07 January 2011

My Favorite Century from the First Decade of the Final Millenium

I do hope and pray that we are now in the final millennium, and that our dear Lord Jesus will quickly bring to light the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells; the sooner, the better. At any rate, it will be my final millennium on this old earth, unless I live longer then Methuselah did!

To the point at hand, I've been considering the first decade of this millennium, specifically with respect to the music thereof, and mulling over my favorite albums of this time period. Because I like to think about such things for my own amusement, and I also enjoy sharing my love of music with the people I love — especially with my number one music buddy, my son Zachary, who already released his own list of his fifty favorite albums of the decade — I've here compiled my own list of my one-hundred favorite albums of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

In order to establish some balance over the course of the years in question — since the earlier albums have had much longer to implant themselves upon my brain, whereas the newer albums are much fresher in my ears — I determined to select at least half a dozen albums, but no more than a single dozen, from each year of the decade. I also limited myself to no more than two albums from any one artist, and I tried to keep such double hitters to a minimum.

The criteria for selection was that an album had to be released within the decade that just ended this past week, that is, at some point from January 2001 through December 2010, and it had to endear itself to me within that same time frame. Some of the albums recently released in the final months of 2010 are likely to become real favorites in coming months (there's already some strong contenders), but only those that managed to do so before the clock stuck twelve on the 31st of December were considered for this list. Likewise, there were albums released in the Year of Our Lord 2000, which became favorites in the ensuing years, but they weren't eligible for inclusion because of their prior release date.

I've distributed the albums from each year over the entire span of the list, rather than allowing those from particular periods to cluster together in groups. That has also helped to balance out the different genres of music I enjoy. My tastes are fairly eclectic, really running the gamut from country of all types, through pop, rock and roll, all the way to hard rock and heavy metal. But my listening habits tend to follow trends that vary with the years, influenced by all manner of things. It will be readily apparent that much of my listening during this past decade was dominated by country music. However, there were patches of pop here and there, and, interestingly, the decade both began and ended with a renewed interest in guitar-driven classic rock and modern metal.

I've exercised my personal prerogative in positioning these picks approximately in order of my present preferences. By the very nature of such things, they could easily shake out differently at some other time, but this is my list for now. I'm sure I've probably forgotten some things; for example, I notice that Taylor Swift's Fearless somehow didn't make the list, although it should have (I like it as well or better than her new one, Speak Now, which did make the cut). Oh, well. Since nobody's careers or livelihoods are at stake in my choices, and all such things are adiaphora, I'm not going to stress about it.

With a nod of my hatless head to all my music-loving friends, and with the raising of my now empty New Year's glass to the musicians who have shared the fruits of their talents and labors with me, here are my favorite century of albums from the first decade of my final millennium:

1. Black Stone Cherry - Folklore and Superstition (2008)

2. Big & Rich - Horse of a Different Color (2004)

3. Daughtry - Leave This Town (2009)

4. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (2007)

5. Tim McGraw - Set This Circus Down (2001)

6. Van Zant - Get Right with the Man (2005)

7. Evanescence - Fallen (2003)

8. Zac Brown Band - The Foundation (2008)

9. Halfway to Hazard - Halfway to Hazard (2007)

10. Matchbox Twenty - More Than You Think You Are (2002)

11. Joe Satriani - Strange Beautiful Music (2002)

12. Daughtry - Daughtry (2006)

13. Five for Fighting - Slice (2009)

14. Bon Jovi - Have a Nice Day (2005)

15. Brad Paisley - Time Well Wasted (2005)

16. Jet - Get Born (2003)

17. Kid Rock - Born Free (2010)

18. The Donnas - Gold Medal (2004)

19. Saving Jane - Girl Next Door (2006)

20. Black Label Society - Order of the Black (2010)

21. Jason Aldean - Relentless (2007)

22. Boys Like Girls - Love Drunk (2009)

23. Darius Rucker - Learn to Live (2008)

24. Anna Nalick - Wreck of the Day (2004)

25. Gretchen Wilson - All Jacked Up (2005)

26. Breaking Benjamin - Dear Agony (2009)

27. Montgomery Gentry - Back When I Knew It All (2008)

28. Tim McGraw - Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors (2002)

29. Paul Gilbert - Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar (2008)

30. The Gracious Few - The Gracious Few (2010)

31. Rodney Atkins - Honesty (2003)

32. Bobby Pinson - Man Like Me (2005)

33. Ozzy Osbourne - Scream (2010)

34. Regie Hamm - American Dreams (2003)

35. Gary Allan - Alright Guy (2001)

36. Avril Lavigne - Let It Go (2002)

37. Lady Antebellum - Need You Now (2010)

38. Billy Currington - Little Bit of Everything (2008)

39. Marcel - You, Me and the Windshield (2003)

40. Pink - Missundaztood (2001)

41. Jedd Hughes - Transcontinental (2004)

42. Ashlee Simpson - Autobiography (2004)

43. Alter Bridge - ABIII (2010)

44. Brooks & Dunn - Cowboy Town (2007)

45. Rodney Atkins - If You’re Going Through Hell (2006)

46. Chris Cagle - Anywhere But Here (2005)

47. Hot Apple Pie - Hot Apple Pie (2005)

48. Phil Vassar - Shaken Not Stirred (2004)

49. Steve Azar - Waitin’ on Joe (2002)

50. Carrie Underwood - Carnival Ride (2007)

51. Jamey Johnson - The Guitar Song (2010)

52. Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin (2004)

53. Plain White T’s - Every Second Counts (2007)

54. Shinedown - Sound of Madness (2008)

55. Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way (2002)

56. Jo Dee Messina - Delicious Surprise (2005)

57. Orianthi - Believe (2009)

58. Gary Allan - Living Hard (2007)

59. Mandy Moore - Amanda Leigh (2009)

60. Trisha Yearwood - Inside out (2001)

61. Lisa Marie Presley - Now What (2005)

62. Brooke White - High Hopes and Heartbreaks (2009)

63. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Lonely Road (2009)

64. Jack Ingram - This Is It (2007)

65. Jennifer Hanson - Jennifer Hanson (2003)

66. Joe Bonamassa - Black Rock (2010)

67. Jessica Andrews - Now (2003)

68. Joshua Kadison - Vanishing America (2001)

69. Black Tide - Light from Above (2008)

70. U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)

71. The Warren Brothers - Well Deserved Obscurity (2004)

72. Eli Young Band - Jet Black & Jealous (2008)

73. Trace Adkins - Dangerous Man (2006)

74. Bucky Covington - Bucky Covington (2007)

75. Good Charlotte - The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004)

76. Black Stone Cherry - Black Stone Cherry (2006)

77. Linkin Park - Meteora (2003)

78. Keith Anderson - C’mon! (2008)

79. MoZella - Belle Isle (2009)

80. Creed - Weathered (2001)

81. Travis Tritt - The Storm (2007)

82. Pinmonkey - Pinmonkey (2002)

83. Trace Adkins - Songs About Me (2005)

84. James Otto - Shake What God Gave Ya (2010)

85. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009)

86. Staind - Break the Cycle (2001)

87. We Are the Fallen - Tear the World Down (2010)

88. Travis Tritt - My Honky Tonk History (2004)

89. Brooks & Dunn - Hillbilly Deluxe (2005)

90. Taylor Swift - Speak Now (2010)

91. Switchfoot - Hello Hurricane (2009)

92. Ray Scott - My Kind of Music (2005)

93. Eric Church - Sinners Like Me (2006)

94. Thriving Ivory - Thriving Ivory (2008)

95. Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody (2009)

96. Kenny Chesney - Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates (2007)

97. Chris Cagle - My Life’s Been a Country Song (2008)

98. John Michael Montgomery - Letters from Home (2004)

99. Tracy Lawrence - Strong (2004)

100. Day of Fire - Losing All (2010)


Monkey Laughs said...

Awesome list, Dad! I really like your title and your criteria as well. There were a few songs that surprised me but mostly the same great stuff I have been listening to along with you these past ten years. There was a fair amount of overlap between the lists too, which I find pretty cool :-). One-hundred seemed like a lot at first but considering that this list is coming from you I'm actually impressed that you kept it to that number! One for every acre in the wood! It was pretty difficult for me to keep my list down to 50 but I suppose that with all of the great stuff you've listened to it would be almost heinous for your list to be that small! ;-). Anyway, Is this a sign that the Grampies will be coming soon?

Monkey Laughs said...

Oh by the way, I suspect that you meant to say "when the clock struck 12 on the 1st of January," unless New Year's Eve was the deadline ;-)

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Thanks, Zach. Glad you like it. Even if nobody else reads it, I'm happy to share these music passions with you. A blessed New Year to you and your dear Biblical Bekah.

P.S. I meant the beginning of the clock's chiming, when it was still the ending of December the 31st ;-)