Billed as the final Midnight Oil, Resist finds the environmentally-conscious Australian band topical as ever. And it’s been four decades since they drew attention to these issues. How much progress have we made since?
Tears for Fears, The Tipping Point, Feb. 22
I saw a lot of people online express excitement over the return of Tears for Fears, and yet, I don’t remember that much attention being drawn to their last album, 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending. I have to admit, that album is my least played of theirs.
Utada Hikaru, BAD Mode, Feb. 23
I can’t think of a more appropriate title to describe the zeitgeist of the early 2020s. A digital release on Jan. 19 precedes the physical release in February.
Enya, “May It Be”, Jan. 7
Enya has been around long enough for her albums to receive the deluxe reissue treatment, but I also get the sense she’s pretty ambivalent of such reissues. So this vinyl reissue seems more like the label trying to make sure people know Enya is still around. Jan. 7 is a US import release date. The single is already available in the UK.
Soundtrack, Lost in Translation, Jan. 7
This soundtrack gets occasional vinyl reissues that sell out quick and fetch exorbitant prices on Discogs. So yeah, I’m going to try to snag a copy.
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake, Jan. 28
I picked up this album and Rid of Me from the thrift store at the same time, and I like both albums. But Rid of Me monopolized more of my player time. I’ve still eagerly awaited this vinyl reissue, nonetheless.
The White Stripes, Elephant, March 25 The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan, March 25 The White Stripes, Icky Thump, March 25
I’d say I’m more interested in the Elephant reissue over Get Behind Me Satan. I haven’t listened to Icky Thump.
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.
… And You Will Know Us by the Trail Of Dead, Source Code and Tags
Kronos Quartet, Nuevo
The Streets, Original Pirate Material
Hajime Chitose, Hainumikaze
NUMBER GIRL, NUM-HEAVYMETALLIC
Quruli, THE WORLD IS MINE
Zoobombs, love is funky
Hatakeyama Miyuki, Diving into your mind
Patty Griffin, 1,000 Kisses
Other favorites from the year:
Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf
Damien Jurado and Gathered In Song, I Break Chairs
Pedro the Lion, Control
Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Missy Elliott, Under Construction
The Decemberists, Castaways and Cutouts
Sonic Youth, Murray Street
Sleater-Kinney, One Beat
Kylie Minogue, Fever
The Roots, Phrenology
The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
The Hives, Veni Vidi Vicious
Catilin Cary, While You Weren’t Looking
BUGY CRAXONE, Northern Hymns
N.E.R.D., In Search Of …
The Books, Thought for Food
Nappy Roots, Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz
Minako, Suck It till Your Life Ends mata wa Shine Made Sono Mama Yatte Iro
The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot
Shiratori Maika, Hanazono
The Back Horn, Shinzou Orchestra
Joan Jeanrenaud, Metamorphosis
I picked up Original Pirate Material for $1 at Lifelong Thrift Shop, and now I understand why it was all over the place in 2002. I couldn’t open a music magazine without seeing Mike Skinner mentioned in it. I’m pretty sure the sample of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 sealed my admiration for the album.
THE WORLD IS MINE is something of a mea culpa. At the time of its release, I recognized the album as being Quruli’s most complex, but I just couldn’t get into it. I probably felt that it didn’t go far enough if it was going to be ambitious.
Well, the joke’s on me. I listened to it again before its reissue on vinyl, and I really dug it, much more than Antenna, which I praised effusively at the time. So it knocked Minako’s one and only album off the Favorite 10. UA also had to make room for the Streets.
The extended list includes albums I originally dismissed: Murray Street by Sonic Youth and One Beat by Sleater-Kinney.
I remember stocking Nappy Roots during my shifts at Waterloo Records and wondering what the big deal was. A $1 copy from Lifelong Thrift Shop 16 years later educated me. I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to Nappy Roots, The Decemberists or ISIS without having worked at Waterloo.