Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
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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.
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.
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 Columbia University students selected their band name, the popular culture has been inundated with youths marked by pale skin and pronounced incisors. Coincidence? We think not.
18. 'Raising Sand,' Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (2007)
At the other end of the decade (2009 Grammy winner), proof positive that less was more in the '00s. Robert Plant -– Robert Plant! –- sang as sweetly as his unlikely partner, Alison Krauss, paired off by 'O Brother' maestro T Bone Burnett.
17. 'Veckatimest,' Grizzly Bear (2009)
The ghosts have lots of room to roam inside this band's cathedral-size music.
16. 'A Rush of Blood to the Head,' Coldplay (2002)
The little Brit band that seemed like Radiohead's kid brother was suddenly all grown up and living on its own in the big city. Four hit singles and worldwide sales of 11 million made it clear this band was ready for a place of its own.
15. 'Is This It,' The Strokes (2001)
The Strokes sounded sick of their own hype before it even started, which, of course, was precisely what made them so appealing. 'Take It or Leave It,' they dared on the album's last track. We took it, gladly.
14. 'American Idiot,' Green Day (2004)
The album's iconic cover image shows a fist holding a heart-shaped grenade. Crucially, the pin has not been pulled. The band that rode to fame on heartless juvenilia took a big chance by laying its heart on its sleeve, and it turned out to be a very big heart indeed.
13. 'Hot Fuss,' The Killers (2004)
What happens in Vegas ... sounds just as huge halfway around the globe. Straight from the Entertainment Capital of the World, the Brandon Flowers Show was just getting under way when the Killers broke wide with their glittering debut.
12. 'Elephant,' White Stripes (2003)
'I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself,' Jack White sang in an unlikely Burt Bacharach-Hal David song on his band's major-label debut. It was another of the kid's by-then patented larks: Endlessly inventive, he has never not known what to do.
11. 'Sea Change,' Beck (2002)
Poor Beck had to suffer through a bad breakup to set aside his usual shenanigans and give us this melancholy beauty. Our condolences.
10. 'Stankonia,' Outkast (2000)
So fresh and so clean. Well, fresh, anyway. Hip-hop hadn't heard the eclectic likes of Big Boi and Andre 3000 when this album, a runaway critical and commercial favorite, ushered in the turn of the century like it was 1999.
9. 'Magic,' Bruce Springsteen (2007)
'The Rising' had its moments. 'The Seeger Sessions' was a joyous side trip. But 'Magic' was definitive assurance that this Hall of Famer would not go quietly. "Is there anybody alive out there?" he sang through gritted teeth on 'Radio Nowhere.' Over here!
8. 'Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea,' PJ Harvey (2000)
A move to New York City gave the famously reclusive Polly Jean Harvey inspiration to write her own tweaked idea of a "beautiful, sumptuous, lovely" style of pop-rock. "This is love that I'm feeling," she howled, and she meant it. We think.
7. 'Kid A,' Radiohead (2000)
'Meeting People Is Easy,' as Radiohead archly titled their tour documentary following the ridiculous success of '97's 'OK Computer.' In fact, the band sealed itself inside a claustrophobic laboratory of avant garde minimalism. And the dang thing debuted at No. 1.
6. 'The Con,' Tegan and Sara (2007)
Maybe it's the haircuts, but the sisters Quin have a knack for making the saccharine seem so sweet. Here, the twins' riffs and idiosyncratic keys will give you something to bob your head to while drowning in dewy-eyed laments.
5. 'Funeral,' Arcade Fire (2004)
After this fantastic debut won over every rocker twice the band's age, these wise-beyond-their-years indie kids bought a former church outside Montreal, converting it to a recording studio. By then, the band was a religion unto itself.
4. 'Discovery,' Daft Punk (2001)
Youth of Auto-Tune.
3. 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,' Wilco (2002)
Their label wanted no part of Wilco's self-consciously arty fourth album, so the band took its toys and went home. And signed elsewhere with one of the most critically acclaimed records of the decade.
2. 'The College Dropout,' Kanye West (2004)
The undergrad in the sweater vest had already aced his midterms, producing for Jay-Z, Ludacris and Alicia Keys, when he dropped out to enroll in his university of one.
1. 'Back to Black,' Amy Winehouse (2006)
We may never see her likes again -- heck, we may never see her again. With the album just three years old, we're already nostalgic for its spot-on nostalgia.