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Harris’ Top 20 Albums of the Decade (5-1)

Once again after a lot of thought on my part, I have reached my top five albums of the decade. So much thought went into these albums and I really appreciate you sticking around to read this long. Please leave your top albums of the decade in the comments and let me know what I’ve missed.

5. No Strings Attached, *NSYNC (2000): As far as boy bands go, there are only two that people remember. The Backstreet Boys alongside *NSYNC changed the way music was marketed and recorded. Things were bigger than ever and although most of the decade was spent with Justin Timberlake leaving the boy band persona behind him, they did release two albums after the turn of the century. As the most successful album the band ever had, “No Strings Attached” sold over eleven-million copies in the United States and became permanent part of music history and pop culture.

4. Take off Your Pants and Jacket, Blink 182 (2001): Although they made a name for themselves in the ‘90s, no one can deny what this album brought to the punk rock world. For me, this is the last true punk album on a mainstream level by any band. After this album there was a universal move towards over-production and more dramatic recordings. The simple punk beats and fast paced bass lines were gone. Leave it to the boys from Blink to leave us our great last punk album.
3. Carnival Vol. II Memoirs of an Immigrant, Wyclef Jean (2007): There’s hip-hop and then there is melodic hip-hop. No artist understands this principle more than Jean. Employing an amazing amount of instruments in putting this album together, Jean tapped into singers voices as instruments bringing in Norah Jones, Shakira, Paul Simon and Akon to sing on this record. Bringing sounds from all over the world together, Jean also brings his incredible guitar abilities to the table with this magical album full of amazing songs.
2. Graduation, Kanye West (2007): Listen, I’m gonna to let you finish reading this list, but first you have to read about how Kanye had the second best album of the decade (reference to his 2009 MTV VMA’s rant). Sitting in between a string of successful singles and his terrible experiment into Auto-tune, West released “Graduation,” securing his name as a full package performer. An album carried almost entirely on his shoulders, West is able to put a collection of songs together in a perfect flow. This is the perfect hip-hop album with great production quality and an incredible lineup of songs of all styles and tempos.

1. American Idiot, Green Day (2006): What can I say about this album? Being in a band when it first came out in 2006, I remember jumping into my lead singer’s Caravan and racing to Hot Topic to pick up this album. Little did I know at the time the type of impact it would have on me as I grew up. The album inspired an entire generation to think different and to challenge authority, something that music lacked for the previous 10 years. Looking back, it is hard to point to just one song that made this the best album of the decade.

Instead, it is comprised of a string of songs that all blend together seamlessly. Containing two songs in excess of eight minutes and a number of hit singles, “American Idiot” reigns supreme as the album of the decade. One of my first rants as a writer carried the title of the album and there was an angst within this album that anyone growing up through the wars of the Bush administration could wrap their minds around.

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2 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by Melanie Wilson posted December 26, 2009 at 22:42

    I liked your picks for top songs better. I really didn’t like the American Idiot album. I’ve never even heard a Wyclef Jean song, and there is no Fall Out Boy on the list… :-/ or what about Maroon 5?? I think there is just wayy too much to pick from. It was a long decade……