Monday, December 14, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2000

Long time readers of the Skog Blog will remember that last year I offered up the Twelve Days of Christmas countdown, wherein I posted my twelve favorite albums and songs of 2008.  While compiling my albums for 2009, I realized that many of the albums that will be making my list have already received a decent amount of love on the Skog Blog this year.  In order to create a little bit of excitement and not bore you I have decided that rather than counting down one album each day from 2009 I will do an end of the decade countdown instead.  Those of you who don't enjoy when I go all music all of the time might want to steer clear of the blog for the next few weeks.  I might sprinkle in a few random posts as well but I can't promise anything.

The method used to determine the best albums of each year will be a hybrid of what I liked at the time as well as which albums have stood the test of time and still find themselves in my rotation.  Because of this the charts might be a bit heavy on my favorite groups and singers.  Why am I doing this, you might ask?  Well, if one person discovers a single album that they would not have otherwise known or is reminded of one that they had forgotten then how great shall be my joy. 

Honorable Mentions

Everlast - Eat at Whitey's - Former frontman from House of Pain grabs an acoustic guitar and records a surprisingly good album. No sample available so find your own.

Pedro the Lion - Winners Never Quit - Might be hazardous to listen to while driving due to its extreme mellow nature.

Various Artists - O Brother Where Art Thou? - A great soundtrack from one of the greatest films of the decade.

Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy - Only misses the cut because of a few bad tracks.

Doves - Lost Souls - Contains arguably a top 5 song of all time (Catch the Sun).


#12 David Gray - White Ladder - Great tunes from top to bottom.

#11 The Hives - Veni Vidi Vicious -  By far one of the greatest of the garage band revival albums.  Hate to Say I Told You So is as catchy as a skilled fisherman.  Do not let that terrible metaphor keep you from sampling this album. 

#10 Jurassic 5 - Quality Control - If all hip hop was this good it would not only be the most popular genre in America (which I believe it currently is) but it would also be the favorite of KG as well.

#9 Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2 - If I had created this list back in 2000 this would have been much closer to the top.  I haven't listened to it as much as I should over the years but whenever I finally do I remember how great it is.

#8 Harvey Danger - King James Version - Most people will say that they have no idea who this Harvey Danger guy is.  Actually it is a band and unless you spend your days listening to B98.7 you would have at one point in your life heard Flagpole Sitta from their debut.  This is actually their second album and it is better than their first and proved they were no one hit wonder.  Alas, the general public didn't agree with my sentiment and Harvey Danger slowly faded into obscurity.

#7 - Radiohead - Kid A - Another album that was hard to keep as low as I did on this countdown.  This was the album that elevated Radiohead from just a great Britpop band to something more.  Experimental, challenging and not for everyone.  Quite possibly my favorite Radiohead album of all time and strangely enough the only one I didn't own - Wheels brought this one into our marriage.  Nicely done, Wheels.

#6 Clem Snide - Your Favorite Music
Full disclosure - I didn't even discover Clem Snide until the following year so I never even heard this album in the year 2000.  Trust me, I have made up for lost time and listened to this album more than nearly every other one on this list.

#5 Coldplay - Parachutes - Back when the boys were just pups, this is as good as any debut could possibly be.  Yellow got all of the radio love but there are much better songs on this album.  If you got on the Coldplay train late and for some reason missed this then you must go back and give it a listen.

#4 - Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast - This album is one of those best described as greater than the sum of its parts.  I'm pretty sure I used that cliche incorrectly but oh well.  There are only 3 or 4 songs that would be considered worthy of 'single' status but this album rewards those who listen from start to finish.  I bought this album on the same day as Parachutes above and even as good as the Coldplay album was I kept being drawn to Bewilderbeast therefore I gave it a spot one higher on the countdown.  Also, Badly Drawn Boy was the first concert I attended alone and was a very liberating experience.  I was tired of missing good shows because I was unable to convince people to go and Flanksteak was too young.  Thank you BDB.  Shortly thereafter I found Vanwarmer and then Wheels and I've never had to attend a concert alone again.

#3 Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker - As close to straight up country as the Skog Blog will allow.  Ryan Adams has written and continues to write some of the best songs of this past decade.  The man is prolific, putting out multiple albums each year.  He could have just retired after his first solo record though because this one remains his finest work.

#2 Elliott Smith - Figure 8 - I suppose everybody knows of my fondness for Elliott.  If you still haven't listened to him, here is another chance.  On Figure 8 he added more instruments and went from a folky act to more of a Beatles' pop sound.  Not a bad decision on his part.  If this album doesn't make you a fan then I give up.

#1 Grandaddy - Sophtware Slump - I discovered Grandaddy when they opened for Elliott Smith after driving to see him perform in Las Vegas even though the show was sold out and without informing my buddy, Al of this fact.  Fear not, we got into the concert and were treated with Grandaddy before the main course of Smith.  Grandaddy kept opening for many of my favorites (Elliott,  Pete Yorn) and would have opened for Coldplay around this same time had Yellow not become an international smash hit and had Chris Martin not decided that the tiny venue wasn't good enough for his band's presence.  Oh wait, he got laryngitis, of course, my apologies...  Sophtware Slump is a concept album of sorts about the evils of modern technology and is another that is better heard from start to finish.  I assume I just frightened off the bulk of you but those still willing to give them a shot should listen to The Crystal Lake and enjoy the ride.


flanksteak said...

No list that contains the word "Top" should also include the words "David" and "Gray". Other than that, I approve.

Corbie said...

What??? Flanksteak has lost it! The best stuff on here is David Gray. Your readers have all gone mad...totally and completely loony.