Well it took a little work, but thanks to itunes, it wasn't too difficult. i wanted to list the albums that i enjoyed the most since 2000. I narrowed the list down to 50, and i didn't include many albums from 2009 since it's still a little early to know if these latest ones have long-term appeal.
there's not really a way to rank the albums, since the top ones are so good to me, but i tried to rank them all the way through 50. This was a fun little project.
What are some of your favorites over the years?
NOTE: Click on the album picture to go to the Amazon.com link for the album (and buy it!)
50. Lifetime - Lifetime (2007)
49. Edwin McCain - Scream and Whisper (2004)
48. Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record (2006)
47. mewithoutyou - It's all crazy, it's all false... (2009)
46. the Audition - Self-Titled Album (2009)
45. Kings of Leon - Only By The Night (2008)
44. Kanye West - 808's and Heartbreak (2008)
43. Damien Rice - O (2003)
42. Story of the Year - Page Avenue (2003)
41. AFI - Art of Drowning (2000)
40. No Trigger - Canyoneer (2006)
39. Killing the Dream - In Place, Apart (2005)
38. Shane & Shane - Pages (2007)
37. T.I. - Paper Trail (2008)
36. Street Dogs - Back to the World (2005)
35. Waterdeep - You Are So Good To Me (2001)
34. Pennywise - Reason To Believe (2008)
33. New Found Glory - Sticks and Stones (2002)
32. Chasing Victory - I Call This Abandonment (2005)
31. Bigwig - Reclamation (2006)
30. Comeback Kid - Turn It Around (2003)
29. Thrice - Artist in the Ambulance (2003
28. Glorious Unseen - Tonight the Stars Speak (2007)
27. Jay-Z - The Black Album (2003)
26. Phil Wickham - Heaven and Earth (2009)
25. Life In Your Way - Waking Giants (2007)
24. The Wreckers - Stand Still Look Pretty (2006)
23. Means - Sending You Strength (2007)
22. Kid Dynamite - Shorter, Faster, Louder (2000)
21. Keith Urban - Be Here (2004)
20. Dave Barnes - Brother, Bring the Sun (2004)
This was Dave Barnes' first album and it got me hooked. A great song writer, fun songs that are in the next generation of songwriters/singers (Matt Wertz, Jay Nash...). Dave comes from a background of playing YoungLife camps, and his friend circle includes Matt Wertz, Don Miller, Gabe Dixon and more. So many fun songs on this album!
5-Star Songs: Crazyboutya, Until You, Nothing Fancy, Can't Grow Tired of Your Love
19. Stretch Arm Strong - Free At Last
Stretch Arm Strong was a great blend of punk / hardcore, with Christian foundations that made this band so great to listen to. This was their last album before calling it quits after almost 10 years, and probably their best complete work. the production quality on this album was superior to anything they had done and just made the songs so much better. SAS is one band that i'll probably always listen to.
5-Star Songs: The Sound of Names Dropping, Free At Last, The Hardest Part, As Good As it Gets,
18. Rise Against - Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004)
This was my introduction to Rise Against, and unfortunately i started at the top. This album was great, featuring the anger and passion of Rise Again, songs that were fast and mean. I passed this around to my punker friends and we all agreed that it was awesome. Releases after this one just seemed to fall flat in comparison. This is one of those times where i wish a band would return to what got them popular, but maybe Rise Against just isn't angry anymore.
5-Star Songs: State of the Union, The First Drop, Tip The Scales, Life Less Frightening
17. David Crowder Band - Illuminate (2003)
The album that got it started for David Crowder, and in my opinion his best complete work to date. This album is full of songs that you've probably sung in church, great powerful worship songs with some fun mixed in. DC*B definitely wrote some great songs after this album on A Collision and Remedy, but i think those album lacked the complete-ness that this album achieved. Crowder-heads will probably disagree but Crowder seems to be trying too hard these days.
5-Star Songs: O Praise Him, No One Like You, Deliver Me, All Creatures #2
16. Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk - (2003)
Oh man, maybe this is a guilty-pleasure, but we all loved this album. At the time this came out it sounded so original. The songs were so fun to sing along with, and lacked agenda or real "seriousness" which made it so appealing. after BEP found success with this they seemed to try and push their messages on people and lost the fun-factor. Anyway, this album was so good that we went to see them live shortly after this came out. Such great songs like Where Is The Love, Shut Up, Lets Get Retarded and Lets Get It Started. These songs definitely influenced everything i did during these times!
5-Star Songs: Where Is The Love, Shut Up, Lets Get Retarded, Labor Day, Smells Like Funk
15. Kanye West - Graduation (2007)
After avoiding Kanye for as long as possible i decided to finally give him a chance, and i was sold! This, in my opinion, is his best album, so many great tracks like Stronger, Champion, and Can't Tell Me Nothing, which is still my ringtone today. Kanye's style of rapping is really impressive, and people either love him or hate him. Personally i wish he'd stick to rapping because he just makes an ass of himself in public, but as for his music, he's one of the best, no doubt about it.
5-Star Songs: Can't Tell Me Nothing, Stronger, Good Morning, Good Life, Champion
14. Bebo Norman - Big Blue Sky (2001)
I started listening to Bebo when his first album came out, Pages Turned, and haven't stopped. This was his 2nd album and i loved it. We saw him on tour this year and i got to meet him backstage. Not until recently did Bebo really become a standard in Christian music, which was probably why i liked him even more. His lyrics are great, honest and story-telling, and this album was just a great listen, and really was part of the soundtrack during the most important years of my life.
5-Star Songs: Big Blue Sky, I Am, Cover Me, Sons and Daughters
13. Anberlin - Cities (2007)
Aberlin is one of those bands that had i seen them in another format i most likely wouldn't have even given them a chance. But i saw them for the first time a show that i went to to see a different band. Anberlin was awesome that night and i went home and grabbed as much of their music as i could. When i listened to Cities i was blown away. Such solid song-writing and so catchy. It's hard to describe the sound, rock / pop / college-rock, but whatever it is it's very energetic and positive. Stephen Christian is a gifted writer and these days Anberlin has reached mainstream status, and only continue to produce great songs!
5-Star Songs: Whisper and a Clamor, Unwinding Cable Car, Godspeed, Dismantle.Repair, Hello Alone
12. Oh Sleeper - When I am God (2007)
This album took me a little while to really get into, but even today i can't get enough. This Christian metal band really pushed the envelope with their first full-length, especially when they titled the work When I Am God. A look into the lyrics find this title explained: "When I am God this Church is unsound." and that gives you an idea of the brutally honest and powerful lyrics here. The lyrics were matched with some impressive guitar work that set Oh Sleeper apart from the generic metalcore bands that have been coming out for years now. This album is really worth listening to, and reading if you get the chance!
5-Star Songs: Vices Like Vipers, The Siren's Song, I Will Welcome the Reaping, We Are the Archers,
11. Killing the Dream - S/T
When i left Folsom for Denver in 2000 i also left behind a lot of the music that i had loved, punk / hardcore. On a return back to my hometown a few years later i was introduced to Killing the Dream, a band based out of Sacramento featuring some dudes i know. Anyway, this was their first full-length and i think some of their best writing. So heavy and brutal, these songs just energized me. Their other releases in the past years have been awesome as well, but i really think this one was the best. Westcoast hardcore at it's best!
5-Star Songs: Picking Up the Pieces, Before You Fall Asleep, January 2nd, By Now
10. AFI - Sing the Sorrow (2003)
Until recently AFI was one of those bands (for me) that could do no wrong. I really enjoy almost every album, and since my favorite album of theirs, Black Sails in the Sunset, was released pre-2000 i'll go with my favorite from this decade. this was the last time AFI played with the heavy, punk-influenced sound that we all loved. Combining Davey Havok's unique, high vocals with some very melodic punk/goth tracks really made this a solid album. Some tracks even made it to mainstream radio, which started AFI down a path of weak songwriting and, well, just plain selling-out in my opinion. But this album was a really enjoyable listen all the way through, and would be the first one i would recommend to someone if they were getting interested in AFI.
5-Star Songs: Girls Not Grey, Leaving Song Pt. II, Silver and Cold,
9. Garth Brooks - Scarecrow (2001)
This is the only Garth album i bought from a store, i remember the day i bought and where i was, in Salt Lake City, getting ready to drive my 1982 Chevy S-10 pickup back to Denver. A perfect landscape for a great country album. This album didn't produce the hits that Garth is known for but i loved every track, and i still go to this album first when i need to listen to Garth Brooks.
5-Star Songs: Beer Run, Wrapped Up In You, Why Ain't I Runnin', Rodeo of Mexico
8. John Mayer - Room For Squares (2001)
When i reached college in 2000 i took a break from the punk scene. The college thing to do is play guitar and listen to singer/songwriters like John Mayer. This was a fun time for me, and John Mayer really started me down a road that lead to Bebo Norman, Jack Johnson, and many more writers. We were actually listening to bootlegs from John's college days, but most of the songs made it onto this album. I feel like his writing has really changed these days, much more bluesy, but this album is full of fun tracks, love song, and creative guitar work. go figure!
5-Star Songs: My Stupid Mouth, Neon, No Such Thing, Love Song for No One, 3X5
7. Sugarland - Twice the Speed of Life (2004)
Wow, a country album and a hip-hop album in the top 10? No doubt about it there was some great country from this decade. I'm not a diehard country fan but i do listen to a good deal of country throughout the year. Sugarland's album was rock-solid all the way through, and this album traveled with us in our car just about everywhere for over a year. I still bust it out when i'm in the mood for some great tunes to sing along too.
5-Star Songs: Something More, Baby Girl, Just Might, Speed of Life
6. Gabe Dixon - The Gabe Dixon Band (2008)
Okay, this album is great. It's one of those albums that you know everyone who hears it will love it. Gabe Dixon is a solid piano player who was a little lost when he started out. Finally settling down on a lineup he produced this album and man it's so good. This is an album i try to give to everyone because it appeals to every listener, soft chill style music, great poetic lyrics, and a positive message behind it all.
5-Star Songs: Til You're Gone, All Will Be Well, Disappear, Ever After You
5. Robbie Seay Band - Better Days (2005)
Robbie's first album after signing to Sparrow Records and it is awesome. I had never heard of these guys until i attended a David Crowder / Shane & Shane concert and they impressed me so much i bought the album there. I listened to this so many times, i loved everything about it from Robbie scruffy vocals to the amazing bass-playing of Ryan Owens (who has become my favorite bass player). So many great worship songs with honest lyrics and solid music behind them.
5-Star Songs: Faith of our Fathers, Better Days, Hallelujah God is Near, We Are Free
4. Haste The Day - Pressure the Hinges (2007)
This was HTD's first album with a new singer and i think it's their best yet (out of 4 albums total). A great blend of heavy verse, catchy chorus-sing alongs, great drumming, and breakdowns. HTD has a rock-n-roll feel on this album and it just rocks, every song is awesome. I also love the few tracks that throw in 30 seconds of heavy breakdown as the outro. Just really good song-writing.
5-Star Songs: Pressure the Hinges, Stictches, Minor Prophets, White Collar, Needles
3. St Lunatics - Free City (2001)
Yes, a hip-hop album in the top 5. I can't tell you how many times i've listened to the album, basically the break-through for Nelly, and Murphy Lee to a lesser extent. So many great tracks and yet the lyrics aren't your typical trashy style that hear in most rap. One track, featuring Brian McKnight called Groovin' Tonite even made it into our wedding reception. This album was so good that my wife and i catch these guys live in Denver. If it's good enough for Kassie that should tell you something!
5-Star Songs: Groovin Tonite, Midwest Swing, S.T.L., Diz Iz D Life, Okay
2. underOATH - They're Only Chasing Safety (2004)
This was the turning point for me as punk/hardcore slowly started to fade and metalcore became my new favorite genre. This record by the now might Underoath is still their best stuff, simple yet powerful. The first 6 songs (not counting Blue Note) are amazing, if you're new to the genre you have to start here. This is the album that every other metalcore album is compared to, the standard!
5-Star Songs: A Boy Brushed Red, Reinventing Your Exit, Down Set Go, It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door, Young and Asipiring
1. Comeback Kid - Wake The Dead
Such a great album, this is really the high-point for me concerning all heavy music. A perfect combination of punk and hardcore, awesome positve/motivating lyrics, and songs that translate great to the live show. the song Wake the Dead is easily my favorite hardcore song, but there are so many other tracks that are great too like False Idols Fall. This CBK lineup with Scott Wade as the vocalist was the best, now that he's gone they band is still good, but not great. This was an easy pick for number 1.
5-Star Songs: Wake the Dead, False Idols Fall, Partners in Crime, Talk is Cheap