My favourite albums of the decade, 51-75

Here's part two of four. As before, links go to Spotify where the album is available.

51. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006)
The New Jersey indie rock trio released four excellent albums in the 2000s but this one, which broadens the band's sound but also includes some of their vast guitar jams, is my favourite.

52. Wilco, A Ghost Is Born (2004)
For a while there Wilco were shaping up to be "the American Radiohead". This was the album that cemented that reputation, however, for some reason, they've retreated into traditionalism since.

53. St Vincent, Marry Me (2007)
A singer-songwriter with a great voice and a taste for quirky arrangements.

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54. Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)
The fourth of Cash's revival albums stands out from the others, mostly because of the presence of his cover of Nine Inch Nails' Hurt and the self-penned The Man Comes Around. There are a couple of miscues, notably an ill-advised attempt at The Beatles' In My Life, but this is a strong record.

55. Terry Hall & Mushtaq, The Hour of Two Lights (2003)
Terry Hall's last album of original material before reuniting with The Specials for a cash-in tour was this excellent collaboration with Mushtaq of Fun-Da-mental.

56. Liars, Drums Not Dead (2006)
An artsy, percussion-heavy concept album about the battle between confidence and self-doubt. Better than it sounds.

57. Burial, Untrue (2007)
The reclusive dubstep producer has made two excellent albums of dark electronica. This is my favourite of the two.

58. Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (2006)
After spending most of the decade trying to find their form, this was Belle & Sebastian almost back to their best. They're still not as good as they were in the 90s but this is a strong outing.

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59. Elza Soares, Do Coccix Ate O Pescoco (2002)
Brazilian legend Elza Soares has an extraordinary voice and an even more extraordinary life story. Married at 12, she lost three children to starvation, then married football star Garrincha before losing another child and her mother in car accidents. Anyway, it's the voice that matters here, on an album which backs Soares with hip hop beats and pairs her with a range of guest stars.

60. Scritti Politti, White Bread Black Beer (2006)
After a seven-year absence, Green Gartside returned with this homemade album.

61. Mr Scruff, Ninja Tuna (2008)
All of Mr Scruff's albums are worth listening to but this, his most recent, shows his versatility. With help from some strong guests, Mr Scruff moves beyond trip-hop and breakbeat and develops a broader sound.

62. Beirut, Gulag Orkestar (2006)
There was a minor flurry of albums influenced by Eastern European folk during the 2000s. This was one of the highlights.

63. Republic of Loose, This is the Tomb of the Juice (2004)
Almost entirely ignored, unforgivably, this Irish funk band's debut is very funny and filled with superb songs.

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64. Dani Siciliano, Likes... (2004)
This is the second appearance for Matthew Herbert, this time helping out with production and writing on the debut album from his then-wife. It's clearly Siciliano's album though. Highlights include a jazzy cover of Nirvana's Walk the Line.

65. Tom Waits, Real Gone (2004)
Tom Waits simply continues to be a genius. He released four original albums in the 2000s (one of them a triple-disc set) and a live album. This was the pick of them, for me.

66. Moloko, Things to Make and Do (2000)
Roisin Murphy makes her second appearance on the list. This was Moloko's third album and it saw them stretch out from an electronic duo into more of a live band. At the same time, Murphy started to show what she could really do with her voice.

67. Panda Bear, Person Pitch (2007)
Wonderful psychedelic oddness from one of the founders of Animal Collective.

68. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand (2004)
Their dramatic decline seems to have diminished this album's standing for a lot of people but it's still packed with tunes and Take Me Out remains one of the highlights of the decade.

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69. Wale, The Mixtape About Nothing (2008)
DC-based rapper turns in a concept album based on the unlikely theme of Seinfeld.

70. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes (2008)
Bits of folk, classic rock and indie are seamlessly merged together to create this delicate, beautiful album.

71. Elliott Smith, Figure 8 (2000)
It's hard to believe that Elliott Smith's final album before his death was released right at the beginning of the decade. This is weaker than its two immediate predecessors but Smith's influence was felt - and will be felt - for years afterwards.

72. The Shins, Oh Inverted World (2001)
The Shins are a little insubstantial but they do craft some perfect little pop songs. One of those, New Slang, is the highlight of this album.

73. Quantic, Mishaps Happening (2004)
Many artists on this list appear just once, even though I rate several of their albums quite highly. I think that in most cases I felt that one appearance was enough. Quantic is a case in point. All of his albums are very good but this, which adds a little hip hop to Will Holland's blend of jazzy, funky electronica, is my pick.

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74. Arcade Fire, Funeral (2004)
I'm including this begrudgingly because I've always found Arcade Fire a little irritating. Still, if you can get past the smugness there's a lot to like about this record. And they hadn't yet given full rein to their Sprinsteen obsession either.

75. Thom Yorke, The Eraser (2006)
In many ways Thom Yorke's solo album cleared the decks for Radiohead's In Rainbows, allowing the band to sound like a band again with some of the more experimental electronica out of the way. However, that implies that The Eraser itself is a vanity project, which it isn't. It's a very strong album. Black Swan is the highlight.