Friday, October 21, 2016

Best Of The 2000s-Part 5-The Best Albums From The Year 2004

1. Fiery Furnaces-Blueberry Boat(Rough Trade)

This is one of the most inventive albums I have ever heard. The sheer number of musical ideas on this are worth the price of admission alone. No one could have predicted they would go in this insane direction from their first album. This is like a rock opera taken to extreme measures. Most songs go over the 5 minute mark. I know this album tested a lot of people's patience but I feel if you absorb it you would see how great this beast of an album is. The liner notes read like a novel. I saw them live for this album and they did what I still think is a near impossible feat. Instead of playing straight songs from this and their first album they played an hour and a half long medley that doubled back on songs multiple times and they managed to play the entirety of their two albums in cut up snippets and it still is one of the greatest things I have ever witnessed and that cut up nature perfectly encapsulates this album. This album is 1001 ideas all thrown at the wall and everything sticks.

Genre: Progressive Pop, Art Pop, Indie Pop, Psychedelic Pop, Experimental Rock

2. Comets On Fire-Blue Cathedral(Sub Pop)

Pure Rock n Roll insanity. This one was a little more melodic than "Field Recordings From the Sun" and I think it benefits from that. This has a strong classic rock feel to it. Most of the songs start out kind of mellow, following a very classic sound and then each song either explodes or peels back it's layers to reveal a psychotic roar of balls to the wall rock. I would equate their sound to the audio equivalent of Led Zeppelin dropping acid and playing the best music of their lives.

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Heavy Psych, Hard Rock, Noise Rock, Blues Rock, Stoner Rock

3. Madvillain-Madvillany(Stones Throw)

In my mind, the second best thing Madlib has been involved in. This album is a stone cold hip hop classic. This melded Madlib at his near most inventive production-wise with one of the laziest sounding(good thing) MCs in the form of MF Doom. The match was perfect and they complimented each other insanely well. Even Quasimoto shows up! This is the definitive chilled out hip hop album.

Genre: Abstract Hip Hop, Jazz Rap, Experimental Hip Hop, Instrumental Hip Hop

4. Liars-They Were Wrong, So We Drowned(Mute)

This is where the Liars said fuck it. They didn't care if you wanted a melody. They didn't care if you wanted to dance and they sure as shit didn't care about where you wanted their next direction to be. This was noisy, nasty, abusive and punishing stuff. You either loved this one or hated it. I could see the hatred if you liked their dance sensibility on their previous album. I could definitely see the love if you appreciate forward movement in music and hearing something against the norm. I ate this up when it came out and I still eat it up. This was one of the last truly great examples of a band taking a huge risk.

Genre: Post-Punk, Experimental Rock, Noise Rock, No Wave

5. The Robot Ate Me-On Vacation(5RC)

This album is a real weird one. It's based off old ballroom recordings from the 1910s-1920s. Ryland Bouchard uses these samples as a jumping off point to sarcastically and satirically skewer what it seems like British Colonialism and Fascism and pretty much any other exploitative "ism" regarding other non-white cultures. In that regard, you do not want to blast this album from your car. If you don't know the satire behind it, this album could come off as racist. It is NOT racist I can assure you that. This is one of the more inventive albums to be out in the last 20 years.

Genre: Indie Pop, LO-FI

6. Man Man-The Man In A Blue Turban With A Face(Ace Fu)

This sounds like what would happen if Tom Waits made "Rain Dogs" in his teens. It's full of life with a gruff singer front and center singing about insane stuff. It's extremely theatrical with an ear towards the old timey sounds of yesterday.

Genre: Indie Rock, Gypsy Punk, Dark Cabaret

7. Wrangler Brutes-Zulu(Kill Rock Stars)

One of the meanest punk albums I have ever heard. The songs whizz by at a breakneck pace and the mouthpiece of the band(Sam McPheeters) berates everything in the conservative world he has his eye on. The band backing him is basically the amazing band Skull Kontrol which lend an incredible musicianship to this insane racket. This is kind of like Circle Jerks on steroids.

Genre: Hardcore Punk

8. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster-The Royal Society(No Death)

Produced by the mastermind of the Desert Scene(Queens of the Stone Age, Masters Of Reality) this is a great British version of that sound. This is a nice mix of the type of hard rock that QOTSA makes mixed with some old country and rockabilly traits. Mainly the vocals echo rockabilly vocalists while having a strong resemblance to Danzig. This album rocks hard all the way through and the production tricks are subtle yet very impacting to the overall feel of the album.

Genre: Garage Rock, Psychobilly

9. Animal Collective-Sung Tongs(FatCat)

Pairing down to just a duo for this release, Panda Bear and Avey Tare get acoustically weird. They augment their weirdo version of "freak folk" with plenty of electronic flourishes but always keep it rooted in the organic sounds of acoustic instruments. I feel this album best conveys their interesting vocal interplay as well. They really stretch themselves out in the vocal sound department. Notice how I don't mention lyrics. For most of this album the lyrics are very obscured and they are instead relying on noises and chant like vocalizing in the place of more traditional singing. This matches the tribal campfire mood of the whole proceedings perfectly. This is the weirdest camp sing along album you will ever hear.

Genre: Freak Folk, Neo-Psychedelia, Avant Folk, Psychedelic Folk

10. Secret Machines-Now This Is Nowhere(Reprise)

Take the heaviness of Zeppelin and mix it with the repetitive rhythms of Krautrock. That's pretty much what you get when you pop on this album. Super hard hitting rock songs that push the boundaries of repetition. The drums are as hard hitting as Bonham's. The guitars don't match Zeppelin's fury but are important to the music in their own more subtle ways. One of the nicest things about this album is how each track flows into one another, yet remain singularly distinct with each playthrough. This album also has one of the prettiest songs I have ever heard with "Leaves Are Gone".

Genre: Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, Space Rock, Krautrock

11. On! Air! Library!-Self Titled(Arena Rock)

Probably the best modern Shoegaze album. The dual vocals of the twins are perfect for this dreamy yet hard hitting album. This album sounds like the perfect mix of a noisier Yo La Tengo mixed with Cocteau Twins.

Genre: Post-Rock, Shoegaze, Ambient

12. J-Zone-A Job Ain't Nothin' But Work(Old Maid Entertainment)

It begins with a burp. A burp in the face of the world of hip hop. A burp in the face of convention. A burp in the face of trends. Basically this album hates all the scenes and all the garbage that surrounds it all. Listen to this if you need a break from the bullshit.

Genre: East Coast Hip Hop

13. Mclusky-The Difference Between You and Me Is That I'm Not On Fire(Too Pure)

Not as great as their second album but man is this also a beast. This time around they spread out a bit musically. A little goofier yet also angrier in parts. This would turn out to be the last Mclusky album and that's a shame because they were on a roll!

Genre: Noise Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore

14. Mouse On Mars-Radical Connector(Thrill Jockey)

Crazy electronic pop with intense noisy breakdowns. I feel like this is their electroclash album or something like that. It's got a hell of a lot of melody and catchy choruses. If it wasn't so weird you would think they were trying to sell out and make it huge. They sabotage this theory too many times to make it true. If you want a real messed up catchy dance album you can't really find a better album to listen to.

Genre: IDM, Electronic, Electropop

15. Joanna Newsom-The Milk Eyed Mender(Drag City)

The start of a long and illustrious career. This is some extremely weird folk music. With an affected voice like a chipmunk and a mystique steeped deep in madrigal medieval tropes I can definitely understand why people would hate this. For me, at the time this was a breath of fresh air. I will always welcome the weird over the normal and this was definitely weird. Her harp and piano playing on this album is really nice. This is probably her simplest album. After this she would explore some very odd song structures and ideas.

Genre: Contemporary Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Folk

16. Devendra Banhart-Rejoicing In the Hands/Nino Rojo(Young God)

Very similar to the album above it. These two albums came out in the same year and could be seen as companion pieces. I tend to enjoy "Rejoicing" more than I do "Nino Rojo" but honestly they sound too similar to really split hairs. There was a deep sadness to this music yet it was also strangely uplifting and downright funny in parts. Devendra was definitely a joker and it was easily seen on these two albums. Together with Joanna Newsom, Cocorosie, Vetiver and Josephine Foster they created the neo-freak folk scene and the rest is history.

Genre: Contemporary Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Freak Folk, Psychedelic Folk

17. Rogue Wave-Out Of the Shadow(Sub Pop)

An extremely catchy indie pop album. Kind of like the first Shins album but even catchier and weirder. This was immediate and in your face but it was a quiet intensity. This was a perfect distillation of what was going on in the music scene at the time. He borrowed liberally from all his contemporaries and in many cases bested them at their own game.

Genre: Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Indie Folk, Folk Pop

18. Wolf Eyes-Burned Mind(Sub Pop)

A very industrial affair. This WAS their attempt at some kind of notice and underground success. This album's popularity could never happen again. This is music NOT meant for the masses. No one in the underground or overground would accept this in 2016. This was their only chance, they went for it. The fact that SubPop took a chance on them speaks volumes for them. This music is not for the faint of heart. It draws heavily from industrial, experimental and metal influences. This album is sick, dirty and ugly.

Genre: Noise, Industrial, Noise Rock, Musique Concrete

19. Arcade Fire-Funeral(Merge)

The contrarian and hater in me wants to hate this album. I can't stand the band now and haven't been able to since after this album but damn if I can't help but kind of love this album. It's epic in a non-shitty way. It's extremely bombastic but it's an almost quiet intensity. You can feel the nervousness in Win Butler's voice. It's almost like while they were recording it they knew they would have a huge audience but weren't quite yet comfortable with that. You can feel the tension and the lyrics were pretty interesting. This is not an insane masterpiece. It is a very smart and enjoyable indie rock record and they would never be the same.

Genre: Indie Rock, Chamber Pop, Art Pop

20. Brian Wilson-Smile(Nonesuch)

Not as good as the Beach Boys version we would get years later. Yet, this still does have it's charm and this was the first real good listen we got at all the melodies off this "lost" album. Because of that, this album holds a special place for me. The arrangements are super weird yet very comforting and familiar. His voice was starting to go, and while some people couldn't stand that, I feel it gives the album kind of a homespun charm. Brian is giving it his all and it still sounds really incredible. I will not write this off now that we have the "definitive" version of the album.

Genre: Psychedelic Pop, Baroque Pop, Pop Rock, Sunshine Pop, Progressive Pop

21. William Basinski-The Disintegration Loops I-IV(2062)

Initially I found this album to be ridiculously boring. Then I started getting into making music like this and it all clicked. These were tapes he had in his collection that he had made that had begun to deteriorate due to the nature of the materials the tapes had been made out of. He went to categorize them and discovered they were beginning to fall apart. He liked what he heard and decided to collect them together. Apparently he finished compiling the tapes the morning of 9/11/01 and because of this used imagery from the attacks as the album art for all 4 volumes.

Genre: Tape Music, Ambient, Minimalism, Drone

22. Black Dice-Creature Comforts(DFA)

Continuing their path of sonic exploration they pulled back on the vast sound of their first album and became more insular on this one. This is the last album they would record with their drummer who would soon after be fired for embezzling money from the band. This album relied more on short burst style loops instead of the longer passages found on the first album. It actually ended up making this album sound even more alien in contrast. This was extremely challenging stuff.

Genre: Electronic, Neo-Psychedelia, Noise, Experimental, Sound Collage

23. Vetiver-Self Titled(Dichristina Stair Builders)

In my opinion their best and their only album that really soars. This was a cornerstone of the freak folk movement. Andy Cabic was probably the least noticed out of the whole bunch, even though he had Devendra Banhart in his band and Joanna Newsom is on a couple tracks. Sometimes the world just doesn't make sense. Out of all the freak folk albums that came out in 2004 this was the only one that felt like a full band. The other albums were definitely in the vein of a single person sitting down and making an album for themselves. This album felt very welcoming. It wanted you to sing along with it but it also wanted you to bring your friends.

Genre: Contemporary Folk, Psychedelic Folk

24. Black Eyes-Cough(Dischord)

Moving father away from their dance punk/post punk roots into dubbier more experimental territory these guys created quite the racket. This is not to say this album is better or worse than the one that proceeded it. I would say this is an excellent companion piece. This was definitely for the more adventurous listener. Someone who preferred Jazz, free form experimentation and just odder music in general is gonna go for this one of the two. I loved both of them equally so I could never pick a favorite. This was like a Blood Brothers album on crack.

Genre: Post-Hardcore, Art Punk, Experimental Rock, No Wave, Free Jazz, Noise Rock

25. Mastodon-Leviathan(Relapse)

Their one and only masterpiece. The one before it came close. The one after it did too. This one did it for me. The song "Seabeast" is worth it alone. There isn't a weak song on this album. If you like your metal both simultaneously progressive and regressive than this is definitely for you.

Genre: Sludge Metal, Progressive Metal

26. Frog Eyes-The Folded Palm(Absolutely Kosher)

A strong continuation of the sound they forged with their first album but this time everything was a bit more intense. A bit more manic. Just that more unhinged. This was definitely still the same band, just a little more intense.

Genre: Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Art Rock

27. Tom Waits-Real Gone(Anti-)

Who would have thought we would ever have a Tom Waits album with record scratching on it? Not me! He had his son add turntable scratching to a couple tracks. Not only does it add an element no one thought they needed to his music it also has a sweet quality having his son provide musical backing. Also it shows his ability to adapt to the modern era, Bob Dylan would probably never let Jacob do some record scratching on his albums and this is why Tom Waits still says ridiculously relevant and I am extremely happy for that.

Genre: Experimental Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Blues Rock

28. Loretta Lynn-Van Lear Rose(Interscope)

Great reemergence of an old star that had kind of faded away at that point. Jack White produced this one and she was back with a newfound vigor. She is in top form on this release. She doesn't update her sound too much but what her and Jack White do is refine her existing sound to a perfected razor sharp point. The recording is beautiful and the songs are written beautifully to match the music.

Genre: Country, Alt-Country, Americana, Progressive Country

29. Cocorosie-La Maison De Mon Reve(Touch and Go)

A very unsettling and downright creepy at times freak folk album. This was definitely on the weirder spectrum of that scene. They used cheap audio toy samples to form the beats on some of these songs. Even though this is essentially a folk album there are a lot of tracks that have backing beats very close to hip hop. The two sisters that comprise this band have two very distinctly different vocal ranges. One sister is a trained opera singer and it shows, the other sings in a very high pitched childlike voice, not unlike Joanna Newsom. Very creepy and very oddly childlike.

Genre: LO-FI, Freak Folk, Art Pop, Folktronica, Avant Folk, Experimental, Psychedelic Folk, Chamber Folk

30. Deerhoof-Milk Man(Kill Rock Stars)

This is probably the thickest sounding Deerhoof album. The bass is very heavy on this one, the drums have a loud thud-like quality to them all the time. This album is when they started to break away from their punk roots into something artier. Not to say they weren't arty before but this had more of a museum quality to it's art than the previous albums did.

Genre: Noise Rock, Experimental Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Best Of The 2000s-Part 4-The Best Albums From The Year 2003

1. Lightning Bolt-Wonderful Rainbow(Load)

This is noise rock at it's purest and loudest form. This is adrenaline in the form of music. Hold onto your butts!

Genre: Noise Rock, Math Rock, Experimental Rock

2. Mu-Afro Finger and Gel(Outpost)

One of the weirdest albums of all time. The veteran house producer Dr. Maurice Fulton and his wife Mu making some of the most absurd experimental electronic pop you will ever hear. This album is pure originality. Nothing sounds like it and I doubt much ever will(except for their second album).

Genre: Electro House, Electro Pop, Weird

3. The Unicorns-Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?(Alien8)

One of the most inventive indie rock albums of all time. It sucks this was a one-off. It sucks they probably will never make new music as this band. This band gave birth to Islands, Mister Heavenly and Nick Thorburn's soundtrack for the podcast "Serial". The influences are vast and frequent all while retaining their own sense of sound. This album sounded both tossed off and completely labored over.

Genre: Indie Pop, Indietronica, Twee Pop, LO-FI

4. Ex Models-Zoo Psychology(Frenchkiss)

What would happen if Devo embraced metal and abstract noise while still playing quirky rock. This album is extremely intense and full of inappropriate lyrics.

Genre: Noise Rock, No Wave

5. Frog Eyes-The Golden River(Global Symphonic/Animal World)

Extremely old timey in sound with a very heavy Tom Waits circa Rain Dogs sound. The vocals are completely unhinged and extremely literary. This album also has somewhat of a David Bowie vibe to it as well.

Genre: Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Art Rock

6. The Fiery Furnaces-Gallowsbird's Bark(Rough Trade)

At first these two were compared to The White Stripes but I think the comparison is pretty much dead wrong. Sure this was a band made up of 2 siblings/2 people. Sure it used Blues and Garage Rock as a jumping off point, but that's where the comparisons stop, because this album takes those roots and flushes them right down the toilet. They throw every other style of music on top of the blues sound and then warp it even further. Though, this album is pretty conventional. It does have it's quirks but they would show us the very next year just exactly what kind of weirdness they were truly capable of.

Genre: Art Pop, Indie Rock, Blues Rock

7. Jim Guthrie-Now, More Than Ever(Three Gut)

Symphonic indie rock in the vein of what Sufjan Stevens was doing around the time. I prefer this to Stevens only because it sounds more grounded. It isn't as lofty. This guy could be your neighbor, just with an orchestra backing him. I know Owen Pallet did much of the arranging on this album and it shows.

Genre: Americana

8. Dizzee Rascal-Boy In Da Corner(XL)

What can I say about this album? Well it blew my mind when it came out. It was proceeded by the single "I Luv U" which is on the album and the excitement for the full length after hearing the single was crazy. Once the album hit though it fully lived up to the hype. I had never heard hip hop so indebted to electronic music before. I had no idea what Grime really was at the time. This was hard hitting shit with a trained ear for amazing production.

Genre: Grime

9. Deerhoof-Apple O(Kill Rock Stars/5RC)

A little more cleaned up than it's predecessor(Reville) but still noisy as all hell. They added way more pop to this one as well and came out with one of their best set of songs. The recording was perfect as well. It was a little less LO-FI than the one before it but definitely NOT polished. The drums cracked with intensity and the guitars could practically blow your ears off!

Genre: Noise Pop, Indie Rock, Twee Pop

10. Animal Collective-Here Comes the Indian(Paw Tracks)

This was the beginning for me for my interest in Animal Collective. Up until this point I had never heard music like this. Sure there had been plenty of bands in the past that sounded like this but at the time I hadn't heard a single note of THEIR stuff. What I had in front of me instead was this album. The closest thing I had as a reference point to this kind of thing at the time was Boredoms. Though this was quieter and a little more restrained on the whole. These guys were exploring new and unusual sounds for the independent underground and I was digging what they were selling.

Genre: Neo-Psychedelia, Experimental Rock, Psychedelic Folk, Noise, Electronic, Tribal, Ambient, Free Folk

11. Whirlwind Heat-Do Rabbits Wonder?(XL)

Total trash rock produced by Jack White for his label(this was the first release aside from White Stripes on the label). This was and still is the closest sound to the band Brainiac I have ever heard. People hated this when it came out and I have no idea why. Pitchfork famously gave it a "2.7" and bitched about how it was unfair that they got signed with Jack White and V2 records. This was spazzy funky rock with touches of Ween and Brainiac. Not a whole lot to hate yet a whole lot to love.

Genre: Noise Rock, Garage Punk

12. The Blood Brothers-Burn, Piano Island, Burn(Artist Direct)

This album is pure energy. Spastic, screaming energy. At one point one of the singers sounds like a god damn jaguar. None of it makes any sense and yet perfect sense at the same time. This is what At the Drive In wished their major label debut sounded like. This album is extremely intense. So intense that the very next album they made was extremely simple in comparison because, as rumor would have it, this album was just to insanely hard to pull of live and they needed something a little easier to contain.

Genre: Post-Hardcore, Noise Rock, Art Punk, Screamo

13. Clearlake-Cedars(Domino)

Extremely egocentric, narcissistic, mopey and down on it's luck in general. Yet there was always a gleam of optimism shining around the corner for this album. They got Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins fame to produce it and he did a fantastic job. The string parts are crucial as well as the atmosphere surrounding the main instruments. This was and still is probably the best brooding modern British Rock album.

Genre: Indie Rock

14. The Russian Futurists-Let's Get Ready To Crumble(Upper Class)

This album to me is the perfect definition of bedroom pop. The sampling is awesome. These are short little bursts of perfect pop music. This is the album Beck wishes he could go back to making. Every melody shimmers with catchiness.

Genre: Indie Pop, Indietronica

15. Melt Banana-Cell Scape(A-Zap)

This is overproduction done right. Is it "overproduction" if it sounds great? Does it just become "Production"? At any rate, this album is super intense. This, to me, is Melt-Banana at their most intense and best. They truly benefit from a larger less LO-FI sound. They needed this open expansive sound to let their loud speed punk meets metal sound really blossom.

Genre: Noise Rock, Experimental Rock, Hardcore Punk, Art Punk

16. Broadcast-HAHA Sound(Warp)

Great homage to damaged 60s exotica. This sounds like if Nancy and Lee got in a time machine and landed in 2003 to make a great electronic influenced 60s psyche pop album. It's noisy and pretty in equal measure. Her voice is perfect in this environment. It's sad to think this was the last truly great thing she did before she died of Pneumonia.

Genre: Dream Pop, Indietronica, Psychedelic Pop

17. Need New Body-UFO(File 13)

This album is completely absurd. 23 songs of pure insanity. Some of it is borderline unlistenable other parts are extremely easy on the ears. They basically try their hands at every single genre you could think of and come out on top.

Genre: Experimental Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Cabaret, Folk Rock

18. Exploding Hearts-Guitar Romantic(Dirtnap)

The best approximation of Buzzcocks style punk for the modern era you could ever hope for. It's sad this is the only true album of this band we will ever get.

Genre: Power Pop, Pop Punk, Garage Punk

19. The Darkness-Permission To Land(Atlantic)

Imagine if you will, if Freddie Mercury fronted the greatest 80s sunset strip hair metal band and you have a pretty good idea of what this sounds like.

Genre: Hard Rock, Glam Rock

20. Ricardo Villalobos-Alcachofa(Playhouse)

Wonderfully inventive microhouse album. The samples are interesting and the song concepts hold your attention very well. One of the best examples of someone making something truly interesting and inspiring within a genre mired by sameness and bland choices.

Genre: Microhouse, Minimal Techno

21. Coachwhips-Bangers Vs. Fuckers(Narnack)

This is the true punk rock of the 2000s. Dirty, nasty, shrill, mean, funny and loud as hell. I saw a reunited show of these guys at the smell a couple of years back and for however much this album screeches like noise the rhythms are undeniable and without a doubt I have never moved as much at a concert as I had with these guys.

Genre: Garage Punk, Noise Rock

22. The Rapture-Echoes(DFA)

The second best album put out by DFA. This was a classic in the dance-punk genre even though I would say they shed a lot of what made them "typical" in the genre and wrote some truly great ballads and non punk dance numbers. This had way more in common with a T.Rex or Bowie record than it did the current dance punk trends at the time. That's why this one stands out!

Genre: Dance Punk, Post-Punk

23. Matmos-The Civil War(Matador)

Great use of melding the old with the new. This album had all the touchpoints of a 2000s era electronic album but they made it really interesting by throwing in bagpipes, acoustic guitar, old madrigal folk melodies and an amazing cover of "Stars and Stripes Forever" by Sousa on it.

Genre: Folktronica, Glitch, Electronic, IDM

24. Black Eyes-Self Titled(Dischord)

Great spazzy punk album filled with all sorts of noises. Dual singers and dual drummers really help this album standout. Not to mention one of their vocalists had one of the most unique voices in rock music.

Genre: Post-Hardcore, Art Punk, Post-Punk, Noise Rock

25. LFO-Sheath(Warp)

Great swan song of a legendary electronic outfit. This is the album with the song that plays over the opening credits of "Enter the Void" which is a classic track.

Genre: IDM, Acid Techno, Downtempo

26. Young People-War Prayers(Dim Mak)

Weird little album from a few nerds from LA. It's kind of got a country vibe to it but I would never call it country. It also has an old timey "spiritual" thing going on as well. The vocals are killer and the playing is loose and fun.

Genre: Indie Pop, Experimental Rock

27. Excepter-KA(Fusetron)

Upon first listen, this album caused me to burst out laughing. I didnt stop until the first song was finished with it's almost 10 minute running time. I was blown away at what I was hearing. It was truly experimental music that didn't take itself seriously. This sounded truly goofy and it sounded incredibly alien. It had a sense of humor. Some of it sounded like farts, some of it sounded like what you would think music from another planet would sound like. This is highly recommended if you are up for the weird ass trip!

Genre: Experimental Rock, Noise, Electronic, Drone

28. Ellen Allien-Berlinette(Bpitch Control)

Excellent vocal techno, one of the best electronic albums to utilize vocals. This kind of takes Electro and spins it on it's head. This was the start of all the Holly Herndonesque musicians out there. To be honest it still puts what came after it to shame. This was cold and calculated pop with one ear to the past(Kraftwerk) and an ear towards the future accidentally predicting trends that would exist in the latter part of the 2000s.

Genre: Glitch Pop, Minimal Techno

29. Camera Obscura-Underachievers Please Try Harder(Merge)

Wonderfully twee, wonderfully saccharine. Very much in the vein of Belle and Sebastian but with a lot of "Girl Group" sounds thrown in. These songs were meticulously crafted and the melodies sharpened to a razor point.

Genre: Indie Pop, Twee Pop, Chamber Pop

30. Sufjan Stevens-Michigan(Asthmatic Kitty)

The first of his proposed state series(which stopped after the next one, so we have 2 out of 50). This music was orchestral indie pop perfection. A lot of it sounded like Disney soundtracks(this is a good thing). It's a neat little snapshot of one's own home state and trying to convey some kind of emotion out of showing a stranger your home state through music and somehow having it work perfectly.

Genre: Chamber Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk, Chamber Pop, Americana, Folk Pop