The best of 2000 mix tape
Before I forget, some of you asked about the best of 2014 post/mix. I snuck it in a couple of weeks ago, so I’m linking to it here.
First post of the new year, and I had to decide between tackling the 2000s or the 60s next in the best of mix tape project series. I finally chose the 2000s, which makes this a bit of a love/hate post. Some of my absolute favorite albums ever made were released in the decade, but by and large it was just a terrible, terrible decade for music, especially at the beginning. For every Kid A or Voodoo or The Moon & Antarctica released, there were seemingly dozens of records from the likes of Limp Bizkit or Creed or Nickelback to wade through. I’m here to do the heavy lifting for you though and pick out the gems from each year, so not to worry.
Since it’s a new decade, here’s a reminder about the criteria for selection that I’m using:
- The “mix tape” has to fit on an old school Maxell 60-minute cassette. Some decisions will inevitably be made based on run time, so if I’m deciding between two songs, a shorter one might get the nod just because it is better fit
- Only one song from one artist per year (also known as the Michael Jackson Thriller rule)
- Songs chosen have to be on Spotify
- There are certain genres of music that just aren’t my jam. In the 80s it was hair metal. In the 70s you will be find little to no “prog rock.” In the 90s/00s, my disdain for “nu-metal” is pretty much absolute
- No live albums. I added this for the 70s, since bands got into the habit of cranking out live albums (or, more horribly, double live albums). There’s only a handful of decent ones ever, so it’s just easier to eliminate them outright
- I’ve got kids and play these mixes all the time in front of them, so if ever other word is an ‘f-bomb,’ then I’m likely going to pass. Apologies to the Wu, but thems the breaks.
Now on to the mix tape.
Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
I think this one may have been in a cell phone commercial at some point, but I like the energy and it’s a good lead off track.
Send It On – D’Angelo
Everybody is freaking out all of a sudden again about D’Angelo (and deservedly so, that album he dropped out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago is great), but Voodoo is a masterpiece. Love this track.
Mass Romantic – The New Pornographers
The title track to one of my favorite albums of the decade. The opening trio of this, Fake Headlines, and The Slow Decent Into Alcoholism is some killer power pop goodness.
Gravity Rides Everything – Modest Mouse
I could have thrown a dart at the tracks on this album and picked out an equally great one, but I’m partial to this one even though it’s a bit slower and more melodic than much of the rest of the album.
Something Vague – Bright Eyes
Not exactly the track you’d put on to get the party started, but it’s one of my favorite Conor Oberst-penned tunes ever. Just a beautiful song.
You’re No Rock and Roll Fun – Sleater-Kinney
If you learn nothing else from this and the best of the 2000s mixes, I hope that Sleater-Kinney’s awesomeness is it. Really looking forward to some new music from them this year.
Accelerator – Primal Scream
Few tunes fit the band name better than this one.
This Mess We’re In – PJ Harvey
Whoever originally had the idea for a PJ/Thom Yorke duet is a genius. What an incredible vocal combination.
Mastermind – Deltron 3030
Everything about this song is pretty much perfect. Who fuses the music with no illusions?
Yellow – Coldplay
It’s easy to make fun of Coldplay (believe me, I do it a lot), but this is a really good tune regardless.
Somebody That I Used to Know – Elliot Smith
Not one of the better none Elliott songs, but one of my favorites.
Our Way to Fall – Yo La Tengo
A fairly obscure, but wonderful little nugget of a song.
Beautiful Day – U2
Is this the last great U2 song? The evidence is definitely mounting to support that conclusion.
Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives
Great energy in this one. Somehow about a minute too long even though it’s only 3:20. This one was begging to a 2:00 gem.
How To Disappear Completely – Radiohead
It’s hard to describe just how good Kid A is. It sounds every bit as fresh and weird and chilling as it did 15 years ago (gulp – wow, how in the world was 2000 15 years ago? That’s kind of scary.)
Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening/subscribing pleasure.
Which one of your favorites did I leave out?