By: Philip Moreno
When West Michigan Indie asked me to rank my favorite second albums of the past 12 years I thought, “Should I limit myself to the world of Indie?” Answer: not so much.
The follow up to the multi-platinum breakthrough “Hot Fuss”, this Springstein inspired album proved that The Killers were a band with staying power. Lead single “When We Were Young” showed the creative capacity and anthemic power of Brandon Flowers and company.
Singles “The Bucket” and “Four Kicks” took this group’s take on classic southern rock to the next level and laid the ground work for one of last decade’s biggest arena acts.
With the backing of Jay Z’s Roc-a-Fella records, this album blew up this, then 28 year old, rapper. Singles “Gold Digger”, “Touch the Sky”, and “Heard ’em Say” would be club mainstays that year. Kanye earned several album of the year honors with this release and topped both Spin and Rolling Stones list for 2005. It was iconic.
It was a drastic shift from their first chicago house inspired album Homework. But, with the opening thumps of dance classic “One More Time”, we trusted the boys from France would take us to where we needed to go. The album was the sweet soundtrack to an animated movie Interstella 5555. Each songs video was a scene in the film. Check it out.
When you can get David Bowie to sing backing vocals on a track, you are doing something right. This art rock trio did everything right on this album. “Wolf Like Me” was the break out single, but songs like “I was Your Lover” and “Hours” proved these guys were no one hit wonder.
With the sound of fireworks book-ending an eight track instant classic, this duo fromVancouverbrought their sound to the next level. The lead single “The House that Heaven Built” showcases the bravado this group brings to their second album. Songs like “For the Love of Ivy” show the capacity of bold new directions.
How could the rapper fromDetroittop his debut? Simply by releasing one of the most revered/important/hated albums of the new century. Songs like “Kim” “Criminal”, and “Kill You” showed his darkest sides; and this album set off fire storms by GLAAD, the Canadian government, and several women’s rights groups. Regardless, the power of the music can’t be denied and this work has been hailed as one of the greatest rap albums of all time and went #1 in over 10 countries.
Eight tracks totaling just over 30 minutes in length; this is what albums used to be like. Reminiscent of the great Zepplin and Sabbath albums, The Cloud Nothings’ new classic has no filler; just great rock. With hooks and melodies sandwiched in every song, this album will be the new standard for great American indie rock.
Before the demons got to her, Amy Winehouse left us this masterpiece. Soul dripped out of the speakers upon first listen. “Me and Mr Jones”, the title track “Back to Black”, and the amazingly catchy “Rehab” comprised just part of the legacy of this album. RIP Amy…
Building from the foundation of the bands first album “Almost Killed Me”; The Hold Steady released, what could be, the best concept album of the new century. Drug use, dealing, partying, prostitution, robbery, and salvation; all covered. From the cold beginning of “Hornets, Hornets” to the closing of “How a Resurrection Really Feels”, this is the perfect sophomore album. Recalling ideas from the first album, then expanding and morphing them into some of the most important songs of the last 10 years. No knowledge of the back story is necessary to enjoy the album, so you should go and get it today.