The Sound Of My Decade (2000-2010)

Author: Adam Crohill

A Decade is a long time. I began the Noughties as a student layabout in London and ended it finding my feet as a blogger in Birmingham, so some might say that not much has changed! But loads happened in-between. Trust me… Tons of stuff. It’s too hard to surmise.

How can you even begin to measure a decade? Well, today I am going to measure the noughties in music albums, not by record sales which, FYI, James Blunt wins just pipping Dido to the post with a smidgeon over 3 million units sold between 2000 and 2010 (and his album was only released half way through the decade so fair play to the lad – Dido had a 4 year headstart).

I am going to measure the noughties by picking just five key albums that to me represent 10 years in time. I’d love you to share your choices too.

THE NATIONAL: High Violet (2010)

Self produced in Brooklyn this is an album of struggle and heartbreak. It’s dark but full of pop hooks that quickly grow on you and get under your skin. It is lyrically sublime. The deep dulcet tones of lead singer Matt Berninger are a joy to listen to and the orchestration that combines traditional indie style guitar riffs with brass, strings and piano raise this album head and shoulders above most others. Watch this live performance of “England” and you’ll understand how all those elements combine.


I personally love pop music with synth or electronic influences so when lead singer of American Indie outfit ‘Death Cab For Cutie’ joined forces with keyboard, samples and sounds aficionado Jimmy Tamborello it could only mean good things. The Result was ‘Give Up’ an album that blends Gibbard’s pop sensibility and knack for writing catchy lyrics with the squelches, blips and beats that can only be made by machine. Cute story: The band got their name because Jimmy used to record the music and send tapes to Ben via the US Postal Service. Ben would lay down vocals and send them back… Ahhh the good old days!

COLDPLAY: Parachutes (2000)

At the turn of the century the world seemed ready for a new stadium band to appear and take some of the pressure off the likes of U2 and to a lesser extent Radiohead. And upon hearing “Yellow” the 2nd single from Parachutes for the 285th time in the Summer of 2000 (and still not being bored of it), I think I realised along with the rest of the world that these boys were going to be on the larger side of big. Every track was a single it seemed, Coldplay are universally admired by all… Be them critics, fans or music lovers across all genres. That’s the sign of a good band that is.

AMY WINEHOUSE: Frank (2003)

Her debut album is one of triumphant genre blending. Rythym & Blues, Soul, Jazz and pop combine in a way that feels subtle and understated when compared with its multi Grammy award winning follow up. ‘Frank’ may live in the shadow of ‘Back To Black’ but is an absolute gem in it’s own right. One that saw Amy nominated for the Mercury Music prize in 2003 (she lost out to Dizzee Rascal). Amy the songwriter was so talented – her lyrics tell stories that are succinct and so linguistically matter-of-fact that it makes song writing look easy… Amy the performer was faultless from a technical point of view with the BBC calling her “the pre-eminent vocal talent of her generation”

ELBOW: The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)

Winner of the 2008 Mercury Music Prize this is Elbow at their absolute finest. I can not find words to describe the songwriting skills of Guy Garvey and his band. It took them four albums to get the attention they so undeniable deserve along with a good bit of old fashioned hand holding by the BBC (The Beeb used an instrumental version of “One Day Like This” for their 2008 Olympic coverage). Please watch elbow perform ‘Mirrorball’ one of my favourite songs from the album – accompanied by the BBC concert Orchestra.


If you fancy getting yourself a copy of any of the albums I’ve talked about today then Amazon is a really good source for buying music for download busting prices!…

THE NATIONAL : High Violet

Buy from Amazon for £4.52


Buy From Amazon for £7.99

COLDPLAY: Parachutes

Buy From Amazon for £3.99


Buy From Amazon for £5.07

ELBOW: The Seldom Seen Kid

Buy From Amazon for £3.00


It is pretty hard to choose just 5 albums from a decade… Look at all this great music that could so easily have got on the list…

  • Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
  • Keane: Hopes and Fears (2004)
  • Duffy: Rockferry (2008)
  • The Killers: Hot Fuss (2004)
  • Maroon 5: Songs About Jane (2002)
  • Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand (2004)
  • Moby: Play (2000)
  • MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (2007)
  • Gorillaz: Demon Days (2005)
  • Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Muse: Absolution (2003)
  • Outkast: Speakerboxxx / The Love Below (2003)
  • Arcade Fire: Funeral (2004)
  • Blur: Think Tank (2003)
  • The White Stripes: Elephant (2003)
  • The Streets: Original Pirate Material (2002)
  • Radiohead: Kid A (2003)
  • Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m not (2006)

Over To You

I’d love to know what your favourite albums were from the noughties… Maybe a few are listed in my “Also Ran” list. I did feel a bit sad to leave some of those beauties out.

Alternative mini reviews of my 5 choices are also welcome pop pickers!

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.
Follow Adam on instagram @adamcrohill
This post may include affiliate links.
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26 thoughts on “The Sound Of My Decade (2000-2010)

  1. Ah, this is so tricky! So many good albums to choose from, and you’ve picked a few of my favourites already – love Funeral, For Emma Forever Ago & Whatever People Say I Am…
    My top 5 picks are:
    Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism – it’s not the easiest to spell right enough but beautiful melodies. I love all their albums.
    Placebo: Sleeping With Ghosts – The Bitter End. That crescendo. I love it!
    The Kills: Midnight Boom – Reminds me of a year spent in Newcastle & lots of adventures in my first car.
    Modest Mouse: Good News for People who Love Bad News – My now husband introduced them to me when we first started dating & they were the first gig we went to together. They were absolutely rotten live (haha!) but still love the record.
    Lastly, Linkin Park: Meteora – Definitely not a cool choice, but seems fitting since I started the naughties at 14 & saw them several times at the start of the decade!
    Looking forward to reading evereyone’s choices.

    1. Lynsey – some ace choices there. Loving Transatlanticism and the follow up Plans… I didn’t want a Ben Gibbard Overload in my top picks though!

      I’ve been recommended Modest Mouse before… I might just have to go and have a listen right now 🙂

      1. We have the facts & we’re voting yes is also a cracker, but I agree some variation is probably a good thing…
        Hope you enjoy Modest Mouse! I’ve found the website Grooveshark amazing for having a good listen to albums before deciding to buy or not.

  2. If tomorrow morning’s RMS post is late it’s all your fault Adam, I’ve spent the past hour (at a conservative estimate) coming up with my defining albums of the noughties. Number One on my list has got to be The Streets, Original Pirate Material. I first heard the album in a bar in the Lower East Side (in its entirety several times because it got stuck in the bar’s CD player) and I went on to see The Streets live numerous times throughout the decade including an an amazing gig at the Astoria (RIP). And then it gets hard but Crystal Castles’ Crystal Castles should probably be on the list, it’s an album I still listen to in its entirety a lot (it keeps me calm on a packed tube train!). He’s divisive but I bought every Kanye West album he released during the decade. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but after careful consideration I’m going to go for Graduation. And then, this is hard, hmm, The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and Cut Copy In Ghost Colours. Post Comment. Do not change mind.

    1. Original Pirate Material is a great album and one that represents the Naughties perfectly in my opinion. Im not sharing the love for Kanye unfortunately but The Flaming Lips is a stunning curve ball that has me reaching for Spotify as I type…

  3. I have to agree with some other picks here, the naughties have had some truly awesome albums. For me Death Cab’s Transatlanticism has to be in, The Killers Hot Fuss, Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American (think was renamed), Green Day American Idiot and probably… Reel Big Fish’s sort of Greatest Hits album Favourite Noise.

    I’m sort of umming over whether I should swap something out so I can include Band of Horses Cease to Begin.

    I’ve got really vivid memories relating to all of those albums…listening to Reel Big Fish with my dad when it was “his weekend” just after my mum and dad separated… an entire year of 6th form listening to Green Day, topped off with seeing them live in Milton Keynes…School proms and uni nights with everyone belting out Mr Brightside at the top of their lungs…Evenings in my bedroom doing homework with Jimmy Eat World…

    Sorry for the essay, love a musical post!

  4. For me it has the be The Killers, Amy’s second album and Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am.. All offering copious post Uni reminiscing opportunities!

    I also agree with Green Day, and was at that MK gig!

    And finally.. This is tough. Marshall Mathers has it though I think..

    1. Greenday… For me that’s another post. if we are talking 1990 to 2000 (And we will one day soon!) then Dookie might well be making an appearance 🙂

      And a real defining musical moment of the naughties has to be Eminen feat. Dido with ‘Stan’ at #1 in the charts

      Good choices Jen 🙂

  5. Bit late to the party but heres my mixed bag
    2003 – Beyonce Crazy in Love
    2003 – Outkast love speakboxx
    2004 – The Killers Hot Fuss
    2006 – Kasabian Empire
    2007 – Snow Patrol eyes wide shut

    Love the nineties too so will sneak in
    1998 – Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go x

      1. Hey Ya!!! NEVER fails to get me on the dance floor it’s like time travel right back to living in the student village in my first year of uni!!

  6. I couldn’t pick my top albums if my life depended on it.

    I will show some love for Biffy Clyro – Puzzle. And not just because they are Scottish!

  7. Doves all the way for me: Lost Souls, The Last Broadcast, Some Cities and Kingdom of Rust. God, I love that band.

    Looking back I hadn’t really thought about how much great music there was during that decade (probably too busy reminiscing about the 90’s)

    Starsailor – Silence is Easy
    Elbow – Asleep in the Back
    The Courteeners – St Jude
    Reverend and the Makers – The State of Things
    Arctic Monkeys – Whatever people say I am…

    1. It’s got to be funeral hasn’t it? What anthem Wake Up is…..

      Oooooooh oooooooh oh oh oh oh oooooooh oooooooh oh oh oh oh oooooooh oooooooh oh oh oh oh oooooooooooooooooh….!!!!!

      (They don’t write them like that any more)

  8. Since we were just talking about him – Beck!
    Though his good stuff was really pre – 2000. Which means I am just going to pretend that 1999 counts as the Noughties and put Midnite Vultures as my number one. Try staying on your chair with that one on, impossible.
    Mutations is my real favourite but if we venture further on I’d also put Sea Change (be aware – Break Up album! It’ll make you weep) and The Information (which I think you’ll like) out there.

    And now excuse my whilst I go for a run with Yoshimi (sooo many good memories with that song!) and put on a Modest Mouse-fest later. I too saw them live but with Johnny Marr on guitar which totally blew my socks off. One of my best live gigs I have to say!

    1. Johnny Marr? What a legend…

      Yes Beck for me is a 90s thing too… But will he make my 1990s decade of albums… Only time will tell.

      Oh, and his very latest album may just be a return to form – you just need to give it some time 😉

  9. I LOVE The National, however I would choose ‘Boxer’ (2007) and ‘Alligator’ (2005-2006) over High Violet.
    Another band I absolutely adore is The Cat Empire – best albums for me so far are ‘The Cat Empire’ (2003) and ‘Two Shoes’ (2005). They are immense and totally unmissable live – I’ve seen them twice and both are 2 of my top favorite gigs ever. They’re an Australian band and listening to them is like Aussie sunshine pouring out your speakers. THOROUGHLY recommend them 🙂
    Another album that will never fail to put a smile of my face is Scissor Sisters ‘Scissor Sisters’ (2004). Catchy tunes, fun lyrics, bright colours and flamboyant to the max! Also it reminds me of my first year at uni living in scummy student halls and having a brilliant time 😀

  10. Ok, so turns out I should have read the comments more thoroughly before posting my own!
    Greenday have to be in my all time top 5 favorite bands, with Dookie and Insomniac as just awesome albums! Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American…what an album!!
    On a bit of a downer, but still a brill album Damien Rice ‘O’ – it will make you sob like a child!
    The Strokes ‘This Is It’ – fab!
    Arcade Fire – just awesome all round!
    Kings of Leon!!!
    OMG guys, will be popping Spotify on when I get home and reminisce about music of the naughties!

    1. Annie, some great choices… Although I have to disagree and state High Violet to be The Nationals finest album to date 🙂

      Scissor Sisters is indeed a fine album but can it get on to a top 5 list? Not sure about that….

      However The Strokes… Kings Of Leon & The chill fest that is Damien Rices “O” would all come very close

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