Best albums of the Millennium

Dear Pitchfork,

Hey, it’s been a little while. Sorry I haven’t emailed. This is hard to say, but I’ve been a little reading another music blog. I know, it seems like just yesterday I’d waste hours, days even, doing nothing but listening to all those obscure bands you dug up, polished and placed on a podium for all to see.

What happened? Did we grow apart? You used to seem so, well, cool, hunting down musicians from backwater ISP services. But last week I came across your “Top 200 Albums of the 2000s” and I remembered why I left your homepage.

You’ve lost your edge.

Radiohead’s Kid A is the best album of the decade? Sure, it’s a great album, but a pretty conservative pick for the number one spot. You probably couldn’t walk one block in Williamsburg without bumping into a pair of skinny jeans that would say no to Kid A. If you really wanted to give them a run for their money and surprise people, you should have said OK Computer was the best album of the 90s, 2000s and every decade to come.

It’s not just Kid A at number 1. Vampire Weekend at 51? I certainly hope “boring” isn’t a musical trend the 2000s will be remembered for.

Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner at the 62nd spot? What could have possible made that album slip nearly 50 positions in five years from your last “Best of 2000-04” list?

It’s just a little mind-numbing to try and keep up with all the back and forth. There’s nothing wrong with stating a preference, even in list order, of one’s favorite albums, songs, artists, whatever. Hey, what music fan (or film fan, or any pop culture fan) hasn’t listed the things they love? But something changes when said lists turn from a preference to “the testament of pop music.” It feels like the love for discovering music has disappeared, lost in the haze of one organization trying to build their zeitgeist.

Hey, if that’s what you want to do, great. But, when you’re making these “best of” lists, remember to have a little fun. That’s what so many albums on your list is missing: fun. The solution? You’ve listed it as 144.

That’s right: Andrew W.K.’s I Get Wet.

That album’s got everything a person could need. Head-banging riffs, pop-friendly arrangements and lyrics that are easy to remember, sing and like. Oh, and partying. It’s the perfect record for almost anyone. Hipsters can admire it through irony-tinted glasses. Everyone else can appreciate it simply for the fact that it’s an enjoyable record. Fun to a T.

So, here’s a good way to spruce up your top 5 and make the whole list a little more fun:

1. Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet (Duh)

2. Andrew W.K. – Close Calls With Brick Walls (Only available on limited-release vinyl in the U.S., so that ups the “cool factor”)

3. Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet (You can’t have too much of a good thing, right?)

4. Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica (What? I like Modest Mouse)

5. Andrew W.K. – “Destroy Build Destroy” (Ok, it’s a TV show… but it’s an awesome TV show)

Now, these are only my personal preferences – I’m not forcing these on you or expecting you to turn your will over and follow this list for the sake of “fun” or “cool” or any other abstract concept.

Well, I better get going… My RSS feed is filling up. But write back soon. I’d love to hear all the nascent, unknown and potentially terrible bands you’re into right now.



P.S. You’ll love this video for Andrew W.K.’s song “She is Beautiful”:

[youtubevid id=”0ZyhB1-Yb4U”]


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