Since the decade is almost over, I thought I’d devote some space to what I think are the best things produced since 2000. I’ll start with music.
My favorite CDs of the decade by year. I’m rating them by how much I listened to them rather than some specific aesthetic reasons:
2000: Juanes, Fijate Bien. Juanes’s later stuff is good, but nothing he’s done quite matches the amazing fusion of themes and genres of this one.
2001: Bjork, Vespertine. Weird and breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.
2002: Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. No popular music has ever moved me like this CD.
2003: Damien Rice, O. Maybe it’s just the simple arrangements or the ragged vocals, but it’s just lovely.
2004: Brian Wilson, Smile. Imagine what people would have been saying had he actually finished this in 1967. Even for 2004, it’s still astonishingly good.
2005: Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. Who doesn’t like Conor Oberst?
2006: Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Snarky punk-pop with brilliant lyrics.
2007: Radiohead, In Rainbows. It’s Radiohead, OK?
2008: Vampire Weekend. Yeah, I know, it’s silly trust-fund fake Third World pop, but it’s damn catchy.
2009: Neil Young Archive (though it really doesn’t count because it’s a box of old stuff).
CD of the Decade: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot