THE BLOG
04/24/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Best CDs of The 2000s

Recently, I posted my list of the best CDs of 2009. Now, after much agonizing and soul searching and countless soundchecks, I've finally produced my list of The Best CDs of the Decade. Needless, to say, this list will change again tomorrow and then again the day after that. I heartily enjoy arguing about which CDs are included, which are foolishly missing, which should be higher/lower/thrown in the dustbin. But most of all, I just hope it sends you off to listen to some great music. If you're a fan of the genre or the artist covered, chances are you'll find the music worth a listen. Undoubtedly, you won't agree with every selection. But if you find enough in common with my tastes, take a chance on some of the CDs here that you haven't heard.

Note: I've generally been reluctant to list albums from 2009 because I haven't lived with them long enough yet, so check that list too. And no, I haven't included any descriptions or comments because this would become a novel if I tried to do so. Feel free to ask any questions about who is who or why certain artists are grouped together if it's not obvious. Most are obvious (pairings of albums of jazz standards of soul divas. Some are not. For example, I listed Ryan Adams and The Strokes together because they've both been disappointments. Both artists produced some of the best music of the decade and seemed poised to become world-beating artists and then failed to follow through (yet). And do tell me, what's your favorite album of the decade?

THE BEST CDS OF THE 2000S

1. Sufjan Stevens/Come On Feel The Illinoise
2. The White Stripes/Elephant Loretta Lynn/Van Lear Rose Various Artists/Cold Mountain soundtrack
3. Johnny Cash/Unearthed
4. Various Artists/A Soldier's Sad Story: Vietnam Through The Eyes Of Black America 1966-1973 and Does Anybody Know I'm Here? Vietnam Through The Eyes Of Black America 1962-1972
5. Ella Fitzgerald/Twelve Nights in Hollywood
6. Bob Dylan/Modern Times
7. Eminem/The Marshall Mathers LP
8. Amadou & Mariam/Dimanche a Bamako and Manu Chao/Proxima Estacion Esperanza
9. Ornette Coleman/Sound Grammar
10. Dixie Chicks/Home

11. Rufus Wainwright/Want One
12. Mavis Staples/Live: Hope At The Hideout and Various Artists/When Gospel Was Gospel
13. They Might Be Giants/ Here Come The 123s and Here Come The ABCs and No!
14. Outkast/Stankonia
15. Kaiser Chiefs/Off With Their Heads and Arctic Monkeys/Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
16. Madeleine Peyroux/Careless Love
17. Orchestra Baobab/Specialist In All Styles and Made In Dakar
18. Ryan Adams/Gold and The Strokes/Is This It
19. Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane/At Carnegie Hall
20. Neil Diamond/12 Songs and Home Before Dark

21. Midlake/The Trials Of Van Occupanther and Fleet Foxes/Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver/For Emma, Forever Ago
22. Dolly Parton/Little Sparrow
23. Nas/Untitled
24. Youssou N'Dour/Nothing In Vain
25. Linda Thompson/Fashionably Late and Joan Baez/Day After Tomorrow
26. Terence Blanchard/A Tale Of God's Will
27. Norah Jones/Come Away With Me
28. Green Day/American Idiot
29. William Bolcom/Songs Of Innocence And Experience
30. Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis/Two Men With The Blues

31. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings/100 Days, 100 Nights and Amy Winehouse/Back To Black
32. Beck/Sea Change
33. Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate/In The Heart Of The Moon
34. Cassandra Wilson/Thunderbird
35. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss/Raising Sand
36. Erykah Badu/New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War)
37. James Hunter/People Gonna Talk
38. Rosanne Cash/Black Cadillac
39. Bruce Springsteen/We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions -- American Land Edition
40. Radiohead/In Rainbows and Jonny Greenwood/There Will Be Blood

41. Eels/Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
42. Boz Scaggs/But Beautiful and Joni Mitchell/Both Sides Now
43. Various Artists/Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues 1970-1976 and Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sounds Of The Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-1979
44. Duncan Sheik/Phantom Moon and Various Artists/Spring Awakening
45. kd lang/Watershed and Al Green/Lay It Down
46. Wilco/Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
47. The Streets/A Grand Don't Come For Free
48. Tom Waits/Alice
49. Corinne Bailey Rae/Corinne Bailey Rae
50. Brian Wilson/Smile

51. Bettye LaVette/I've Got My Own Hell To Raise
52. Neil Young/Prairie Wind and Silver & Gold
53. Various Artists/Golden Afrique Vol 1-3
54. Bright Eyes/I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
55. Patty Griffin/Children Running Through
56. Teddy Thompson/A Piece Of What You Need
57. Jay-Z/The Blueprint
58. Various Artists/One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found
59. The Avett Brothers/I And Love And You
60. Nellie McKay/Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute To Doris Day

61. Maxwell/BLACKsummers'night and Now
62. The Magic Numbers/The Magic Numbers
63. Franco/Francophonic Vol. 1 and 2
64. Shelby Lynne/I Am Shelby Lynne
65. Common/Be
66. Andy Bey/It Ain't Necessarily So and American Song
67. Solomon Burke/Nashville
68. Konono No 1/Congotronics
69. Carrie Underwood/Some Hearts
70. My Morning Jacket/It Still Moves and The National/Boxer

71. Steve Earle/Washington Square Serenade
72. Jill Scott/Beautifully Human: Words & Music Vol. 2 and India.Arie/Testimony Vol. 1
73. Various Artists/The Roots Of Chica - Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru
74. Aimee Mann/Bachelor No. 2
75. Philip Glass/The Hours soundtrack
76. Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson/Rattlin' Bones
77. Regina Spektor/Begin To Hope
78. Tinariwen/Aman Iman: Water Is Life
79. Alicia Keys/The Diary Of Alicia Keys
80. Gorillaz/Demon Days

81. Elvis Costello with Allen Toussaint/The River In Reverse
82. Cat Power/The Greatest
83. Usher/Confessions and Coldplay/A Rush Of Blood To The Head
84. Tabu Ley Rochereau/The Voice Of Lightness
85. The Coral/Magic & Medicine
86. Joe Lovano/I'm All For You
87. Howard Tate/A Portrait Of Howard
88. Various Artists/A Light In The Piazza cast album
89. The Holmes Brothers/Simple Truths
90. Josh Rouse/1972 and Nashville

91. Various Artists/Goodbye, Babylon
92. M. Ward/Post War and Hold Time and Richard Swift/The Richard Swift Collection Vol. One
93. Sonny Rollins/The 9-11 Concert
94. Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective/Watina
95. Fountains Of Wayne/Welcome Interstate Managers
96. Various Artists/Avenue Q cast album
97. Josh Ritter/The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter
98. Café Tacuba/Cuatro Caminos
99. Super Furry Animals/Rings Around The World
100. Prefab Sprout/Steve McQueen (2007 acoustic version)