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Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend, Beck and More Talk Best Albums of the 21st Century

by Rob Slater on July 30, 2014

In this month's issue, GQ will unveil their list of "21 Albums from the 21st Century Every Man Should Hear." Kanye West (who is on the cover) took the top spot with his 2010 effort My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Strokes' Is This It, OutKast's Stankonia, Daft Punk's Discovery and LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver rounded out the top 5. Other notable picks include The White Stripes' Elephant, Beck's Sea Change and Vampire Weekend's newest Modern Vampires of the City.

The magazine recruited some musicians to offer up nominations of their own. Daft Punk went with The Strokes' Is This It, saying that, "Julian and his bandmates followed in the footsteps of the Velvet Underground, Television, Suicide, the Ramones, and Blondie, creating the fresh, distinctive sound we'd been waiting for for over a decade."

While there were no Radiohead albums on the list, Justin Timberlake went with the band's iconic Kid A album along with D'Angelo's Voodoo from 2000. "Not only were they filled with great songs, but the sound of them really affected me. They were complete pieces of work—progressive and retro at the same time. They transformed whatever world I was in at the time. And eventually led to my desire to make my first solo record," the singer said.

Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig also chimed in, nominating The Dirty Projectors' The Glad Fact. "Besides Stankonia? How ’bout the Dirty Projectors album The Glad Fact. It came at this moment when people were really wondering where alt-rock was gonna head. Dave Longstreth had this uniqueness of voice—and I don’t just mean his singing voice, which is unique, but the perspective."

Beck showed some love for M.I.A.'s Arular, saying that, "You could feel that album in the air a few years before she did it—just these incredible kaleidoscopic filters of different cultures coming together in a pure and innocent way. The record had a political feeling of early Public Enemy but a sense of fun and energy. She’s just a raconteur."

Check out the full list, ranked, here.


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