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
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.
Once again, quantity trumped quality, this time with my review for Relationship of Command by At the Drive-In.
Given its length and lack of opinion, the review did nothing more than meet a quota. By the time I got around to writing about the album, the band had broken up.
(Now that I’m writing about them again, they’ve just released a new album. Of course, I’m writing this entry beforehand, so I haven’t heard it yet.)
I picked up Relationship of Command because I had listened to a few tracks at a Tower Records listening station, and I was struck by how much At the Drive-In reminded me of NUMBER GIRL, which I mention in the review.
To be honest, it couldn’t dislodge all the Japanese indie rock that monopolized my car CD player. NUMBER GIRL, SUPERCAR, Cocco and Shiina Ringo released career-making albums in 2000, and the fact At the Drive-In didn’t sing in Japanese was a strike against them.
Relationship of Command is also an album that I can’t queue for casual listening. It screams for attention — quite literally — and it’s tough not to get immersed in all that agitation. When it came time for a collection purge, it was a prime candidate.
Oddly enough, I started to miss the album. Despite not internalizing it as thoroughly as, well, NUMBER GIRL, I felt a bit of regret having let it go.
So when I spotted it at a Friends of the Seattle Public Library Book Sale, I brought it back into the fold.
It’s still not an album I can play casually, but I’m not holding that against it.
Tags: at the drive-in, rewind
It seems all the bands in which I’m interested all decided to release their albums in May and June. To date, I have a total of four 2017 releases since the start of the year. Putting together the Favorite Edition Half Year is going to be tricky.
At the Drive-In, in*ter al*li*a, May 5
I can’t figure out why I’m looking forward this late-coming follow-up to Relationship of Command, an album I like but can’t listen to very often. And I wasn’t enough of a fan to follow either Mars Volta or Sparta.
Café Tacvba, Jei Beibi, May 5
I find it interesting that Café Tacvba is releasing this album through CD Baby. That means they’ve gone completely independent.
Midnight Oil, Full Tank, May 7
Midnight Oil, Overflow Tank, May 7
Tempting as these complete boxed sets may be, my current Midnight Oil collection occupies quite a bit of shelf space. Also, the import markup makes these sets fiscally untenable. Hey Sony, fans outside of Australia might be interested in some of these releases.
Juanes, Mis Planes Son Amarte, May 12
It’s a visual album about a man going into outer space to find the woman of his dreams. I would be interested to see how Café Tacvba would tackle the same plot.
PWR BTTM, Pageant, May 12
Anyone who has Grindr or Scruff installed on his phone would probably check out a band called PWR BTTM.
Art of Noise, In Visible Silence (Deluxe Edition), May 19
The weirdest album I acquired in 1986. The b-sides are terrific.
Kishida Shigeru, Symphony No. 1, May 24
If the orchestral work Kishida released last year as a digital single is any indication, don’t expect a musical metamorphosis on the level of C. Kip Winger.
Sam Amidon, The Following Mountain, May 26
His first album of original music.
Cody Chesnutt, My Love Divine Degree, June 2
It’s been a while. I had wondered if another 10 years would pass before another Cody Chesnutt album would arrive.
U2, The Joshua Tree (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition), June 2
I already have the 20th Anniversary edition, so really, I just want the white cover with the color photo.
Kronos Quartet, Folk Songs, June 9
For a while there, I thought Kronos had moved on from Nonesuch, given the number of albums the ensemble has released on other labels. This collaborative album with Sam Amidon, Natalie Merchant, Rhiannon Giddens and Olivia Chaney is the first Kronos has released on Nonesuch since 2012, not counting various anthologies.
Dan Messe, Amelie: A New Musical, June 9
I’m not sure what draws me to this cast recording — the fact it’s based on Amelie or the fact it was written by a member of Hem.
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister, Planetarium, June 9
Well, somebody had to update Gustav Mahler’s The Planets …
The Drums, Abysmal Thoughts, June 16
Jonny Pierce goes full Roland Orzabal ca. 1993, becoming the sole member of his band The Drums.
Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound, June 16
I would be OK with Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson releasing albums on alternating years.
Midnight Oil, The Vinyl Collection, May 7
I would like to get Redneck Wonderland, Breathe and Head Injuries on vinyl. I could do without Capricornia, Earth and Sun and Moon and Place Without a Postcard. Maybe separate releases down the line? Outside Australia, even??
Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, At the Ryman, May 12
Harris’ shows at the Ryman gave the venue new life, and she returns for the venue’s 125th anniversary. So of course a reissue (on vinyl!) is in order.
En Vogue, Funky Divas, June 9
I’m disappointed rock bands haven’t turned “Free Your Mind” into a crossover classic.
Enya, A Day Without Rain, June 16
Enya, Amaratine, July 14
A Day Without Rain is Enya’s weakest album, and Amaratine went a long way to rectify it. That won’t stop me from getting both of them.
Tags: at the drive-in, bryce dessner, cafe tacuba, cody chesnutt, emmylou harris, en vogue, enya, hem, james mcalister, jason isbell, juanes, kronos quartet, looking ahead, midnight oil, nico muhly, pwr bttm, quruli, sam amidon, sufjan stevens, the art of noise, the drums, u2