4 Of The Best Albums From The 2000s We’re Still Listening To Today

The 2000s might not have the reputation and gravitas of previous industry-changing decades like the 70s or 80s, but there are plenty of amazing albums to come out of this decade. 

Even despite the arrival of MP3 players and ipods, illegal downloads, and at the end of the decade, the introduction of freemium streaming services like Spotify, the album format survived. Not only that — it thrived, and gave us some bangers.

At Just Another Magazine, we’re not ashamed to say that we still listen to some corkers from the 00s. In fact, we’ll bet that you’re still listening to some of them today, too — sometimes nearly 20 years on. Whether they soundtracked your teenage years, first love, university explorations or your journey into adulthood, these albums can transport us back, withstand the test of time, and still give us the feels.

Here are some of the best albums from the 2000s that we’re still listening to — and that we bet other people are too. Read on for a welcome blast from the past.

For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver

Image: The Affairs

What is it?

The debut studio album by American indie folk band Bon Iver — fronted by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon.

Why does it stand the test of time?

Because love and heartbreak are universal and timeless themes, especially when they sound as beautiful as this. 

We all know the story of ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ (2008) by now. A broken-hearted Justin Vernon traipsed into the woods in Wisconsin with a guitar, set up camp in a rural hunting cabin, and came back out with one of the most beautiful folk albums of all time.

For Emma, Forever Ago is stark yet soothing. Even listening now, you can feel the remoteness and harsh winter in each track, juxtaposed with the warmth offered inside by Vernon’s distinctive falsetto, acoustic strumming, and gentle melodies. 

The is an album that has transcended time and withstood repeated playing, the quiet beauty of this simple yet mesmerising folk music never growing tired.

When to listen to it?

If you’re looking for a soundtrack to a cosy night in, or you’re feeling a bit vulnerable and need the musical equivalent of a gentle hug, then For Emma is the album for you. Let’s face it, these songs have probably seen plenty of us through our own breakups and lost loves over the years.

It’s particularly great if you’re sitting by a fire (preferably outside, under some stars) with wine and friends, feeling nostalgic and reminiscing about times gone by.

Kid A – Radiohead

What is it?

One of the (if not, the) best albums of the decade — getting to number one on pretty much everyone’s list of ‘best of the 2000s’ albums. 

Why does it stand the test of time?

Kid A is a truly brilliant album by Radiohead at peak Radiohead. It’s the band’s fourth album, released in 2000. 

It’s a masterpiece — one that rejects the cliched tropes of rock before it, instead veering towards the uneasy with hypnotic, electronic textures, haunting vocals, dissonance, and confusion. 

A lot of the complex themes of the record are still recognisable and applicable now, which aside from the genius behind the record, really make it stand the test of time.

When to listen to it?

When you’re feeling complicated and drunk, possibly with your friends, and you want to have some mild existential crisis and deep philosophical questions about where the world is heading. Or very loudly on a long solo car journey

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Image: Newsounds Mag

What is it?

Amy Winehouse’s award-winning second and final album — nominated for and winning multiple awards including a whole bunch of Grammys. 

Why does it stand the test of time?

Amy Winehouse’s second album packs as much of a punch in 2020 as it did in 2006. Back to Black is departure from the jazz influences on her debut Frank and shift towards the more retro, girl-group sounds of the 50s and 60s — paired, of course, with Winehouse’s signature frank song-writing and soulful, sultry voice. 

Back to Black became an instant classic, evoking a wistful 1960s Motown feel despite the noughties lyrical content of fags, booze, sex and regret. And it maintains that same feel now, even after 14 years — due in part to Mark Ronson’s sleek production, and Amy Winehouse’s heady combination of power and heartbreak. This is an album that you could listen to time and time again. 

When to listen to it?

Back to Black is honestly the perfect dinner party music. Sophisticated but with an edge, and familiar enough that people will recognise songs but with enough distance between now and a time where songs like ‘Rehab’ dominated the radio.

The Black Album — Jay-Z

What is it?

The Black Album is the eighth studio album from the most successful rapper in history, with 22 Grammy Awards to his name and a net worth of $1 billion. And of course, Jay-Z is married to the Queen herself, Beyonce. 

Why does it stand the test of time?

It’s a rare artist that can produce as many standout LPs as Jay-Z and it’s an even rarer 2000s album that scales the heights of his masterwork, The Black Album (2003). 

Featuring a host of highlights, including the iconic 99 Problems, The Black Album cemented Jay-Z’s status as the finest rapper of his (and perhaps any) generation. 

When to listen to it?

Ubiquitous from the moment of its release, the album provided the soundtrack to both nights out and nights in. You’d hear it in clubs, on the radio, and in-home gatherings of all types. 

This makes it the perfect record for all occasions, but it’s best for those shared with friends, such as boisterous house parties, barbeques and pre-drinks (COVID rules dependent, of course).

So there you have it — four of the best albums from the 2000s that we bet people are still listening to today. We’re willing to guess that at least one of these gets regular airtime in your house — and if they don’t yet, they’re probably going to get played once you’ve finished reading this post. You’re welcome.

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