It has been a very interesting decade for music. For me, the beginning of the decade is when I started listening to music. That was when I was 14 years old and began my high school career. So keep that in mind while I list my favorite albums of the past decade. A good portion will be albums from my high school years.
Now I don’t consider myself a music critic, but for those who don’t know me I certainly love music. I play multiple instruments including the guitar, clarinet, alto saxophone plus a few others. And I listen to a wide range of music from alternative to grindcore to country music. I also believe that everyone has different tastes in music. Everyone’s opinion is very subjective and it’s difficult to find two people in a room that has very similar musical tastes.
With that being said, here is a list of my favorite albums from the past decade. This list combines what I feel are partially the best albums with what albums I simply love the most.
35. Where You Want to Be (2004) – Taking Back Sunday
The second studio album by emo-rockers Taking Back Sunday was a commercial success, but not as strong, quality-wise, as their debut album Tell All Your Friends. Where You Want to Be featured guitarist Fred Mascherino (formerly the front-man of Breaking Pangaea) after John Nolan left to lead the piano-rock band Straylight Run. Though my allegiance to John Nolan and his influence on the first album from Taking Back Sunday remains strong, Where You Want to Be is a very solid sophomore album with plenty of catchy songs full of one-liners.
Favorite track: “A Decade Under the Influence”
34. The Illusion of Safety (2002) – Thrice
Another sophomore album, but this time from Californian rockers Thrice. I enjoyed the more upbeat tempo from The Illusion of Safety rather than their debut album (Identity Crisis). Teppei and front-man Dustin really hit their stride with fast and heavy guitar riffs behind screaming vocals. The combination is a pleasure to listen to.
Favorite track: “To Awake and Avenge the Dead”
33. Futures (2004) – Jimmy Eat World
This is the fifth studio album from emo-rockers Jimmy Eat World, and even though it doesn’t showcase their best material, there are plenty of gems inside. I feel Jimmy Eat World is one of those bands you either love or just feel they’re nothing special. I absolutely love these legends of emo. Songs like “Work” and “Kill” really bring out the emotion from front-man Jim Adkins, while their first single “Pain” shows an edgier and more rock-related part of the band. And not to mention, my favorite song out of Jimmy Eat World’s entire collection is on this album…
Favorite track: “23”
32. Michigan (2003) – Sufjan Stevens
While mastermind Sufjan Stevens was still motivated to complete his “50 States” project (he wanted to compose fifty albums, one for every state), Michigan was his first of the project (third album overall). The album addresses many historical contexts from the state including the notorious situation in Flint, along with a number of other hardships from cities such as Detroit. It’s undeniable to be amazed by Stevens’ skill of instruments and his song-writing ability. Aside from a few uplifting songs, the album is a very eerie and haunting tribute to Michigan.
Favorite track: “For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti”
31. The Room’s Too Cold (2003) – The Early November
New Jersey’s emo/indie-rockers, The Early November, didn’t have the most luxurious careers, but I have a soft spot for their debut studio album, The Room’s Too Cold. They never hit the mainstream success like fellow Drive-Thru Record label-mates, The Starting Line, did but they took advantage of every opportunity given to them. One of the main things I’ll remember from this band was their live performance. It wasn’t the most polished or flawless of live acts, but they were having fun. That’s what it should be all about.
Favorite track: “The Mountain Range In My Living Room”