telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Top 5: My favorite albums of 2001 by Barbecue Bros

Since this is officially the last year of “the oughts” or “the oh-oh’s” or whatever you want to call it, that means only one thing: we now need to figure out what we call the next decade (the teens, I guess?). It also means I need to figure out my top 50 or 100 or whatever albums of this decade.

I continue this week with the year 2001, obviously a weird year in history but one with a ton of quality albums with a chance to make my top 100 of the decade.

1. My Morning Jacket – At Dawn (Darla) – Unfortunately, I didn’t hear this album until after the year 2001. But since then, My Morning Jacket has become one of my favorite bands, both live and on record. And this is probably my favorite album of theirs, with my favorite My Morning Jacket song, “Phone Went West.”

2. Low – Things We Lost in the Fire (Kranky) – At the time, this was my favorite album of 2001. Low has dropped off my radar for the most part due to sub par followups (at least for me), but this is their crowning achievement in my eyes. A haunting and gorgeous slowcore album that forgoes some of the lengthy compositions found in earlier albums for more focused songwriting.

3. The Strokes – Is This It (RCA) – One of the coolest debuts since I’ve been paying attention to music. It had the undeniably catchy songs – “The Modern Age,” “Some Day,” “Last Nite,” “Hard to Explain” – and the cool influences – Television, The Velvet Underground and The Stooges – to go along with the flash and swagger of the band.

4. Papa M – Whatever, Mortal (Drag City) – A moody, sparse folk album from the ex-Slint member who had moved from instrumental pieces towards folk since leaving Tortoise. I think its amazing and simple, and Allmusic has this to say: “But Whatever, Mortal is nothing less than one of the defining folk albums of its decade, worthy to be placed beside Van Morrison‘s Astral Weeks, Cohen‘s Songs From a Room, and Bob Dylan‘s later work like Time out of Mind and Love and Theft.”

5. Explosions in the Sky – Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever (Temporary Residence) – Remember how I said I loved post-rock in college? This album only deepened that love with an even more bombastic sound than Godspeed You Black Emperor or Giardini di Miro. Now whenever I hear “Greet Death” I am taken back to listening to this album for the first time and am blown away every time.

Others receiving votes: The Dismemberment Plan – Change (DeSoto), Lift to Experience – The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads (Bella Union), The Shins – Oh, Inverted World (Sub Pop), The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry), The Beta Band – Hot Shots II (Astralwerks)


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