Posts Tagged ‘justin timberlake’

Favorite Albums of the 2000’s: 30 – 21

September 8, 2010

Albums 100 – 91

Albums 90 – 81

Albums 80 – 71

Albums 70 – 61

Albums 60 – 51

Albums 50 – 41

Albums 40 – 31

30.  Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)

Late Registration is Kanye West’s best album so far. Minus the skits it kills from front to back. Every track has a genius moment whether it is the Curtis Mayfield sample on “Touch The Sky”, actually making Adam Levine useful on “Heard ‘Em Say”, Nas’ verse on “We Major”, and especially Jay-Z’s guest spot on “Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)”. Straight fire, that one. Everyone involved brings their A-game because the A-game is the only way Kanye operates. Every song is meticulous and the beats are varied and wonderful. He could have released every song off here as a single.

29.  Modest Mouse – Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)

I’m not a Modest Mouse superfan for the simple fact that everything previous to this record sounds to me like screeching crazy talk or boring mumblecore. Good News is a lark, a bitter pop record that just happened to resonate with a large group of listeners at just the right time. Every song on here is wonderful, even the bad ones. A fun thing to do with this album is test people and see how many can tolerate “Dance Hall”. On repeat.

28.  Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours (2008)

In a way, Cut Copy are too subtle. In Ghost Colours is the jam, no doubt, but the first couple listens aren’t immediately obvious because unlike music that is popularly associated with dancing, it don’t bludgeon you into submission. The guys in Cut Copy lend a soft, airy sound to their tracks, which they then lay their synths and hooks on top of. “Polite” isn’t quite the right word, “courtesy” might be better. After a couple listens though you realize that every track kills, is the jam, is your favorite song ever.

27.  Liars – Liars (2007)

Liars are a infuriating band. Their first album is fire, their second album is an abortion, and their third is offensive in the worst way: it’s fucking boring. That said, Liars is a return to the straight fire of the album #1 with touches of the better elements of their otherwise shit records. It rocks, it howls, it has actual riffs! It might be the only time that Liars decided to be awesome and not give up halfway through and just moan into the microphone for 45 minutes.

26.  Justin Timberlake – Justified (2002)

Michael Jackson made this album by passing on these beats. Oh Michael. In packaging and design Justified looks like any other solo record from a former boy bander, but thanks to those beats and a natural swagger and confidence Justin Timberlake was able to free himself of that past, to the point where I’ve actually heard people say, “Which group was he in again?” Remarkable.

25.  Tenacious D – Tenacious D (2001)

This might be the single most hilarious comedy album of all time(True). I have every line of it memorized(also true). Along with being very very funny it also has great songs. I heard someone lament that the idea of a fully produced rock record misses the point of Tenacious D. I would argue that the appeal of the D was that they were actually really great all along and that this record is a fluke of genius that answers the question: “What would Tenacious D(the fictional band in this scenario) actually write about on a full length album?” Doubling teaming and cock pushups, that’s what.

24.   Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)

Paul Banks has a great voice. His lyrics are weird but never particularly awful. Turn On The Bright Lights is a sad ode to New York City. You could view it as a reaction to 9/11, or just a piece on grief and change in general. Banks’ lyrics lend themselves to your own interpretation. The production is grand and because it rocks for most of it’s runtime there isn’t an overbearing cloud of melancholy. The bright lights of the title might mean “Time to stop sitting in the dark and get back out there!”

23.  Jay-Z – Jay-Z: Unplugged (2001)

Greatest Unplugged ever. The Roots play Jay-Z’s songs, Jay-Z raps half of them, lets the audience handle the other half and basically it’s the best party ever. Fresh off the release of The Blueprint, Hov is smooth, confident and hilarious. But of course he is. Hits for days and days and days.

22.  Fall Out Boy – From Under The Cork Tree (2005)

Did you know that Fall Out Boy were(Were? Oh. Damn.) one the great pop bands of this glorious decade? True story. From Under The Cork Tree was the first indication of their skills as hook men. All great songs, energy to spare and enthusiasm. Can’t say that enough. They might have sucked live but the recorded work is what will live on. You know who else sucked live? The Beatles. Just sayin’.

21.  Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf (2002)

Queens of the Stone Age make an album mocking the lameness and homogenization of rock radio and end up getting played on rock radio. Songs for the Deaf is Queens heaviest record and the last to feature Josh collaborating with Nick. And Dave Grohl drums. Oh does he drum. I read some interviews around the time of Lullabies release that the making of Songs was a tough process with “certain people” around that Josh didn’t want around. I’ve always figured it was producer Eric Valentine, whose other production credits include a Good Charlotte album and the first Third Eye Blind record. What kind of advice and guidance could he possibly give Josh? My guess is that they threw Valentine’s name on the credit list but didn’t listen to a thing he said, like Sloan did on Twice Removed. The radio skits on Songs were derided at the time of release but hold up as the glue that keeps the record cohesive and flowing instead of mishmash of ideas.


Favorite Albums of the 2000’s: 40 – 31

August 19, 2010

Albums 100 – 91

Albums 90 – 81

Albums 80 – 71

Albums 70 – 61

Albums 60 – 51

Albums 50 – 41

40.  !!! – Myth Takes (2007)

Every great album should have a song that makes people scream and freak out, sending them running down hallways, grabbing random passersby and telling, nay, demanding they listen to this song! “Heart of Hearts” is that song and my friend Lauren ran down a short hallway in order to grab me and make sure I heard it. The pulsing funk beat of “Heart” is !!! at their finest and Myth Takes is their finest work to date, eschewing the jammier moments of their previous records and generating some good old fashion tension and release. Nic Offer’s “perv in the corner of the club” vocals hang just fine though any attempts at sincerity don’t work. Who cares? DANCING!

39.  Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)

If you ever see Justin Timberlake on TV, in interviews, walking down the street, you’ll notice that he is stylishly dressed and pretty pleased with himself. If you made FutureSex/LoveSounds you would also have a sunny attitude and the money in which to buy stylish clothing. While what the songs are about is nothing new(Love found, love lost, love solidified, the return of Sexy), their delivery and presentation are(or were) innovative and mindblowing. “My Love” was that shit, is that shit, shall always be that shit. FutureSex/LoveSounds is so good that can’t even ruin it with the worst rap in the world.

38.  Nada Surf – Let Go (2002)

I was having the greatest day when I first heard Let Go. I remember picking it out of a pile of promo discs at my college radio station and proclaiming, “My day is going so great, I’m going to give the new Nada Surf album a try. I didn’t even know they still existed, and it might suck, but I’m feeling charitable.” I’m paraphrasing myself but it was something like that. Let Go extended my good mood by being a fantastic album. Nada Surf sounded confident and assured with sharp production and good tunes. While Let Go is a sad record for the most part, it’s a sincere melancholy that is earned and not at all garish. But enough about the sad stuff. This record has Nada Surf’s most rocking material: “Fruit Fly”, “Hi-Speed Soul”, and “Treading Water”, highlights all. “Inside of Love” is the standout and the blueprint Nada Surf have structured everything they’ve done since. Not a bad choice.

37.  LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (2005)

James Murphy has this rep as being a curmudgeon which is fitting since he is a bit of a comedian. “Losing My Edge” and “Beat Connection” are funny, funny songs that you just also happen to be able to dance to. “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” has the joke right in the title, and has the common courtesy to actually address this occurrence in the song. I’m just saying, plenty of songs have titles that don’t actually pay off lyrically.

36.  Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze (2005)

After three great albums Josh Homme decided to make a fourth great album. Lullabies can sorta be thought of as a break up album, seeing as it was made after Josh booted Nick Oliveri from the band. But the lyrical themes remain the same and the riffs just as heavy. Plus, when I picked it as my favorite album of 2005 I jokingly photographed myself post-coitus with the CD for a livejournal post. Youthful indiscretions.

35.  Say Anything – …Is A Real Boy (2004)

Emo music tends to be the worst kind of music for the simple fact that the emotions on display never evoke any emotion from me. It is plenty of handwringing and yelping while still managing to be boring as hell. If you’re going to make such introverted music then at the very least keep my attention. …Is A Real Boy is an album that keeps my attention. Max Bemis writes personal songs about how he wrote a personal song about a girl and she heard it and now she won’t fuck him anymore so you better hit up the merch table. Hilarious! Seriously. Say Anything are a pretty great band with chops, hooks, and a just a touch of charm under all that bile. If you’re going to say things like “I want to do you right where you are standing”, at least put that line in a song with a great bait and switch open.

34.  Justice – † (2007)

“Waters of Nazareth” is for parties where you burn down the house at the end, “DVNO” is for your inner diva, and “D.A.N.C.E.” is good with the kids. French people continue to be great.

33.  Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)

Kanye West’s funniest album. It is so eager to please you’d think someone told him he’d never get to make another one. The skits suck and the last track is something no one ever makes it through but the guy clearly had it from the start. “Slow Jamz”, “We Don’t Care”, “Spaceship”: fire, son. Hate him all you want, but hits for days.

32.  At The Drive In – Relationship of Command (2000)

The Mars Volta are too wanky and Sparta are a goddamn bore. Yet if you put them together their differences temper the others weaknesses and you get Relationship of Command, which quite simply rules. The lyrics are still gibberish as in Volta but the songs are precise jams. Powerful, speaker blowing freakouts.

31.  …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead – Source Tags and Codes (2002)

Hey, these guys were never able to top this record either. Starts loud and stays loud, Source Tags and Codes instantly solidified Trail of Dead as some bad-ass motherfuckers. The riff on “Another Morning Stoner” is effortlessly tossed out as if to say, “We do this shit all the time.” Subsequent records would prove this untrue but for Source Tags and Codes‘ 45 minute run time these guys are making it sound easy.

Six years, son.

October 30, 2008

Six years later, this track, hell this whole album kills. Ok, maybe skip some of the slow songs and that Brian McKnight crap at the end. In a way, was this the Neptunes last gasp? While I'm a fan of Hell Hath No Fury, it wasn't a masterpiece(aside from Wamp Wamp, which is fucking genius) and I'm at loss to think of anything that reaches the pure wonder of "Like I Love You". Maybe that's why Timberlake only worked with Timbaland on FutureSex/LoveSounds, because he knew the Neptunes were kinda over. Holy crap, I just remembered that the Clipse aren't letting the Neptunes do their next album. Just a couple songs, maybe. Damn. Y'know what? Forget it. 

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