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Best Musicians of the 00’s?

We’ve entered a new decade (2010-2019), so it is now time to reflect back on a completely arbitrary 10 year block of time and make a capricious declaration on who made the best music, and had the biggest influence in the aughts.

  • 5. The Strokes: Ushered in current rock & roll as we know it with 2001’s Is This It. At the time, the airwaves were dominated by boy bands, pop stars and shitty “rock” bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit. The Strokes brought garage band music back and ushered in a second-coming of a genre made famous by the punk rockers of the 1970’s and 80’s. Other albums: Room on Fire, 2003 & First Impressions of Earth, 2005. Several band members had less-than-memorable side projects (Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond, Jr.) They could have ascended higher on this list if they produced a fourth album during the decade. Additional props to Casablancas’ SNL track “Boombox” with Lonely Island (even though it premiered in January, 2010 – it was recorded in 2009, so it counts.)

  • 4. Radiohead: Arguably the biggest band in the world (fuck you, U2) releasing an album for free? Unheard of! Unless, of course, you’re Radiohead.  In 2007, In Rainbows gave the proverbial middle finger to record labels and established musical aristocracy alike when they released the album on their website – allowing the consumer to pick their own price (even if that price was $0.00.) Even though the band gave the album away for free, it still managed to gross them over $10 million dollars. Impressive. It’s just too bad the only other album they released during the decade was 2003’s Hail to the Thief.

  • 3. Broken Social Scene: Fact – Canada (specifically, Montreal) produces A LOT of amazing music. None better than Broken Social Scene, however. These indie-rock Gods from the Great White North produced some of the best music of the decade with three albums: Feel Good Lost, You Forgot it In People & the self-titled Broken Social Scene. Side projects and solo acts aside, the band itself created single after single of incredible music, and rather than recording albums containing two hits and 10 fillers, they packed their albums full of (in my humble opinion) the best indie rock of the decade (and that’s a bold statement when you consider the competition.)

  • 2. Lil Wayne: That’s right. I had to add a rapper. And Weezy deserves this ranking. Not only is he (again, in my humble opinion) the best rapper of the decade, he was nearly the best musician. His relentless recording, producing and distribution of hit after hit, coupled with his incredible lyrical talent gives him extremely high marks in my book. The fact that he seems to release 2-to-3 awesome FREE mix tapes to every 1 album he puts on shelves also gives him that Radiohead-esque Robin Hood appeal. Love him or hate him, The Carter I, II & III and his countless dozens of mix tapes, compilations and lyrical cameos propel Wayne to heights not seen since Eminem shattered the tenants of Hip Hop at the beginning of the decade.

  • 1. The White Stripes: It’d be criminal to anoint anyone else to this prestigious position atop my rankings. FIVE albums, each better than the last in the 2000’s positions Jack and Meg atop the music world. Not only are the White Stripes the most talented artists of the decade, but they will inevitably someday be two of the most influential musicians of the century. The White Stripes reinvented rock and roll and gave their rabid fan base an unimaginable number of brilliant rhythms, experimental sounds and instruments along with Mr. White’s transcendental vocals. There is no sound as unique as theirs, there is no replacement for them, and no one released more music, with more quality during the 2000’s than the White Stripes. I would like to personally thank them for blessing us (the fans) with: De Stijl, 2000; White Blood Cells, 2001; Elephant, 2003; Get Behind Me Satan, 2005 and 2007’s Icky Thump. And oh yeah, The Raconteurs aren’t half-bad either.
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