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Old 02-21-2003, 04:13 PM
Watcher of the Skies Watcher of the Skies is offline
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Better Late - Best CDs of 2002

Just in time for the Grammy's, here's my top ten list for 2002. You won't see many of these represented at Sunday night's ceremonies except for Norah Jones - root for her, she's nominated in many- categories.

1. Julia Fordham - Concrete Love (Vanguard). Triumphing over a record industry snafu that left her briefly with no label and held up this disc's release for almost a year, this superb outing features the can't miss combination of incredible songs and vocal performance by Julia, great session musicians, and superb production by Larry Klein, resulting in a perfect album, equalling Porcelain as her best ever.

2. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (Blue Note). From New York's Livingroom club to worldwide acclaim virtually overnight, in the process bucking all commercial trends with an album of understated jazz/blues/country/singer-songwriter excellence. The songwriting and session contributions of Jesse Harris (Once Blue) were icing on the cake.

3. Dougie MacLean - Who Am I (Dunkeld Import). Scotland's answer to Jackson Browne and James Taylor surpasses both of their 2002 releases with this, his 17th album on which he does what he does best - songs about basic values such as love, family, tradition, honest work, and the history and natural beauty of Scotland. Dougie writes, sings, and plays a variety of instruments including guitar and some hauntingly beautiful fiddle. Cynics feel free to skip this one.

4. Del Amitri - Can You Do Me Good (A&M Import). 2002 was a tough year for this great Scottish band. Record industry consolidation left them without American or worldwide distribution, resulting in this their sixth album being released in Britain only. After a short but enthusiastically received U.K. tour and halfhearted label support, they were dropped entirely by year's end and are currently on hiatus. They tried some new things on this album, and although it doesn't come close to the level of thier masterpiece Twisted, this disc does sound better and better with each listen.

5. Garrison Starr - Songs From Take-Off to Landing (Back Porch). After a bad label experience with her first album Starr shook the record industry chip off her shoulder convincingly with this second album full of well written, well produced songs, all powered by her wonderful electric guitar.

6. Mark Knopfler - A Shot at Glory Soundtrack (Warner Brothers). It was almost a tough choice between this and The Ragpicker's Dream, but this excellent soundtrack took the honors for me with more of the kind of music I enjoy hearing Knopfler play. There are several vocal tracks, including an unusually jazzy turn on "Say Too Much."

7. Chris Isaak - Always Got Tonight (Reprise). I never paid much attention to this artist in the past, but after two seasons of watching his excellent Showtime series, I've developed a high appreciation for him, his band, and his music. This is a solid album with lots of great songs, including the theme song from the aforementioned television show.

8. Zero 7 - Simple Things (Quango/Palm). With a combination of instrumentals, male vocals and female vocals, well written, well performed, and well produced, this album was way better than the WXPN-single-track-airplay suggested. Keyboard trendy but not overly so. A keeper.

9. Kim Richey - Rise (Lost Highway). The pleasures of this disc were not totally evident on first listen; this music is much subtler than her previous work. However, with repeat listening, the quality of the songwriting, performance and production of this fine album became clear, and at the last minute it charged into the top ten, knocking out Nerissa & Katrina Nields' excellent Love and China disc.

10. Shannon McNally - Jukebox Sparrows (Capitol). The songwriting may be uneven, but several great songs included here proved to be unstoppable, and her concert performance was even better with an excellent mix of American rock. She handles her Fender Stratocaster well too.

One Comment: I would never have imagined that there could be a time when new albums by previous personal icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, George Harrison, Santana, Carole King, Aimee Mann, Swing Out Sister, and Chris Rea, as well as more recent favorites such as the Dixie Chicks, Rebecca Martin, Mae Moore, and Grey Eye Glances would all leave me so unmoved that they wouldn't even make a dent in my top ten, but such was 2002. I still can't believe it. I should probably mention that although I did enjoy Springsteen's resuscitation of the E Street Band, I just couldn't get past the fact that all the songs on The Rising were about September 11th. The above notwithstanding, 2002 was a very good year. I know it's late for this sort of thing, but I'd enjoy reading others' best of lists. Cheers.

P.S. This is my first thread on SDMB. Hope you like it.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:02 PM
lesa lesa is offline
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Alison Moyet - Hometime

Great Big Sea - Sea of No Cares
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:11 PM
Homebrew Homebrew is offline
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As you can probably guess from my Grammys Thread, my two favorite albums last year were:

This Side by Nickel Creek and
Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age

Also high on my list are

Now Again - The Flatlanders
Poses - Rufus Wainwright
  #4  
Old 02-21-2003, 05:30 PM
Shoeless Shoeless is online now
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Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

I bought it last summer, still listen to it at least once a day, haven't gotten sick of it yet. It's awesome.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:49 PM
koeeoaddi koeeoaddi is offline
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Have to enthusiastically agree with you Watcher of the Skies on the Julia Fordham!

"I'd take a bullet for you..." Wowzer.

I'd also add Patty Griffin's 1000 Kisses.
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Old 02-21-2003, 05:53 PM
Interrobang!? Interrobang!? is offline
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Neko Case: Blacklisted
Stew: The Naked Dutch Painter
The Negro Problem: Welcome Black
The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

My listening moves slowly, so I'll probably be discovering great 2002 albums through about 2005 or so.
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Old 02-21-2003, 06:13 PM
TripleAnt TripleAnt is offline
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Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" is simply wonderful, it is so much fun and nice to listen to. A great band. Saw them in concert in the summer and they are amazing.
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Old 02-21-2003, 06:54 PM
Lisa-go-Blind Lisa-go-Blind is offline
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Well, I had written a whole long spiel on my top five albums of 2002 and why I like them, but I guess I took too long to write it because when I was to post it, I had to re-login and lost everything I wrote.
Condensed:
5. Sonic Youth - Murray Street
4. Desaparecidos - Read Music/Speak Spanish
3. Badly Drawn Boy - The "About a Boy" soundtrack
2. Luna - Romantica
1. Songs:Ohia - Didn't It Rain

Runners up:
*Bright Eyes - Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
*Belle and Sebastian - Storytelling
*Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
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Old 02-21-2003, 07:25 PM
peepthis peepthis is offline
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Two that you may not have heard on the left side of the Atlantic, but were nonetheless two of the best albums of 2002:

*Ms. Dynamite -- A Little Deeper (just as good as, if not better than, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, I think)
*The Streets -- Original Pirate Material (which includes the best UK single of the year, IMHO, "Don't Mug Yourself"; admittedly not for everyone, but check it out)
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Old 02-21-2003, 07:41 PM
Rhum Runner Rhum Runner is offline
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Beck Sea Changes
  #11  
Old 02-21-2003, 07:44 PM
fizgig fizgig is offline
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Lots of good stuff came out last year, but my most recent discovery is Folklore by Sixteen Horsepower. I picked it up on a whim, and am so glad I did.

I'll also echo the Flaming Lips vote, and though I haven't heard storytelling, everything by Belle and Sebastian is sublime.
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Old 02-21-2003, 10:54 PM
brianjedi brianjedi is offline
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Jerry Cantrell - Degradation Trip

This was Jerry's followup to Boggy Depot, and was actually released in two forms, a one-disc release in April, and in December the album was re-released in the two-disc form that Jerry intended. It's a dark, twisted journey of a man who lost his friends, his band (Alice in Chains), and his record contract (Columbia dropped him.) Go buy this album. Please.
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Old 02-22-2003, 01:35 AM
mouthbreather mouthbreather is offline
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I'm sure I am forgetting a buttload of good albums -- but the runners up on my list are as follows, in no particular order:

Interpol, Turn on the Bright Lights
Beck, Sea Change
Sigur Ros, ( )
Pedro the Lion, Control
The Roots, Phrenology
Sparta, Wiretap Scars

And at this point I think my favorite record of last year was:
Amore del Tropico by The Black Heart Procession. Supposedly they're working on a DVD release to compliment this album...needless to say I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 02-22-2003, 01:53 AM
vl_mungo vl_mungo is offline
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I own a record store that specializes in a lot of local music... consequently my best albums of 2002 list has a lot of people you would have to be Canadian or more appropriately Western Canadian, to ever have heard of. For the bigger time releases I would have to include:
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Welcome back to writing good albums guys.
Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Makes me wish I still dropped... nevermind
Neko Case - Black Listed
Great music for drinkin', smokin', dwelling upon the dark days and wishing it was Summer.
Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
Alt-Rock with an several experimental bones in it's body.
Johnny Dowd - The Pawnbroker's Wife
Tom Waits, only more psychotic, yet beautiful.

As for my favorite and more obscure Canadiana...
David P. Smith - Hurtin' Dance Party
Butch Murphy & The Greasy Kings - Your Garage or Mine?
The Sadies - Stories Often Told
Old Reliable - Pulse of Light, Dark Landscape
Ronnie Hayward - Too Many Chiefs
Atomic 7 - Gowns By Edith Head
Carolyn Mark & Her Roommates - Terrible Hostess (She also vies for Best Live Show of 2002, but that's another thread)

All great releases (bonus points if you've heard of any of them... bonus bonus points if you aren't Canadian)
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:08 AM
Dragon Phoenix Dragon Phoenix is offline
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Tori Amos - Scarlet's walk. Almost as good as her debut, and far superior to anything she has done inbetween.

Runner up: the soundtrack to The Two Towers. Which includes the song of the year (Gollums song).

Honorable mentions for Peter Gabriel, Coldplay and Tom Waits.
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:37 AM
gex gex gex gex is offline
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I hate doing bext ofs at the end of the year, because there are always so many great bands/albums that I haven't heard enough of. Albums this year that fall under that category include the Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Sigur Ros, Wilco, Talib Kweli, Blackalicious, The Roots and heaps more. Oh to be rich or a critic.

Anyway, my top ten (in no particular order):

Death Cab For Cutie - The Photo Album

Officially released in 2001, but it wasn't out it Australia til 2002, so I get to claim it here. Wonderful north-western indie rock. A little bit more upbeat than previous efforts, but still filled with the great songwriting and lyrical turns that DCFC are famous for.

Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights

This thing is great. Extra points for having a song called "Stella was a diver and she was always down."

Machine Gun Fellatio - Paging Mr Strike

It had deep, personal lyrics, grinding funk and a song about going down, down, down to pussy town. What more could you want?

The Streets - Original Pirate Material

Totally warped everyone's perception of hip-hop, introduced the world to the British notion of geezers and football fans and had rhymes to die for. From the upbeat garage bangers "Push Things Forward" and "Don't Mug Yourself" to the more reflective "Has it come to this" or "It's too late" this pushed the boundaries of music, regardless of style.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags and Codes[/b]

This year's At The Drive In, and like their fellow Texans, they could rock hard. The early oughts are really looking to be the Texas years, what with AYWKUBTTOD, At The Drive In, Spoon and Mr George Walker Bush, and I wouldn't give three of those four up for anything (fun game: guess which three!). Especially notable was the immediate hardcore of "Homage" and the arty rock of, well, everything else. Hail Texas!

Bluebottle Kiss - Revenge Is Slow[/b]

These Sydneysiders made perfect emotive indie rock. "Gangsterland" was carried by its wonderful riff and drowned in its squalid feedback, while Hasten The Blows was one of the years best songs. Beautiful.

The Vines - Highly Evolved

What I love about this album is that you can listen to the first 3 songs in less time than you can listen to the first track of many other albums. "Highly Evolved," "Autumn Shade" and "Outtatheway" blitz you, and then you've got the rest of the album to enjoy, from the contemplative "Homesick," to the Smells Like Teen Spirit reincarnation, "Get Free." Along the way, enjoy the ska-bounce of "Factory" and the drugged out trip of "Mary Jane" and end it all with mini-anthem "1969." These guys are more than hype, and they're even bigger than the backlash (yes, I have seen them live, twice, and they were great).

Chemical Brothers - Come With Us

One of the year's early releases, this showed just how good big loud dumb dance music could be.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way

Mainstream release of the year. They might have mellowed a bit, but they haven't lost anything as far as musicianship and songwriting goes. Very nice.

Jurassic Five - Power In Numbers

Showing that you don't need to come from Detroit or rap in a whiny voice about how everyone hates you to make good hip-hop in '02, J5 even while adding Nelly Furtado to the mix in "Thin Line" kept their underground cred. Possibly not as good as "Quality Control," but there were still some great moments on thsi album, especially "One of them," "A day at the races," and the aforementioned "Thin Line."


Overrated Album of the year: Coldplay.

Nice enough, but nothing outstanding.
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Old 02-22-2003, 09:18 AM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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The one I keep playing over and over:

Candidate -- Nuada. Acoustic & electronic British folk-pop inspired by (but not imitative of) the cult '73 movie "The Wicker Man". Other influences (to my ear) include The Beta Band and Peter Blegvad. Very nice and quietly compelling.


Quite good or at least worth having:

The Sea and Cake -- One Bedroom
Wilco -- Yankee Foxtrot
The Flaming Lips -- Yoshimi... A step down from "The Soft Bulletin," though.

Catching up:

David Byrne -- Into the Eyeball (1991). For fans of his solo stuff -- pretty good.
  #18  
Old 02-22-2003, 11:38 AM
Watcher of the Skies Watcher of the Skies is offline
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Wilco keeps coming up in post after post. I've been wanting to check that out ever since I saw those buildings in Chicago last summer. Yes, it's true. I also want to check out ( ) by Sigur Ros before it gets too old. I thought I would like Badly Drawn Boy, but WXPN beat one song into the ground until it got really annoying to hear - the one where Madonna "took a shine to me...". I guess I really shouldn't complain - many cities probably don't even have a station that would play Badly Drawn Boy. I do sort of like the Nickel Creek, and I didn't realize Alison Moyet had something new - that'll go on my list to check out.
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Old 02-22-2003, 11:54 AM
fizgig fizgig is offline
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Am I the only one who things Summerteeth is way better than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot?

P.S. I'm glad to see the love for Spoon, one of my favorite bands. Again, however, I think their previous album, Girls Can Tell superior to this year's release.
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:00 PM
fizgig fizgig is offline
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thinks Summerteeth is...
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:01 PM
pezpunk pezpunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa-go-Blind

2. Luna - Romantica
I cant believe Im saying this, but Luna has been on of my favorite bands since 1992 and this album is so pathetically bad. I bought it the day it came out ( same day YHF came out) and barely made it through one listen. I tried again recently but it didnt get any better. After Penthouse they really took a turn for the worse. I am curious, are you familiar with their other albums and how do you think this one compares?

My list in no particular order:
1. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips
2. High Society - Enon
3. Slanted and enchanted (luxe and reduxe) - Pavement
4. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
5. Kill The Moonlight - Spoon
6. Alice and Blood Money - Tom Waits
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:11 PM
pezpunk pezpunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by fizgig
Am I the only one who thinks Summerteeth is way better than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot?
I like Summerteeth a lot. It's so poppy that I can only listen to it in spurts. It is a great great album but only in doses. I actually like Being there better than summerteeth but less than YHF.
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:17 PM
Avalonian Avalonian is offline
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I second the soundtrack for About a Boy, with songs by Badly Drawn Boy. Very good stuff.

I further submit the soundtrack for I Am Sam, a collection of Beatles songs re-interpreted by modern musicians. Included on the CD are The Vines' performing "I'm Only Sleeping," Heather Nova with "We Can Work It Out," The Wallflowers' rendition of "I'm Looking Through You," and Nick Cave doing a surprising take on "Let It Be." Great stuff, and one of the most solid albums of last year.

Speaking of Heather Nova, her album South was one of the highlights of last year for me.

And I'll also second the soundtrack for The Two Towers. Howard Shore, a great composer already, is doing the best work of his career on The Lord of the Rings.
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Old 02-22-2003, 03:23 PM
vl_mungo vl_mungo is offline
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Watcher...
If you have yet to listen to any Wilco... you'll also want to check out Uncle Tupelo (Jeff Tweedy's previous band) and Son Volt the band formed by Jay Farrar, the other songwriter from Uncle Tupelo. I actually prefer Son Volt to Wilco... check out their album Trace
  #25  
Old 02-22-2003, 05:07 PM
Lisa-go-Blind Lisa-go-Blind is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by pezpunk
I cant believe Im saying this, but Luna has been on of my favorite bands since 1992 and this album is so pathetically bad. I bought it the day it came out ( same day YHF came out) and barely made it through one listen. I tried again recently but it didnt get any better. After Penthouse they really took a turn for the worse. I am curious, are you familiar with their other albums and how do you think this one compares?
Actually, I only have Bewitched in terms of other Luna albums, but I think Romantica is only a shade below it. "Lovedust" in particular stands out as a favorite, although admittedly not on the same level as "Tiger Lily". I listen to a lot of indie/undie and it's rare to find a band as relentlessly catchy as Luna [except for the Apples (in Stereo)].
What Luna album should I get next? I was thinking The Days of Our Nights because "Superfreaky Memories" is my second-favorite Luna song, but you say they took a downturn post-Penthouse.
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Old 02-22-2003, 05:12 PM
Lisa-go-Blind Lisa-go-Blind is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Scrivener
David Byrne -- Into the Eyeball (1991). For fans of his solo stuff -- pretty good. [/B]
David Byrne's Look Into the Eyeball was released in 2001, not 1991 or 2002. It is pretty good, although it loses its flavor after a few months.
  #27  
Old 02-22-2003, 05:36 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Hatebreed - Perseverence
Mudvayne- The end of all things to come
Weezer- Malidroit
  #28  
Old 02-22-2003, 07:44 PM
pezpunk pezpunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa-go-Blind

What Luna album should I get next? I was thinking The Days of Our Nights because "Superfreaky Memories" is my second-favorite Luna song, but you say they took a downturn post-Penthouse.
Days of our night is actually pretty good but Penthouse is by far their greatest album. I HIGHLY recommend it.
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