Broadcast-Tender ButtonsGiven the special reason why we've put these lists together, I tried to make my 20 albums not just a reflection of my favorites from the past two decades, in which case I'd have to make room for Helium's The Dirt of Luck, Suede's first album, the Auteurs' New Wave, Nirvana's In Utero, Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's Spanish Dance Troupe among many others (oops, guess I just did). Instead, this is a list of albums that are not only among my very favorites, but helped define the way I think about and listen to music. I can come back to any of these years later and hear something new...in much the same way, I hope, that AllMusic fans can come back to our site after all these years and find some new music to love, or perhaps a new perspective on an old favorite.

Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
His Name Is Alive - Mouth by Mouth
Stereolab - Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements
Portishead - Dummy
Aphex Twin - Richard D. James Album
Smog - Red Apple Falls
Björk - Homogenic
Daft Punk - Homework
Cornelius - Fantasma
Add N to (X) - Avant Hard
Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain
Basement Jaxx - Rooty
The Strokes - Is This It
Matmos - A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure
The Microphones - The Glow, Pt. 2
The White Stripes - Elephant
The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark
Broadcast - Tender Buttons
The Knife - Silent Shout