The People’s List

I read Pitchfork Media quite a bit, and I really enjoy their staff lists they put out at the end of the every year, as well as the ones they release every now and again about decades past. In fact, I love lists in general- can’t get enough of them, really.  So when they came up with the idea of having a Pitchfork readers’ compiled list of the best albums since they started reviewing music (that would be 1996), I jumped at the opportunity to spend countless hours (actually, maybe 2 at most) making a list of my own.  The minimum was 20, and the maximum was 100, so to conserve time and energy, I aimed for 100.

Now I’m sure we can agree that lists are meaningless.  No one’s list will ever be the same; you’re not going to agree with mine, and I’m not going to agree with yours.  What good is it to rate something so subjective as music anyway?  The only good it does is to give others some ideas for new music they can search for, as well as give anyone who reads my list some insight into who I am and what I value.  Hopefully you don’t take that too seriously, since Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ranks pretty high.  I promise you Kanye West is the last person I hold up as a role model.  But I did put this list together based on what albums I love.  However, if you ask me in a month or so to make this list again, the order could change.  Except for maybe the albums near the top.

Anyway, here’s my list.  I hope you look into a few of the albums here, especially the ones near the top.  I’ve linked to my favorite song on each album.*  Enjoy!

Best Albums (1996-2011)

1. Patty Griffin: Children Running Through

2. Radiohead: In Rainbows

3. Andrew Peterson: Counting Stars

4. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois

5. The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America

6. Gungor: Ghosts upon the Earth

7. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

8. Titus Andronicus: The Monitor

9. Belle & Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister

10. Radiohead: OK Computer

11. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes

12. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion

13. Arcade Fire: Funeral

14. Caedmon’s Call: 40 Acres

15. Kanye West: Late Registration

16. Drive-By Truckers: Brighter than Creation’s Dark

17. Adele: 21

18. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

19. Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago

20. My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade

21. David Crowder Band: A Collision or (3+4=7)

22. M.I.A.: Kala

23. Relient K: Forget and Not Slow Down

24. Green Day: American Idiot

25. Jars of Clay: Who We Are Instead

26. Over the Rhine: The Long Surrender

27. Surfer Blood: Astro Coast

28. LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver

29. Jay-Z: The Blueprint

30. Bruce Springsteen: Magic

31. Band of Horses: Cease to Begin

32. The Tallest Man on Earth: The Wild Hunt

33. The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow

34. Gungor: Beautiful Things

35. The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema

36. Drive-By Truckers: Southern Rock Opera

37. Various Artists: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

38. TV on the Radio: Dear Science

39. Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

40. Bat for Lashes: Two Suns

41. Blitzen Trapper: Furr

42. Arcade Fire: The Suburbs

43. Jimmy Needham: Speak

44. Dixie Chicks: Taking the Long Way

45. Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend

46. The Black Keys: Brothers

47. Beyoncé: 4

48. Bon Iver: Bon Iver

49. Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head

50. Drive-By Truckers: The Dirty South

51. Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues

52. Jamie Lidell: Multiply

53. Girls: Album

54. Justin Timberlake: FutureSex/LoveSounds

55. The White Stripes: Elephant

56. Switchfoot: The Beautiful Letdown

57. Jars of Clay: The Shelter

58. Raphael Saadiq: Stone Rollin’

59. Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor

60. Iron & Wine: The Shepherd’s Dog

61. Hot Chip: One Life Stand

62. Coldplay: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

63. Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record

64. The Gaslight Anthem: The ’59 Sound

65. OutKast: Stankonia

66. Audio Adrenaline: Lift

67. Local Natives: Gorilla Manor

68. Burlap to Cashmere: Burlap to Cashmere

69. Caedmon’s Call: Long Line of Leavers

70. M. Ward: Post-War

71. The War on Drugs: Slave Ambient

72. Wild Nothing: Gemini

73. The Very Best: Warm Heart of Africa

74. The Strokes: Is This It

75. Lecrae: Rehab

76. Bruce Springsteen: The Rising

77. M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

78. The National: High Violet

79. Jamey Johnson: The Guitar Song

80. Cat Power: You Are Free

81. Patty Griffin: 1,000 Kisses

82. Robert Earl Keen: Gravitational Forces

83. Gorillaz: Demon Days

84. Switchfoot: Hello Hurricane

85. Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca

86. The Hold Steady: Separation Sunday

87. Girl Talk: Feed the Animals

88. Drake: Take Care

89. David Crowder Band: Illuminate

90. John Mellencamp: Life Death Love and Freedom

91. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz!

92. Vampire Weekend: Contra

93. Steven Curtis Chapman: Declaration

94. Miranda Lambert: Four the Record

96. MGMT: Oracular Spectacular

96. Robyn: Body Talk

97. Ben Rector: Into the Morning

98. Jon Foreman: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

99. Matt Papa: This Changes Everything

100. Michael Bublé: Michael Bublé

*Yes, I’m aware that this is far too much work for a list no one will ever read.  But a guy’s gotta try, right?


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