The obsessive musings of every music fan breed lists. Long, passionate and painfully labored over, these lists lie in the dark caverns of music geekdom, waiting patiently for mini-milestones, prying questions or any possible reason to blurt out. As a result, the Daily music staff has compiled its favorite albums of the last half-decade (2000-2004). The final product, presented throughout this week, represents the tastes and infatuations of a diverse staff, one that spent weeks arguing the merits of things like glitch-pop, indie-hop and neo-soul. Enjoy the selections, debate the omissions and tune in tomorrow for the next installment.
50 The Postal Service – Give Up
With Give Up, The Postal Service delivers. The love child of Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), the album plays like a fairy tale: whimsical instrumentation, puffy cloud synths and the subdued lullabies of Gibbard. The orgasmic opener, “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” finds the perfect balance between Gibbard’s plaintive voice and Tamborello’s masterful layering. This juxtaposition creates a hauntingly honest listen. Give Up never quits. — Jerry Gordinier
49 Elliot Smith – Figure 8
In my darkest of indie-rock fantasies, I see Elliot Smith in a large boardroom surrounded by wolf-eyed and bloated Dreamworks execs eager to strip Smith down and take all of his mourning-call grace from his historic Oscar performance and slap it into a cookie cutter. The fa