Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TBWCYL, Inc.'s Top Ten Albums of the Decade Will Change Your Life.

Music is as subjective as anything, but we know what we like, music that brings us joy or slams us into a wall, inspires us when we write and moves us when we run. So without further adieu, the TBWCYL, Inc. Top Ten.

(1) Separation Sunday/The Hold Steady (2005). Druggie storytelling awesomeness.

(2) Feed the Animals/Girl Talk (2008). Pinball and fried chicken. And no we don't know what that means.

(3) We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions/Bruce Springsteen (2006). Ebullient.

(4) Yankee Foxtrot Hotel/Wilco (2002). Like an explosion.

(5) Be Your Own Pet/Be Your Own Pet (2006). A wondrous kick to the head. And groin.

(6) The Grey Album/Danger Mouse (2004). Please allow me to introduce myself.

(7) I'll Sleep When Your Dead/El-P (2007). Just because your feeling paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't following you.

(8) We Belong to the Staggering Evening/The Ike Reilly Assassination (2007). Ike Reilly should be much, much bigger.

(9) Kala/M.I.A. (2007). All world.

(10) American III: Solitary Man/Johnny Cash (2000). Like falling in love all over again with someone you never actually fell out of love with in the first place.

The best of the rest (in no particular order): None Shall Pass/Aesop Rock (2007), That Lonesome Song/Jamey Johnson (2008), The College Dropout/Kanye West (2004), Funeral/Arcade Fire (2004), Rabbit Fur Coat/Jenny Lewis (2006), Ultraviolet/Kid Sister (2009), The Shepherd's Dog/Iron and Wine (2007), The Bake Sale/The Cool Kids (2008), Armchair Apocrypha/Andrew Bird (2007), The Black Album/Jay-Z (2003).


David Masciotra said...

I liked your television and book lists. I'm afraid you went off the rails with this one though. No The Rising? No Ryan Bingham? No Outkast? No Grinderman? Mellencamp put out some albums in this decade that are worthy of consideration too, as did Bob Dylan.

Pete said...

Given your #1 pick, this might be of interest:

Alas, I probably won't be compiling a similar list, as I've realized that I probably bought more pre-2000 albums this decade than anything from the 00s, and thus have little of recent vintage to draw upon.

Ben Tanzer said...

Pete, many thanks brother, and David, first off, thank you as well for the television and book love, and as you can see we are starting this by focusing on positive reinforcement. Second, we are thrilled to engender some debate. Third, you know we love us some Dylan, Springsteen and Mellencamp and that we can't truly call you out you when it comes to music. That said, we know what we like, and what brings us joy. We also know that as good as some of these albums were, The Rising in particular, they aren't as good as what came before them and they certainly didn't impact our mood and spirit like the ones listed did. We are all for quality, but our lists are definitely first and foremost driven by emotion. You're up.

David Masciotra said...


Yes. Despite a few, minor objections I have great love your book and television lists. But, you seemed to have set up this false dichotomy with the music list. I have been casted into the purveryor of quality, while TBWCYL is the impassioned advocate of emotion.

The Rising is one most emotionally resonant albums of Springsteen's career. One of the most emotionally resonant albums ever. Also, TBWCYL cannot dismiss the infectious joy of Outkast, the intense rock 'n' roll anger of Grinderman, the spiritual warfare of Bob Dylan, the battling despair and hope of Ryan Bingham, or the sophisticated hope of Mellencamp's Freedom Road.

I acknowledge the subjectivity that corrodes this debate, but I also hope that my comments may change your thinking on this issue, and in the process, do I dare say, your life?

Ben Tanzer said...

We are loving this and this exchange has most definitely changed our lives. For the better. Still, we had no intention of creating a false dichotomy, and so while we apologize if it feels that way, we also don't think we actually did so. Our comment was intended to acknowledge the undeniable quality of your suggestions, while also acknowledging that they just don't hold the same emotional appeal, or resonance, for us that they hold for you. Hence the subjective, and very personal, nature of this discussion and such lists. Cool?

David Masciotra said...

TBWCYL's clarification regarding the dichotomy issue is well-stated. I rescind that interpretation from the record.

I cannot deny the subjectivity or personal nature of this discussion. All I can do, is offer to provide copies of Ryan Bingham and/or Grinderman to TBWCYL if the staff is unfamiliar with either.

Send me a memo.