Discussion: Key Albums of the ’00s (So Far)

Since Dan has clearly tapped into a burning nostalgia for the first decade of this century, I’ll ask the logical follow-up question:  What are the key albums of the decade, so far?

For me, the top one’s a no-brainer.  Home, the Dixie Chicks masterpiece.   Nothing else even comes close in my mind. But I’d add a few others to the short list, especially Gary Allan’s Tough All Over and Lee Ann Womack’s There’s More Where That Came From.

One thing’s for sure.  You can strike this year’s CMA Album nominees from serious contention.

What do you think are the key albums of the decade, so far?


  1. I like Gary’s album a lot more than Home, but I disagree with that being the Chicks greatest. I’d have to say, so far in the oo’s, the greatest album in my opinion in the Chicks Taking The Long Way Around. I though that was a powerful and well established masterpiece in itself. gary’s is right there because Tough All Over was by far his best and one of THE best.

  2. In no particular order:
    (These are my country picks, not necessarily my overall best of the 00’s)
    Brad Paisley – Time Well Wasted
    Gary Allan – Tough All Over
    Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song
    Dixie Chicks – Home
    O Brother, Where Art Thou Soundtrack
    Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around
    Bobby Pinson – Man Like Me
    Miranda Lambert – Kerosene
    Lori McKenna, Bittertown

  3. Patty Loveless’ Mountain Soul is my pick for the best album of the decade regardless of genre.

    As for the rest of the country albums (excluding this year), I’d also include:
    – Gary Allan, Tough All Over.
    – Neko Case, Blacklisted.
    – Rosanne Cash, Black Cadillac.
    – Rodney Crowell, The Houston Kid.
    – Drive-By Truckers, A Blessing & A Curse.
    – Miranda Lambert, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
    – Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose.
    – Allison Moorer, The Hardest Part.
    – Brad Paisley, Time Well Wasted.
    – Bubba Sparxxx, Deliverance.
    – Hank Williams III, Straight to Hell.
    – Trisha Yearwood, Real Live Woman.
    – Dwight Yoakam, Population: Me.

  4. “Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love” – Trisha Yearwood
    “Dreamin’ My Dreams” – Patty Loveless
    “Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim McGraw
    “Lonely Runs Both Ways” – Alison Krauss and Union Station

  5. This is tough! There are soo many great albums to choose from! My favorite albums have been from the Dixie Chicks. ‘Home’ and ‘Taking the Long Way’ were brilliant albums! I’d also say Lee Ann Womack’s ‘There’s More Where That Came From’ is one of this decade’s finest! Those are probably my top three of the decade.

    I agree that ‘Mountain Soul’ from Patty Loveless is another masterpiece along with Paisley’s ‘Time Well Wasted’ and Miranda’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.’ Those would be a few of my picks.

    By the way, I love these discussions! It’s so cool to see what everyone thinks is the best of the decade!

  6. “Historically Important”:
    American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash
    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Miranda Lambert
    Drive, Alan Jackson
    Here for the Party, Gretchen Wilson
    Home, Dixie Chicks
    Mountain Soul, Patty Loveless
    O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Various Artists
    Some Hearts, Carrie Underwood
    Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift
    Time Well Wasted, Brad Paisley
    These Days, Vince Gill
    There’s More Where That Came From, Lee Ann Womack

    Critical Picks: Black Cadillac, Rosanne Cash ; The Hardest Part, Allison Moorer; Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love, Trisha Yearwood; On Your Way Home, Patty Loveless; The Road to Here, Little Big Town;That Lonesome Song, Jamey Johnson; Tough All Over, Gary Allan; Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn

  7. Here are mine (so far), some from way out in left field:

    Taking The Long Way–The Dixie Chicks
    Adieu False Heart–Linda Ronstadt/Ann Savoy
    Bramble Rose–Tift Merritt
    Real Live Woman–Trisha Yearwood
    Tambourine–Tift Merritt
    Another Country–Tift Merritt
    West–Lucinda Williams
    Heaven, Heartache, And The Power Of Love–Trisha Yearwood
    Livin’, Lovin, Losin’–various artists
    Home–The Dixie Chicks

  8. Patty Loveless – Mountain Soul / Dreamin’ My Dreams

    Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song

    Lee Ann Womack – There’s More Where That Came From / I Hope You Dance

    Wynonna Judd – Her Story: Songs From A Life Time

    Terri Clark – Fearless

    Mary Chapin Carpenter – The Calling / Between Here And Gone

    Joey + Rory – The Life Of A Song

    Tift Merritt – Bramble Rose / Tambourine

    Alison Moorer – Miss Fortune

    Alison Krauss – Lonely Runs Both Ways / Raising Sand

    Alan Jackson – Drive / Like Red On A Rose

    Brad Paisley – Time Well Wasted

    Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose

    Dixie Chicks – Home / Taking The Long Way

    Emmylou Harris – All I Inteded To Be

    Elizabeth Cook – Balls / This Side Of The Moon / Hey Y’all

    Gary Allan – Tough All Over

    Kasey Chambers – Barricades & Brickwalls / Rattlin Bones

    Kathy Mattea – Right Outta Nowhere

    Keith Urban – Golden Road / Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing

    LeAnn Rimes – Family

    Pam Tillis – Rhinestoned

    Porter Wagoner – Wagonmaster

    Sugarland – Love On The Inside

    Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying

    Trisha Yearwood – HHATPOL, Jasper County, Real Live Woman

    Vince Gill – These Days

  9. Most people have taken mine, but I’ll mention There’s More Where That Came From, HHatPoL, Fearless (Terri Clark), and Home. (I suspect that eventually Call Me Crazy by LAW and Love On The Inside by Sugarland will grace lists like these, but it’s much too early for them.)

    What I will nominate that I haven’t seen yet is Kathy Mattea’s new album Coal. It’s a stellar traditional album, and it deserves to be remembered.

    Also I think everyone looks over The Dixie Chicks’ Fly because Home is so great, but I think Fly deserves to be mentioned much more than Taking The Long Way. I just think Fly is better, though I do like Taking The Long Way.

  10. Keeping in mind that “key” is not the same as “best” (there are albums I regard as artistically better than these but not of great importance

    COAL – Kathy Mattea
    MONEYLAND – Del McCoury (and guests)
    ME AND MINE – Frenchi Thibodeaux
    HOME – New Dixie Chicks
    THAT LONESOME SONG – Jamey Johnson

  11. If we’re going for key albums, it’s got to be “There’s More Where That Came From”. Amazing, start to finish. And it sparked the comeback of classic country music. Love it.

  12. These are just favorites:

    Johnny Cash, ‘American IV’
    Patty Loveless, ‘Mountain Soul’
    Allison Moorer, ‘The Duel’ and ‘The Hardest Part’
    Dixie Chicks, ‘Home’ and ‘Taking the Long Way’ (‘Fly’ was 1999, btw)
    Little Big Town, ‘A Place to Land’ and ‘The Road to Here’
    Rosanne Cash, ‘Black Cadillac’
    Jamey Johnson, ‘That Lonesome Song’
    Loretta Lynn, ‘Van Lear Rose’

  13. Long Trip Alone – Dierks Bentley (i consider it a concept album in an era of cd filled with radio singles and filler)
    Time Well Wasted – Brad Paisley
    That Lonesome Song – Jamey Johnson
    American IV – Johnny Cash
    Drive – Alan Jackson
    Tough All Over – Gary Allan
    Put The “O” Back In Country – Shooter Jennings (sentimental favorite)

  14. Wow theres so many greats to choose from x.x
    so here are some of my fav albums of the 2000s!
    “Cry” Faith Hill
    “Home” Dixie Chicks
    “Family” LeAnn Rimes
    “Reba Duets” Reba McEntire
    “Taking The Long way” Dixie Chicks
    “HHPOL” Trisha Yearwood
    “Some Hearts” Carrie Underwood
    “Up!” Shania Twain
    “Twice The Speed Of Life” Sugarland
    “Real Live Woman” Trisha Yearwood
    “Restless” Sara Evans
    “Fireflies” Faith Hill
    “Room To Breathe” Reba McEntire
    “Love On The Inside” Sugarland
    “Live Like You Were Dying” Tim McGraw
    “I Hope You Dance” Lee Ann Womack
    “Carnival Ride” Carrie Underwood
    “Backwoods Barbie” Dolly Parton
    “Enjoy The Ride” Sugarland
    “There’s More Where That Came From” Lee Ann Womack
    AND MANY MORE!!!!!!!!! x.x

  15. The top ones for me are Dixie Chicks “Home” and “Taking The Long Way” both are masterpieces, the latter being a bigger artistic statement though.

    Lee Ann’s “I Hope You Dance” and “There’s More Where That Came From” are her best so far for me. They both fit great into her catalog.

    For Reba it’s “Room To Breathe” with “Reba: Duets” as my second favorite. RTB was one of her best country albums btw :)

    Faith’s “Cry” to me was way unappreciated and IMHO a better album than “Fireflies”

    Sugarland’s 3 albums so far have impressed me, they have their flaws but each one has entertained me.

    LeAnn Rimes “This Woman” and “Family” are her best of this decade and probably her best of her career.

    Trisha’s “Real Live Woman”, “Jasper County” and “HHPOL” are some of the best albums of the decade.

    Carrie’s “Some Hearts” is her best so far.

    Shania’s “Up” may be more pop but still is a great album for the decade.

    Tim and Martina had some good ones, but only Tim’s “Live Like You Were Dying” has really drawn me in.

  16. I like that just enough spam gets through our filters for it to be mildly amusing rather than super-annoying when it happens.

  17. Being a rock music lover myself, I will venture over to the country side of life every once-in-a-while to see what is happening. As this decade comes to a close and the lists of best out there start to take shape, I find it shocking that Gary Allan’s Tough All Over cd was so overlooked by his peers. The country music community had a real opportunity to praise and reward what I feel is one of the most relevent cd’s of the decade in country music. Allan delivered a body of work that showcases the “essence” of what country music is all about. Even now in 2009 as I reflect back on Allan’s life and the path he took that led to the making of this cd..this artist made the best out of lifes trials and tribulations and gave to the country music audience a real treasure that they might not truly appreciate for decades to come.

  18. I don’t know where I was on November 10 and why I didn’t weigh in on this discussion. Maybe it was the percocet?

    Anyway, my picks closely match Trailer’s, though I’d trade Lambert’s Kerosine with Crazy Ex Girlfriend…and I’m not familiar with Bobby Pinson’s music or really into McKenna.

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