1. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002). From the crashing opening notes of "Politik" to "In My Place" one of the greatest pop moments of the decade--beginning with drums before the melodic mash of guitars kick in (one of the most distinctive melodies ever) to the career-defining "Clocks," Coldplay's second album is an undeniable alternative masterpiece. Best: In My Place
2. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (2006). In 2006 Amy Whinehouse made '60s inspired retro-pop cool with her dazzling second album, showcasing her winning blend of old Motown and retro '60s pop influenced sounds, delivering gratuitous melodies and heart-stirring soulful vocal stylings, such as the heartfelt ballad "Love is a Losing Game." Essential track: "Rehab"
3. Luther Vandross - Dance with My Father (2003). This is the best R&B album ever made let-alone the best from this decade. Whilst Luther had mainly remained consistent through his releases since 1986's Give Me the Reason, however Dance with My Father was his magnum opus, a true masterpiece, delivering a fresh blend of '80s influenced urban throwbacks, modern uptempo grooves and vocally calculated dulcet balladry. Essential track: "Dance with My Father"
4. Green Day - American Idiot (2004). It still shocks me that this was Green Day's seventh album as for a long time I thought it was their second or third. It's classic punk rock with an arresting storyline whilst delivering an ambitious and solid 14-track set as well as providing one of the best rock moments of the decade with "Wake Me Up When September Ends." This takes me back to primary school, I listened to this so many times. This was originally my #1. Essential track: "Wake Me Up When September Ends"
5. The Killers - Hot Fuss (2004). On the note great debuts, The Killers were the hottest band of '04 and so was their debut album, front-loaded with great alternative rock with lots of pop appeal to broaden their audience. I've listened to this album so many times it hurts, but it never gets old, It's such a brilliant album. Essential track: "Smile Like You Mean It"
6. Norah Jones - Come Away with Me (2002). It doesn't seem that long ago that Norah Jones took the world by storm with her debut album, an absolute classic blend of jazz, acoustic-pop and soul. Selling a staggering 20 million copies worldwide and winning a five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year. Essential track: "Don't Know Why"
7. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory (2000). This is the first rock album I ever really got into. Linkin Park delivered such a perfect debut, full of an engaging set of rock tracks that don't obnoxiously use "screaming" to emulate the archetypal theory of rock rather using the collision of electronic guitars, drums, strings ect. to create a sound that itself envisions rock, which really shows on "A Place for My Head." This is a masterpiece. Essential track: "In the End"
8. Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway (2004). Similarly to how Jagged Little Pill transformed Alanis Morrisette into a worldwide superstar following her generic pop beginnings, Breakway brought Kelly Clarkson's career to astronomical heights, emerging at the forefront of pop as well as delivering the best pop album of the decade, introducing her now signature pop/rock sound effortlessly showcasing her stunning wide vocal range. Essential track: "Behind These Hazel Eyes"
9. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (2001). In a nutshell: Jay-Z delivered the best hip-hop album of the decade, just edging out both Eminem and Kanye West (Ironically, this album featured production from him). The first in the Blueprint series, proved through and through that he is indeed the top rapper in the industry, delivering a solid set of lyrics, beats, melodies and top-notch production. Essential track: "Song Cry"
10. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters (2004). Their winning blend of '70s and '80s influenced pop made the Scissor Sisters amongst the biggest band of '04, capitalizing on that winning blend on their joyous debut, ultimately becoming the biggest selling album of the year also winning Best International Album at the BRIT Awards the following year. Essential track: "Take Your Mama"