Top 10 decade-defining discs

Despite the industry's well-publicized woes, it seems like.

Despite the industry’s well-publicized woes, it seems like more music than ever is coming out each week. It’s been a strange and unpredictable decade, and the most remarkable trend has been the blurring of lines between mainstream and underground. Like it or not, commercial hip-hop not only dominated the pop charts but also managed to have a huge influence on the indie scene, forcing many to reconsider their music snob credentials.



1. Radiohead, Kid A (Parlophone, 2000)

Several Radiohead albums could be on this list, but this is the one that had the most tangible impact, proving that difficult experimental music can be commercially successful.

2. Jay-Z, The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella, 2001)

Some of the biggest hits of the decade came from this album, and they still sound great today. Also notable for helping launch Kanye West’s career.

3. The Strokes, Is This It (RCA, 2001)

Despite being a rather conservative back-to-basics rock record, Is This It stands up remarkably well. It helped revive NYC’s reputation as the centre of the cultural world while kick-starting a return to rock ‘n’ roll.


4. Arcade Fire, Funeral (Merge, 2004)

Arcade Fire made Montreal seem like the hippest place on earth for a minute, and also led the charge for huge, sprawling lineups in indie rock.


5. M.I.A., Arular (XL, 2005)

Transcending indie rock, hip-hop and dance music barriers, Arular not only put M.I.A. on the map, but also helped introduce the world to influential producer/DJ/tastemaker Diplo.


6. Broken Social Scene, You Forgot It In People (Arts & Crafts, 2002)

BSS changed the way the world saw Toronto’s music scene, not to mention launching the careers of the many side projects affiliated with the album.

7. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (Universal, 2006)

Here’s one of the albums that redefined “crossover appeal.” Everyone from grandparents to hipsters loved it, and it gave a major boost to the retro soul movement.

8. LCD Soundsystem, Sound Of Silver (DFA, 2007)

LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut may have had more cultural impact, but Sound Of Silver proved they can do much more than zeitgeist-defining dance rock singles like Losing My Edge.

9. Missy Elliott, Miss E… So Addictive (Elektra, 2001)

This strange E-fuelled excursion into synthetic party rap forced the indie kids to take a second look at mainstream hip-hop, and helped foster an environment where a weirdo rapper like Lil Wayne can sell a million records in a week.

10. Antony And The Johnsons, I Am A Bird Now (Secretly Canadian, 2005)

Of all the soft, introspective baroque pop albums that came out this decade, this is the one that still sends chills down the back of our necks and stands up as truly timeless.

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