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Top Albums of the 2000s 

Our music team took a stab at picking their Top 10 best records of the decade

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Leah Sottile

10. Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped
9. Bjork: Vespertine
8. Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights
7. Tomahawk: Tomahawk
6. Blonde Redhead: 23
5. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
4. Radiohead: Kid A
3. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
2. PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
1. Mastodon: Leviathan

Mastodon’s 2004 record, Leviathan, shepherded in a new era for metal, one that was less about pyrotechnics and packed arenas and more about carving out small, specific, talent-based niches. Leviathan, the band’s second record, is a concept album based on Moby-Dick — something I’d usually say would be a fast track to failure. But here, Mastodon proves that with enough speeding guitars, guttural vocals and Frank Frazetta imagery, you can pull off pretty much anything. (LS)

Jeff Echert

10. The Strokes: Is This It?
9. Deerhunter: Microcastle
8. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion
7. National: Boxer
6. British Sea Power: The Decline of British Sea Power
5. The Mountain Goats: The Sunset Tree
4. Radiohead: Kid A
3. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People
2. Sunset Rubdown: Shut Up I Am Dreaming
1. Arcade Fire: Funeral

Funeral (2004) was the start of the Pitchfork generation. Whether you agree with the publication or hate it with a burning passion (or, like most of us, waver between the two), Arcade Fire’s career was practically lynch-pinned on the power of the momentous 9.7 it got from Pitchfork. The shift toward digital media had been happening before then, but not until Funeral was the impact felt as strongly. (JE)

Jon Brown

10. Deathspell Omega: Kenose
9. Madvillain: Madvillainy
8. Torche: Meanderthal
7. Jesu: Jesu
6. Radiohead: Kid A
5. Lurker of Chalice: Lurker of Chalice
4. Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights
3. Sunn O))): Black One
2. Spoon: Girls Can Tell
1. Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun

Sigur Ros came out of nowhere (Iceland, actually), playing otherworldly music and singing in a made-up language. This album, their second fulllength, still ranks as their best work — though their 2007 musical documentary film Heima comes in at a close second. The opening track, “Svefn-g-englar” will give you the good kind of goosebumps. (JB)

Chris Dreyer

10. Moldy Peaches: Moldy Peaches
9. Scared of Chaka: Crossing with Switchblades
8. Elliott Smith: Figure 8
7. No Age: Nouns
6. Thermals: More Parts Per Million
5. Ween: Quebec
4. Mars Volta: Frances the Mute
3. Dandy Warhols: Thirteen
Tales from Urban Bohemia
2. Katamari Damacy soundtrack
1. Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs 

Funny, vulgar, clever and profound, this triple-disc behemoth comprises a comprehensive study on the theory of love, dissecting it into 69 tidy pieces. Accompanied by equally diverse and spritely instrumentation, this complex honeycomb of experience that Stephen Merritt has assembled leaves the listener crying AND laughing. Excellent mix-tape fodder.

Seth Sommerfeld

10. Tegan and Sara: So Jealous
9. We are Scientists: With Love and Squalor
8. Nightmare of You: Nightmare of You
7. Saves the Day: Stay What You Are
6. Pedro the Lion: Control
5. Minus the Bear: Highly Refined Pirates
4. Against Me!: Reinventing Axl Rose
3. Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine
2. Green Day: American Idiot
1. Brand New: Deja Entendu

Never has the prospect of love (and, more specifically, sex) sounded less appealing than on Brand New’s Deja Entendu. In a decade where the over-sexualization of culture reached its saturation point and then sprinted beyond it, Jesse Lacey’s lyrics of fear, loathing, longing, lusting and loss land with pointed poignancy.

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