'Kid A,' 'Elephant' and 38 other reasons why the 2000s were a good decade for music
With the advent of iPods and file-sharing, the decade of the '00s hasn't been kind to the music industry—but it's been very kind to the fans, making it easier than ever before to seek out new sounds and discover worthy new artists. Brilliant new acts emerged (hello, Bon Iver); old favorites retired (farewell, Sleater-Kinney). Radio declined and bloggers ascended, anointing new heroes on a seemingly weekly basis, some of which (Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens) actually stuck around for awhile. And through it all, despite dire predictions about its impending demise, the album prevailed as the preeminent format for recorded music. Maybe Radiohead really have stopped making them, and maybe other acts will follow, but for fans and critics alike, there's something about a cohesive collection of songs that captures our imagination in a way that individual tracks still can't.
Here, then, after much debate and disagreement, are the top 40 albums of the past decade, as chosen by Metromix's national staff of writers, editors and critics. We hope you'll agree with some of our picks; we're sure you'll dispute just as many. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for other titles in the comments section. And we truly hope this list will inspire you to seek out at least one or two of these amazing records.—Andy Hermann, Matt Pais, Tamara Palmer, Scott Thill, Keith N. Dusenberry, Adam McKibbin, Matt Rodbard and Kirk Miller, Metromix