The list author says: "Some fantastic music came out of a decade known for the emergence of the MP3 and iPod. While people could instantly download a hit song and the MP3 and iPod playlist idea definitely harmed the concept of listening to an album in its entirety, there were still some amazing albums which defied this - masterpieces where virtually every song was a gem. Here's my completely subjective list."
"My favorite of the decade. This album was a grower but once it grew on me, I was hooked. AC Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar and the gang created perfection here. Every song is great - the harmonies, songcraft and instrumentation are top notch. The work of this band as well as that of their individual members is some of the best music the last decade produced."
"The Shins create perfect pop music. This album is the best example of this, although they have yet to put out a weak one. James Mercer is one of the best songwriters of the decade, and only good things are destined to come from this band."
"1999's the Soft Bulletin was their masterpiece, but in 2002, the Lips followed it up with yet another masterpiece. Combining the grand melodies of the Soft Bulletin with electronic textures and dense production, this is truly a headphone classic."
"Radiohead's 1990's output is some of the best music of all time. However, I was unenthused by their work in the early 00's, longing for a more song-driven album. In Rainbows was the first name your price download and that made headlines more than the music itself, which in my opinion, consisted of their best songs since OK Computer."
"DCFC took awhile to grow on me, but Transatlanticism came out - revealing a collection of songs which wouldn't remove themselves from my head. I then fell in love with this album and Ben Gibbard's songwriting. I discover new things with each listen and the absolutely perfect flow from song to song truly proves the art of the album is alive and well."
"Like his New Pornos cohort Neko Case, Dan Bejar produces a sound all his own when away from that band. And what a sound it is! Bejar's lyrics don't make a lot sense at first listen, but keep you listening. The music on this epic album is top notch - The musicians in Destroyer create a gorgeous soundscape of meandering guitars and piano to complement Bejar's amazing wordplay."
"In 2004 Green Day defied their stoner punk label with a truly intelligent and masterful concept album (with great hooks) about disillusionment with the country's paranoia and fear-based agenda. Green Day's best work ever."
"Like Janis Joplin, her self-destructive private life overshadowed her absolute brilliance. This album blew me away. Her voice, the classic R&B hooks, the neo-soul production of Mark Ronson... all so good. I just hope she has more of this in her."
"This is the decade of Neko Case. She can really do no wrong. Her work with the New Pornographers and as a solo artist are both truly astounding (although quite different). Neko's country-tinged tunes are one of a kind - and that voice.... wow.... Hard to pick my favorite, but her latest is where it all comes together for me."
"Bjork is a true musical innovator who never produces the same album twice. Her first work of the 00's was astounding, using both organic and electronic instrumentation to create a mesmerizing musical experience."
"The Decemberists are a highly literate and skillful band. Colin Meloy's songwriting and vocalisation is amazing. While they didn't really produce anything sub-par in this decade (their latest the Hazards of Love is a work of brilliance), their first album is still the one I find that moves me the most."
"Dan Bejar spent three albums perfecting Destroyer's sound from a two-track acoustic recording to the gradual addition of more musicians to this... a rock masterwork in every way possible. Bejar is at the top of his game here musically and lyrically, assisted by some incredible musicians."
"I said they were the best band around and I meant it. Their entire output is brilliant, but Challengers is aptly named since it is their most challenging album. Less hook-oriented than their first two and taking Twin Cinema's versatility one step further by introducing even more acoustic and intimate songs, Challengers is their most diverse and most complex album."
"Annie Clark is a young woman whose youth only means more incredible music is yet to come. Layered electronic orchestration, combined with organic woodwinds, and Annie's own guitar playing which can go from beautiful hooks to abrasive solos in the same song - not to mention her beautiful voice - define her music and it is amazing. Hard to believe she crafted most of this in her New York apartment."
"Belle and Sebastian continued to amaze in the 00's with this album, a relative departure from their work in the 90's. By the middle of the decade, B&S began to embrace a more multi-layered sound incorporated glam rock and R&B while still retaining the lyrical elegance that makes them one of the best bands of all time."
"U2 started off the 00's with their best album since Achtung Baby. They went back to their roots a little on this one, however songs like Wild Honey and New York showed them continuing to evolve their sound as they continued for another decade with very solid music."
"One of the most interesting releases of the decade, and one of the most emotional works you will ever hear. Recording in a remote Wisconsin cabin during a period of self-imposed isolation, Justin Vernon comes to terms with his emotions and uses music as a release. His songs are sparse, but his sound is big. The music draws you instantly."
"When this album came out in 2000 I thought these guys would be the band of the decade. However, the follow-ups became gradually more commercial, overproduced and less interesting. However, this album is simply beautiful sounding from beginning to end."
"Sam Beam's lo-fi acoustic brilliance is on center stage here. His haunting voice, songwriting and Nick Drake-influenced open tuned guitar style make Iron & Wine one of the best folk groups of the 2000's."
"I may be in the minority with this one, but I felt Reality was Bowie's best album since Scary Monsters. He hasn't released a new album since then which makes me wonder if the well is dry(?!) or if he is just slowly planning his next brilliant move. Reality has everything I come to expect from a good Bowie album. It's a classic sound but with a contemporary edge. The man still has it."
"Not a huge fan of hip-hop music, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Eminem is hands-down a genius. He writes raps which are mind-blowing and no matter what you think of him as a person, there is no denying that the man oozes talent. The Marshall Mathers LP was his masterpiece. Still unmatched."
"Gnarls Barkley's first album St. Elsewhere had "Crazy" - one of the most brilliant singles of the decade but although it had its moments it didn't match the brilliance of the single. With the Odd Couple, they got the album right. This is a much better collection of funky, strange and funny songs, defined by Danger Mouse's intricate sample-based instrumentation and Cee-Lo's classic R&B voice."
"This is an album that kicks off with the brilliant "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" and continues with one dark love song after another. Stars is buoyed by the vocal harmonic perfection of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan, who, after a few uneven releases, got it just right with this one."
"During the 2000's, Al Green returned to secular music and a sound mirroring his 1970's work (almost a little too much) but Lay It Down was his best of the decade - combining his classic sound with a more modern R&B feel. Green's voice is still in top form and his energy level seems to be unchanged. Well worth seeking out."