Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best Of (Part 1)

Let's try this again.

As I posted last week, everyone's counting down the New Year with a Best of the Decade list. Top albums, top songs, top shows, you name it.

I figured I'd throw myself--and my incalculably smart readers--into the fray, democracy-style.

Between now and January 1, I'm going to periodically post a Best Of from the Oughts. The goal isn't to quantitatively define who won and who mattered most in the last ten years. The goal is to see if there's some kind of perceived, consensus front-runner in each category. The theory is that no front-runner exists; fan-bases are fragmented, the culture is niche-driven, and I'll get a 1000 different responses to every question. On paper, we shouldn't agree on anything. I'm just curious to see if we do.

So, I wanted to hear from you first. Below you'll find several "Best Of the Decade" questions with a list of candidates. When I say "Best Of," I'm completely letting each voter define that for themselves. I will say, however, that my only constant rubric would be something that you would call of the decade. It--whatever IT is--has to characterize for you what it meant to be an American in the last ten years.

Today's group deals with music. Part 2 on Thursday will deal with TV and film.

Alright, let's get voting! Here's what you do:
1) Find the questions below.
2) Vote in the comments.
3) Vote in the comments because I couldn't find one poll gadget that actually works. So we'll just have a discussion in the comments.
4) Come back Thursday for Part 2.
5) Sound good?

Until then...

(Note: As always, but it's worth repeating: this blog discusses pop music. These lists only involve artists that have impacted "pop culture" at large, enough that they could be definitive of the decade. As much as I love Lucero, or Black Star, or Cory Branan, or a million other great artists from this decade, you won't find them here.)

Best Rock Album
Green Day - American Idiot
Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
Weezer - Make Believe
The Strokes - Is This It
White Stripes - Elephant
White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
U2 - How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
Radiohead - Kid A/Amnesiac
Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Coldplay - Parachutes
Coldplay - Viva la Vida
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Foo Fighters - In Your Honor
Counting Crows - Hard Candy
Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane

Best Singer/Songwriter Album
Bob Dylan - Love and Theft
Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
Ryan Adams - Gold
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales
Jason Mraz - Mr. A-Z
Conor Oberst - I'm Wide Awake/Digital Ash
John Mayer - Room for Squares
John Mayer - Heavier Things
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter
Ray LaMontagne - Trouble

Best Hip Hop Album
Jay-Z - Black Album
Outkast - Speakerboxx/Love Below
Ludacris - Word of Mouf
Kanye West - College Dropout
Kanye West - Late Registration
Eminem - The Eminem Show
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
The Roots - Phrenology
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Best Pop/R&B Album
Justin Timberlake - Justified
Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/Lovesounds
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
Usher - Confessions

Best Single (Rock & Singer/Songwriter)
The Strokes - "Last Night"
White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army"
U2 - "Beautiful Day"
Pearl Jam - "World Wide Suicide"
Green Day - "American Idiot"
Green Day - "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
Bruce Springsteen - "The Rising"
Ryan Adams - "New York, New York"
Queens of the Stone Age - "No One Knows"
Weezer - "Beverly Hills"
My Morning Jacket - "One Big Holiday"
Coldplay - "Clocks"
Maroon 5 - "Harder to Breathe"
The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"
Kings of Leon - "Use Somebody"
Fall Out Boy - "Sugar, We're Going Down Swinging"
The Fray - "Over My Head"

Best Single (Pop & Hip Hop)
Outkast - "The Way You Move"
Outkast - "Hey Ya"
Outkast - "The Whole World"
Jay-Z - "99 Problems"
Jay-Z - "Dirt Off Your Shoulder"
Eminem - "Lose Yourself"
Eminem - "I Am"
Justin Timberlake - "Sexyback"
Usher - "Yeah"
Alicia Keys - "Fallin'"
Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"
Kanye West - "All Falls Down"
Kanye West - "Gold Digger"
Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy"
50 Cent - "In Da Club"
Ludacris - "Southern Hospitality"
Ludacris - "Move Bitch"
Lil Wayne - "Lollipop"

Join the fray! Part 2 comes Thursday....

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