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Top Artists & Albums of the Decade

 

We couldn't run a 5th anniversary retrospective without some sort of commentary on our favorite artists and albums in recent memory. We decided to contain our lists to this decade - 2000 to the present is compact enough to feel relevant to our organization's history, but stretches far enough back to include the artists who inspired us to start a site like betterPropaganda in the first place.

Nominating, ordering and solidifying the lists was nothing less than a loving clusterfuck of a process. After dumping all of our favorites into a spreadsheet, we shifted to wallpapering our office with a couple hundred post-it notes, arranged and (sometimes sneakily) rearranged from 1-100 over the course of a few months. The result is a pair of countdowns marked by eclecticism and charming quirks, entries which would be ten or twenty or forty positions higher than on other, safer lists. It is, we feel, more compelling than other countdowns of its ilk - we have avoided favoring the drudgery of rigid democracy and diplomacy that would have stamped out the sense of individualism that defines betterPropaganda.

In selecting our top 100 artists and albums of the decade, we kept our eye on cultural and musical distinctiveness (yes, it's subjective - we know), innovation, longevity, and influence in the industry. Of course, in arguing for our favorites, we turned toward any number of intangibles, and in the end we went with our gut. It was a process driven by frequent spars, plenty of well-intentioned but biting sarcasm, a couple booze-fueled marathon ordering sessions, and - owing to our love of the music - a desire to get things just right. We're happy with the result.

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