The best albums of the 2000s

#20. Coldplay – Parachutes (2003)

It’s rare for one album to include so many chart-toppers, but somehow Coldplay managed to include exactly this with their debut album. Parachutes was released back in 2003 and it went straight to number 1 in the British charts. There is no doubt that this album made Coldplay who they are today, each song on the album could have been written and produced yesterday – they knew back them what sound worked for them and it has worked ever since. 

Genre: Alternative
Rating: ★★★★

#19. Jamie T – Kings and Queens (2009)

Admittedly a late contender but still an absolute banger. With expressive lyrics about modern day British culture, Jamie T created a funny second album with catchy melodies and blatant honesty. Kings and Queens is streetwise hip hop with a thrilling and edgy sound.

Genre: Alternative
Rating: ★★★★

#18. Scarface – The Fix (2002)

Scarface uses dirty South and hip hop influences to create an inventive and ferociously experimental rap album. Brad Jordan was a big hip hop name in the late 80s and his early 2000s comeback acted as a more mature but still nostalgic revival.

Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: ★★★★

#17. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (2000)

This album put Modest Mouse on the map for indie bands. This packed 19-track album revealed the unforgettable and haunting mood that Modest Mouse are still known for today. And the major label debut proved that the band had what it takes to be a real contender in the indie music scene.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★

#16. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)

This Canadian indie rock band include husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. The pair revealed that the death of their grandparents during the recording of the album influences the mournful feel that is employed throughout the tracks. Funeral is a classic album, released at a time where the indie rock scene was being solidified into the music charts, and it certainly did great things for this band.

Genre: Alternative
Rating: ★★★★★

#15. Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004)

The Followill family released this classic Southern rock album back in 2004, and it remains to be one of their best albums. Kings of Leon created an album that delicately experiments with a new and commercial persona, though it still demonstrates the four-piece as a stronger and more confident sound. The raspy vocals and trademark Southern influences remain to inspire that definitive Kings of Leon sound.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

#14. Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City (2007)

Punk, indie, and rock - there’s not much that this band have not experimented with. When Bloc Party released A Weekend in the City back in 2007 they decided to reinvent their sound once more. This second indie rock album was a change of pace for the group, and it bought something original to the music world.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

#13. Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009)

Although Kasabian were previously known for their outlandish rock persona, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum was more about the psychedelia influences than its rock counterpart. At the time, this sound was completely unexpected from the group. It worked and it remains to be one of the best album releases of the noughties.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

#12. The Strokes – Is This It (2001)

I’m sure plenty of money was put into the production of this album, however, it could’ve been produced in a garage and it still would have sounded great. Is This It is The Strokes’ debut album and what a debut album it is. There are quite obvious 90s punk influences and the hype that surrounds this band is certainly rooted in this fantastic album.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

#11. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Nowadays Eminem is known for his sincere and apologetic lyrics, but 17 years ago no one really knew what to make of his music. The Marshall Mathers LP is the second studio album from Eminem and since his debut, he completely stepped up his game. The production of the album is fantastic and it remains to be one of the most intriguing, evocative and clever rap albums of the 2000s.

Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: ★★★★★

#10. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)

Bon Iver are telling a story with this album, and the loneliness is emphasized in all aspects – from the lyrics to the haunting melodies. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon isolated himself in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for four winter months. Vernon captured this isolation and wrote it in the form of this album. Each song is delicately created to present an album that will always be Bon Iver’s most impressive piece of work.

Genre: Alterative
Rating: ★★★★★ 

#9. The White Stripes – Elephant (2003)

The White Stripes worked the laid-back indie rock sound more than any other band in the noughties. Elephant explores a darker and more pensive level to the duo, and its sensational lyrics and demand for control revealed a vulnerability to the pair. This second album musically discloses everything Meg and Jack White have to offer – it’s really quite exemplary.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

#8. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)  

September 2003 was when mainstream hip-hop got even better. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is a packed album full of deep soul, dirty funk, techno and psychedelia. Big Boi and Andre 3000 released solo albums under one name, and although both Speakerboxxx and The Love Below have different music influences, they still feel exactly like the OutKast sound that they were known for in their debut, Stankonia.

Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: ★★★★★

#7. The Libertines – Up The Bracket (2002)

The Libertines’ debut, Up The Bracket, brought the garage rock revival to British music. This album is hectic, uneasy and amazingly poised. The Libertines created an album that captured their rowdy personality and it continues to be appropriate and evocative. 

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

#6. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2005)

After the unofficial release of their 'debut album', Beneath the Boardwalk, Arctic Monkeys had a challenge trying to polish it without removing any of the grit - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not achieved just that, whilst bring revolution to the British music scene.

Genre: Indie
Rating: ★★★★★

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#5. Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)

Kanye West created his first studio album, The College Dropout, in 2004. It demanded respect and attention and Kanye was no longer considered as the underdog of the rap scene. Still this album is known as being one of the best, and it is certainly one of Kanye’s most notorious albums.

Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: ★★★★★

#4. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)

Back to Black was released in 2006, and it is the final studio album by the late Amy Winehouse. Winehouse embedded her rowdy image within this iconic album, and its sorrowful lyrics act as a meaningful memoir from this lovesick London girl.

Genre: Alternative
Rating: ★★★★★

#3. Radiohead – Kid A (2000)

Released in 2000 was Radiohead’s sixth studio album. The band were on the verge of a breakup prior to this release, however, they used this album to redefine their sound and push at the boundaries of contemporary rock and roll.

Genre: Alternative
Rating: ★★★★★

#2. The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002)

Original Pirate Material discusses British culture on an incredibly blunt and undeniably honest level. Mike Skinner debuted this album with a unique take on British garage music - his conversational lyrics about daily life were original and new. It’s now 15 years later and Original Pirate Material is still as well-known as it was when it was first released.

Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: ★★★★★

#1. Jay Z – The Blueprint (2001)

The 6th studio album from Jay Z was released on September 11th 2001. The Blueprint shows us exactly what rap is all about – self-identity and meaningful lyrics. Jay Z proved that he has the ability create a legendary music confessional, and it’s arguably one of the greatest achievements in his music career.

Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: ★★★★★