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November 27, 2021


Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 99 are from the years 2000-2005.

Which 21st Century albums are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 99 albums, enjoy!



99. Limp Bizkit – Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. There are more appealing titles on the list.

98. Mike Ladd – Welcome to the Afterfuture. Some standout similes, such as “like an engineer for Chrysler who spends his time with Volvos.”

97. Röyksopp – Melody A.M. Band name umlauts never hurt.

96. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Nor does a dropped ‘g’.

95. Ozamatli – Street Signs. More likely to listen to Ozma.

94. M.I.A. – Arular. One of the most recent albums on the list (only 3 from 2005 in the original book).

93. Avalanches – Since I Left You . Probably more likely to see a Colorado Avalanche game.

92. Gotan Project – La Revancha del Tango. Like the olde saying, it takes (ninety-)two to tango.

91. Christina Aguilera – Stripped. Terrific voice, though I bet I’ll rewatch her singing about tight pants first!



90. Lightning Bolt – Wonderful Rainbow. A bolt of lightning, 1.21 GigaWatts!

89. Icarus Line – Penance Soirée. Accent aigus, magnifique.

88. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory. I appreciate it more than I did in the early 2000s.

87. Beta Band – Hot Shots II. Perhaps out of curiousity, to see if the album syncs up with the film, Hot Shots: Part Deux, in a significant way!

86. Dizzee Rascal – Boy in Da Corner. Where I learned about the genre ‘grime’ – though probability-wise, re-watching the Frank ‘Grime’s episode of The Simpsons would be a safer bet.

85. Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper. A Napoleon Dynamite &/or Princess and the Frog’s Dig a Little Deeper revisit will probably come first.

84. The Bees – Sunshine Hit Me. As Will Arnett might say, Bees?!

83. N*E*R*D – Fly or Die. Having the CD helps.

82. Destiny’s Child – Survivor. Though not a Destiny’s Child track, I’m forever grateful to Beyoncé for helping teach students about the placement of assets on rudimentary balance sheets: to the left, to the left, everything you own is in a box to the left!



81. MJ Cole – Sincere. As Bye Bye Birdie &/or The Family Guy advised, you gotta be sincere!

80. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell. I enjoyed attempting their song Maps on the video game ‘Rock Band’

79. Liars – They Were Wrong, So We Drowned. A high-stakes title.

78. White Stripes – White Blood Cells.

77. White Stripes – Elephant.

76. White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan.

Though the order among the 3 could change.

75. Madonna – Music. Her 3rd of 3.

74. TV on the Radio – Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. Would be higher on a favourite band names list, intriguing notion.

73. The Roots – Phrenology. More likely to watch The Roots playing classroom instruments on the Tonight Show or listen to Mr. Burns talk about Phrenology!

72. Air – The Virgin Suicides. Their second of two.

71. Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun. Penitentiary Philosophy in particular.

70. Red Snapper – Our Aim is to Satisfy. A Red Snapper, mmmm, very tasty!



69. The Beta Band – Heroes to Zeroes. Can one really listen to The Beta Band without thinking of High Fidelity?

68. Devendra Banhart – Rejoicing in the Hands. Songs that would likely work well in the livestream format.

67. Justin Timberlake – Justified. I’ve been a fan of his since the ‘Sars-stock’ concert in Toronto.

66. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come for Free. When my wonderful wife & I worked in England that summer, Dry Your Eyes was inescapable.

65. Cee-Lo Green – Cee-Lo Green…is the Soul Machine. How do I feel about rhyming album titles? To borrow a Mitch Hedberg line, I’m For ‘Em!

64. Calexico – Feast of Wire. Calexico = California + Mexico. To borrow a Keanu-ism, Whoa!

63. Björk – Vespertine.

62. Björk – Medúlla.

The speedometer from the stop-motion episode of Community was a nice detail!



61. The Hives – Your Favourite New Band. One of the many good “The” bands from the early 2000s.

60. Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain.

59. Bebel Gilberto – Tanto Tempo.

58. Amy Winehouse – Frank.

Three very different & very fine vocalists.

57. Arcade Fire – Funeral. CanCon!

56. Missy Elliott – Under Construction. Her 2nd of 2.

55. Lambchop – Nixon. Though while listening, I find it difficult not to think of the former U.S. President &/or the children’s TV show, Lambchop’s Play-Along.

54. Jay-Z – The Blueprint. That’s the anthem, get your darn hands up!

53. The Zutons – Who Killed…The Zutons?. I enjoy the saxomophone on the debut by these Liverpudlians.

52. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus. Cave’s final cameo on the list.

51. Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak.

50. Kings of Leon – Youth & Young Manhood.

Their 1st and 2nd of 2 appearances.

And speaking of Community, “Look, Kings of Leon!” proved to be an effective distraction in the Regional Holiday Music episode!



49. Kanye West – The College Dropout. Interesting & unconventional lyrics / themes throughout.

48. Badly Drawn Boy – Hour of the Bewilderbeast. Perhaps would be an appropriate soundtrack while waiting in line for an hour to ride the Wilde Beast at Canada’s Wonderland?

47. Giant Sand – Chore of Enchantment. Though it’s the kind of sound I like, when I reviewed it, I suspected I’d be more likely to choose other comparable artists. I suppose we’ll see if current-me or past-me is correct!

46. Gorillaz – Gorillaz. Clint Eastwood might be the top single from the early 2000s.

45. The Coral – The Coral. Did I mention there are a lot of solid self-titled debuts on the list?

44. Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around. His 3rd of 3.

43. Mylo – Destroy Rock & Roll. Especially the title track.

42. Common – Like Water for Chocolate. Powerful album art.

41. Ute Lemper – Punishing Kiss. Her duet with Neil Hannon, Tango Ballad, in particular.

40. Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below.

39. Outkast – Stankonia.

I adore the piano intro to Roses & B.O.B.’s first verse is absolutely relentless.

Nice to see Kevin McDonald make an appearance in the Roses video too!



38. Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker.

37. Ryan Adams – Gold.

His 1st and 2nd of 2.

36. Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World. Their 2nd of 2.

35. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. Her 3rd of 3.

34. Doves – Lost Souls.

33. Doves – The Last Broadcast.

Their 1st and 2nd of 2.

32. Jurassic 5 – Power in Numbers. The album name is apt, the multiple MC format works well here.

31. The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium. Featuring Flea on bass.

30. Rufus Wainwright – Want One.

29. Rufus Wainwright – Want Two.

His 1st and 2nd (of 2) on the list.

And I appreciate that Rufus takes his time arriving at notes, at one point taking 16 seconds to arrive at the 2nd syllable of Ag-nus Dei!



28. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters.

Eponymous debuts, I really must remember to count how many of them ended up on the list.

27. The Thrills – So Much for the City. Not a self-titled, but not a bad debut either!

26. U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind. I was pleased to be able to play ‘Elevation‘ when teaching the angle of elevation recently.

25. Radiohead – Amnesiac. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, just playing the percentages. And there are a couple more from the 2000s that I know I’ll revisit first (and I gather they made a couple of semi-decent 90s albums as well?)

24. Elliott Smith – Figure 8. Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud especially.

23. Morrissey – You Are the Quarry. His 4th of 4 solo albums on the list.

22. The Strokes – Is This It? It ain’t bad!

21. Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Their 2nd of 2.

20. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand. The first side especially.

19. Silver Jews – Bright Flight. The initial Pavement association doesn’t hurt.

18. Beck – Sea Change.

17. Beck – Guero.

His 2nd and 3rd of 3.

16. Radiohead – Hail to the Thief. The Beaverton hit it out of the park with this article!

15. The Vines – Highly Evolved. Love the album-opening handclaps.



14. Coldplay – Parachutes.

13. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head.

Their 1st and 2nd albums (of 2) on the list.

12. Brian Wilson – SmiLe. I tend to pronounce the word vege-tables, à la Brian here.

11. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Their 2nd of 2.

10. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP. His 2nd of 2.

9. Norah Jones – Come Away With Me. A fine debut.

8. Emmylou Harris – Red Dirt Girl. Her 2nd of 2.

7. The Killers – Hot Fuss. Side one in particular.

6. Bruce Springsteen – The Rising. His 5th of 5.

5. Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator). The title track especially.

4. The Libertines – The Libertines. The album is holding up better than my t-shirt!



3. Drive By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera. The top double LP of the 21st Century thus far.

2. The Darkness – Permission to Land. In my all-time Top 15.

1. Radiohead – Kid A. It’s currently in the car stereo (in its right place) – next time I start the car, unless I turn off the stereo before the music starts, re-visitation is inveitable!




Verbalize the Positive

A colleague referenced Conan O’Brien’s In The Year 2000 the other day, naturally I think of that great recurring bit when talking about Y2K!

From → 2000s

  1. jprobichaud permalink

    That’s quite the 99 albums. Some excellent ones in the first half of the 2000s for sure.

    • I must admit, the years 2006-2010 are mostly a mystery to me – so I’m pleased to have at least caught up somewhat on half the decade!

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    Oh, and yeah, I’ll just drop this one word here in case you thought I’d not noticed: Doves.

  3. 20% of these are in the Vinyl Connection collection. I’m happy enough with that, even though it is well below a pass score!

    • I’d say that’s a highly respectable score, Bruce!
      Probably a moving target for the decades, perhaps a 50% of the 60s/70s would be considered a pass, maybe 40%/30% for the 80s/90s, and if you hit 20% on 21st Century albums, that ain’t bad!

      • I like your progressive approach to marking, Teach. I’ll be signing up for your next semester class.

  4. Wow. How long did it take to settle on this 99? I can’t even pick a top 10 at times. lol White Stripes with a 3 place finish one after another in the 70’s…
    Red Snapper! lol
    Well done Sir!

    • Cheers, Deke!
      The 99 may have been a bit ambitious (though the 99 albums since ’99 & Gretzky association were too tempting to resist) – but I don’t think it’ll be too controversial. I’m not anticipating too many strongly worded emails that #83 should have been at least as high as #68!

  5. Zack permalink

    I thought I knew a lot of the music from this era, but there’s a TON of bands on here that I’ve never heard.
    And shouldn’t Audioslave be in there somewhere?

  6. So that’s the whole book done and dusted? Last regular post?

  7. Aww, the photos of you with your baby are so cute!

    • Much appreciated, Lana – it was fun for me seeing the shirt age with each new baby photo!

      • That’s awesome! I need to take care of my favorite shirts so that they last a long time like yours did.

      • Washing/drying them inside out seems to add to the longevity for me, Lana!

      • Oh ok, I wash and dry my shirts inside out already. Thanks for the tip, Geoff!

  8. Radiohead, yes. Of course I would rank Jurassic 5 and Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker as higher… cool list though. Poor Limp Bizkit lol. Or, wait, nah. Nevermind them.

    • Jurassic 5 was new to me within the past year or two – I imagine it will keep climbing over time.
      And it’s funny, in the early 2000s, I had no interest in Kid A (where are the guitars???) but now I see it as an album where Everything is in its right place 🙂

      • I have all the Jurassic 5 albums, all are great! Yeah I remember the backlash to Kid A. But the band knew what they had.

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