02 June 2009

The Decade List: Albums/Singles (2003)

I suppose 2003 will best be remembered, in my mind, for the bridge pop music made to hipper-than-thou twentysomethings. Chart toppers like Outkast's "Hey Ya," Jay-Z's "99 Problems," Kelis' "Milkshake," Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" and a variety of Justin Timberlake songs from his 2002 album Justified found a fanbase as large in the 'cool kid' community as they did everywhere else... but I suppose that makes sense. It certainly wasn't the first time pop music expanded to those nether regions (Kylie's "Can't Get You Outta My Head" was probably 2002's best example), but really, some the best music in the "indie" (groan) scene was of the dance sort (see The Rapture, Junior Senior and of course The Knife).

Artistically speaking, the album Deep Cuts from the Swedish sibling duo The Knife pales, in their eyes, to 2005's Silent Shout, but that doesn't make the album any less wonderful. I have no qualms about making the claim that "Heartbeats" is the best pop song of the entire decade (and José González's acoustic cover, from Veneer the same year, is pretty great as well). The albums below are listed in vague order of preference; the singles are not.

Outkast - Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
Check It: Dracula's Wedding (with Kelis)

The Knife - Deep Cuts
Check It: Heartbeats

M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
Check It: Run Into Flowers

Kelis - Tasty
Check It: Trick Me

Breathless - Behind the Light
Check It: After All These Years

The Hidden Cameras - The Smell of Our Own
Check It: Golden Streams

Robin Guthrie - Imperial
Check It: Imperial

Jay-Z - The Black Album
Check It: 99 Problems

The Radio Dept. - Lesser Matters
Check It: Where Damage Isn't Already Done

The Microphones - Mount Eerie

Explosions in the Sky - The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
Check It: Your Hand in Mine

Desert Sessions 9 & 10
Check It: A Girl Like Me (with PJ Harvey)

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Master and Everyone
Check It: Wolf Among Wolves

Sufjan Stevens - Michigan
Check It: Niagara Falls

Beyoncé - Dangerously in Love
Check It: Crazy in Love (with Jay-Z)

José González - Veneer
Check It: Heartbeats (The Knife cover)

Black Eyes - Black Eyes
Check It: Deformative

Songs: Ohia - Magnolia Electric Co.
Check It: Farewell Transmission

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - The Secret of Elena's Tomb
Check It: All Saints Day

Piano Magic - The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic
Check It: Saint Marie [This is the version from the EP with Low's Alan Sparhawk on vocals instead of Glen Johnson. I prefer this version]

The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Check It: Cicatriz ESP

The Rapture - Echoes
Check It: House of Jealous Lovers

Kristin Hersh - The Grotto
Check It: Sno Cat

Kylie Minogue - Body Language
Check It: Chocolate

Étienne Daho - Réévolution
Check It: If (with Charlotte Gainsbourg) [Really, this song is rather silly, but I enjoy it still]

Cat Power - You Are Free
Check It: I Don't Blame You

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
Check It: Date with the Night

Assorted Singles/Jams of 2003

Kelis - "Milkshake" (from Tasty)
Amy Winehouse - "Fuck Me Pumps" (from Frank)
Elbow - "I've Got Your Number" (from Cast of Thousands)
Metric - "Dead Disco" (from Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?)
Britney Spears - "Toxic" (from In the Zone) [Really, this song is a fucking jam; too bad the video sucks]

Girls in Hawaii - "Flavor" (from From Here to There)
Desert Sessions (with PJ Harvey, Josh Homme) - "Crawl Home" (from Desert Sessions 9 & 10)
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Y Control" (from Fever to Tell)
Benjamin Biolay - "Glory Hole" (from Négatif)
Liz Phair - "HWC" (from Liz Phair) [HWC is the acronym for "Hot White Cum;" this song is just awful. I love it]

Massive Attack - "Butterfly Caught" (from 100th Window)
Electric Six - "Gay Bar" (from Fire) [I love that the words "war" and "nuclear war" had to be censored]
Outkast - "Happy Valentine's Day" (from Speakerboxxx / The Love Below)
The Rapture - "Olio" (from Echoes)
Desert Sessions (with Josh Homme, PJ Harvey) - "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" (from Desert Sessions 9 & 10) [PJ Harvey doesn't sing on the album version, but of course I chose the video where she does]

Émilie Simon (with Perry Blake) - "Graines d'étoiles" (from Émilie Simon)
The Hidden Cameras - "Boys of Melody" (from The Smell of Our Own)
José González - "Slow Moves" (from Veneer)
Goldfrapp - "Train" (from Black Cherry)
The Knife (with Jenny Wilson) - "You Take My Breath Away" (from Deep Cuts)

The Hidden Cameras - "Ban Marriage" (from The Smell of Our Own)
Cat Power (with Eddie Vedder) - "Evolution" (from You Are Free)
50 Cent - "In Da Club" (from Get Rich or Die Tryin')
The Knife - "Pass This On" (from Deep Cuts) [arguably one of my three favorite videos of the decade]
R. Kelly - "Ignition (Remix)" (from Chocolate Factory)

Dannii Minogue - "I Begin to Wonder" (from Neon Nights)
Goldfrapp - "Strict Machine" (from Black Cherry)
Beyoncé - "Me Myself and I" (from Dangerously in Love)
Kings of Leon - "Trani" (from Youth and Young Manhood) [I sort of feel like a douche putting this band on here, but I do like this song... unfortunately it's not about a tranny like I originally thought]
Ludacris - "Stand Up" (from Chicken-N-Beer)

Kylie Minogue - "Secret (Take You Home)" (from Body Language)
Beyoncé - "Naughty Girl" (from Dangerously in Love)
The Strokes - "Reptilla" (from Room on Fire)
Blu Cantrell (with Sean Paul) - "Breathe" (from Bitter Sweet)
Black Eyes - "On the Sacred Side" (from Black Eyes) [unfortunately I couldn't find this streaming anywhere]

No Doubt - "It's My Life" (from The Singles 1992-2003) [Talk Talk cover]
Scissor Sisters - "Laura" (from Laura EP)
Mya - "My Love Is Like... Wo" (from Moodring)
!!! - "Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (A True Story)" (from Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (A True Story) EP)
The Postal Service - "Such Great Heights" (from Give Up) [lame, I know]

Blur - "Out of Time" (from Think Tank)
The Radio Dept. - "Keen on Boys" (from Lesser Matters)
Keren Ann - "Not Going Anywhere" (from Not Going Anywhere)
Broadcast - "Pendulum" (from Haha Sound)
50 Cent (featuring Nate Dogg) - "21 Questions" (from Get Rich or Die Tryin')

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