#15 “Come On Feel The Illinoize” Sufjan Stevens (2005)
This song is dazzling – a staggeringly ambitious, lushly orchestrated big-top extravaganza. Sufjan Stevens once claimed that he’d release an album for all 50 states of the U.S. Right now his total is holding steady at two.
A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.
#14 “Son Of Sam” Elliott Smith (2000)
The most tragic, sad (and disturbingly violent) rock death of the decade was (no, not Michael Jackson) that of fragile singer-songwriter, Elliott Smith.
This song has the ambitious arrangement, inventive production touches and strong melody of a great late-era Beatles tune.
#13 “You Know I’m No Good” Amy Winehouse (2006)
Can you imagine what it would be like to have the paparazzi standing outside your house, 24-7? Perhaps not, but it would probably make you want to smoke crack. This song, with its touches of jazz, soul, R&B and hip-hop beats is sexy, soulful, honest, self-deprecating and full of sexual longing. She may never record another album, but her place as one of the best singers of the decade is firmly supplanted here. She is the real deal.
#12 “Godless” Dandy Warhols (2000)
The Dandy Warhols suitably rebelled against grunge’s anti-rock star myth. But unlike most bands who concentrate on looking and acting “cool as”, they didn’t forget to make some great music along the way.
#11 “The Revelator” Gillian Welch (2001)
What does it mean to be making this “American primitive” music in the hyper-technologised 21st Century (yes, I’m looking at you, C.W. Stoneking!)? Is it a denial, or a blessed respite from the insanely disembodied touch-screen world we all now inhabit?
Think about it, dude.