I personally wouldn't touch compiling a Best Albums of the Decade list with a ten-foot pole; besides feeling weird about ranking an unfathomable amount of musical releases over a ten year period and having my own eclectic yet deeply biased taste, I was in seventh grade at the turn of the century and was more familiar with the work of Aqua than any other contemporary musician at the time. That said, Sara Brickner and I are currently WTFing over English music magazine NME's 100 Greatest Albums Of The Decade, which puzzled me outright when I saw that the Strokes Is This It? was named #1. That's no disrespect to the Strokes, whose Julian Casablancas Chris Kornelis interviewed earlier this week. While that album is the soundtrack to my awkward freshman year of high school, I don't recall anything particularly revolutionary about it that would have it rise to such a declarative height. But while perusing NME's top ten, I started to get that weird queasy sensation in my stomach: injustice. While every publication has its frame of reference, the blatant homogeneity and very strange rank order both within and between genres boggled Sara and I to the point that we now present to you...
Ten Flagrantly Wrong Things About NME's Greatest Albums of The Decade (Not A Comprehensive List)
1. Wait, why are The Libertines #2? And then Radiohead's In Rainbows is #10? Uh...
2. If I'm not mistaken, we don't get a person of color on the list until Jay-Z's Blueprint at #22.
3. How did Vampire Weekend, at #42, get ranked above Outkast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below at #44 and MIA's Arular at #50?
4. There's nothing even remotely connected to folk music or Americana. Like...where the fuck are Iron & Wine? Or, I don't know, maybe THE FLEET FOXES? (Hollis: There's Bon Iver. Sara: I don't even like Bon Iver that much. He doesn't really count as folk music.)
5. By putting two albums by The Streets above any other rap artists until Jay at #22 and Dizzie Rascal at #24, are they meaning to say that he had the most significant submission to hip-hop music in the 2000s? WHAT? Where the fuck is Donuts? Anything by The Roots? I can't even get a Kanye West College Dropout?
6. Oh wait, what about TV On The Radio? I mean, I really liked the Arctic Monkeys album too, but to put them at #3 and not have TVOTR at all? But then have Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? I'm trying to work with your palate NME but you're making it hard.
7. There is an insane dearth of female vocalists on this list. While the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and PJ Harvey are in the top ten and Amy Winehouse nabs #27 with Back To Black, there is a general amnesia of female vocal performance over the last decade.
8. I guess it goes without saying that this list excludes any wider global understanding of music, unless it is of course Vampire Weekend's Afro-pop influences. I don't even think I see a Canadian on this list. (Sara: They ignored even a lot of great French music, like Air, and some really quality French hip-hop as well, like IAM.) (Hollis: I think English people don't listen to French music on principle.)
9. No Postal Service?! It's an outrage that they didn't list Neko Case's Blacklisted, or Furnace Room Lullaby. Or the Silver Jews' Bright Flight. Or Menomena. God.
10. There's still a month to go in the decade. Jeez. (Sara: This list is all that is wrong with music journalism.)