Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2003

2003 - I had nearly 50 albums that I wanted to include on this list.  I whittled it down to a Top 12 and 15 Honorable Mentions and all but maybe 3 of the honorables I at one point had in my top 12.  Great, great year for music lovers.


#12 The White Stripes - Elephant - Rolling Stone just named this the number five album of the entire decade.  It was hard to leave it this low but I had to.  Seven Nation Army is a rock classic.

#11 Elbow - Cast of Thousands - I mentioned in 2001 that Elbow just kept getting better and better.  If I were a gambling man I would wager that you'll be seeing them again on this countdown (wink). 

#10 The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow - Not a life changer like their debut from 2001 but a very solid sophomore effort.

#9 Damien Rice - O - I would put the first four songs of this album up against the first four songs of any album in history.  Unbelievable tunes.  The album fades towards the end which is the only reason it didn't crack the top 3. 

#8 Radiohead - Hail to the Thief - Against the wishes of Dogface I will continue to push my Radiohead agenda here on the Skog Blog until I gain some more converts.  Thief is a much more accessible album for those who didn't enjoy their more experimental stuff.

#7 Eels - Shootenanny! - It would seem that the Eels cranked out an album every year but don't worry this will be the last you hear of them for a few years.

#6 Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers - Quite possibly the album that I listened to the most in 2003.  Got some love and radio play towards the end of the year and in 2004 for Stacey's Mom but this album is much more than that pop wonderhit.

#5 My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves - Not quite as beloved as the Southern Rock album at the top of this year's countdown but very close.  One Big Holiday is a guitar rock classic and Golden is as good as it gets for a ballad.

#4 Grandaddy - Sumday - Another Space/Country/California Rock Masterpiece.  The entire album is not available for streaming but can be sampled here.

#3 The Postal Service - Give Up - Unbelievable year for lead singer Ben Gibbard.  Give Up was a winner and he also released an album through his 'day job' as front man for Death Cab For Cutie that just barely missed the cut. 

#2 Guster - Keep It Together - Arguably this band's finest hour.  It was the subject of an Oldies But Goodies post this past summer. 

#1 Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood - One of the only benefits of being a music snob is that you can occasionally be ahead of the pack in regards to certain bands.  KOL is one of the biggest bands in the world now and I am pleased to say that I saw them perform with about 20 other people a few times in 2003 thanks to Flanksteak's early discovery of them.  This album will rock your socks off, blow your mind and every other rock cliche that I like to use.  If you jumped on the KOL Express after Use Somebody and Sex on Fire became two of the biggest hits of the past year then you owe it to yourself to go back and pickup their first albums.  Molly's Chambers might be the song of the decade.

Honorable Mentions

The Thrills - So Much For the City - Boys from Ireland recreate the Beach Boys and California Surf Rock.

Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress - Former mopey band picks up the pace and volume and creates the best album of their career up to that point.

Bishop Allen - Charm School - Nerd rock.  Herms approved.  Extremely tough to leave off the list.

Cafe Tacuba - Cuatro Caminos - Mexico's answer to Radiohead and yes I'll continue to push their agenda as well.

Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism - Might have made the list had The Postal Service's album not been a little better.

Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething - Take Harry Connick, Jr's musical stylings and mix it with Ben Folds' wit and you have Cullum.  Fantastic.

Jet - Get Born - If they had been able to write an album full of songs as good as Are You Gonna Be My Girl they could have given My Morning Jacket and KOL a run for their money.

Jose Gonzalez - Veneer - Heartbeats was featured on my 'Beach Playlist' and should be required listening for any playlist regardless of theme or location.

Mates of State - Team Boo - Saw this husband and wife duo open for Death Cab and was delighted.  Check out Ha Ha and Fluke.

Pete Yorn - The Day I Forgot - As solid as Pete Yorn always is.  Come Back Home and Burrito are the essential tracks here.

Rooney - Rooney - Flanksteak and I saw their video for Blueside and drove immediately to Best Buy and purchased this album.  Full of cheesy pop goodness.

Stellastarr* - Stellastarr - For anybody who laments the demise of the late 80's early 90's Modern Rock, My Coco and Jenny are must listens.

Sufjan Stevens - Michigan - Ambitious folk artist who planned to do an album for each of the 50 states.  So far he has settled for MI and IL.  Look for UT sometime in 2064.

The New Pornographers - Electric Version - I honestly avoided this band for a long time because I feared that they would be naughty.  My loss, as they were about as offensive as The Barenaked Ladies and wrote songs twice as catchy.

The Strokes - Room on Fire - Second album from the band didn't hold up as well as their debut but still quite spectacular.


Corbie said...

If all that was on this list was the Damien Rice album, it would still be the best list thus far.

Mindy said...

I agree with Corbie but I do love Mates of State.
Your countdown has been fun.