The first two (one was '99) are the rawest, and incredible. I'm pretty late to the ball game on them though.
The one that got me into The White Stripes was White Blood Cells which is critical darling, but it's not mine. I do love me some lots of songs on it, and hell, play them on guitar, but it's just not as together as Thump.
Elephant and Get Behind Me, Satan are ok I guess, but still not like this (or like the old stuff).
Icky Thump is the one. Jack White has the best understanding of what rock guitar should since either Slash rocked Guns N Roses, or Keith Richards rocked the Rolling Stones. He's up there. Come to think of it, I may have to do a separate list of ... My favorite musicians of the millennium. And ... here ... we ... go ...
In honor of Halloween, let's go with a scary number. The Top 13 Musicians of the Aughts. No ... wait ... half these people are just singers, so let's go with ... The Top 13 Front People of the Aughts ...
13. Leslie Feist
She was allegedly part of Broken Social Scene, which is cool, but I don't really know the whole story and compared to The Reminder, it doesn't much matter. She's cute and she did Colbert. She's on the list. Tip of the hat Mrs. Feist, or can I hopefully say Ms. Feist (eyebrow raised).
Putting Beck any higher wouldn't be fun. Besides, he did most of his damage in the 90s, but the fact that he's still out there making good music, it's a good thing.
11. Colin Meloy
The Aughts got me confused between 3 guys, and that's this dude, Conor Oberst and Craig Finn. For all you Understanding Your Over-Dramatic Pretentious Singers Virgins out there it's broken down like this:
Colin Meloy - The Decemberists
Conor Oberst - Bright Eyes (and they're quite dreamy)
Craig Finn - The Hold Steady.
Glad I got that off my chest.
10. Karen O
I just like her. So she's #10. I'm officially writing after 10 pm now, so this is where it gets either dangerous, or dangerously boring. And if I'm not eating peanut butter pie right now, my name isn't Zach Taylor.
9. Andrew Bird
Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's got so much talent and all that jazz, but it's the whistling. If I ever pro-created, I'd probably make mixes of just his whistling to lull my kids to sleep, but fuck that, I should just make one to lull me to sleep.
8. Amy Winehouse
I can't in good conscience put her any higher, but the simple fact is this, did anyone rock the Aughts harder than Amy Winehouse? I don't mean rock in that musical way, but c'mon, she's freaking Jim Morrison. It's awesome. What happened to rock'n roll though? Isn't this supposed to be par for the course? Front men have turned into such pussies that they're letting chick blow them away.
7. Wayne Coyne
Just for the Flaming Lips. They've now been good for 20 years (with some gaps here and there).
6. Sufjan Stevens
It's too bad he burnt out after Illinois. We all knew the 50 states project wasn't going to ever get completed, but the man is a talented talented man. And he'll be back.
She was my girl of the Aughts. She may not be the most talented, and she may dress in ways Americans can only laugh, but she did perform while 8 months pregnant or some shit, so that's rock'n roll. Oh, and she assists on the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire. Then there's also the fact that she wrote two of the best albums of the decade. That helps.
4. Jeff Tweedy
Love him, but he's pretty high on the overly-dramatic pretentious singer scale too. I saw his band twice in concert so gets major props, but I still think he was being a dick when he kicked the dead guy out of the band.
3. Jim James
Truth is, if I could be any rocker on this list, he's probably the 2nd. Let's hope Evil Urges and The Monsters of Folk are just something he needs to get out of his system and returns to being his Golden God self.
2. Jack White
Truth is, if I could be any rocker on this list, he's probably the 1st. As a guitar player, I can't help but admire anyone any more. Unfortunately for him, because I'm sure he cares so much about my rankings here, I'm also someone who loves great lyrics, and for that, I needs my
1. Isaac Brock
There was nobody better, for any time I had to be in public and remorse was still creeping from the night before. Isaac can tank a hangover and make it somebody else's fault but your own. That's rock'n roll. Jeff Tweedy told the crowd to "Sh" a couple times in Orlando. Jim James told us about a balloon ride at Langerado. Jack White did about one billion side projects. Isaac Brock slashed himself with a knife on stage. He wins it.