Thanks to Al Barger and his post “Best of 2002 Mix Cd” I was inspired to put down some of my favorites of 2002 on cd, too. And, of course, I am completely ripping his idea to post it here. I am sure I am leaving something important out, however, this is a fairly good overview for my tastes and enjoyment of music.
#1. The Chieftains– Down the Old Plank Road… From the terrific cd titled, “Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions” this is the first track on the cd. While most of the songs were up for grab as they all rock, I left some of my main choices off due to the lengh of song. This song does a good job of kicking off the cd and sets the tone.
#2. t.A.T.u.– 30 Minutes… A lesbian Russian techno-pop duo, Tatu has captured American audiences with thier radio singles, “All The Things She Said” and “Not Gonna Get Us”. This song is one of my favorites off of the American release, however, I prefer a few songs off the Russian release.
#3. Blindside– Cute Boring Love… Mmmm. Swedish hardcore. Long time fans like myself were a bit dissapointed with how Blindside evolved on this mainstream release titled “Silence”, however, after the shock of the polished sound wore off, there are a lot of good songs on here to devour. This particular song seems to do the best job of capturing the spirit of this cd.
#4. Me Without You– Bullet to Binary… One of the best songs off thier debut cd on Tooth and Nail. It features some wicked screamed French lyrics. Fantastic song structure. The cd is titled [A->B]Life.
#5. Blackalicious– Sky is Falling… This rap duo released one of the most innovative cds I have ever heard. Titled “Blazing Arrow” it features creativity (!) and spitfire rapping. This song includes a female choir that blends perfectly with the rapping.
#6. The Apex Theory– That’s All!… While nu metal rapcore is a fading genre at best, The Apex Theory managed to release a cd that captured my attention through the whole thing. They use thier ethnic roots to add delicious flavor to “Topsy~Turvy”. [note: Not an explicit cd like Amazon says below. Amazon is just confused.]
#7. Johnny Cash– Hurt… We all know who this guy is. I chose this specific song just because of the music video attached to it. Before seeing the video the song is good, but afterword, the song is so great that it becomes the highlight of the cd, “American IV: The Man Comes Around”.
#8. The Blamed– The Jealous Answer… While too often labeled a Fugazi rip-off, The Blamed play thier heart out. When seen live you know they are there because they love playing music. They sound harsh and sloppy at first listen, but after repeated plays they communicate the sense that everything is played exactly how they want it.
#9. System of a Down– Mr. Jack… This was a hard choice. Two other equally good songs from thier cd, “Steal This Album” were begging for this spot. However, I had to pick this song in the end due to the frantic, passionate feeling it portrays (especially at the end of the song).
#10. Havalina– Pluto… Havalina are musical chamelions. They’ve made cds featuring styles as varried as swing/rockabilly, country/folk, Italian, etc. On this specific cd, “Space, Love, & Bullfighting” the style is Latin flavored alternative with some electronics adding the required spacey feel. This song features one of the lonliest and memorable choruses on the cd.
#11. Wilco– I’m the Man Who Loves You… Wilco not only made a splash in the mainstream, but also made the biggest musical impact on me in 2002. While after many many repeated listens, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”, now etched in my memory, doesn’t get played often. However, that does not dim the mark it made on me and everyone else.
#12. 16 Horsepower– Sinnerman… I compare 16 Horsepower to Johnny Cash. Because 16 Horsepower is a very dark country the way Johnny Cash is, however, 16HP also uses more complex instrumentation in thier songs. This cd is hellfire and brimstone.
#13. twothirtyeight– The Sticks are Woven in the Spokes… While the lyrics are kind of abstract and emotional the way emo is, this is a pure indie cd. The two guitars weave together and drive the songs. The vocals paint pictures for the listener.
#14. Sondre Lerche– Dead Passengers… Folky indie that could be compared to Ben Kweller. But where Ben Kweller lacks a lot of personality, Sondre Lerche places his heart on his sleave. Sometimes the music brings comparisons to bands of old, like the Beatles.
#15. Sixpence None the Richer– Melody of You… Sixpence returned in 2002 after a 5 year wait. This is one of my favorite songs on thier cd.
#16. Demon Hunter– Turn Your Back and Run… Few cd reviews on Blogcritics.org sparked as much posting as this one did. What at first listen sounds like a Slipknot ripoff becomes a smartly crafted mall metal cd. Yes, there is talent in the mall metal genre, though it is few and far between.
#17. Operatica– Solvejg’s Song… Electronica and opera fusion. This song is the opening track, and the steady plunk of the keyboard draws me into the song and doesn’t let go until the final breath of the vocals fade. Haunting.
#18. Miighty Flashlight– Ballet Skool… Who knew one man and his guitar could be as captivating as this? Recorded entirely on his Macintosh laptop, Miighty Flashlight’s self titled cd is an even mix between simple guitar instrumentals and guitar/vocal songs.
#19. Pet Shop Boys– London… Sappy, electronic songs sung in accents. Perfect for my depressed, sappy moods.
There is one song, “Backwoods Nation” by Pedro the Lion that I wanted to include, however, it was on a sampler cd which doesn’t let me make a copy of. Oh well.
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