While most of the recording industry was putting out mass produced shit this year, a few good things did slip through the cracks. Shit, one of the best albums this decade came out this year and it almost got stuck in limbo cause the company didn't even want to release it...
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: This is a masterpiece. Jeff Tweedy can do no wrong. Warner Bros. are fucking morons for allowing this album to get away from them for the simple reason of "There aren't really any singles on this, how are we supposed to make our money back?" They were refusing to let it get released... Fucking morons!
Johnny Cash - American IV The Man Comes Around: What is it with people starting to do better versions of songs that are superior to the source material? Dave Gahan(Depeche Mode) and Trent Reznor(NIN) should be sucking Johnny Cash's nuts (One for each!) for making them sound like better song writers then they really are. And The Eagle's Desperado is now sole property of Johnny Cash cause the song has so much more meaning and passion with him singing it, you know?
Common - Electric Circus: His follow up to Like Water For Chocolate, this is perhaps with one exception, the best rap album out this year, and damnit, we had to wait ALL year to get it. ANYONE who could get Prince, Mary J Blige, and Laetitia Sadier(Sterolab!) on the same album is no doubt a genius.
David Bowie - Heathen: In what some are calling the year old is new again, one of the oldest rockers still around puts out his best work in almost 25 years(Outside? Let's Dance? ...Hours? They were nothing compared to 'Low', in my opinion, but what do I know.)
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf: Who knew they had THIS much going for them after after 2 'kinda ok, good for a few riffs' albums (Rater R and self titled). What a difference having a friend come in and do all the work for you, but an excellent CD none the less.
GZA - Legend of the Liquid Sword: The rest of WuTang Clan need to take ques from him and put out better solo albums or just stick to the core group, cause this is fucking incredible. Even better then Beneath the Surface, which might be hard to believe.
Kylie Minogue - Fever: Oh Kylie... you are so blasted cute, I can't say anything bad about you... MOVING ALONG!!!
Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head: Much less melody on this album then on Parachutes. They are becoming a better Radiohead then Radiohead, which isn't a bad thing in the least. Keep up the excellent work guys.
Frou Frou - Details: One of the sweetest singing voices you will ever hear. I can't wait to hear more from this group.
Mad'House - Absolutly Mad: Europop covers of Madonna done by a former olympic synchronised swimmer named Buse. If you can forget about Miss Osbourne's horrible version, This cover of Papa Don't Preach is even better then Madonna's original..
(edited by Cerebus on 22.12.02 1246) I merely suggested, that you had the driving ability of a brain dead labratory ape.
15.(tie) - They Might Be Giants - No! / N*E*R*D - In Search Of... 14. Candy Butchers - Play With Your Head 13. Brendan Benson - Lapalco 12. Foo Fighters - One By One 11. Phantom Planet - The Guest 10. Weezer - Maladroit 9. Jurassic 5 - Power in Numbers 8. Ben Kweller - Sha Sha 7. Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel 6. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots 5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way 4. Rhett Miller - The Instigator 3. Beck - Sea Change 2. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head 1. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
The few albums this year I either bought or (shame on me) made an effort to download all the tracks from, which pretty much for me comprises my whole best of 2002 list of what I got to hear. Honorable mention though to "No" by TMBG and "Jerusalem" by Steve Earle which I didn't get to hear all the way through yet, but I suspect from what I heard would make this list:
Wilco-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Sigur Ros-() And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead-Source Tags & Codes Tori Amos-Scarlet's Walk Flaming Lips-Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Godspeed You! Black Emperor-Yanqui U.X.O. Boards of Canada-Geogaddi Edson-For Strength
FWIW I badgered a friend in Sweden to send me the Edson album before it was ever to be hoped for in an import bin, and I bought the Tori Amos album at the midnight release party here at Schuba's...so with that in mind, I proclaim them my co-records of the year.
I didn't buy all that much this year either. Let's see, as for best of the stuff I did buy (and was new) in 2002, in no particular order:
Rush-Vapor Trails Dream Theater-Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Iron Maiden-Rock in Rio Nile-In Their Darkened Shrines Bob Dylan-Love and Theft Tiamat-Judas Christ (dumb album name, I know) The White Stripes-White Blood Cells (was this new in 2002, or late 2001? I can't remember) Kylie Minogue-Fever
Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head Dream Theater - 6DOIT Kane - So Glad You Made It (European Release) In Flames - Reroute To Remain Arch Enemy - Wages Of Sin (European Release - FINALLY!!!!) Soilwork - Natural Born Chaos Acrid - Demo 2002 Foo Fighters - New Album (Damn! Forgot the name...One By One?) N.E.R.D. - In Search Of Eminem - The Eminem Show WWE Anthology (Can't believe no one's mentioned this one!)
... and the metal album of the year: Killswitch Engage - Alive Or Just Breathing (this album is so great I still can't believe it!)
(edited by acrid 2.0 on 23.12.02 1106) That's it... and that's ALL.
Apparently Sony heard no "obvious singles" from Fiona Apple's new album Extraordinary Machine, and so they have shelved it. But this month, high quality versions of the tracks have been leaked onto the internet.