Rolling Stone’s Top Music of the Decade vs. Mine: It’s on!
Several months back, I wrote a post regarding Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 500 Songs of All Time”, and how much I disagreed with it. Well, most of it. Well, at the on-set of 2010, Rolling Stone put out an issue similar to the “Top 500″: “The Decades Best Songs & Albums, 2000-2010″. The nice thing about this list, or lists, is that they are relevant to the music scene of today, for the most part. There are zero Beatles songs. Zero Rolling Stones albums. Bob Dylan, however, managed to mumble his way on to the Top 50 albums of the decade not once, but twice! This is Rolling Stone magazine, so it’s no surprise.
I won’t list the whole 50 albums, but here are the Top 10 albums of the current decade (taken from RS’s list of the Top 50 albums of the ’00s)
- Kid A – Radiohead
- Is This It - The Strokes
- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Wilco
- The Blueprint - Jay-Z
- Elephant – The White Stripes
- Funeral – Arcade Fire
- The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem
- Modern Times – Bob Dylan
- Kala – M.I.A
- The College Dropout – Kanye West
Hmm… I suppose I can only disagree based on personal taste, but if you are to look at album sales and overall hype and then compose this list, I wouldn’t expect it to be much different. Glad to see pop-stars excluded…well, in the Top 10, as for the Top 50, that’s another story. Surprised to see M.I.A. here. I know that everyone loves Radiohead, but they definitely would not be on my list (not in the top 10 at least). And I wouldn’t have three of their albums in the Top 50, nor would I have three Kanye albums in the Top 50…. Nice to see, however, My Morning Jacket’s Z at #31 and Kings of Leon’s Aha Shake Heartbreak at #39. (I can’t get over how much better KOL’s first three albums are than their last two)
Top 10 songs of the current decade (according to RS mag)
- Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
- 99 Problems – Jay-Z
- Crazy in Love - Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
- Hey Ya! – OutKast
- Paper Planes – M.I.A.
- Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
- Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Rehab – Amy Winehouse
- Beautiful Day – U2
- Stan – Eminem
Again, I can only disagree based on personal taste; however, I can definitely respect the following selections: Stan, Rehab, Seven Nation Army, Hey Ya!, and Crazy. Again, a little surprised to see Paper Planes in the Top 10, as good of a song as it is. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs? No, no, no. I know this is an open-genre list, hence the Beyonce feat. Jay-Z, etc, but where’s the country music? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a country music fan, but if we’re spanning all genres…. did Nashville fall of the face of Rolling Stone’s musical map?
As all opinion-based lists go, there will never be 100% agreement. This, I am well aware. But these lists are a little ridiculous to me. When you try to create a list that’s not genre-specific, yet, still only scratch the surface on some genres and are too heavy on others, it will likely be an epic fail as these lists are (in my opinion). I find it hard to take seriously a list that includes The White Stripes, 50 Cent, Randy Newman, LCD Soundsystem, Kelis and Arcade Fire all in one. Good on Rolling Stone for trying, though.
Now it’s my turn to try. Here are MoreThanAFeeling Music Blog’s top 10 albums and songs of the past decade:
- By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers After the immense success and heavy touring supporting Californication, RHCP finally hit the studios and mellowed out with their first album of the new decade. I wasn’t a big fan of this album upon first listen and casually dismissed it as “not nearly as good as Californication”; nearly a year after the purchase, I gave it another chance and didn’t stop playing it for a few months. It’s that good.
- Chemical City – Sam Roberts The album that got me hooked on Mr. Roberts and his troop. His shortest album, but each song is different and equally heavy in it’s own way. Purchased his other albums within weeks of buying this one.
- Los Lonely Boys – Los Lonely Boys The best Texican blues band around, one of the most entertaining live shows I’ve seen, and a phenomenal debut album from the three brothers from San Angelo, Texas. Mix Stevie Ray Vaughan and Carlos Santana and you have the Los Lonely Boys.
- Because of the Times - Kings of Leon The album that got me hooked on the Kings; very difficult to decide between this one and Aha Shake Heartbreak but went with the album that has Fans, Knocked Up, Camaro and Ragoo.
- Matt Mays + El Torpedo – Matt Mays + El Torpedo The Canadian Tom Petty, as I refer to Matt Mays. Don’t think so? Listen to On The Hood or the broken-hearted tale of St. George’s Lane. Even if you disagree, this is a fantastic album from start to finish.
- Wincing the Night Away – The Shins Many would argue that their debut Oh, Inverted World is the better Shins album. Well, I don’t own it. I own this one and love it all, from the trippy opener, Sleeping Lessons to the giddy tribute to the Beach Boys, Turn On Me.
- One Day Remains – Alter Bridge My heavier rock side rears it’s head here, and I love it! There’s a majesty in the soaring melodies mixed with a heavily distorted PRS, thanks to lead guitarist Mark Tremonti and lead singer Myles Kennedy. If you’re thinking “just a Creed rip-off”, you should listen to the album and realize you’re mistaken. Not a weak song to be found.
- It Still Moves – My Morning Jacket Their single One Big Holiday off this album, or MMJ in general can likely be credited as the reason I began paying attention to the indie rock scene (ironically, I first heard about them in Rolling Stone Magazine). I also love their album Evil Urges, but with songs like Mahgeetah and One Big Holiday, It Still Moves conquers.
- Play – Brad Paisley WTF? Country? Yep. This album features my favourite part of country music: twangy Telecasters and chicken-pickin’ a plenty. Considering it’s mostly an instrumental album, I don’t have to hear the lonesome drawl I dislike in most country music of today. Thanks Brad!
- Yukon Blonde – Yukon Blonde Anyone who reads this blog somewhat regularly should be aware of my love for this band. Don’t think I need to say more than if you haven’t heard this band/album, you should probably just trust me and listen to it.
Songs: (as usual, click the song titles for the Youtube link of the song)
- One Big Holiday – My Morning Jacket Easily the most epic tune by MMJ, and possibly of the decade?!?!
- Tall Trees – Matt Mays + El Torpedo One of the neatest riffs that caught my ear instantly; knew I had to learn it. This song was a staple when I was teaching guitar a few years back.
- Slow Night, So Long – Kings of Leon The most intense Kings tune and an fantastic opener to this great ablum; the timing change at the end of each verse kills me every time I hear it.
- Weekend Wars – MGMT Beautiful melody with some of the oddest lyrics. Seems to be an MGMT trademark.
- Phantom Limb – The Shins The song that introduced me to the Shins; I knew I had to hear more.
- With A Bullet – Sam Roberts The master of the simple simile, “Babe, you got nothing to fear for, this is as real as the rain/My love for you is as deep as a coalmine”. Best Sam Roberts lyric: “If you were marked with a bullet, I’d jump in front of it/I’d rather die for love than die for the want of it”. ‘Nuff said.
- Soap On A Rope – Chickenfoot A dirty, cheeky, sweaty groove thanks to RHCP drummer Chad Smith and some guitar wizardry thanks to Joe Satriani plus a whole lot of attitude from former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar = 5 minutes and 33 seconds of awesomeness. Time for some air-drumming!
- Tear – Red Hot Chili Peppers The hymn to my life, more spirituality in this song than I can sometimes handle. Thank you, Anthony, for your amazing words.
- Spoke in the Wheel – Black Label Society Anyone else agree that Zakk Wylde’s best stuff is acoustic? Or at least when he’s playing mellow? Wish I could sing like him. Love the acoustic guitar solo, too.
- The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) – Flight of the Conchords My lovely wife and I debated having this song play while we danced the traditional “First Dance” as a married couple, but decided it might be a little too un-traditional. Still the best “back-handed compliment” song of all time. Please listen to it if you haven’t heard it, and listen to the lyrics!
There you have it. I’m sure many people will prefer RS Mag’s lists over mine due to the mixture of genres, and mine is more of a “personal favourite” list, anyway. Let me know what you think!