by: David Medsker, resident Pop Boy
|Pg 1 of 1|
1. Jon Brion -- Meaningless (artistdirect.com
or jonbrion.com) Nothing short of a pop masterpiece. Any fan of Aimee Mann, Cheap Trick or Burt Bacharach should look into this. Now.
Fave tracks: I Believe She's Lying, Her Ghost, Ruin My Day
here for David's review of Meaningless.
2. The Pernice Brothers -- The World Won't End (Ashmont) The melodies, the
melodies...they almost distract you from the wrist-slitting lyrics. Never before have the words
"Keep loving me to death" sounded so sweet. If Jon Brion is the Last Great Pop Genius, Joe Pernice is
the Son of the Last Great Pop Genius.
Fave Tracks: She Heightened Everything, Our Time Has Passed, The Ballad of Bjorn Borg
3. Pete Yorn -- musicforthemorningafter (Sony) No small amount of hype surrounded this record, and Pete proved up to the challenge. If ever a missing link existed between New Order and Wilco, this is it.
Fave Tracks: For Nancy, Life on a Chain, Murry
Click here for
Mike Farley's review of musicforthemorningafter.
4. Neil Finn -- One Nil (EMI Australia) This is due to come out in the States in 2002, and thank heaven for that. Finn is arguably the most consistent songwriter in music right now. There's a duet with Sheryl Crow ("Turn and Run") that could be a huge hit. Stay tuned.
Fave Tracks: Wherever You Are, Turn and Run, Anytime
5. Kirsty MacColl -- Tropical Brainstorm (Gut/V2) My second greatest loss in the music world this year, next to George Harrison. This is my favorite record of hers, and sadly, it's her last. All Latin music should be this clever, funny and fun.
Fave Tracks: Autumngirlsoup, Us Amazonians, England 2 Colombia 0
6. Rialto -- Night on Earth (Eagle Rock UK) The John Hughes soundtrack that never was. Widescreen pop that shimmied as it shimmered.
Fave Tracks: Shatterproof, Idiot Twin, London Crawling
7. Ben Folds -- Rockin' the Suburbs (Sony) Ben goes pop in a much more literal sense, which at first didn't click with me. I have since seen the light. Had moments that appealed to both fans of Bacharach and Limp Bizkit, amazingly.
Fave Tracks: Losing Lisa, Rockin' The Suburbs, Fired
Click here for David's
review of Rockin' the Suburbs.
8. New Order -- Get Ready (Reprise) Gone for good. A relic. Geezers. Lies, lies, damned lies. More like their most solid and aggressive album in ages.
Fave Tracks: Crystal, Rock the Shack, Close Range
9. Sugarbomb -- Bully (RCA) Texas quintet shines on major label debut. Does a hell of a Queen impression, among other things.
Fave Tracks: Over, After All, Posterchild For Tragedy
Click here for David's review of
10. Swag -- Catch-All (Yep Roc) Fab super group with skills to play both Kinks and Costello. Will likely make new records every leap year.
Fave Tracks: Louise, Different Girl, I'll Get By
Click here for
David's review of Catch-All.
Also In Power Rotation...
John Mayer - Room For Squares
The Strokes - Is This It
Rufus Wainwright - Poses
Suzanne Vega - Songs in Red and Gray
Travis - The Invisible Band
Jude - King of Yesterday
The Divine Comedy - Regeneration
Spoon - Girls Can Tell
Glenn Tilbrook - Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook
Smash Mouth - Smash Mouth
Deacon Blue - Homesick
Top 10 Singles and Assorted Good Tunes
1. "Clint Eastwood," Gorillaz (Virgin) Also my vote for Video of the Year. A disposable pop song, and band, with surprising depth.
Click here for Jason Zingale's review of
Gorillaz self-titled album.
2. "Mine and Yours," David Mead (RCA) Effortless guitar pop. Would have been a
top-five hit in 1987. Sigh.
3. "She's Got My Number," Semisonic (MCA) Another song reminiscent of a bygone era. This is The Single That Got Away from Dan Wilson & Co.
4. "Drops of Jupiter," Train (Sony) There was a reason this song was the most overplayed song of the year. It was a fantastic, swooning piece of classic pop that Elton John would kill for. I'm still not a fan of the band, but this song was stunning.
Click here for Mike Farley's
review of Train's album, Drops of Jupiter.
5. "Die Laughing," Nik Kershaw (Eagle Rock UK) Mr. "Wouldn't It Be Good" reinvents himself as guitar man in the late 1990s, turns in his best song ever in 2001. His album, To Be Frank, is UK only at this time, but is well worth tracking down nonetheless.
6. "Pyramid Song," Radiohead (Capitol) An odd and fascinating piece from the
under-whelming Amnesiac. Is it jazz? Is it Pink Floyd? Are the lyrics in English? Don't know, don't care.
Click here for Mike Farley's
review of Radiohead's album, Amnesiac.
7. "Harder Better Faster Stronger," Daft Punk (Virgin) Recently co-opted by Yahoo! Or eBay or someone. This slice of electro-funk seriously kicks it old school. Midnight Star are surely having a laugh.
8. "Entourage," Lilac Time with Barenaked Ladies (SpinArt/Cooking Vinyl) The standout track from Lilac Time's excellent Lilac6 album is the song I've been waiting for Stephen Duffy and Stephen Page to write for years. Catchy and sardonic ("Since we're through with morality, may I sleep with your wife?"), this is a gem that all BNL fans should track down.
9. "I Feel Loved," Depeche Mode (Reprise) The best song they've sent to the clubs since "World In My Eyes"
11 years ago. This song alone has more energy than all of the songs from their last two albums combined.
10. "Shadows," Rufus Wainwright (Dreamworks) A dream collaboration for me if ever there was one. Rufus, probably my favorite new singer, teams up with Alex of the Propellerheads. The result is a glorious tune with lots of thump.
"Since I Left You," The Avalanches
"It Began in Afrika," The Chemical Brothers