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Best-Ever Albums Lists

100 Best Albums of the 2000s

The most important albums of the '00s as chosen by more than 100 artists, critics and industry insiders

All through the last decade, you'd find a lot of people insisting that the album was dead, a victim of the MP3, the iPod and a la carte downloading. But that never happened. If anything, artists doubled down on the format, resulting in a renaissance of long form artistic statements from a wide range of artists. This list of the decade's 100 best albums includes the work of rock revivalists (the Strokes, the White Stripes), dance floor visionaries (M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem), hip-hop icons (Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West) and old standbys like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and U2, who reinvented their sound without losing touch with what made them living legends. This list is not just an argument in favor of the enduring appeal of the album format, but a compelling case that some of the best music of all time came out between 2000 and 2009.

100 Download Leonard Cohen – Ten New Songs (2001) [MP3] Leonard Cohen – Ten New Songs (2001) [MP3]
99 Download The Hold Steady – Almost Killed Me (2004) [MP3] The Hold Steady – Almost Killed Me (2004) [MP3]
98 Download TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain (2006) [MP3] TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain (2006) [MP3]
97 Download Wilco – Sky Blue Sky (2007) [MP3] Wilco – Sky Blue Sky (2007) [MP3]
96 Download The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002) [MP3] The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002) [MP3]
95 Download Alicia Keys – Songs in a Minor (2001) [MP3] Alicia Keys – Songs in a Minor (2001) [MP3]
94 Download The Libertines – Up the Bracket (2002) [MP3] The Libertines – Up the Bracket (2002) [MP3]
93 Download Johnny Cash – Unearthed (2003) [MP3] Johnny Cash – Unearthed (2003) [MP3]
92 Download Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2008) [MP3] Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2008) [MP3]
91 Download The Hives – Veni Vidi Vicious (2002) [MP3] The Hives – Veni Vidi Vicious (2002) [MP3]
90 Download Amadou & Mariam – Dimanche a Bamako (2004) [MP3] Amadou & Mariam – Dimanche a Bamako (2004) [MP3]
89 Download Radiohead – Hail to the Thief (2003) [MP3] Radiohead – Hail to the Thief (2003) [MP3]
88 Download Brian Wilson – Smile (2004) [MP3] Brian Wilson – Smile (2004) [MP3]
87 Download Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere (2006) [MP3] Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere (2006) [MP3]
86 Download The Postal Service – Give Up (2003) [MP3] The Postal Service – Give Up (2003) [MP3]
85 Download Coldplay – Viva La Vida (2008) [MP3] Coldplay – Viva La Vida (2008) [MP3]
84 Download Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002) [MP3] Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002) [MP3]
83 Download The Black Keys – Attack & Release (2008) [MP3] The Black Keys – Attack & Release (2008) [MP3]
82 Download Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (2000) [MP3] Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (2000) [MP3]
81 Download Ryan Adams – Gold (2001) [MP3] Ryan Adams – Gold (2001) [MP3]
80 Download Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood (2003) [MP3] Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood (2003) [MP3]
79 Download The New Pornographers – Electric Version (2003) [MP3] The New Pornographers – Electric Version (2003) [MP3]
78 Download Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (2005) [MP3] Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (2005) [MP3]
77 Download Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (2000) [MP3] Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (2000) [MP3]
76 Download Sigur Ros – () (2002) [MP3] Sigur Ros – () (2002) [MP3]
75 Download Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (2007) [MP3] Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (2007) [MP3]
74 Download Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium (2006) [MP3] Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium (2006) [MP3]
73 Download Coldplay – Parachutes (Limited Edition) (2000) [MP3] Coldplay – Parachutes (Limited Edition) (2000) [MP3]
72 Download Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (2005) [MP3] Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (2005) [MP3]
71 Download Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand (2004) [MP3] Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand (2004) [MP3]
70 Download Missy Elliott – Under Construction (2002) [MP3] Missy Elliott – Under Construction (2002) [MP3]
69 Download Bright Eyes – Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002) [MP3] Bright Eyes – Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002) [MP3]
68 Download U2 – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004) [MP3] U2 – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004) [MP3]
67 Download Bjork – Vespertine (2001) [MP3] Bjork – Vespertine (2001) [MP3]
66 Download Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now (2004) [MP3] Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now (2004) [MP3]
65 Download Manu Chao – Próxima Estación Esperanza (2001) [MP3] Manu Chao – Próxima Estación Esperanza (2001) [MP3]
64 Download Gillian Welch – Time the Revelator (2001) [MP3] Gillian Welch – Time the Revelator (2001) [MP3]
63 Download Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak (2008) [MP3] Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak (2008) [MP3]
62 Download Johnny Cash – American III Solitary Man (2000) [MP3] Johnny Cash – American III Solitary Man (2000) [MP3]
61 Download The Shins – Oh, Inverted World (2001) [MP3] The Shins – Oh, Inverted World (2001) [MP3]
60 Download Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009) [MP3] Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009) [MP3]
59 Download Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) [MP3] Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) [MP3]
58 Download Danger Mouse – The Grey Album (2004) [MP3] Danger Mouse – The Grey Album (2004) [MP3]
57 Download Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003) [MP3] Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003) [MP3]
56 Download Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008) [MP3] Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008) [MP3]
55 Download Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand (2007) [MP3] Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand (2007) [MP3]
54 Download Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (2002) [MP3] Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (2002) [MP3]
53 Download Kings of Leon – Only By the Night (2008) [MP3] Kings of Leon – Only By the Night (2008) [MP3]
52 Download M.I.A. – Arular (2005) [MP3] M.I.A. – Arular (2005) [MP3]
51 Download Spoon – Kill the Moonlight (2002) [MP3] Spoon – Kill the Moonlight (2002) [MP3]
50 Download Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (2006) [MP3] Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (2006) [MP3]
49 Download Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine (2005) [MP3] Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine (2005) [MP3]
48 Download TV on the Radio – Dear Science (2008) [MP3] TV on the Radio – Dear Science (2008) [MP3]
47 Download Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008) [MP3] Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008) [MP3]
46 Download Justin Timberlake – FutureSex-LoveSounds (2007) [MP3] Justin Timberlake – FutureSex-LoveSounds (2007) [MP3]
45 Download Kanye West – Graduation (2007) [MP3] Kanye West – Graduation (2007) [MP3]
44 Download System of a Down – Toxicity (2001) [MP3] System of a Down – Toxicity (2001) [MP3]
43 Download The Killers – Hot Fuss [MP3] The Killers – Hot Fuss [MP3]
42 Download Elliott Smith – Figure 8 (2000) [MP3] Elliott Smith – Figure 8 (2000) [MP3]
41 Download Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) [MP3] Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) [MP3]
40 Download Kanye West – Late Registration (2005) [MP3] Kanye West – Late Registration (2005) [MP3]
39 Download Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak (2006) [MP3] Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak (2006) [MP3]
38 Download Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000) [MP3] Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000) [MP3]
37 Download 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin (2003) [MP3] 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin (2003) [MP3]
36 Download U2 – No Line On The Horizon (2009) [MP3] U2 – No Line On The Horizon (2009) [MP3]
35 Download PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) [MP3] PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) [MP3]
34 Download OutKast – Speakerboxxx-The Love Below (2003) [MP3] OutKast – Speakerboxxx-The Love Below (2003) [MP3]
33 Download Daft Punk – Discovery (2001) [MP3] Daft Punk – Discovery (2001) [MP3]
32 Download Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008) [MP3] Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008) [MP3]
31 Download My Morning Jacket – Z (2005) [MP3] My Morning Jacket – Z (2005) [MP3]
30 Download Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007) [MP3] Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007) [MP3]
29 Download Sigur Ros – Ágætis Byrjun (2000) [MP3] Sigur Ros – Ágætis Byrjun (2000) [MP3]
28 Download Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003) [MP3] Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003) [MP3]
27 Download The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002) [MP3] The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002) [MP3]
26 Download Cat Power – The Greatest (2006) [MP3] Cat Power – The Greatest (2006) [MP3]
25 Download Radiohead – Amnesiac (2001) [MP3] Radiohead – Amnesiac (2001) [MP3]
24 Download Bruce Springsteen – Magic (2007) [MP3] Bruce Springsteen – Magic (2007) [MP3]
23 Download D’Angelo – Voodoo (2000) [MP3] D’Angelo – Voodoo (2000) [MP3]
22 Download Green Day – American Idiot (2004) [MP3] Green Day – American Idiot (2004) [MP3]
21 Download Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) [MP3] Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) [MP3]
20 Download Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2007) [MP3] Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2007) [MP3]
19 Download The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001) [MP3] The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001) [MP3]
18 Download MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (2007) [MP3] MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (2007) [MP3]
17 Download Beck – Sea Change (2002) [MP3] Beck – Sea Change (2002) [MP3]
16 Download OutKast – Stankonia (2000) [MP3] OutKast – Stankonia (2000) [MP3]
15 Download Bruce Springsteen – The Rising (2002) [MP3] Bruce Springsteen – The Rising (2002) [MP3]
14 Download Jay-Z – The Black Album (2003)[MP3] Jay-Z – The Black Album (2003)[MP3]
13 Download U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) [MP3] U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) [MP3]
12 Download LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (2007) [MP3] LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (2007) [MP3]
11 Download Bob Dylan – Love And Theft (2001) [MP3] Bob Dylan – Love And Theft (2001) [MP3]
10 Download Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004) [MP3] Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004) [MP3]
9 Download M.I.A. – Kala (2007) [MP3] M.I.A. – Kala (2007) [MP3]
8 Download Bob Dylan – Modern Times (2006) [MP3] Bob Dylan – Modern Times (2006) [MP3]
7 Download Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) [MP3] Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) [MP3]
6 Download Arcade Fire – Funeral (2005) [MP3] Arcade Fire – Funeral (2005) [MP3]
5 Download The White Stripes – Elephant (2003) [MP3] The White Stripes – Elephant (2003) [MP3]
4 Download Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001) [MP3] Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001) [MP3]
3 Download Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) [MP3] Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) [MP3]
2 Download The Strokes – Is This It (2001) [MP3] The Strokes – Is This It (2001) [MP3]
1 Download Radiohead – Kid A (2000) [MP3] Radiohead – Kid A (2000) [MP3]
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