Five Most Underrated Albums of the Decade (so far)

5.) Starlight Mints – The Dream Stuff Was Made Of

Living in the shadow of fellow Norman, Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips, The Starlight Mints released The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of in 2002, an album that offered up a unique take on rock with diving violins that molded perfectly with oddball lyrics and razor sharp guitar riffs. The albums is tight track one to eleven, without the slightest miscue and is definitely a refreshing listen in our current state of similar sounds.

Recommended Track: The Bandit

4.) Jonquil – Lions

Released in 2007, “Lions” came and went. Without any noise from Pitchfork, the album found its way into select circles and charmed their hearts. Fairly compared to Beirut, accustic guitars and an accordion give Jonquil a haunting sound that visually compares to walking through the forest and having the sun gently break through. I’m not sure if they are going to push this album, but if they don’t, I will…go pick up a copy.

Recommended Track: Whistle Low

3.) VCR – VCR EP

This synth punk band brought forth an EP so amazing, I consider it an album, so if you’re mad an EP is included on a list of best albums…I don’t care. It’s a dance party from start to finish and it seems damn near impossible to make dance punk beautiful…but they succeeded. VCR is at the top of live shows I must see before clocking out and this is the EP that did it for me.

Recommended Track: King and Queen of Winter

2.) French Kicks – One Time Bells

The French Kicks are a pretty big band and I know a lot of you have heard this album…so it’s not underrated in it’s exposure, rather how perfect it is. Forgotten because of The Strokes, “Is This It” putting a huge shadow over it, this LP would have launched the French Kicks to Strokes stardom if they had struck first. It sounds like something cooked up in your garage and track after track reminds the listener that music doesn’t have to be extremely complicated with hip new instruments…sometimes catchy hooks from a bass, guitar, and drums work as well.

Recommended Track: Down Now

1.) The Fiery Furnaces – Rehearsing My Choir

This album got the wrong end of critics who only listen to an album once. There was a lot going in to the listen to hate…it’s a concept album and has a raspy grandmother narrating the tale. What those who hated on the album couldn’t hear was a riveting story, incredibly connecting visual evoking melodies, and one of the most daring albums of the decade. The music is so smart that it literally transports you to the old fashioned Chicago that acts as a backdrop to a story of love, loss of love, deception, and ultimately redemption. It’s a powerful album that demands full attention and effort. Have we gotten to the point where that is too much to ask from music lovers?

Recommended Track: You have to listen to the whole thing all the way through. Sorry, it’s one big track.


  1. I never take French Kicks as underrated.

  2. Agreed,
    As I said...the band is not...however, I think that One Time Bells should be seen as a contemporary classic...which is not shared by a lot of people, hence, underrated. Thanks for the comment.