It’s impossible to make a “best of the decade” list coming just from my perspective. It would be inaccurate and unfair. I decided, instead, to list some of my favorite works from the past decade. The albums below are the ones I always come back to and enjoy spin after spin. The list may be disproportionately heavy on the second half of the decade, but for good reason: I graduated college in 2001 and was preoccupied with finding a job. I also had no money for music. Then the cycle started again with grad school, cutting my time and money for music way down. Having said that, I’ve always made it a general practice to scan new release listings and read album reviews of all genres. In short, the second half of the 00s was better for me musically. With that said, here’s my list. I eliminated compilation and live albums from my selections. These 12 albums below were nearly impossible to rank as each one means quite a lot to me.
12. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand (2007)
11. Black Tide – Light from Above (2008)
10. Damone – Out Here All Night (2006)
09. Guns n’ Roses – Chinese Democracy (2008)
08. Britney Spears – Circus (2008)
07. Bullet for My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire (2008)
06. Crashdiet – Rest in Sleaze (2005)
05. Michael Jackson – Invincible (2001)
04. Avenged Sevenfold – Waking the Fallen (2003)
03. Lynam – Slave to the Machine (2006)
02. Alison Krauss and Union Station – Lonely Runs Both Ways (2004)
01. Slipknot – All Hope is Gone (2008)
Slipknot is also my band of the decade. From Iowa to All Hope is Gone and everything in between, the ‘Knot has developed a unique brand of heavy metal meets stagecraft. Their shows are part brutality, part survival of the fittest, part theatre of the absurd. They may be geniuses or just a collection of insane gents who can really play the hell out of their instruments, I'm not sure. Whatever the case, All Hope is Gone may be one of the best metal albums of all time, not just the decade.
I won’t spend time writing about each release. In most cases, I’ve already done that at some point on this website. Still, if you’re so inclined, you might check out Alison Krauss and Union Station. I quite enjoy bluegrass music, which seems to mystify people. The guitar parts are technical and the songs tell a real story – and the vocalist needs a good set of pipes. You get all that and so much more on Lonely Runs Both Ways. The album won a slew of Grammys and for good reason: it’s brilliant. Tone and control take refinement and practice. Krauss delivers both effortlessly.
Invincible is Michael Jackson’s last true studio release. It happens to include my favorite MJ single “You Rock My World.” That song was nominated for a Grammy and was the last music video ever to feature MJ. The song is also my ringtone.
So, that’s it for me. Some of my favorites from the past 10 years. I still can’t believe we’re about ready to switch over to 2010. I must be getting old!
As we wait for the year to roll on by, please take a minute to tell me some of your favorites from the past decade. I can’t wait to compare notes. The chances of any two people having the same list is so slim, it’s a fascinating look into what makes us all tick.
Check out some other "best of" lists at these fine websites:
Heavy Metal Addiction -- http://hardrockheavymetal.wordpress.com/
Hard Rock Hideout -- http://hardrockhideout.wordpress.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine -- http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense -- http://rnrnonsense.toomanyvoices.com/
All Metal Resource -- http://allmetalresource.com/
Imagine Echoes -- http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Metal Excess -- http://metalexcess.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect -- http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
Rock Of Ages -- http://rockofages.wordpress.com/
The Metal Minute -- http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/