairytales
Got me into the mellow folky vibe. Still my favorite of his
2001 Ben Harper- Live From Mars
I got started late into Ben, so this was my attempt to catch up and it proved to be an incredible double album. I don’t usually like live albums but I would have loved to see a show from this era
“The Drugs Don’t Work” (Verve cover)
2001 Dashboard Confessional- The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most
My whiny emo guilty obsession…
“The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most”
2001 Jimmy Eat World- Bleed American
Just an amazing album spanning the gamut of their styles.
2002 Jason Mraz- Waiting For My Rocket To Come
I miss the old Mraz…glad the world now sees his talent but it was much simpler back then!
“You and I Both”
2003 Muse- Absolution
Got into them thanks to my brother and would still love to see their live show.
2003 Damien Rice- O
What a sad, beautiful album. Perfect for a rainy day drive
2003 Postal Service- Give Up
So many trips had this as a soundtrack.
2003 Switchfoot- The Beautiful Letdown
Catapulted them out of the CCM industry and into mainstream, and when then really started getting interesting to me.
2004 Relient K- MmmHmm
Their albums always seemed to fit my mood whenever they came out and worked for whatever I was going through at the time.
“Be My Escape”
2004 Rise Against- Siren Song of the Counter Culture
This has been a great staple for the gym. Gets the BPM going
2004 Shawn McDonald- Simply Nothing
Honest, acoustic worship with an amazing voice. Never get tired of his first release.
2005 David Gray- Life In Slow Motion
Almost a tie between this and White Ladder, but too many memories attached to this one.
“From Here You Can Almost See the Sea”
2005 State Radio- Us Against the Crown
Chad from Dispatch puts on a great show and got to see these guys twice locally.
“Right Me Up”
2006 Amos Lee- Supply and Demand
So much soul in this man’s voice. Love it
2006 John Mayer- Continuum
My wife got me tickets to see him and the show solidified this great album as a top pick.
“Stop This Train”
2006 Justin Timberlake- FutureSex/LoveSounds
My poppy guilty pleasure of the decade. How can you not like Justin, come on!
“What Goes Around…”
2006 Mat Kearney- Nothing Left to Lose
Mellow staple for 2006 that still spins a lot to this day.
“Where Do We Go From Here”
2006 Matisyahu- Youth
The undeniable skills of this Hassidic Jewish rapper impressed even the people we were building the church for down in El Salvador.
“Time of Your Song”
2006 Lupe Fiasco- Food and Liquor
I played this one way too much. Can’t wait for his new one…
2006 Ray LaMontagne- Till The Sun Turns Black
Great mellow folk. Putting this one on a mixtape for my wife was a good move!
“Can I Stay”
2006 Silversun Pickups- Carnavas
Basing their entire sound around The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1991 release Gish was a great formula to make a fan out of me.
2007 Angels and Airwaves- I-Empire
Pretty epic sounding album. Who would have expected it from the guy from Blink 182?
2007- Mayday Parade- A Lesson in Romantics
This is the most played in our household mostly because my wife refuses to listen to anything else. Great pop-punk album with lots of harmonies.
“Miserable at Best”
2007 Sherwood- A Different Light
Local San Luis Obispo band that should hit it huge any day now! Unbelievably energetic live show and lots of fun melodies.
2007- Joshua Radin- We Were Here
First introduction was a Scrubs episode where I ran to my computer to figure out who was making this amazing music. The self-proclaimed “king of whisper rock” puts on a great show… unless it’s at a bar with a bunch of drunk frat boys…
2007/2008- Jon Foreman- Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer EP’s
Switchfoot lead singer’s attempt to recreate the 4 seasons musically
“The Cure for Pain”
2008- Coldplay- Viva La Vida/Prospekt’s March
Put them in a whole new league for me. Just good solid release for them
Now for the 2009 in no particular order:
Denver-based band who went to school with my old roommate. I still can’t believe they haven’t hit it big yet!
“Taking the World On”
Muse- The Resistance
Big album full of some different, but great songs.
Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Took me a while to get into this one, but many patient listens really paid off.
“Love Like a Sunset”
Owl City- Ocean Eyes
The single got way too much airplay but I really appreciated the rest of the album…especially since Ben Gibbard refuses to put out another Postal Service record this decade.
“On The Wing”
John Mayer Battle Studies
Even I enjoy a good breakup album now and again. Not quite as bluesy as his last release but still a good one.
Fun- Aim and Ignite
What the band name implies…just a fun album from the lead singer of The Format.
“I Wanna Be The One”
30 Seconds To Mars- This is War
Epic album for the end of the year. Pompous and egotistical but still amazing!
Dashboard Confessional- Alter The Ending
Best of both worlds with acoustic versions of all the full band tracks.
“Hell on the Throat”
Relient K- Forget and Not Slow Down
Another good breakup album with a lot more depth from this clever Canton quintet.
“This is the End (If You Want It)”
Silversun Pickups- Swoon
Great follow-up to Carnavas. Wouldn’t expect anything less
“The Royal We”