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100 Best Albums of the 2000s

100 Best Albums of the 2000s

Radiohead Kid A

Radiohead's Kid A

All through the last decade, you’d find a lot of people insisting that the album was dead, a victim of the MP3, the iPod and a la carte downloading. But that never happened. If anything, artists doubled down on the format, resulting in a renaissance of long form artistic statements from a wide range of artists. This list of the decade’s 100 best albums includes the work of rock revivalists (the Strokes, the White Stripes), dance floor visionaries (M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem), hip-hop icons (Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West) and old standbys like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and U2, who reinvented their sound without losing touch with what made them living legends. This list is not just an argument in favor of the enduring appeal of the album format, but a compelling case that some of the best music of all time came out between 2000 and 2009.

25

Radiohead, ‘Amnesiac’

The greatest sequel since The Godfather: Part II. Amnesiac was the second half of the one-two punch Radiohead began with 2000's Kid A. It was smoother on the surface yet just as disorienting underneath, delivering the rock guitars that its predecessor held back, but in all kinds of warped and mutated forms: "Knives Out" soared like vintage Smiths, and "I Might Be Wrong" rode an Allman Brothers riff into the trip-hop hinterlands. The piano nightmare "Pyramid Song" remains terrifying, even if nobody has ever figured out what the hell Thom Yorke is saying — probably not even Thom Yorke.

 

Related:
Rolling Stone's Original 2001 Review

The Future According to Radiohead: Rolling Stone's 2008 Cover Story

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Radiohead