25. 'Our Endless Numbered Days,' Iron and Wine (2004)
Though one-man-show Sam Beam specializes in finger-picking, hillbilly he is not. On his impeccable, heartbreaking second album he's an acoustic existentialist.
24. 'The Black Parade,' My Chemical Romance (2006)
For such relentlessly grim thematic content -- 'Cancer'?! -- the New Jersey band's over-the-top song cycle was wickedly big fun.
23. 'I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning,' Bright Eyes (2005)
The precocious Conor Oberst matures with a gritty but glorious portrait of a disenchanted boy who's been drinking and thinking.
22. 'The Marshall Mathers LP,' Eminem (2000)
At the turn of the century, you couldn't take your ears off the real Slim Shady. You never knew what he'd do next, but it was all pure entertainment.
21. 'Give Up,' The Postal Service (2003)
Ben Gibbard blends his penchant for melody and sentiment with 'Kid A'-like electro glitch, takes all of us Death Cab fans to 'Such Great Heights.'
20. 'All That You Can't Leave Behind,' U2 (2000)
1997's 'Pop,' a worldwide No. 1, was nonetheless perceived as a glitzy misfire. For the followup, the band went humble -– a most welcome career move.
19. 'Vampire Weekend,' Vampire Weekend (2008)
Since this foursome of
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