Robert James Agleo’s Top 10 Random Albums Of 2001
10. O-Town “O-Town” (Jive) A practical joke this funny is a practical joke worth owning.
9. Pete Yorn “musicforthemorningafter” (Columbia) Title aside, this is one of the best pretty boy albums we’ve had in a long time.
8. Jimmy Eat World “Bleed American” (DreamWorks) The proper return of proper rock. It’s a shame about those slow songs, though.
7. Radiohead “I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings” (Capitol) Only one new song, but their other album earlier in the year didn’t have “Idioteque,” and if it don’t have “Idioteque,” I don’t care!
6. Semisonic “All About Chemistry” (MCA) Simple, subtle, and sublime, this is a flawless little album of pop perfection.
5. Placebo “Black Market Music” (Virgin) At a time when prog rock began to show its ugly head, Placebo reminded us that pretension is always best served with a healthy helping of guitars.
4. Bran Van 3000 “Discosis” (Grand Royal) Drum machines, samples from foreign adult cinema, Curtis Mayfield; is there a reason why you’re not listening to this album right now?
3. The Stokes “Is This It” (BMG) Five guys, three chords, thirty-five minutes: the way it should be.
2. Frank Black and the Catholics “Dogs in the Sand” (W.A.R.) The howl may be a bit tempered, but Frank Black is still the most virile songwriter working today.
1. Aphex Twin “drukqs” (London-Sire) Noisy, unique, and seizure inducing, drukqs is the most interesting and compelling album of the year.
Maureen Walsh’s Top 10 Pop Albums Of 2001
10. Res “How I Do” (MCA/Universal) A strong debut from a singer who successfully mixes rock, R&B, and hip-hop with some folky stuff thrown in for good measure.
9. Sylk 130 “Re-Members Only” (Ovum/6 Degrees) Philly’s own King Britt takes us back to the 1980s with an album that features everyone from DJ Jazzy Jeff to the lead singer of ABC.
8. Turin Brakes “The Optimist LP” (Astralwerks) A pleasant “alternative” oasis in a world of over-hyped indie faves and post-grunge poster boys.
7. Mint Royale “On the Ropes” (UNI/MCA) Unfortunately, this DJ duo didn’t hit nearly as big as they should have but believe me, they are up there with Fatboy.
6. The Go-Go’s “God Bless the Go-Go’s” (UNI/Beyond) Not nearly as good as their early stuff, but for a band that has been through the “Behind the Music”-type drama and back, it’s not too shabby either.
5. Weezer “Weezer (The Green Album)” (UNI/Geffen) College faves prove that they don’t need Matt Sharp to make a snappy lil album.
4. Sophie Ellis Bextor “Read My Lips” (Polygram) The “Like a Virgin” for the new milenium.
3. Kylie Minogue “Fever” (Parlophone) These 12 amazing dance/pop songs are just 12 more reasons to love Kylie in my opinion.
2. Rufus Wainwright “Poses” (Dreamworks) Wainwright is the greatest songwriter of our time, period.
1. Gorillaz “Gorillaz” (Virgin) Screw Radiohead, this album and Blur’s last single proves that Damon Albarn is the one who is gonna change music forever.
Richard Charles’ Top 10 Punk Albums Of 2001
10. The (International) Noise Conspiracy “A New Morning, Changing Weather” (Epitaph/Burning Heart) Although undeniably derivative, these guys are still pretty good.
9. Converge “Jane Doe” (Equal Vision) The punkest metal record or the most metal punk record ever?
8. Neurosis “The Sun That Never Sets” (Relapse) The addition of acoustic guitars, pianos, and actual singing keep Neurosis moving ahead. Their best work since “Through Silver in Blood.”
7. Fugazi “The Argument” (Dischord) They’ve still got it.
6. Earth “Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars” (No Quarter) Quite possibly the most alienating CD to come out this year. It even has guest vocals from Mr. Kurt Cobain.
5. Le Tigre “Feminist Sweepstakes” (Mr. Lady) A whole slew of “rollerskate jams” that refuses to be confined by any conceivable punk rock format.
4. Enemymine “The Ice in Me” (Sub Pop/Up) Two basses, drums, and spite.
3. The Silver Mt. Zion Band & The Tra-La-La Orchestra “Born Into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward” (Constellation) Quiet and controlled intensity from members of Godspeed, You Black Emperor.
2. Eyehategod “Confederacy of Ruined Lives” (nuclear blast) More nihilistic metal from New Orleans.
1. High On Fire “The Fine Art of Self-Defense” (Man’s Ruin) Rolling “doobies the size of his forearm” and somehow devoutly Christian, Matt Pike returns with this post-Sleep debut. Smoke filled vans continue to chase that elusive riffchild.
Chris Powell’s Top 10 Metal Albums Of 2001
10. Nickelback “Silver Side Up” (Roadrunner) Packed with insightful and revealing songs that are extremely well crafted and catchy.
9. Ozzy Osbourne “Down To Earth” (Epic) Solid rock with a dreamy John Lennon-like touch … a welcome return for the Ozzman.
8. Slipknot “Iowa” (Roadrunner) Aggressive and melodic … masked metal at its finest hour.
7. Drowning Pool “Sinner” (BMG/Wind Up) The fine product of pissed off Texans who love Jagermeister and heavy metal.
6. Tool “Lateralus” (Volcano) Older, wiser and even more reflective, Tool has made a cryptic album that’s undeniably in a league of its own thanks to poignant layers of inventiveness, texture and meaning.
5. Incubus “Morning View” (Epic) Maturity has brought Incubus the gift of softness and introspection, while only enriching their fondness for experimentation, dramatic melodies and driving guitars.
4. Lifer “Lifer” (UNI/Universal) An emotional roller coaster to the dark side with enough lyrical substance and musical diversity to satisfy the fans of Tool, Linkin Park and everyone in between.
3. Reveille “bleed the sKY” (Elektra) An embittered assault of incendiary rap and blistering metal. Rap-rock’s best offering of the year.
2. System of A Down “Toxicity” (American) A slap in the face of politics and society with amazing results.
1. Staind “Break The Cycle” (WEA/Elektra) Emotionally expressive and cheaper than a session of therapy thanks to dark soul-baring lyrics, infectious melodies and highly expressive guitar work.
Bobby Sumner’s Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2001
10. Marley Marl “Re Entry” (Beat Generation) A weak crop of rappers, but Marley brings it on this production compilation.
9. Jigmastas “Infectious” (Landspeed) Spinna and Kriminal wax it space age style.
8. Redman “Malpractice” (Def Jam) Reggie Noble is always on point and Eric Sermon is way underrated production-wise.
7. Tha Liks “X.O. Experience” (Sony) I figured that after their name change, they’re music would change for the wacker. Thankfully, I was wrong. Tha Alkaholiks are still the greatest.
6. Jadakiss “Kiss Tha Game Goodbye” (Interscope) Heavy on the bling, but the production is inspired and Jada still gets hungry on the mic.
5. Kardinal Offishal “Quest For Fire pt. 1-Firestarter” (MCA) Who says Canadians can’t rap? Kardinal’s reggae-tinged flows bounce all over his solid-self-produced tracks.
4. Smut Peddlers “Porn Again” (Priority) These three whiteys are so sick its funny, like a musical Farrelly brothers movie.
3. Da Beatminerz “Brace 4 Impak” (Rawkus) Rawkus’s best compilation since Soundbombing II, The Beatminerz supply oh-so-slammin’ bass kicks that an A-list of emcees rip on.
2. 7L and Esoteric “The Soul Purpose” (Landspeed) Wow. Esoteric is probably the sickest rhymer I’ve heard since Phife Dawg.
1. Dilated Peoples “Expansion Team” (Capitol) The new guard. These two kids are out to save the music like Merryl Streep.
Ryan Kelley’s Top Ten Emotional Albums Of 2001
10. Jump, Little Children “Vertigo” (Atlantic) This quintet creates a mellow acoustic sound with elevated vocals. Some of the most beautiful music available to the ear today.
9. Alicia Keys “Songs in A Minor” (J) There is a certain “real” quality that this album possesses a quality that interweaves R&B with and old-school jazz feel. Keys’ stellar vocals dive and soar with an ease and intensity that emphasizes the skill of this new talent.
8. Sum 41 “All Killer No Filler” (Island) An unlikely choice in regards to the rest of the list, but none the less, Sum 41 has won fans over the course of the last year with bouncy punk reminiscent of Green Day’s early days.
7. John Mayer “Room For Squares” (Aware) Acoustic perfection supplemented by soothing vocals that would put Dave Matthews to shame. Mayer’s story oriented lyrics paint pictures for the imagination with beautiful harmonies that make you want nothing more than to keep listening.
6. Train “Drops of Jupiter” (Columbia) Drops of Jupiter, Train’s second album carries the kind of sound that enriches pop music as a whole. Perfect elements of jazz and country fill out the tracks for a CD that never seems to tire.
5. Pete Yorn “Musicforthemorningafter” (Columbia) The debut album capturing an enchanting mellow sound that relaxes the mind and captivates the heart.
4. Five For Fighting “America Town” (Columbia) Equal portions of the Dave Matthews Band, Ben Folds Five and innovation. Melodic acoustic guitar, piano and an overall warm feeling engulf the album.
3. Saves The Day “Stay What You Are” (Vagrant) Catchy emo-rock songs with a sing-along quality and meaningful lyrical scheme lacking in much of today’s music.
2. Jimmy Eat World “Bleed American” (DreamWorks) Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the most original rock since Nirvana,” Jimmy Eat World rocks out with pure emotion and a passion for life, love, and loss all the essentials.
1. Dashboard Confessional “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most” (Vagrant) A beautiful flowing orchestration of acoustic guitar lines, harmonizing vocals, and poetic lyrics that would make even Shakespeare curl up and want to cry.
Neal Ramirez’s Top 10 Chronological Albums of 2001
(Date Artist Album Title Label Sample Lyric)
February: Girlfrendo “So You Are Here Again, Shadow?” (Bambini) “Come along to this faraway place/Set in no time of space/So happens to be the case/That this is where I’ve lived my happiest days” from “Vivid Confusion.”
May 3: The Lucksmiths “Why that Doesn’t Surprise Me” (Drive In/Candle) “Blacklist anyone who tries to attack this/They can say what they like but the fact is/They know nothing about us” from “Self-Preservation.”
May 18: Boyracer “Boyfuckingracer” (555) “Speak up/I can’t understand what you’re saying/Yes, stranger things have happened/But not in my time/Only in my dreams” from “My Town.”
June 5: Rufus Wainwright “Poses” (Dream Works) ”Singing all these poses now no longer boyish/Made me a man ah but who cares what that is” from “Poses.”
June 19: The Shins “Oh, Inverted World” (Sub Pop) “Three thousand miles north east/I left my friends at the morning bus stop shaking their heads'” from “Know Your Onion!”
July 31: Gillian Welch “Time (The Revelator)” (Acony) “I want to sing that rock and roll/I want to let it define my soul/Because everybody’s been making a shout/So big and loud been drowning me out/I want to sing that rock and roll” from “I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll.”
September 18: Superchunk “Here’s to Shutting Up” (Merge) “Life is the art that you make” from “Art Class (Song For Yayoi Kusama).”
October 9: The Strokes “Is This It” (BMG/RCA) “I just want to misbehave/I just want to be your slave/Oh, you ain’t never had nothing I wanted but/I want it all” from “Barely Legal.”
October 30: Bleachmobile “Detonator” (Scribble/Super Void) “(no decipherable lyrics)” from “Voice.”
November 6: Stereo Total “Musique Automatique” (Bobsled) “It is sexy/Ecstatic/Crazy/Eccentric/Animal/Romantic/It is Communistic” from “Love with the Three of Us.”
Kristie Edelstein’s Top 10 Underground Albums Of 2001
10. Le Tigre “Feminist Sweepstakes” (Mr. Lady) More political than the s/t album and a little more raw. Samples plus feminism equals finally.
9. Manu Chao “Esperanza” (Virgin) Danceable music from South America sung in French, Spanish, and English.
8. S.Process “More Me” (Trackstar) One of the most interesting and intense records of the year. Noisy rock with a DJ.
7. Stereo Total “Musique Automatic” (Bobsled) Trashy pop sung in English, French, and German.
6. Quasi “The Sword of God” (Touch & Go) Humorous, powerful songs from the amazingly talented Janet (Sleater-Kinney) and Sam (ex-Heatmiser).
5. Blonde Redhead “The Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons” (Touch & Go) New album shows growth in melodies and songwriting. Some of the most interesting music with abstract uses of sounds and drumming.
4. Ladytron “604” (Emperor Norton) Techno for the future. This two girls/ two boys group speak about shopping and drugs.
3. Blondie “Autoamerican” re-issue (Chrysalis) Arguably one of the most important records ever put out by this groundbreaking band.
2. The Rondelles “Shined Nickels and Loose Change” (K) Collection of 7-inches, plus a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”
1. Liliput “Liliput” re-issue (Kill Rock Stars) Late seventies girl punk outfit, previously hard to find.
Jesse Chadderdon’s Top 10 Alt-Country (and other) Albums of 2001
10. Stereophonics “Just Enough Education to Perform” (V2) British pop-rockers return with their best album yet. Oasis influence is there, no doubt, but the songwriting stands alone.
9. Old 97’s “Satellite Rides” (Elektra) Formerly of the alt-country persuasion, the 97’s show they have what it takes to produce one of the smartest pop album of the year.
8. Joe Henry “Scar” (Mammoth) Henry’s voice crackles over a sophisticated blend of bass and horns on ten brilliantly composed ballads. A must own for any Dylan fan.
7. Whiskeytown “Pneumonia” (Lost Highway) The Ryan Adams led alt-country heroes last stand. A collection of the band’s unreleased material. We all are blessed that this music saw the light of day.
6. Jay Farrar “Sebastopol” (Artemis) Son Volt front man goes it alone, producing some of the most beautiful country music in years. If there’s a better voice, I haven’t heard it.
5. Radiohead “Amnesiac” (Capitol/EMI) Thom Yorke and co. prove they’re the best band in the world. Their unique combination of electronica and alternative rock is unrivaled and they’ve proved it over the last decade.
4. Action Figure Party (Blue Thumb/Verve) One-man band Greg Kurstin gets help from his friends on the first funky-fusion masterpiece in years. Every bit as good as Hancock’s “Headhunters” or Davis’ “On the Corner.”
3. Bob Schneider “Lonelyland” (Universal) The former Ugly Americans front man embarks on his solo career with a crafty blend of pop, country, and funk. The best of the rest when it comes to songwriters.
2. Bob Dylan “Love and Theft” (Columbia) The best songwriter the world has ever seen is still at it, and this is his best album since “Desire.” Brilliant up-tempo jazzy tails of Americana makes this, his forty-third album an all-time classic.
1. Ryan Adams “Gold” (Lost Highway) Just 26, and Adam’s is the only one who can rival Dylan when it comes to songwriting. From foot-stomping country jaunts to all out rock assaults, Adams is quite simply the best of America’s new generation of musicians.
…aaaand, last but not least…
John Vettese’s Top 10 Non-Genre-Specific Albums Of 2001
10. Bouncing Souls “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” (Epitaph) Feel good punk at its best; the Souls are gonna have a tough time topping this.
9. Old 97s “Satellite Rides” (Elektra) Flawless pop set from alt-country heroes.
8. They Might Be Giants “Mink Car” (Restless) They just get better and more fun with age.
7. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds “No More Shall We Part” (Reprise) Aching set from this seminal post-punk icon turned somber balladeer.
6. The Strokes “Is This It” (RCA) The Rolling Stones circa 1965 reincarnate; rock’n’fuckingroll.
5. Ursula Rucker “Super Sista” (K7) Equal parts jazzy trip-hop, mellow R&B, and socially conscious slam poetry create a profound debut.
4. Juliana Theory “Music From Another Room” (Tooth And Nail) Layered, complex, moving prog rock; very impressive considering the tender age of these Pittsburgh-area emo-kids.
3. System Of A Down “Toxicity” (American) Politically heavy, unconventional thrash that would make Jello Biafra proud.
2. Bjork “Vespertine” (Elektra) Her best and most daring work.
1. Arab Strap “The Red Thread” (Matador) Sad yet beautiful; it makes me cry.