Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mike Jaynes' Top Ten Albums of the Decade

This also took me awhile, and much sweat and tears. For me, these are all albums that A) I still have something of a strong emotional connection with, or link me to a specific time in my life and B) I can listen to all the way through almost without fail and appreciate every song.

10. The Raconteurs - Consoler of the Lonely (2008)

Like Dan, I needed a little rock that was not so indie, and this gets the number 10 spot (partly because it came along most recently). I really, really dig this album, even with the fact that Jack only sings on about half the songs. My brother introduced it to me during the summer after Sam's death, so there might be some sentimental attachment clouding my opinion of the record, but ah well. Best song: Carolina Drama

9. The Decemberists - Picaresque (2005)

The Crane Wife made two appearances already on our lists, but I honestly hold a far greater love for this album. I certainly love The Crane Wife and its scope of storytelling is impressive, but the variety of songs and stories on this album have always appealed to me. It was also the first of their albums I listened to, and I listened to the hell out of it during my first year at Upton (along with numbers 5 and 1). Best song: Mariner's Revenge Song, duh.

8. The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)

I couldn't put Rush on my list because they haven't released an album that really held my attention this decade, but The Mars Volta is close enough for me. Tool's Lateralus was another consideration for this spot, but I think I like De-Loused a little better. This album brings me to my freshman year at Tulane, a bittersweet time. Best song: Son Et Lumiere / Inertiatic Esp

7. Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow (2002)

There are a lot of rap albums that I could have put on this list, but of all the thoughts I had (Aesop Rock, Jay-Z, Kanye), Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow stands supreme. Impressive lyricism, flow, beats, and a ten-minute long song that features both Saul Williams and Zack de la Rocha. Best Song: Release

6. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things (2002)

I would probably rank all of the Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis albums on some "top 100 albums of the decade" list, because I love them all that much. Something about her voice, the clever/sexy/tragic lyrics, and overall catchiness of their music really works for me. This album in particular brings me back to a certain relationship to be sure, specifically With Arms Outstretched, but I've listened to it so much outside of that context it doesn't even really factor into my affection for it anymore. Best song: The Execution of All Things

5. Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory (2005)

This album was the soundtrack (har har) to all-night games of Civ 3 with Mabeuf and Dru (along with The Weakerthans and Ted Leo), and I can still listen to it all the way through and sing along to every song any given day of the week. MCS' other albums are enjoyable, but I don't feel like they've ever been able to match this one. Best Song: LGFUAD

4. The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed (2004)

Dan and Micky both went for The Sunset Tree, but for me it doesn't get better than this album. Admittedly, I listen to this, The Sunset Tree, and Tallahassee almost equally, but I think We Shall All Be Healed is my favorite because it's so unrelentingly grim. Tallahassee is about the way we destroy each other in relationships, The Sunset Tree is about how parents destroy children, but this album is about how we destroy ourselves with drugs. I can get into that sort of thing. Plus, Your Belgian Things makes me think of Sam so goddamn much I want to cry whenever I hear the lines: "I saw the mess you left up in the east bedroom / A tiger's never gonna change its stripes / I guess / I guess but Jesus what a mess". Best song: Your Belgian Things

3. Say Anything - ...Is A Real Boy (2004)

I feel the same way about Dan with regard to this album. If you lived in or around Upton, you probably don't need an explanation as to why I think this is one of the best albums of the decade. If you really want to talk about it, though, I guess we can. Best song: I Want to Know Your Plans

2. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (2005)

I love this band. Katie Menowsky gave me this album a long time ago when she was visiting Upton in the early days, but I never paid it much mind until a couple of years later. Now, it's one of my favorite and one of my most played of all time. Challengers was also a great album, but I think I need to give it a little more time to ferment in my brain. Best song: The Bleeding Heart Show

1. The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site (2003)

This album, this band. I don't feel like I should have to explain myself here, but I can remember Max putting this song on for me in his van, as we were driving to the liquor store at noon in Kingwood to buy giant cans of beer. For some reason, we had stayed up all night. This was the summer before I moved into Upton, and the album stuck with me when I moved in. Again, like The Mountain Goats, I love all of the band's work, but nothing shines as brightly in my mind as this record. Best song: A New Name for Everything

Phew. That was fun. See the comments for my not-so-short-list.


Mike Jaynes said...

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife (2006), Picaresque (2005)
The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour (2007), Reconstruction Site (2003)
The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree (2005), We Shall All Be Healed (2004)
Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow (2002)
Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things (2002)
Say Anything - ...Is A Real Boy (2004)
The Raconateurs - Consoler of the Lonely (2008)
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
Counting Crows - Hard Candy (2002)
Outkast - Stankonia (2000)
Jay-Z - The Black Album (2003)
Kanye West - Graduation (2007)
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2008)
Daft Punk - Discovery (2001)
The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)
Brand New - Deja Entendu (2003)
Death Cab for Cutie - The Photo Album (2001)
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)
Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory (2005)
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (2005), Challengers (2007)
The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow (2003)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell (2003)
Tool - Lateralus (2001)

Brian said...

i made mine before i read your comments, and i thought "wow yall left off tool and brand new", but . . .

dammit i forgot about yeah yeah yeahs so good.