Defining a Decade: Great Albums from the 2000s

My most-spun records from The Strokes to Death Cab for Cutie

I was thinking about the 2000s the other day and what would we remember music wise from it. While I can’t pin down a style that stands out, it was a great time for artists to express themselves in the most honest, personal, and rockin’ way possible. Here are my most played records from those 10 years:

The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001)

After melding blues and garage rock on 2000’s De Stijil, Jack White adds the pop sensibility to the tunes and the results are spectacular.

FAVE TUNES: “Hotel Yorba”, “We Are Gonna Be Friends”, “Now Mary”


Fountains Of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers (2003)

This is the perfect power pop record. The Fountains’ third album is 16 songs that flow together in a twist-and-turns of moods and feelings that leave you inspired but not exhausted.

FAVE TUNES: “Bright Future In Sales”, “Hackensack”


The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site (2003)

This quasi concept album from Winnipeg’s finest cemented John K. Sampson as Canada’s top wordsmith. With thoughts and ideas coming from all angles, the band never relents and drives the tunes at just the right speed.

FAVE TUNES: “A Plea From A Cat Named Virtute”, “Our Retired Explorer”, “One Great City”


The Black Keys – Brothers (2010)

Frictions in and outside the band provide the spark for the songs that made up The Black Keys’ sixth album. Add in the vibe of legendary soul palace Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, and the addition of Danger Mouse to the production and creative team, and a masterpiece of garage blues rock is born.

FAVE TUNES: “These Days”, “Everlasting Light”, “Tighten Up”


Oasis – Heathen Chemistry (2002)

After the band’s fourth and most insular record, 2000’s Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, times seemed bleak in Oasis land. But from the first chord of opener “Hindu Times”, one knew a return to greatness was at hand. Plus, we get the first great Liam-penned track, “Songbird”.

FAVE TUNES: “Hindu Times”, “Songbird”, “Little By Little”


The Killers – Hot Fuss (2004)

Mixing the best styles of the past 25 years, The Killers’ debut plays like a greatest hits juke box. With just enough Vegas showmanship to pull it off, Brandon Flowers and friends serve up one for all ages.

FAVE TUNES: “Change Your Mind”, “Mr. Brightside”, “All These Things That I Have Done”


Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003)

Album number four finds Ben Gibbard longing for a loved one while Chris Walla charges through tempo changes that enhance the mood of the songs.

FAVE TUNES: “Title and Registration”, “Sound Of Settling”, “Transatlanticism”


Strokes – Is This It (2001)

2001’s Is This It is as good a choice as a defining album for the decade as any. With as much attitude as talent, the Strokes rock ‘n’ rolled their way into our lives in a way not heard in years. Always just one note away from collapse was half the charm!

FAVE TUNES: “The Modern Age”, “Hard To Explain”, “Last Night”