So, this article is slightly outside of the SOFREP wheelhouse, but nevertheless, here it is.  Your intrepid author is getting a jump on the competition with this one, as we can fully expect in two years’ time to see various lists come out, laying out the “best albums of the 2010’s” or the “best of the century so far,” or what have you.  Well, I am preempting that stuff, and putting one out now, in the waning months of 2017, in which I lay out what I think have been the best 50 albums to come out since 2000.

Your author is an avid music fan and amateur music critic. Since I have this platform, and the bosses are willing to indulge me every once in a while, I figured I would use this space to share with you all the albums you should listen to from the last 18 years.  I do not rank them here, since that is so highly subjective (as is a list at all, really), but instead, I have broken them out by year. 

Surely, I will have left out some worthies, or included some albums that some of you consider garbage.  No matter.  Music is not a science, nor is judging album quality even remotely objective (unless, of course, you go by sales numbers or some such thing).  At any rate, I am excited to see what you all will include as your own additions to the list, in the comments section below. 

I am sure there will be plenty of country, R&B, rap, and metal albums that I have overlooked, and that you all believe should be included here.  That is not even to speak of jazz, reggae, latin, electronic, dance, or the countless other genres to which I have minimal exposure.  Enlighten us with your additions!

Without further ado, here are my picks for the best 50 albums to be released since the turn of the century, so far.


U2 – ”All that You Can’t Leave Behind”

The Strokes – “Is This It?”

Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP”

Coldplay – “Parachutes”

Radiohead – “Kid A”


Ryan Adams – “Gold”

System of a Down – “Toxicity”

John Mayer – “Room for Squares”

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The White Stripes – “White Blood Cells”


Coldplay – “A Rush of Blood to the Head”

Norah Jones – “Come Away with Me”

Maroon 5 – “Songs About Jane”


Jay Z – “The Black Album”

Kings of Leon – “Youth and Young Manhood”

The White Stripes – “Elephant”


Green Day – “American Idiot”

The Killers – “Hot Fuss”

Arcade Fire – “Funeral”

Kanye West – “The College Dropout”


Amy Winehouse – “Back to Black”

The Killers – “Sam’s Town”

Tom Petty – “Highway Companion”


Brandi Carlile – “The Story”

Kings of Leon – “Because of the Times”


Fleet Foxes – “Fleet Foxes”

Kings of Leon – “Only by the Night”

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – “Cardinology”

The Gaslight Anthem – “The ’59 Sound”


Mumford & Sons – “Sigh No More”

Neko Case – “Middle Cyclone”

The Avett Brothers – “I and Love and You”


The National – “High Violet”


Adele – “21”

Dawes – “Nothing is Wrong”


Alabama Shakes – “Boys and Girls”

Mumford & Sons – “Babel”

John Mayer – “Born and Raised”


Jason Isbell – “Southeastern”

Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City”

Lorde – “Pure Heroine”

The National – “Trouble Will Find Me”


Sturgill Simpson – “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music”

Beck – “Morning Phase”


Dawes – “All Your Favorite Bands”

Adele – “25”

Jason Isbell – “Something More than Free”

Chris Stapleton – “Traveller”


Paul Cauthen – “My Gospel”

Margo Price – “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter”

Sturgill Simpson – “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth”


Featured image – Kings of Leon – courtesy of Wikipedia.