“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” – Charles Dickens.
Dude really covered his ass, didn’t he? I mean, that opening paragraph has more twists and counter-logical statements than an entire season of Lost, with enough leftover for another Terminator sequel. Either Dickens was a master of Zen, meditating quietly in the middle of London, or he tried to encapsulate his era by speaking as generally as possible.
So if he were alive today, he’d be an anchorman on Fox News.
Regardless, he was right on in how sometimes things are awesome to the exact degree that they also suck. After all, sitting beside every bottle of ketchup is a bottle of mustard.
It is in this vein that I present to you, Adored Readers,
Bo’s Best and Worst of the Aughties, music edition
Let’s try to keep in mind here that every best-of list will have its detractors. That’s fine. I’m sure they have their own blogs by now and can write about how awful my best-and-worst-of list is.(1) This is simply shit that I loved and hated about that not-so-naughty decade of aughties that just flew by.
So, without further ado…(2)
My favorite albums of the last decade are as follows:
- Haunted, by Poe
Brilliant, from beginning to end. And if you’ve read House of Leaves, it’s even better.
- Fevers and Mirrors, by Bright Eyes
Maybe Conor Oberst goes a little over the top sometimes, but I don’t care. Unlike the weird clan leader in Temple of Doom, Conor walks away having ripped my heart out of my chest.
- Our Endless Numbered Days, by Iron & Wine
Even on songs like Sodom, South Georgia, Sam Beam’s voice is like peace made into sound.
- Broken Social Scene, by Broken Social Scene
In my opinion, this album is the epitome of chamber pop. I love chamber pop like I loved your mom last night.
- Picaresque, by The Decemberists
I think most people would list The Crane Wife above this album. But, for my money, I’ll take songs like ‘We Both Go Down Together’ and ‘The Engine Driver’ every time. Add in ‘The Mariner’s Revenge Song’ and this album is worth more than my weight in gold.
- Begin to Hope, by Regina Spektor
Just as fun as her previous albums, but on this one she pays a little more attention to melody than to being the weirdest person in the studio.
- First Impressions of the Earth, by The Strokes
This album sounds like fucking. I like fucking.
- Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas
Sujfan’s Christmas album isn’t an album; it’s an experience. And, again, chamber pop rules the yule!
- Avenged Sevenfold, by Avenged Sevenfold
I’m not a metalhead by any stretch, but I can listen to this album over and over and over again. It’s fascinating.
- One Cell in the Sea, by A Fine Frenzy
Ali Monro is about the cutest woman ever, and damn does she write good lyrics. Pulling from Shakespeare and Blake, it’s music for the literature-inclined.
- Easy Tiger, by Ryan Adams
Mix the emotion of Fever and Mirrors with the lyricism of One Cell in the Sea, give it a slight country twang, and you’ve got one damn fine piece of art.
- Acid Tongue, by Jenny Lewis
Want a new favorite album? Give this one a spin.
And an honorable mention to This Desert Life, by Counting Crows, which was released merely two months too early to be on this list but is easily their best album since August and Everything After in 1993.
Now for the worst. This is a little trickier in that I don’t tend to listen to shit that I don’t like. These are albums that I tried, because of previous experience with the band, popular opinion, or strength of singles, and was sorely disappointed.
- Bounce, by Bon Jovi
I love Bon Jovi. I have since 1983. If I’d have known that 20 years later they’d slap me in the face with this lame fish, especially after Crush was such a strong album, I’d never have bothered.
- Silver Side Up, by Nickelback
And this is how it began. Fuck Nickelback and fuck every goddamn singer who’s come out since thinking this jackass sounds like awesome.
- Elephant, by The White Stripes
Many of my friends love The White Stripes. I think they’re just south of lame. In a bad way. This album bored the shit out of me.
- Love. Angel. Music. Baby., by Gwen Stefani
For a while, I kinda dug No Doubt. It was the mid-nineties and things were okay. Afterward, they started sucking and I guess I picked up this album hoping that Gwen went solo to bring back the magic. I was as wrong as two cousins humping on a Vespa.
- Back to Bedlam, by James Blunt
This douchecanoe sounds like a cross between Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams, aka Suckity Suck-Suck and Sir Sucking-Super-Suckage. I can’t remember why I tried listening to this piece of shit. And every time I hear that ‘Beautiful’ song I want to shit myself just to have something interesting happening.
- Come Away with Me, by Nora Jones
Come where, Nora? For a nap? This album made me instantly geriatric.
I’ll post more aspects for Bo’s Best-Of/Worst-Of The Aughties as we roll along into 2010. Stay tuned for my obviously majorly important opinions on movies, tv, gadgets, blogs, and maybe more.
- Because lots of people read my blog every day. Like, double-digits. Sometimes.
- Other than saying, ‘Without further ado,’ which is, of course, totally unnecessary and therefore itself just further ado.