A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
I’m flabbergasted by the idea that, as of this writing, the year 2000 is nearly 20 years ago. As much as I lionize the music I heard in high school, the music of my late 20s has been incredibly influential, perhaps professionally as well as personally. Thus, we don’t see much change from the original list.
- Shiina Ringo, Shouso Strip
- Cocco, Rapunzel
- NUMBER GIRL, SAPPUKEI
- SUPERCAR, Futurama
- eX-Girl, Big When Far, Small When Close
- Sleater-Kinney, All Hands on the Bad One
- Idlewild, 100 Broken Windows
- FEED, Make Every Stardust Shimmer!
- Tomosaka Rie, “Shoujo Robot”
- Sade, Lovers Rock
Other favorites from the year:
- Do As Infinity, Break of Dawn
- Yaida Hitomi, daiya-monde
- PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
- OBLIVION DUST, Butterfly Head
- At the Drive-In, Relationship of Command
- L’Arc~en~Ciel, REAL
- Bonnie Pink, Let Go
- MISSILE GIRL SCOOT, Fiesta!
- Smashing Pumpkins, MACHINA/The Machine of God
- m-flo, Planet Shining
- Juanes, Fíate Bien
- Emmylou Harris, Red Dirt Girl
- U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind
- La Ley, Uno
- Sinéad O’Connor, Faith and Courage
- Soundtrack, High Fidelity
- BBMak, Sooner or Later
At the time of its release, I was just glad All That You Can’t Leave Behind was not a continuation of Pop. The recent vinyl reissue of the album, unfortunately, reveals its shortcomings. Thus, it loses its original ranking in the Favorite 10.
Plot twist: I panned 2004’s How to Build an Atomic Bomb, but that album has endured far better than All That You Can’t Leave Behind. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Idlewild’s 1000 Broken Windows takes the spot vacated by U2.
Do As Infinity probably could have held onto its place in the Favorite 10 on the strength of “Raven” alone. At the time, most J-Pop I had encountered relied heavily on keyboards and drum machines, so a karaoke-ready band with crunchy guitars felt novel to me.
I can’t say I love Break of Dawn as much now. It’s rare that singles displace albums for the Favorite 10, but all three tracks on “Shoujo Robot” hint at an awesome album I wish Shiina Ringo and Tomosaka Rie recorded.
The extended list is really just all the titles that could have legitimately competed for that bottom spot on the Favorite 10.
Tags: at the drive-in, bbmak, bonnie pink, cocco, do as infinity, emmylou harris, ex-girl, favorite edition, feed, idlewild, juanes, l'arc-en-ciel, la ley, m-flo, missile girl scoot, number girl, oblivion dust, pj harvey, rewind, sade, shiina ringo, sinead o'connor, sleater-kinney, smashing pumpkins, soundtrack, supercar, tomosaka rie, u2, yaida hitomi
As the late 90s pop boom that brought forth ‘Nsync and Britney Spears crested, an enterprising A&R person in England thought a band with the same kind of pop appeal who could play their own instruments might turn a quick buck or two.
BBMak fit that bill, and as snobish as I was about the bubblegum pop ilk, I was willing to give them a shake. My review of the band’s first album, Sooner or Later, dripped with damning praise, but I did go as far as compare them to Duran Duran. The second album, Into Your Head, didn’t fare as well.
Back then, I still wanted my rock music to be dark and evil, or at least melancholy. A number of tracks on Sooner or Later fulfilled the latter requirement, but Into Your Head was a different beast altogether.
After 16 years, enough time has passed to evaluate Into Your Head on its own terms, and honestly, it’s quite refreshing. Maybe I’m just more mellow in my dotage, but the sunniness of the album is more of an asset than an annoyance.
The band lays pretty heavy on the guitars, probably acknowledging that Linkin Park was becoming a thing. At the same time, they double down on the smooth harmonies and earnest lyrics.
My original reaction was to call it “generic”. I question that assessment now, or rather, I don’t remember the context which made me arrive at that conclusion. BBMak’s contemporaries were so forgettable, it’s tough to draw a meaningful comparison.
Listening to both albums after nearly 20 years, BBMak flexed more muscle on Into Your Head by going for a bigger, anthemic sound, and it works.
But the target market was moving on. The teens who buoyed the pop groups were starting college, and file sharing had decimated the mass market. In 2002, labels didn’t have the marketing leverage to bring BBMak to ‘Nsync levels. Heck, ‘Nsync itself had all but broken up by 2005.
BBMak announced it reunited in 2018, and I learned about it, oddly enough, from a retweet by Duran Duran’s official Twitter account. I must admit I’m looking forward to what the band produces next.
Rewind takes a look at past Musicwhore.org reviews to see how they hold up today. The albums featured on Rewind were part of my collection, then sold for cash only to be reacquired later.
Tags: bbmak, rewind
I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.
- Matt Alber, How High the Moon
- BBMak, Into Your Head
- Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R
- The B-52’s, Whammy!
- Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Soundtrack, Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid
- Walter Carlos, Switched-On Bach
- Frank Ocean, nostalgia, ULTRA
- Leo Imai, Film Scum
- Frank Ocean, Endless (Ordered Nov. 24, 2017)
- U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Tags: bbmak, frank ocean, leo imai, matt alber, purchase log, queens of the stone age, soundtrack, the b-52's, u2, vince guaraldi trio, wendy carlos