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2001 Favorites
by: Red Rocker
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Red Rocker's Top-10 Must-Have CDs of 2001

If I hear one more spoiled punk kid or clueless fool say that 2001 was a bad year for new music, I'm gonna spit! Fact is, 2001 was a very tough year for most of us. The stock market plunged, the economy followed it into our first recession in a decade, the recording industry suffered another soft year of sales, concert tours were off, unemployment rates soared, and then came September 11th. Indeed, there wasn't a lot to get excited about this past year. But I maintain the crop of new music was, for the first time in years, pretty damned good! For the first time in recent memory, it was truly challenging for me to reduce this year-end 'Best Of' list down to just 10 records! So in no particular order, I present the 10 CDs released this calendar year that you should definitely own…

Pete Yorn: musicforthemorningafter
Hands down the most refreshing and innovative collection of new rock songs that's been assembled in some time! Yorn effortlessly strolls through these modern-day classics in concert as if he's been playing them for a lifetime. Maybe he has! Regardless, this disc is an absolute MUST for anyone who loves rock, folk, country, pop, or just simple acoustic medleys. 
Click here for Mike Farley's review of musicforthemorningafter.

Ryan Adams: Gold
O.K., so I said these were in no particular order…I lied! Ryan Adams and Pete Yorn released the two best records of the year, and everyone else just fell in line behind them. Adams has such a flawless career to draw from, and yet he still cranks out incredible new records at a pace that would rival the Stones in the 1970s!
Click here for Red Rocker's review of Gold.

Train: Drops Of Jupiter
FM radio nearly ruined this record by wearing out the title track with hourly plays, but enough already! This is a superb record, and follows so closely on the heals of Train's debut record just a couple years ago. These guys are masters of the pop rock song. No doubt we will be hearing much more from them very soon!
Click here for Mike Farley's review of Drops of Jupiter.

Kid Rock: Cocky
The newest and maybe most surprising entry, as I personally did not think Kid was capable of successfully following up his smash "Devil Without A Cause" record. I never expected to get another 13 or 14 solid hick-hop rap rock tunes out of this guy, but couldn't be happier that I did! He even manages to display some soulfulness on a few stripped down country rap ballads.

Lenny Kravitz: Lenny
Arguably Kravitz's finest collection of songs in a decade, "Lenny" succeeds with a proven formula of radio-ready guitar rock. Just enough retro rock blended with a few of his signature soul ballads, and his band has never been tighter. Lenny forges ahead through a brilliant career!
Click here for Red Rocker's review of Lenny.

Shelby Lynne: Love, Shelby
This one fell out of the clear blue sky! I had really liked her self-titled major label debut from 1999, so I took a chance and bought "Love, Shelby". With now legendary producer Glen Ballard on board, Lynne finally got the opportunity to craft her life's work of a near perfect R&B/Country/Pop record. 
Click here for Red Rocker's review of Love, Shelby.

The Strokes: Is This It
While it didn't live up to its unprecedented pre-release billing, The Strokes' debut has proven to be a very solid record on its own. It might well require a few spins to take, but once it does you'll find it more and more difficult to remove from the CD player! Looking very forward to their sophomore effort.
Click here for Red Rocker's review of Is This It.

Buckcherry: Time Bomb
Following their stellar 1999 debut, I swore these guys would die long before writing their next record. I am pleased to admit how wrong I was! "Time Bomb" picks up right where the first record left off, with balls-out Guns 'N' Roses style, smash mouth L.A. rock. If they can keep their noses clean (literally) long enough to pen a third record, well…you get the idea!

Sprung Monkey: Get A Taste
Another highly improbable hit record from earlier in the year, "Get A Taste" is just a good old fashioned, fun without the frills, So Cal beach rock record! Simple but catchy, revved-up guitar pop songs, typically clocking in at 3 ½ minutes in length. Just clean, harmless summertime fun!
Click here for Red Rocker's review of Get a Taste.

Weezer: Weezer (2001)
Also referred to as the "Green Album", Weezer returns from a half-decade hiatus with a great collection of predictable pop rock ditties. Much like their self-titled debut record (the Blue Album) from 1994, Weezer earns the passing grade here with Rivers Cuomo's clever yet simple batch of new songs. Don't miss these guys in concert!
Click here for Red Rockers review of Weezer.

The Honorable Mention List

Goddess In The Doorway, Mick Jagger
Comfort Eagle, Cake
Just Push Play, Aerosmith
Sebastopol, Jay Ferrar
Room For Squares, John Mayer

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