Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 2000
By Zach Patterson Friday, 14 May 2010

This feature is a looong time in the making. Every week for the next 10 weeks, Good-Evil’s writers will be taking a look at each year of the 2000s and reflecting on the top 20 albums for each year. This is the most perfect list of albums for the year 2000 developed using cutting edge techniques to parse through the millions of albums released to come up with the true cream of the crop. The challenge was to limit each year to only 20 albums for our top 200, so in some years the 20 were tough to decide on due to diverging opinions but in other years it was pretty easy since there were a lot of similar picks. You will also notice there is no ranking on these albums. They are just alphabetical, because I didn’t really feel like quantifying how one writer’s thoughts towards an album were more essential than another. At any rate, click through to see our list, and feel free to tell us how stupid were are for leaving _________ off the list.

AC/DC- Stiff Upper Lip

Why it’s on this list: It seems that every time AC/DC releases an album at the start of a new decade (Back In Black 1980, Razor’s Edge 1990) the album is a success. Stiff Upper Lip dropped in 2000 and is one of AC/DC’s more unique albums as well as one of their best. While AC/DC definitely has a certain sound that they don’t like to stray from, Stiff Upper Lip goes a bit in a different direction. The band digs down deep to their rock and roll roots and conjures up a bluesy sound. The guitars have a heavy bellow that could easily be the product of Robert Johnson if he would have played an electric guitar. “Safe In New York City” is a particularly interesting song. The song was written in 1999 and the album came out a year later, however, after September 11, 2001 Clear Channel put it on their list of songs with questionable lyrics. Angus Young said that the song was a knock on then mayor Rudy Guiliani’s claim that he cleaned up New York City. - Charlie Goodrich Recommended Tracks: Safe In New York City Stiff Upper Lip (link) Satellite Blues (link) Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll


At The Drive-In – Relationship of Command

Why it’s on this list: It’s hard to believe this album will be 10 years old this September. Here is a band that made a huge impact on me and basically changed my perception of music. I must have listened to it well over 100 times a year since its’ release. The energy, the creativity, the influence, the dancing art punk guitars, cryptic lyrics and raw emotion all keep me coming back for more. RoC is a masterpiece from start to finish, no skips necessary and that’s really what makes a good album. “Cosmonaut” pays homage to Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. If its’ power doesn’t make you a believer, then I don’t know what will. When Cedric screams “Is it heavier than air?”, it’s enough to give you chills down your spine like the trickling guitar that follows it. “Rolodex Propaganda” still gets me riled up and has created a tradition of turning the volume knob until it breaks during the lone guitar strumming midway through. Every time there’s a rainstorm, I instantly go for Quarantined which tells a tale of imprisonment – “and I’ve seem to forgotten the warmth of the sun”. At The Drive-In’s “indefinite hiatus” was tragic because it leaves you wondering just how far they could have gone. Their short lived legacy will continue on through their apparent influence in a lot of bands today – unfortunately. - Matt Gulbrandsen Recommended Tracks: Cosmonaut Arcarsenal (link) One Armed Scissor (link) Rolodex Propaganda (link) Quarantined (link)


Blonde Redhead – Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

Why it’s on this list: My introduction to this band was through the second track off this album, “In Particular” and it set my tastes in a new direction. It was a sound like I’d never heard before, almost magical. Though they had been in the game 5 years at this point, this album was probably the beginning of the maturation of their own signature style. The band is comprised of just 3 people – Kazu Makino and twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace and they fill out their sound quite well. Together they collide to make music that resembles a sort of Sonic Youth/Beatles for the entrance to the 21st century. Blonde Redhead’s later albums have only gotten better but this one is the most memorable, truly a standout for me. “This is Not” reminds me of a lost NES Tetris song and it might be the only glimpse of happiness on the album. “Loved Because of Great Faults” is reminiscent of the swirling guitar track of the Beatles “I Want You So Bad” and can almost be likened to the soundtrack at the entrance of a haunted house. The one track that comes highly recommended is “Melody of Certain Three”. It has a dreary atmosphere and an unbelievably tight 3/4 timing catchiness that will make you sing along “Sometimes I spin around for days/Skip and chase and say/Forget about tomorrow”. - Matt Gulbrandsen Recommended Tracks: In Particular Melody of Certain Three (link) (Live) Loved Because of Great Faults (link)) This Is Not (link) A Cure (link)


Deftones – White Pony

Why it’s on this list: No doubt the pinnacle of the Deftones career, I remember downloading it months before it came out on Napster and listening to it on my walkman in art class non stop. My how things have changed. The then mis-labeled nu metal band brought so much more to the table than their peers and it’s no wonder. Their influences include The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Jawbox and Hum and boy does it show. Everything is unique from Chino’s soaring vocals to Stephen Carpenters simple yet creative riffs all put in control by Abe Cunningham’s tight drumming and Chi Cheng’s ear for a solid underlying bass line. There is an unequivocal mood as a result like you’ve never heard before. Take “Digital Bath” for example. The song starts out like a leaky bathtub in a condemned apartment building and builds up to the pipes finally breaking and flooding the entire complex. There is imagery like this all over the place. “Knife Party” in a similar fashion evokes some sort of anti gravity chamber gasping for air as Chino sings “I could float here forever/ Anemic and sweet…so…”. The mercury icing on this already delicious cake is the final track “Pink Maggit”. Its’ emptiness can initially bring you to tears and then leave you breathless with its’ anthemic ending. A staple Deftones song for a staple Deftones album. It deserves all the recognition and praise that it’s received “…now pass the flask”. - Matt Gulbrandsen Recommended Tracks: Digital Bath Knife Party (link) Passenger (link) Change (In The House of Flies) (link) Pink Maggit (link)


Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030

Why it’s on this list: I never really cared for rap or hiphop until I overhead the title track, 3030, playing during a friend’s party. The song’s catchy chorus was very unlike any kind of rap I had heard until then and it felt like a breath of fresh air from all the gangsta rap and conceited drivel that flooded pop culture. This is the ultimate (and perhaps only) cyberpunk rap album, the lyrics are absolutely fantastic and the rhymes are seamless and fluid. Killer hooks and loops form a backdrop for such futuristic themes and references as Neuromancer, cybernetics, psionics, computer viruses, and more. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien’s tone, rhythm, and song construction all formed the perfect bridge to begin my ongoing appreciation of rap and hip hop. - Sherv Recommended Tracks: 3030 Time Keeps On Slipping (link) Virus (link) Positive Contact Things You Can Do


Do Make Say Think – Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead

Why it’s on this list: This was my first taste of Do Make Say Think, and it is a unique album in their discography. Their other albums have a folksy, anthemic approach while Goodbye Enemy Airship is a lot more downtrodden and jazzy. It’s a great rainy day record to say the least. The songs are slow to build up and they tend to ride single thoughts way longer than is necessary. But who cares about necessity? When they hit a good groove they are not afraid to let it ride and vamp for a while. What I love about this album is that while the songs play out for long periods of time the album always seems over way too soon. - Andrew Raub Recommended Tracks: The Landlord is Dead Goodbye Enemy Airship (link)


Faraquet – The View From This Tower

Why it’s on this list: The story of Faraquet is short. Release one amazing and somewhat groundbreaking record and then disolve. Their blend of jagged, mathy guitars, jazzy chords, and vocals within pop music song structures gave them a unique sound. Their lyrics, although supposedly made up on the spot at the time of recording, are puzzling but not all out confusing or overwraught. Lines like “Take a second look at what you have/take a second look at what you don’t have” are memorable and simple. It’s a shame that they didn’t last more than an album and remained in relative obscurity, but the available songs (this album and a collection of singles and b-sides and leftovers) are good enough for many repeat listens. - Andrew Raub Recommended Tracks: Cut Self Not Conceptual Seperation of Self (link)


The Fucking Champs – IV

Why it’s on this list: Do you like 80′s metal? Of course you do, so go listen to this album. The Champs make 2 guitars and a set of drums all you need to have a good time. More refined than their previous album III, IV is full of ass-kicking riffs and harmonies that further complete their mission statement – to fucking rock. The songs are crafted with cheesy hair metal covered thinking caps sans balls-punched falsetto lyrics of heartbreak or dragons with non guitar interludes sprinkled here and there for good measure (see “Lamplighter”: the perfect compliment to a campfire sunset). If Bach was still alive somehow, “Thor Is Like Immortal” would be on infinite repeat in his iPod. “What’s A Little Reign” is downright brutal and fun – enough to make you stomp a hole through the floor. Finally, “Extra Man” is the ultimate anthem song to sing with your buds. It’s been tested and proved, ask any Shizzie. If ever there was an album to make you clench your fist and extend your pointer and pinky finger outward to the sky, it’s this one and it will no matter which scene of music you come from. That’s what makes the Champs so much fun. - Matt Gulbrandsen Recommended Tracks: Extra Man What’s A Little Reign (link) Thor Is Like Immortal (link) These Glyphs Are Dusty (link) Vangelis Again (link)


The Gathering – if_then_else

Why it’s on this list: The Gathering was one of the few female-fronted bands that I enjoyed in the late 90’s when I first heard them, but I knew there was still something needing to develop in their sound to make them stand out even more. They had one of the most distinctive and beautiful voices thanks to Anneke van Giersbergen (who was in the band from 1994 to 2007), but the music needed some tightening up to make it really stand out. What they did is drop the metal elements with the album before this one called “How to Measure a Planet?” and went in a more space-rock direction. “if_then_else” added a little more hard rock and electronic elements to the fray, making this the most well-rounded and accessible album they put out. Anneke’s voice was in fine form as always and really soared on some tracks, like “Shot to Pieces”. The more electronic pieces are rather mellow and haunting, especially “Amity” and “Analog Park”, the latter of which is a personal favorite and has certainly inspired a tune or two of mine. Influential, beautiful and distinct vocals, a well-rounded accessible album – what more do you need? - Jason Vincion Recommended Tracks: Shot to Pieces Amity (link) Analog Park (link)


Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

Why it’s on this list: Plain and simple, this album was my first encounter with a purely instrumental album that I actually enjoyed. Initially drawn in by their ludicrous band name and then ensnared by their idiosyncratic crescendos and climaxes, I immediately came to appreciate complex relationships between the guitars, drums, horns, and strings. Perfect music to study or work by, and even better to relax or reminisce to. - Sherv Recommended Tracks: Storm (if you don’t like this song you won’t like any of the others) Part 2 (link) Part 3 (link)


Hot Snakes – Automatic Midnight

Why it’s on this list: Although it wasn’t the first Hot Snakes album I heard, it’s my favorite of the bunch. This album revitalized my aging punk rock blood by pumping in tremendous volumes of pure adrenaline. The songs are short and fast, for the most part, but the lyrics are rife with metaphors and imagery that is quite unusual for a punk rock outfit; these lyrics combined with the song structures creates a new genre, an evolutionary step forward from the punk tar pit. Rick’s screams and yelps layered with Reis’ blistering guitars form the foundation for what will become the short-lived, but powerful, Hot Snakes legacy. - Sherv Recommended Tracks: 10th Planet If Credit’s What Matters Then I’ll Take Credit Light Up The Stars Automatic Midnight Our Work Fills The Pews


Mike Doughty – Skittish

Why it’s on this list: Skittish is one of those albums where the story is nearly as important as the music itself. Recorded in 1996 between difficult Soul Coughing sessions, this album is about as stark a contrast to Doughty’s Soul Coughing as it gets. While in his band, Doughty’s delivery was often nonsense white boy raps mixed with speak-sang lyrics, and the occasional harmonious normal singing mixed in with jazzy experimental blues improv rock weirdness. Skittish is a minimal, mostly

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acoustic, soulful album full of folk songs that show off Doughty’s range as a singer and his intricate wordplay in the lyrics. In 1996, it was rejected and disappeared by the record label, but in 2000 and the awkward “we can have anything we want, for free!” dawn of file-sharing, the album made its rounds and became an Internet success story (that’s how I found it! Woo Napster! Go Internet!). The roundabout success was well deserved, as this remains to this day Doughty’s solo career masterpiece. - Zach Patterson Recommended Tracks: The Only Answer

Mike Doughty – The Only Answer
Found at skreemr.org

Looks (link) Rising Sign


Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica

Why it’s on this list: To be honest I didn’t really like this album much when I first got it. The first Modest Mouse song I heard was “Shit Luck” and this is the first album of theirs I got. There’s a stark difference between “Shit Luck” and what’s on this album. But even though it wasn’t what I expected it quickly became one of my favorite albums. While the subject matter of this album is not quite as demented as their previous album, the production sets itself to match the darkness of space itself. There is a hallow feel to the album with lots of space between the instruments. It is sort of a Dark Side of the Moon of indie rock. - Andrew Raub Recommended Tracks: 3rd Planet The Stars Are Projectors (link) A Different City (link)


Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R

Why it’s on this list: Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstacy, and Alcohol. Is there any better way to start an album? Queens of the Stone Age had an impressive enough debut with the self-titled album, but Rated R is what really shaped their sound and their legacy for the coming decade. It’s such a interesting mix of genres and styles contained on one album, but it gels perfectly together, even with three different singers on vocals. The album meshes experimental desert funk with heavy stoner riff guitars for a unique sound that sets QOTSA apart from labels like “stoner metal” or “hard rock”. I just love listening to this album because there’s a little something for any occasion. Need some furious thrashy punk? “Tension Head”, naturally. Rocking guitar ballad? Check out “In The Fade”. Something to shake your ass to? “Leg of Lamb” is a good place to look. Heavy guitar riffs? Gotta be “Better Living Through Chemistry.” It’s one of those rare albums that never gets old and, as it ages, seems to get even better. C-C-C-C-C-C-COCAINE - Zach Patterson Recommended Tracks: Feel Good Hit of the Summer In The Fade (link) Tension Head (link) I Think I Lost My Headache (link)


Radiohead – Kid A

Why it’s on this list: Kid A was a weird album when it came out. I dug it, though. Maybe it was because I was depressed and had just discovered alcohol and the horrible things it could do to me. I was tired of the mundane. I wanted a soundtrack that would fit my yeti-like loneliness, that would be fit for playing on my Discman while I ran up and down Eckenrode Mill Road, eating pounds upon pounds of bologna. Most of the album is quiet and keen. Synth pads float in the background like cold Noreaster winds gushing through the Appalachian Mountains. Horns abound, like the creaking of cherry and ash and aspen trees in the night. Yorke’s voice warbles along, like the water of creek rushing on below its frozen surface. The lyrics are weird and pathetic, like I was. This is an atmospheric and expansive album, with odd lyrics. - Mike Callahan Recommended Tracks: Everything In Its Right Place How To Disappear Completely (link) Iqioteque (link) In Limbo (link)


Shellac – 1000 Hurts

Why it’s on this list: If I had to pick what I believed to be Shellac’s (and possibly even Steve Albini’s) finest moment, I’d choose this album. Everything I look for in a Shellac record is here and honed to a jagged but razor-sharp edge: trebly, angular guitar riffs, vitriol-spewing lyrics, and unpredictably placed time-signature change-ups. From the opening track which ends with the words “fucking kill him” screamed steadily and repeatedly like a Buddhist mantra as Steve Albini prays to god to kill his ex-girlfriend and the guy that’s currently sticking it to her, you know it’s on, and it pretty much holds up until the torrent of drum-fills on the last song- a snarled anthem about aggression and fighting- end. Although there are a few softer moments on this album such as the almost love-ballad “Shoe Song,” 1000 Hurtz nonetheless remains an album that, were it personified in some way, would not hesitate to kick your ass if you dared to call it “sensitive” or “cute”. In short, this is the most concise edition to date of the same statement Shellac have always made: they make music because they feel like it and don’t have to prove anything to you. Now fuck off. - Matt Gburek Recommended Tracks: Prayer to God Watch Song (link)


Ulver – Perdition City

Why it’s on this list: Perdition City was the album that introduced me to Ulver’s electronic side. I had known them as a primitive black metal outfit from their “Nattens Madrigal” album which came out two years previous, which sounded terrible for primitive black metal, but there were interesting arrangements and melodies beneath the din. I was following a lot of Norwegian bands at the time and people were talking about the complete change in direction that Ulver had taken, so I was intrigued. When I first heard this album, I found it to be a very haunting listen. There are lots of sparse arrangements that really leave an impression. Their vocalist, known under many pseudonyms (Garm, Trickster G. Rex) and born Kristoffer Rygg has a very unique and distinctive voice that fits tremendously well with Ulver’s electronic sound. At the time, I wasn’t very keen on electronic music for the most part, but Ulver brought quite a dynamic and new sound to the table that it was hard not to admire all of the nuance involved. Their sound continued along this path and a few more of their albums have made my top lists because they’re amazing pieces of work. - Jason Vincion Recommended Tracks: Lost in Moments, Hallways of Always, Tomorrow Never Knows Lost in Moments Hallways of Always (link) Tomorrow Never Knows (link)


Warren Zevon – Life’ll Kill Ya

Why it’s on this list: This is an eerie album. Zevon Was diagnosed with cancer a few years after Life’ll Kill Ya came out. Even though it would be a few years until his death, Zevon’s take on life and his lyrical tone foreshadow his untimely fate. His voice at time sounds like it is going to break and he will begin crying. Other times he sounds bitter and angry yet regretful at the same time. Zevon drank heavily for most of his life and rarely saw doctors. He probably knew he was sick for awhile before he was diagnosed and this album was his way of communicating how he felt. His lyrics are powerful, and when you listen

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to what he has to say it’s very hard not to exhibit some emotion. It’s difficult to find a collection of songs that sound so human and genuine. - Charlie Goodrich Recommended Tracks: My Shit’s Fucked Up Don’t Let Us Get Sick (link) Back In the High Life Again Life’ll Kill Ya


Weakling – Dead as Dreams

Why it’s on this list: Even by the year 2000, the collective imagery conjured by the phrase “black metal” had already amounted to little more then mere mythos surrounding Scandinavian men in white makeup who burned Churches and/or killed themselves in aberrant, horrific ways instead of any sort of legitimate form of music, and the aforementioned Scandinavian men did very little to change this perception. Weakling, on the other hand, consisted of a few people from San Francisco who would go on to show everyone that black metal was not all about corpse paint and posturing. Their one and only album, “Dead as Dreams,” consisted of five epic tracks and was a torrent of overdriven, all-encompassing guitar riffs, unintelligible and tortured vocals, and production that sounded not raw, but distant, as though the listener was being dragged into the very black void that the band had conjured as each track built up to a soul-crushing climax. Its influence on both other metal bands and the average perception of what “black metal” was “supposed” to be is undeniable, and to this day any modern metal band coming out of the states owes something to Weakling, aware of it or not. - Matt Gburek Recommended Tracks: No One May be Called as a Man While He’ll Die


Wu-Tang Clan – The W

Why it’s on this list: One fateful day in early 2000, a friend of mine sent me an illegal mp3 of Da Mystery Of Chessboxin on Napster. I was hooked. It was the first rap/hip-hop song I ever liked, and I wanted more. The singles for The W came out during the summer and I vowed to buy it, making it the first rap/hip-hop album I’d ever laid cold hard cash down for. I wasn’t disappointed. It isn’t Wu-Tang Clan’s finest album, but it is certainly solid. RZA’s production is sparse but catchy, and despite all manner of guest appearances, the members do a fine job of maintaining their own in the thick, sticking to the usual Wu-Tang tropes. A lot of the tracks are rather weird, with spastic beats and jerky verses, but this is one of those albums that really crystallizes on repeat listens. - Mike Callahan Recommended Tracks: One Blood Under W Conditioner (link) Hollow Bones (link) Let My Niggas Live (link)


HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Don Caballero – American Don – Not the best Don Cab album but a solid one for sure. Kind of a continuation of the What Burns Never Returns vibe. - Andrew
Listen: “The Peter Criss Jazz” link
A Perfect Circle – Mer De Noms – A Perfect Circle was a rather interesting pet project for Billy Howerdel that really catapulted to prominence with the addition of Maynard James Keenan on vocals. Definitely radio-friendly polished rock, but it’s the good kind, and ended up being an intriguing mix of talents from a variety of bands that came together to make one of the better albums for 2000. - Zach
Listen: “Judith” link

6 Responses to “Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 2000”

  1. streifig Says:

    I’m telling how stupid you are for leaving Karate’s “Unsolved” off the list.

  2. Mike Callahan Says:

    I’m telling you how stupid of an idea this is! Fire the editor!!

  3. Sherv Says:

    Man, all fantastic choices (yes, I even acknowledge Radiohead). Great work, guys!

  4. Brian Hohman Says:

    Awesomenessisity Abounds! I like this list and glad I didn’t voice my opinion as my musical choices are the subject of some much needed scrutiny. ;)

  5. Nick Woodside Says:

    Unsolved isn’t on the list because it’s not even the best Karate album.

  6. Zach Patterson Says:

    oh shit, woodside throwin’ down the gauntlet.

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