10 Gripes About Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 1:26 am ET

Pop Rocks, The Rest

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Gripes about Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of the DecadeSo Rolling Stone recently published its 100 Best Albums of the Decade: The most important music of the 00’s as chosen by more than 100 artists, critics and industry insiders.  As few of you likely remember, I love lists.  Who doesn’t, really?

On top of that, I’ve actually enjoyed perusing many of Rolling Stone’s popular lists released as of late:  The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, etc.

Having said that, however, I’ve always delved in fully aware of how polarizing lists on such personal taste-based, subjective topics can be.  Who’s to say, after all, that one album is “better” or more “important” than another?  I mean, sure, we all could, but what does it really mean?  What should it mean?

In that same vein, I write now fully aware of just how sensitive and potentially meaningless the pursuit of disparaging such a list is.  Nevertheless, after taking a gander at the list in question here today, I felt I simply had no choice but to put my foot down.

You know, acknowledge that my taste in music really is more sound and respectable than these sheep; these poor, misguided fools that contributed to this horror of a list.

Make the jump for some elaboration on this — in, topical, list form, of course (and, yes, the video below is by all means a teaser).

1. Kings of Leon made the list

Seriously, did you just watch that video?  Listen, coordinated family activities are great, but four evangelical brothers from Tennessee making music videos, let alone music, like that is just creepy. I won’t even talk about just how over exposed “KOL” shit has become at this point.  Actually, I will.

Everyone knows that the wisest of all men are, more often than not, found sitting alone at a bar — staring off into what one imagines must be quite a liquor-laced, however vacant, sunset horizon.

I recently heard one such wiseman quip “If I hear that god damned ‘Sex on Fire’ song one more time tonight, somebody’s gonna have hell to pay.”  I believed him (and saw what he did there).

Unfortunately, others didn’t.  I saw a 22 year-old co-ed get punched right in the face that night. Kings of Leon: People get hurt that way.

2. An album called FutureSex/LoveSounds is #46

People, the last former boyband member to do anything of musical artistic significance was some guy/gal named Michael Jackson.  Remember how that all panned out in the end?

Even if we give JT a pass for how ridiculous the title of this album is (and how hot Jessica Biel is), let’s face it: In the future, say, 20 years from now, “My dick in a box” and various other SNL appearances will be more readily recalled and held close to heart than anything off this record.

Justin Timberlake's greatest achievment (other than Jessica Biel) Oh dear...

3. Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix got the nod here

I’m actually a big Phoenix fan, don’t get me wrong.  The problem is that they have at least two — possibly three — other studio albums this decade that are better than this, their most recent effort.

Not that Wolfgang is bad, but listen to United or It’s Never Been Like That before you start humming Phoenix lyrics at your local Cadilac dealership. Not to mention requesting a cut from your local Top 40 station.

4. Nickelback didn’t make the list

Wait. Just wait one gosh darn minute.  It’s not what you think.

No, I’m not even remotely suggesting that Nickelback ought to have been included here.  Just that, given some of the other stuff that made the cut, it seems Canada’s hardest headed finest would have been an appropriate selection.  Enough said.

5. Kings of Leon made the list more than once

See #1 above, as well as the video below.  Sigh…

6. Not a single album from any of the following artists made the list

Super Furry Animals, Iron & Wine, of Montreal, Sparklehorse, The Wrens, Panda Bear, Drive By Truckers, British Sea Power, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective…I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

Seriously, I’d of taken just one —  not one from each —  just one from any of those bands.  And don’t suggest I’m digging purely on obscure personal taste, or something.  Far from it.

If you’re easily satisfied/at least made content by 3rd party perspective in such potential disputes (and you should be), just check out some of this decade’s “End of Year” lists from other publications (Mojo, Spin, Paste, etc.).

Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World Panda Bear - Person Pitch The Wrens - The Meadowlands

7. Rolling Stone made a “Best of Decade” list before the decade is even over

Okay, that may be nitpicking a bit, but shouldn’t we be waiting at least another decade before we start declaring what the most “important” albums of this decade were?

A “great” album can take many forms, especially when you’re working within the spectrum of a decade.  It could be one that isn’t particularly groundbreaking or revolutionary, but is at least packed with solid tracks from start to finish.  A “no-skip-disk,” if you will, and, in my opinion, that’s an all too rare find these days.

On the other hand, a great album could also be one that isn’t as consistently “listenable” as the aforementioned suspect, yet seems to tap into uncharted sonic waters, or at least fuses previously distinct, “unblended” influences into a new, expansive — and ultimately enjoyable — aural experience.

The best, of course, are the ones that are successful on both fronts, and almost always forge a new movement and artistic direction for their respective genre as a whole.

The problems here is we need some time to let this kind of stuff sink in; see what kind “staying power” and lasting appeal it has.

Tell you what, check back with us in 2030 to let us know how many of these albums would still make the list…or at least can evoke a “yeah, I’ve heard of them” from your kids.

8. There are four Radiohead albums on here

Four Radiohead albums on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of the 2000's is unacceptableI like Radiohead, I do.  I respect them.  They obviously deserve recognition here, but they’re not our Beatles, or whatever.  They just aren’t, and they never will be.  I don’t have the space or time to get into it here, so you’re just gonna have to take my word for it.

Just rest assured that it’s unacceptable for them to have occupied four slots on any Top 100 list for the 2000’s, and notwithstanding anything discussed above.

Seriously, people need to stop cupping Thom Yorke and Co.’s balls.  Radiohead is the Tim Tebow of the music press, and it’s time to move on.

9.  U2, two too many times

What is this, 1987?  1991?  Oh, and, though the humanitarian stuff is certainly welcome, Bono is a pompous ass.

10. 3 of the 4 Kings of Leon albums known to exist are on this list

I’m really at a loss at this point.  I mean, I had laughed a bit to myself when I got to #53 Only by Night —  KOL’s 2nd tally —  but when I got to #80 and saw Youth and Young Manhood, well, let’s just say I was broken.

Seriously, just how bad must Because of the Times, the lone outlier, be?

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3 Responses to “10 Gripes About Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade”

  1. B Diddy Says:

    Cieron, I would argue that the lack of Nickelback on that list is one of the only things that gives it credibility.  That is all.

  2. The GingerHead Man Says:

    I see what you mean with Nickelback, Cieron; however, I just can’t muster anything postivie about those clowns.  And I just realized that MMJ’s “It Still Moves” isn’t on there…UGH.

  3. Howard Says:

    hey-oh on the mmj, ginger.

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