Music Madness ROUND 1: Since 2000 Bracket
It’s time to vote for your favourites from the Since 2000 Bracket! Vote for your favourites to send them into round 2! Polls will be open for 5 days. If you don’t understand what this is, scroll down and read the previous post, and download the brackets there. If you just want the full brackets, they’re right here. Happy voting!
Kid A (1) vs. Hot Fuss (16)
Radiohead’s Kid A was an international success. It’s been ranked as the number one album of the decade by at least 5 major publications, including Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Kid A has shown up in more best-of-2000’s charts than any other album of the decade, hence the #1 seed.
The Killers’ Hot Fuss made the brackets by the very last draw for the 2000’s, putting it in the tricky position of #16 Seed. Hot Fuss is a lot of fun, however, and may be enough of a voter’s favourite to become the first cinderella story of Music Madness.
Is This It? (8) vs. Rush of Blood to the Head (9)
The Strokes’ Is This It? met both critical and commercial success in 2001, regularly making the top 10 and often the number one spot of the year. Spin and NME even listed the album in 100 Greatest Albums of All-Time lists.
A Rush of Blood to the Head is seeded 8th. That means it was popularly voted in but didn’t need to be put in the draw because of its commercial and critical accolades, including the Grammys for Best Alternative Album and Record of the Year (for the single Clocks).
In Rainbows (5) vs. College Dropout (12)
In 2007, Radiohead released their new album online, asking us to pay what we want. A worthwhile risk, considering In Rainbows debuted in both the UK and US charts at #1. Virtually every music magazine included it in their best of the year top 5, and some made it their favourite of the decade, including yours truly. See what I wrote about it here.
Kanye West’s debut album was College Dropout in 2004, on Jay-Z Roc-a-Fella Records. It actually did very well for itself, but didn’t quite make one of the first 10 automatic spots. Luckily it was drawn at number 12 so it has a fighting chance. It’s a stacked record, with no less than 5 singles: Through the Wire, All Falls Down, I’ll Fly Away, Slow Jamz, and especially Jesus Walks.
The Blueprint (4) vs. Channel Orange (13)
This best-reviewed rap album of the decade went double-platinum in the US, and continues to be considered a rap/hip-hop classic. Both the Source and XXL (two of the largest hip-hop publications) reserved their highest possible ratings for The Blueprint, and a few magazines have named it their favourite of the decade.
The youngest record to make the brackets should be an obvious underdog next to Jay-Z, but Frank Ocean has quickly made his way into the ears and subsequently the hearts of many. Although it hasn’t made it into any decade-best lists (since the decade is long from over), in 2012 when it was released, it consistently held the #1 spot. It made this list by chance through draw, but I would not underestimate it.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West (6) vs. White Blood Cells – The White Stripes (11)
MBDTF is considered Kanye’s most personal and best album by many, but more importantly for its 6th seed, in 2010 there was no record better reviewed – not even Adele’s 21. On Metacritic – a website that creates a rating based on mainstream critics – editors gave MBDTF a ridiculously high 94/100, which they call universal acclaim.
White Blood Cells made it in to the brackets with the very first draw of the conference, and appropriately so, since it was an incredibly successful album as well. Though not the most acclaimed of The White Stripes’ projects, it made The AV Club’s #1 spot for the decade, and found itself regularly appearing in the top 10 of 2001.
Funeral – Arcade Fire (3) vs. Mama’s Gun – Erykah Badu (14)
Arcade Fire’s debut album put anthemic rock back on the map, and had the most appearances on best-of-the-decade lists after Radiohead’s Kid A. Funeral also represents the first Canadian content album on the list, which is very exciting. They have since put 2 more fantastic records out, but none has surpassed the first.
This is quite easily the hardest match-up for me this round. Both albums are personal favourites, and both albums find themselves regularly playing through my speakers or headphones. Mama’s Gun made it here by the luck of the draw, but it is one of the most listenable records here, and still very positively reviewed in 2000 when it was released.
Elephant – The White Stripes (7) vs. Back to Black – Amy Winehouse (10)
Full of great singles (and music videos), Elephant, the White Stripes’ fourth album was both critically and publicly acclaimed, selling 2 million copies in the UK alone. It was their first album to be released under a label, and regularly appears on top 10 lists of the decade. Also, sweet cover art.
At the #10 seed, Back to Black was both voted on by multiple readers and has continued to experience commercial success, especially since Winehouse’s death in the summer of 2011. I have plenty to say about this great album here.
21 – Adele (2) vs. R O Y A L T Y – Childish Gambino (15)
Did you know that 21 is the highest selling album since the year 2000? Well, kind of. I didn’t consider soundtracks or compilations for these brackets…. but still, I actually had Norah Jones still in this slot before I thought to check if anyone had surpassed her record, and sure enough 21 had sneaked by with her two years in a row on the billboard 200.
The only mixtape in the tournament, Childish Gambino managed to get some big guest artists on his 3rd release, including Danny Brown, Ghostface Killah, RZA, and Beck. It’s here because of a draw, but it could stay because of he’s a funny guy, and a lot of people are sick of Adele.