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.

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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.


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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!