As with all lists, it’s a collection of things I’ve never heard of and things I dislike, this time sprinkled with a couple of albums I do like but would count amongst my favorite 50 albums of the decade only because I am not sure I have purchased 50 albums from this decade.
Here is my additions to all the 2000’s albums I own that I like that I think deserve to be in the top 50, through some combination of sheer awesomeness, influence, and my own perception of “what should be on a critic’s list”. Note that many of these did not reach Critic’s lists despite being both popular and very critic-accessable.
Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most. This album buried Nu-metal and all its over-aggressive cousins. If it weren’t for this album there would be a lot of System of a Down and Tool clones on everyone else’s lists. But while Nu-metal lingered on due to its aging, rich, demographic, the buzz around this album was such that for the rest of the decade the momentum was with the less-than-completely-postal-all-the-time varieties of alternative music.
Park - Building a Better ____ . The classic 2000’s argument is “what is Emo?” Park fits all of these definitions: hardcore, melodic, angsty, whiney. Plus it’s completely awesome.
Postal Service: Give Up. While spotty, the sheer brilliance of the good songs and their immense penetration into pop and musical culture solidify its place in the most influential albums of the decade.
And a two-fer: Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank and Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd. These albums were completely ignored by the critics despite their seemingly pandering stance of musical maturity, as if to ask what more the self-affectedly deep list makers could want. Even though they both reek of this willful expansion of musical horizons, I like them both, as they still incorporate infectious grooves and lyrics along with their Baroque Rock sensibilities.
Okay, I will add another twofer: Coheed and Cambria: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3, and My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade. Much like the previous two examples seemed a pandering move toward musical maturity, these could be looked at as a conscious swerve toward Progressive in order to garner critics praise. But the energy that they pour into the music lets you know that this is really what they wanted to do all along, rather than their previous, more emocore oriented offerings, and like the previous two albums, they managed to succeed in both musical genres.