I'm avoiding those that have already been mentioned, such as Radiohead (Kid A), Arcade Fire, The Beta Band (Hot Shots II and Heroes to Zeros), The Flaming Lips and those thin white archdukes, Franz Ferdinand and their debut album, so here's a few other gems from the naughty noughties...
In no particular order:
The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers
A winning fusion of insanely catchy pop, rock, country, sixties soul and delicate ballads all achieved through beautiful harmonies, great hooks and lovelorn lyrics: "Why is it that you have to turn out all the lights before you hold me?", delivered with resigned poignancy, would break even the coldest of hearts.
Kings of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood
A close call between this and their excellent, more rounded follow-up album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, the Kings evoke the raw and dusty South through ballsy guitar licks and whisky-soaked musings.
Black Mountain - Black Mountain
The talented Stephen McBean and the rest of the Black Mountain Army draw upon, among others, Led Zeppelin and The Velvet Underground in this druggy, spirited outing. Mr McBean's shared vocals with Amber Webber are a highlight, as is some shit-hot saxophone on the album opener "Modern Music".
David Bowie - Bowie at the Beeb
The bonus disc alone of Bowie's live performance at BBC Radio Theatre would be a worthy release but it is the BBC radio sessions, marked by an excellent quality of performance, that offers a fascinating insight into the evolution of Bowie's career, making it the most important Bowie release of the last 20 years - albeit a compilation.
Sigur Rós - ( )
A beautifully layered, precisely arranged and elegaic soundscape. With an intensely funereal tempo that would make even Leonard Cohen the life and soul of the party, I find it all somehow strangely uplifting.
British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power
As mad as a box of frogs, as their live shows clearly attest, this remarkably confident debut from the foursome offers a poetic and cerebral approach to post-punk beats, swirling guitars and breathy vocals.