10 albums from 10 years ago that you need to listen to


Calvin Prenkert and Mallorey Daunhauer

Fall is the perfect time to relax and look back on what went right in the world of music ten years ago. Two music connoisseurs and members of the Optimist staff have taken a trip back in time to find the music that is still relevant and worth listening to.


Sound of Silver- After their monumental first album, LCD Soundsystem came back with vengeance on Sound of Silver. The album arranges electronic sounds and indie rock accents with the lyrical chaos of frontman James Murphy into a masterful assembly of tracks. Murphy’s anecdotal lyrics and turbulent rhythms create a piece of work that draws listeners in from start to finish. The album’s jubilant vibe evokes a sense of euphoria, making it the perfect addition to any dance party playlist.

Best songs: All My Friends, Someone Great, New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down



Strawberry Jam: Although the album artwork leaves something to be desired, Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam is anything but distasteful. The band’s seventh studio album provides a collection of audibly enticing tracks, sampling the band’s experimental sounds and penetrating vocals. Strawberry Jam is a psychedelic kaleidoscope that is the perfect encouragement for abstract thinking or late night ambience.

Best songs: Fireworks, Chores, Unsolved Mysteries



Person Pitch: Noah Lennox of Animal Collective struck musical gold twice in 2007, also producing a fantastic album as solo artist Panda Bear. Person Pitch is a creative mixture of electronic instrumentals and Lennox’s hypnotizing vocals that leaves listeners captivated. Each track flows nicely into the next and sets an ambient mood, creating a musical experience appealing to both the ears and mind. This album is the perfect soundtrack for creative inspiration or subtle ambiance for studying.

Best songs: Comfy in Nautica, Bros, Ponytail



Boxer: Keeping in step with their previous albums, The National’s Boxer translates the feelings of wistfulness and melancholy into a tragically beautiful arrangement of songs. Lead singer Matt Berninger brings listeners to realizations about people and situations in their own lives through examination of his own, and the instrumentals of the album, most specifically contributed by the piano, have the ability to evoke feelings of loneliness and heartache simply from their genius composition. This album is perfect for the rainy days of life, both literally and figuratively.

Best songs: Brainy, Squalor Victoria, Gospel



Microcastle/Weird Era Cont: This double LP released in 2007 by the Atlanta alternative band, Deerhunter, is imaginative, passionate, distant, and overall magnificent. This album is a great listen and has songs that you’ll want to listen to on repeat, such as “Agoraphobia” or “Nothing Ever Happened”. Deerhunter gives you exactly what you want on this album and more, with multiple members contributing vocal performances that you won’t want to miss.

Best songs: Never Stops, Agoraphobia, Nothing Ever Happened.



For Emma, Forever ago: In 2007, Bon Iver released a truly excellent project. Few artists are able to make an album that can be labeled a masterpiece, and even fewer can do it on a debut album. Lead singer Justin Vernon hid himself in a cabin in Wisconsin and poured his heart out into 9 fantastic tracks. Recorded during a tough time in Vernon’s life, his eloquent songwriting and heart wrenching vocals transport you into what seems like a hazy forest. This album is perfect for a rainy fall day or any lazy Sunday.

Best songs: Skinny Love, Flume, For Emma, Re: Stacks



Graduation: While still keeping in stride with the soulfully consistent style of his acclaimed first two albums, Kanye West dives head first into a new, more electronic sound on his third project. Graduation focuses on the inherency and purity of West’s rap, straying from the heavy use of samples or skits and fixating on his raw emotions. West introduces us to the “good life”, displaying the enjoyment of success earned from hard work and perseverance. The lyrics exemplify inspiration, and each song feels like an anthem supporting motivation and triumph. Whether you need inclination to do well on a test or want to be pumped up before the big game, West’s Graduation feels like a gentle reminder to never stop striving for excellence.

Best songs: Homecoming, Flashing Lights, Good Life



Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga- This is Spoon’s best album. Period. The album certainly doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, only 10 tracks and a mere 36 minutes, but it’s a classic example of a band just getting it right. Instead of a twenty track album riddled with filler songs and skits, Spoon leaves you wanting more. Sonically, this album is impeccable, mixing together many different sounds and instruments to create an album that flows. If you haven’t yet given this album a listen, there is no time better than the 10 year anniversary to familiarize yourself with this instant classic.

Best Songs: The Underdog, You Got Yr. Cherry bomb, Don’t You Evah



Wincing the Night Away- The Shins third release followed two albums that will go down in indie rock history. The question on every fan’s mind was simple: could they do it again? Wincing the Night Away silences fans worries and presents an extremely solid body of work. With some of the best songs the band has ever released, such as “Australia” and “Phantom Limb”, there’s little not to like. This album shows The Shins’ ability to stay on course, crafting songs that are experimental but in touch with the nonchalant indie form they’d enjoyed in the years prior.

Best Songs: Sea Legs, Phantom Limb, Australia



Favourite Worst Nightmare- This was no sophomore slump from the indie rock outfit from Sheffield. Just one year after their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, the band released what many say is the best album in their discography. Frontman Alex Turner shows a more introspective, sentimental side that was mostly absent on their debut, with tracks such as “505”, and “Only Ones Who Know”. However, it would be unjust to say that the band doesn’t hold on to their roots from the raucous debut. Songs such as “Teddy Picker” and “This House is a Circus” are a reminder of just how hard the band can rock with an electric guitar.

Best songs: Fluorescent Adolescent, 505, The Bad Thing, D is for Dangerous