The site will take its usual January break starting next week, so this entry is my last chance to point out some upcoming releases.
Jeremy Denk, c.1300-c.2000, Feb. 8
I’ll be seeing Jeremy Denk in concert in a few weeks, but he won’t be performing the sprawling program of this two-disc set spanning seven centuries of music.
Mindy Smith, One Moment More, Jan. 29
Mindy Smith is so far the only country music singer whose voice reminds me of Harriet Wheeler of the Sundays.
Prince, Musicology, Feb. 8 Prince, 3121, Feb. 8
Musicology was heralded as a return to form, but I found it less interesting than 3121. But even 3121 was less interesting than The Gold Experience, which I would consider getting on vinyl. But really, when is the Love Symbol album getting reissued?
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.
The first half of the 2004 list has remained unchanged. The last half has undergone extensive revision.
Arcade Fire, Funeral
Eluvium, An Accidental Memory in Case of Death
Kicell, Mado Ni Chikyuu
Dylan Rice, Wandering Eyes
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
The Streets, A Grand Don’t Come for Free
Mindy Smith, One Moment More
STRAIGHTENER, LOST WORLD’S ANTHOLOGY
Other favorites from the year:
Pinback, Summer in Abaddon
Kanye West, The College Dropout
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Solfa
Bonnie Pink, Even So
Fuji Fabric, Fuji Fabric
Sacha Sacket, Shadowed
The Butchies, Make Yr Life
Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
ZAZEN BOYS, ZAZEN BOYS II
A lot of these revisions are retrospective. I listened to SUPERCAR’s ANSWER when it was reissued on vinyl, and I didn’t find the album as engaging as I originally thought. I’ve come to like Hot Fuss more as time has passed, and I don’t feel as much attachment to Van Lear Rose.
My growing appreciation for hip-hop means Madvillain and The Streets knock Quruli’s Antenna off the list entirely.
I’m still a bit skeptical about keeping Mindy Smith in the Favorite 10, or bumping STRAIGHTENER into the upper echelon. I picked up Pinback’s Summer in Abaddon from Goodwill out of curiosity, and I have a sense that in short time, it will nudge Smith or STRAIGHTENER down to the extended list.
As we go further back to the start of the Aughts, the extended list grows longer. A lot of great music came out at the start of the century. If the Internet hadn’t splintered the mass market, it might have been a galvanizing golden age of popular music.