Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Rolling Stone Ballot: The 00's Best Songs & Albums

Rolling Stone polled a number of musicians and critics for their December 24, 2009-January 7,2010 issue, where they counted up the votes for "50 Best Albums of the Decade" and "50 Best Songs of the Decade." Robert Christgau's ballot follows:

Best Albums

  1. M.I.A.: Kala (Interscope '07)
  2. Kanye West: Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella '05)
  3. Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III (Universal/Motown/Cash Money '08)
  4. Wussy: Funeral Dress (Shake It '05)
  5. Kanye West: The Collge Dropout (Roc-A-Fella '04)
  6. Bob Dylan: "Love and Theft" (Columbia '01)
  7. Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than Creation's Dark (New West '08)
  8. Orchestra Baobab: Specialist in All Styles (Nonesuch '02)
  9. New York Dolls: Some Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (RoadRunner)
  10. Bob Dylan: Modern Times (Columbia '06)
  11. The Moldy Peaches: The Moldy Peaches (Rough Trade '01)
  12. various: The Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara (World Music Network '05)
  13. Brad Paisley: American Saturday Night (Arista Nashville '09)
  14. Wussy: Left for Dead (Shake It '07)
  15. The Go-Betweens: The Friends of Rachel Worth (Jetset '00)
  16. Gogol Bordello: Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (Side One Dummy '05)
  17. Leonard Cohen: Live in London (Columbia '09)
  18. Youssou N'Dour: Egypt (Nonesuch '04)
  19. Loudon Wainwright III: High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (161 '09)
  20. Brian Wilson: SMiLE (Nonesuch '04)
  21. PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (Island/Def Jam '00)
  22. Gogol Bordello: Super Taranta! (Side One Dummy '07)
  23. OutKast: Stankonia (LaFace/Arista '00)
  24. Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute '04)
  25. Mekons: OOOH! (Quarterstick '02)
  26. DJ Shadow: The Private Press (MCA '02)
  27. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (Aftermath/Interscope '00)
  28. Lil Wayne: Da Drought 3 (no label '07)
  29. Old 97's: Satellite Rides (Elektra '01)
  30. Youssou N'Dour: Nothing's in Vain (Coono du réér) (Nonesuch '02)

Best Songs

  1. James McMurtry: "We Can't Make It Here" (Compadre)
  2. Eminem: "Stan" (Aftermath/Interscope)
  3. M.I.A.: "Paper Planes" (Interscope)
  4. Missy Elliott: "Work It" (Elektra)
  5. Kanye West Featuring Jamie Foxx: "Gold Digger" (Roc-A-Fella)
  6. Randy Newman: "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" (Nonesuch)
  7. Todd Snider: "You Got Away With It" (New Door)
  8. Rilo Kiley: "It's a Hit" (Brute/Beaute)
  9. Gogol Bordello: "Ultimate" (Side One Dummy)
  10. Freelance Hellraiser: "Smells Like Booty" (no label)
  11. M.O.P: "Ante Up" (Loud)
  12. Brad Paisley: "Then" (Arista)
  13. Youssou N'Dour: "Birima" (Nonesuch)
  14. Panjabi MC featuring Jay-Z: "Beware of the Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)" (Sequence)
  15. Pink: "Get the Party Started" (Arista)
  16. Conor Oberst: "I Don't Want To Die (In the Hospital)" (Merge)
  17. Eminem: "Kim" (Aftermath/Interscope)
  18. Mystikal: "Bouncin' Back, (Bumpin' Me Up Against the Wall)" (Jive)
  19. Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz: "Get Low Remix" (TVT)
  20. Paul Nabor: "Naguya Nei" (Cumbancha)
  21. Lil Wayne: "I Feel Like Dying" (no label)
  22. OutKast: "Ms. Jackson" (LaFace)
  23. Eminem: "My Dad's Gone Crazy" (Aftermath/Interscope)
  24. Rihanna: "Umbrella" (Def Jam)
  25. Amerie: "1 Thing" (Sony Urban Music/Columbia)

Postscript Notes:

Further notes by Robert Christgau:

The albums were carefully weighed--played every one except the long-decided top two at least once, many more than once. The top 25 singles I spend less time on. I'm sure there are several I didn't even think of (how about TVOTR's "Red Dress," I'm wondering) that would have made the top 25. I did, however, construct a Rhapsody playlist of the available contenders (no "Get Low" or "Smells Like Booty") and play it bottom (around 50) to top, resulting in much shifting about.

Dec. 24, 2009