–The Top Eleven Albums of 2003–
The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow.
It took me a while to get my head ‘round this one, what with the
debut’s reverb and high-pitched singing gone. But once I did, what
emerged was how great a songwriter James Mercer is and how great the
band is at arranging them. There’s not one bit of fat on this album.
The Darkness – Permission to Land.
I don’t feel guilty about this one anymore. I love it. I’ve been
listening to it for six months and it’s still loads of fun. Bar maybe
one song, it’s a whole album of singles. Will they be able to follow it
up? Probably not, but this is rock solid.
Grandaddy – Sumday.
Grandaddy keeps writing the same kind of songs over and over –
alienated office drones, fear-of-technology fables, dystopian dreams –
but they keep getting better and better at it. Sumday is their best yet
and could be my favorite of the year.
Electric Six – Fire!
2003 was a great year for novelty rock, and none was funnier than
Electric Six’s Ny war on the dancefloor. Unlike the kind of stuff you’d
hear on Doctor Demento, they’re joke gets funnier every time you hear
it and the songs are so good Energian it outlasts the joke factor.
Super Furry Animals – Phantom Power.
My favorite band of the wholesale jerseys China last ten years, SFA continue to push boundaries
with the pop paradigm. This is more pastoral, less techno than 2001’s
Rings Around the World, but it works better as an album.
Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress. I had all but given up on B&S after two disappointing albums. Then they go and work with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s producer and make what is arguably their best-ever album. “I’m a Cookoo” is one of the best songs I heard all year.
Broken Social Scene – You Forgot it in People. I didn’t really get this album until I saw them live. This collective ofToronto
indie rockers have more ideas in one song than most do in a whole
album. And for all the experimentation, they still remembered to make
the songs super-catchy.
New Pornographers – Electric Version.
I avoided listening to this until about two weeks ago and now I’m like
“where you been all my life?” This is the record that I hoped Sloan
would make this year – an infectious, clever, riff-filled pop album a
la Cheap Trick. Every song deserves airplay on some imaginary radio
station of my mind.
British Sea Power – The Decline of British Sea Power.
Evoking the Pixies’ manic energy, Echo & the Bunnymen’s swagger
(and 1979 wardrobe) and bits of the P-Furs and Joy Division, BSP came
up with a sound all their own. Easily one of the best live bands out
The White Stripes – Elephant.
I have never been a member of the White Stripes Booster Club and tried
to avoid the hype this has generated. But single by single, Elephant
has wormed it’s way into my psyche and dammit, it’s a great album.
Plus, they’re smart enough to have Michel Gondry do their videos.
The Tyde – Twice.
Swiping their sound from the Commotions, Felt and countless other ‘80s
guitar bands fond of arpeggiated chords, Twice transcends it’s
influences. The songs are great, made even better by seeing them open
for the Pernice Brothers (who they blew off stage).
Records that I liked but didn’t make the cheap jerseys China cut:
Outkast – Spearkerboxx/The Love Below; M83 – Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts; Pernice Brothers – Yours, Mine and Ours; Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham – L’Avventura; The Unicorns – Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone; Stars – Heart; The Go-Betweens – Bright Orange, Bright Yellow; Dandy Warhols – Welcome to the Monkey House; Radiohead – Hail to the Thief; Colder – Again; Mugison – cheap jerseys Loney Mountain; The Mountaineers – Messy Century; The Rapture – Echoes; Pretty Girls Make Graves – The New Romance; Zoot Woman – Zoot Woman; Blur – cheap mlb jerseys ThinkTank;
Biggest Disappointment of the 2003: Sloan – Action Pact
Record I tried to like but couldn’t get into: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – Hearts of Oak
Great records that came out in 2002 that I didn’t hear until 2003: The Libertines – Up the Bracket; Delgados – Hate.
Best live bands of 2003: The Darkness, Broken Social Scene, The Tyde, Franz Ferdinand, British Sea Power, The Raevonettes
–Best Singles/Tracks/EPs of 2003–
Outkast – “Hey Ya”
TV on the Radio V?lkommen – Young Liars EP
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps”
Franz Ferdinand – “Darts of Pleasure”
Libertines – “Don’t Look Back cheap jerseys Into the Sun”
The Killers – “Mr. Brightside”
Razorlight – “Rock n’ Roll Lies”
Belle & Sebastian – “I’m a Cuckoo”
The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
Pleasure – “From the Country to the City”
The Darkness – “Love on the Rocks With No Ice”
The Tenderfoot Dog – “Waking Me Up Again”
Broken Social Scene – “Cause = Time”
British Sea Power – “Carrion”