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.
Back in February, I argued 2002 was an important year in music of the 2000s. 2003 is no slouch in that regard either. The list from that year sees no major changes.
- Shiina Ringo, Karuki Zaamen Kuri no Hana
- ACO, Irony
- Molotov, Dance and Dense Denso
- Café Tacuba, Cuatro Caminos
- ART-SCHOOL, LOVE/HATE
- Sasagawa Miwa, Jijitsu
- bloodthirsty butchers, Kouya ni Okeru bloodthirsty butchers
- Bonnie Pink, Present
- downy, untitled third album
- Explosions in the Sky, The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place
Other favorites from the year:
- Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
- Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism
- Bleach, Bleach
- The Postal Service, Give Up
- NUMBER GIRL, Sapporo OMOIDE IN MY HEAD Joutai
- Onitsuka Chihiro, Sugar High
- Original Cast Recording, Avenue Q
- Emmylou Harris, Stumble Into Grace
- NIRGILIS, Tennis
- Rufus Wainwright, Want One
- Hayashi Asuca, Saki
- Caitlin Cary, I’m Staying Out
- The Bad Plus, These Are the Vistas
- DJ Krush, Shinsou ~Message from the Depth~
- Benjamin Gibbard / Andrew Kenny, Home, Vol. 5
- The Wrens, The Meadowlands
- Longwave, The Strangest Things
The only change is switching out Explosions in the Sky for Outkast, and the extended list adds the Wrens and Longwave.
I was working at Waterloo Records in 2003, and legitimate download services hadn’t gotten off the ground yet to stem the tide of rampant file sharing. So I was discovering a lot of great music through word of mouth and on the job.
While I’ve added a number of 2003 titles to my collection in the following years, few have edged their way into this already crowded field.
So I guess I’m pretty set where 2003 is concerned.
Tags: aco, andrew kenny, art-school, benjamin gibbard, bleach, bloodthirsty butchers, bonnie pink, cafe tacuba, caitlyn cary, death cab for cutie, dj krush, downy, emmylou harris, explosions in the sky, favorite edition, hayashi asuca, longwave, molotov, nirgilis, number girl, onitsuka chihiro, outkast, rewind, rufus wainwright, sasagawa miwa, shiina ringo, soundtrack, the bad plus, the postal service, the wrens
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.
My first reaction to reading this old review of Longwave’s The Strangest Things was: Who’s the douchebag who wrote that crap?
Boy is that writing terrible. As much I roll my eyes at some of Pitchfork’s writing, my attempts to sound remotely worldly fell horrendously flat.
Around that time, I was going through a Dave Fridmann phase. He was the producer behind some of my favorite albums: SAPPUKEI by NUMBER GIRL, Dance, Dense and Denso by Molotov and Cuatros Caminos by Café Tacvba. I picked up Hate by the Delgados and The Strangest Things by Longwave because of his involvement.
Interpol ushered an era where labels signed up bands rehashing Joy Division. This era also included the garage rock revival spearheaded by the White Stripes, while other bands borrowed more than generously from Gang of Four. Franz Ferdinand, I’m looking at you.
My exasperation in the Longwave review was a result of this ’80s gold rush. These bands did a great job of sounding like their influences. I just didn’t get the sense they knew how to sound like themselves.
Now that we’re a decade and some change away from that context, I’m impressed by how well The Strangest Things endures. Longwave injected enough of a personality into their sound to differentiate themselves from similar bands.
I tried to listen to Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol but couldn’t get through it. I don’t even remember what the Stills sounded like.
I let the album go in one of my collection purges because my appreciation for Dave Fridmann’s production work wasn’t enough to overcome my ambivalence to American indie rock of that era. In 2003, I was still enamored of Shiina Ringo, ACO and Hatakeyama Miyuki.
I like the album enough now to have picked up a used copy on vinyl, but only after finding the CD for $1 at the Lifelong Thrift Shop.
Tags: longwave, rewind