As a new Blogcritic I have not yet had a chance to post my top cds from 2002. So, albiet a month and a half late, here are my picks… and there are so many because I bought too much stuff last year which needs inclution on this list.
The Apex Theory- Topsy Turvy… A fairly mainstream rap-rock cd that I would throw out, except they add international flair to the disc, ala System of a Down or POD. They choruses are catchy. A solid release which would have gotten a lot of attention a few years ago.
Jay Bennett and Edward Burch- The Palace at 4am… This release got no attention due to Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. But this cd, from former Wilco member Jay Bennett, is the alt.country release YHF wasn’t.
Blackalicious- Blazing Arrow… Who would have ever thought rap could be this good? This is about my top pick for the year of any genre. Smart and infectious, this cd makes you forget you’re listening to rap. The fact that the Blackalicious boys keep this cd clean is a bonus. No uses of the F bomb and only a few shits and asses scattered throughout the songs.
The Blamed- Give Us Barabbas… While not as good as thier previous full lengh, Isolated Incident, these hardcore/punk songs are sloppy and heartfelt and uncaring. These guys should rise from thier underground status and whip some sence into the whole “pop punk” scene.
Boas- Mansion… A quirky rock group straight from the bar scene. Wilco brought them along on some of thier tour dates. There is some alt.country tones to the music.
Niko Case- Blacklisted… A sweet alt.country record with the greatest female voice in the business, Niko Case. A classy performance.
The Chieftains- Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions… The Cheiftains are known for thier infectious Irish-sounding tunes. On this cd they marry that sound with the rootsy Americana sound, featuring many great Americana/country artists, like, Bela Fleck, Buddy & Julie Miller, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, and so forth.
Demon Hunter- Demon Hunter… Nu-metal is such a tired genre. Demon Hunter gives it a fresh look with infectious songs that roar.
Jets to Brazil- Perfecting Lonliness… Lamented by fans as thier worst cd, I on the other hand, found it to be a breath of fresh air. Despite it’s “emo” tag, they still craft some fine songs.
Me Without You- [A->B] Life… These guys own one of the best concerts I’ve seen. Thier cd isn’t half bad, either. Rock that leans toward the harder side with some heart-felt vocals.
Miighty Flashlight- Miighty Flashlight… Indie/countrty one-man-and-his-guitar (and macintosh) cd. He can do with one accoustic guitar what I can only dream about.
Buddy Miller- Midnight and Lonesome… Guitar player for country veteran Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller has been in the business for a while. He skillfully crafts twangy country with his wife, Julie Miller. Julie Miller lends her angelic voice on most of the songs, too.
Moth- Provisions, Fiction and Gear… Alternative Rock that stays interesting.
Norma Jean- Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child… A rough n’ tough metalcore cd. Nothing new for the scene, but done well.
Operatica- Shine… opera and electronica mix. spellbinding.
Pedro the Lion- Control… Indie rock gods, Pedro the Lion, scores again on this rock opera.
Pet Shop Boys- Release… Sappy electronica songs. Good for the broken soul.
Queens of the Stone Age- Songs for the Deaf… Delightful rock and roll songs that spell fun.
Sixpence None the Richer- Divine Discontent… This release slipped under the radar of popular music. A cd chock full of great pop songs.
16 Horsepower- Folklore… Alt.country with a stark gothic feel.
Souljahz- The Fault is History… Catchy r&b/rap songs.
System of a Down- Steal this Album… The only hard group in the popular music scene that matters. This cd was intended as a B-sides and rarity disc. However, it comes off better than thier previous regular album, Toxicity.
t.A.T.u.- 200 KM/H in the Wrong Lane… Sure, this is a teeny-bop mainstream cd made by the corporate music industry. But I’ll be damned if this isn’t catchy.
twothirtyeight- You Should Be Living… Indie rock which bounces with great guitar lines.
Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot… My favorite cd for 1/4th of 2002, this cd had to make the list. While I burned out on it a few months ago, it’s still a testament to some great songwriting for the genre-bending Jeff Tweedy.
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