I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
When this decade began, the Paste website was barely a year old, and the magazine was still a twinkle in its daddies' eyes. So looking back over the first 10 years of the 2000s feels like looking back over our own history. There hasn't been a new album Paste has covered that wasn't eligible for our "Best of the Decade" consideration. We had dozens of critics vote for the best new albums, movies, TV shows games and books, and then we argued some more until we'd focused our spotlight onto the very best pop culture created during the aughts—whether it was wildly popular or is still waiting to be discovered by the masses. We'll be bringing you each of the resulting lists, plus the best comedians, best documentaries, best movie soundtracks, best album covers and more throughout the month of November.
More than trying to create a canon for the '00s (that'd be so last millennium), we're just hoping you use these lists to reflect on some of the artists who shaped your decade and discover others that will change how you look at the next. What a great time to be a fan of thoughtful, engaging and original entertainment. And what a great time to be covering it all.
5. Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning [Saddle Creek] (2005)
With Wide Awake, the one-time prince of emo finally grew up, and—as much as any one artist could during a decade of such cultural fragmentation—became the inadvertent spokesman for his aimless generation. The poetry of Conor Oberst's lyrics captured the hearts of fellow twentysomethings with their urgent, exhausted, lovesick and thought-lost wonder. It felt like he was collectively singing our own minds—asking the big questions, confronting a culture of fear, searching for new beginnings, wrestling with God and truth and innocence lost.
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