Best of the decade: 100-91

Introduction here. I’m starting to use jumps, as the previews are messing with load times.


Band: The Flaming Lips
Album: Embryonic

The Flaming Lips’ latest album is less focused than others the band has released, but far less cutesy or maniacal. The band’s other efforts from the decade are nice, but sound forced and, often, obnoxious. Embryonic is sprawling and lovely. It’s crazy and subdued. It’s the band’s best work since The Soft Bulletin


Band: Animal Collective
Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion

I’m hardly a fan of Animal Collective, but the band’s eighth album is taut and fun. It’s the first non-background music release by the band, full of melody and strife. It’s got long songs and catchy ones, with some striking complexity in its arrangements.


Band: Daft Punk
Album: Human After All

I wrote about it here, but I’ll add this: Among unfairly maligned albums, Human After All is near the top. I still love the concept and I still love the album.


Band: !!!
Album: Louden Up Now

I’ve seen !!! live twice and can say they are among the best live bands on the planet. Probably overhyped, !!!’s second record is danceable and furious.


Band: Rihanna
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad

Her tabloid nonsense has taken over the discussion of her and it’s easy to forget that Rihanna made a really fucking good record. Armed with several singles, Good Girl Gone Bad is outstandingly simple and outstandingly fun. Club jams abound.


Band: Kanye West
Album: 808s & Heartbreak

Another album about which I’ve written, 808s & Heartbreak is a lovely record, but wildly overdone and wildly overpraised.


Band: Sam Prekop
Album: Who’s Your New Professor

No question, this is a “Ross’ tastes” pick. I adore the Sea and Cake and Prekop’s voice is a large part of that. On his second record, Prekop perfects his bossa nova sound.


Band: Explosions in the Sky
Album: The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place

Just as the Sam Prekop record is clearly my taste, Explosions in the Sky is a band I’ve probably underrated here. I love Explosions and they put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever experienced. The band’s third record is emotive and lovely; a version of “Your Hand in Mine” was used to score the TV show Friday Night Lights.


Band: Aereogramme
Album: My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go

Creating some sort of emo record, Aereogramme stepped slightly outside of its collective comfort zone on My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go. The band’s last record is dynamic and fun, but ultimately, probably a little too melodramatic.


Band: Radiohead
Album: Kid A

Bet you didn’t expect this here, did you?


I’m probably being a little reactionary in putting this record up so far, considering I have other records by the band ranked far higher. I do love Kid A and I think there is a lot to like about the record. But, I do think Pitchfork put the album too high, at no. 1. And I think Kid A was thought to be the new Dark Side when it came out.

And I don’t buy it.

Look, again, I think the record is good. I just prefer the band’s other work.

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