Top 10 Albums of 2001

ANDREW BOTTOMLEY
Editor, Skyscraper Magazine

1. Clinic "Internal Wrangler"
2. Fugazi "The Argument"
3. Hefner "We Love the City"
4. Les Savy Fav "Go Forth"
5. Ted Leo/Pharmacists "The Tyranny of Distance"
6. The White Stripes "White Blood Cells"
7. The Strokes "Is This It"
8. Q And Not U "No Kill No Beep Beep"
9. The Shins "Oh, Inverted World"
10. The Pattern "Immediately"


JASON HELLER

Contributor, Skyscraper Magazine
[listed in no particular order]

Strike Anywhere "Change is A Sound"
Comets On Fire "s/t"
The Flaming Stars "Ginmill Prefume"
Kill Creek "Colors of Home"
Limpwrist "s/t"
The Strokes "Is This It"
Planes Mistaken For Stars "Fuck With Fire"
Hood "Cold House"
The Mercury Program "All the Suits Began to Fall Off"
Lost Kids "Belle Isle Is On Fire"


ADAM PATERSON
Graphic artist, Skyscraper Magazine / Drummer, Books Lie
[listed in no particular order]

Fugazi "The Argument"
Switchblade LP
Unwound "Leaves Turn Inside You"
Converge "Jane Doe"
Pretty Girls Make Graves EP
From Ahes Rise "Silence"
Excelsior "Can We Get Some Satisfaction...?" EP
The Scarlet Letter (in general)
Oil "Destination Delta"
Dick Army "Unsafe At Any Volume"


JONATHAN STUART

Contributor, Skyscraper Magazine

0. Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From the British Empire and Beyond
1. Radiohead "Amnesiac"
2. Serge Gainsbourg "Histoire de Melody Nelson" (reissue)
3. Mercury Rev "All is Dream"
4. Clinic "Internal Wrangler"
5. Destroyer "Streethawk: A Seduction"
6. Blo "Phases 1972-1982" (reissue)
7. Goldfrapp "Felt Mountain"
8. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci "How I long to feel that summer in my heart"
9. Rockfour "Another Beginning"
10. Boyd Rice "The Way I Feel" (late late late 2000 still counts)
11. Bjork "Vespertine"
12. Alicia Keys "Songs in A Minor"
13. James "Pleased to Meet You"
14. Claire Danes' voice echoing off the hills of New Haven
15. Amores Perros/The Royal Tenenbaums (soundtracks)


JONATHAN WRIGHT

Contributor, Skyscraper Magazine

1. Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
How ironic that in the post-dot-com-meltdown era the album of the year would be available only on the web, directly from the artists themselves. Deemed too uncommercial and shelved by Reprise, YHF risked languishing in major label limbo hell indefinitely until the band bought back the rights to the album and immediately began streaming it for free over the internet. Incorporating non-traditional sounds and avant-garde techniques into any kind of roots-oriented music makes for easy criticism; it's dangerous territory because it usually doesn't work. Somehow, Wilco manages to make this juxtaposition seem effortless and obvious while crafting a majestic and beautiful record which, with all its song-as-soundscape leanings, never once loses its sense of melody nor tries to artistically coast on "texture." It is a revelation, plain and simple, successful in all of its vast ambitions, and one for the ages. Official CD release in spring 2002.

2. Ryan Adams "Gold"
Saddled with all the high expectations and hype that accompany being the Next (circle one:) Dylan/Springsteen/Parsons/Earle/Westerberg, this cocky sonofabitch writes songs like there's no tomorrow, nearly all of them are good, many are brilliant. Sure, there's some filler here that could be trimmed, and yeah, nearly every song recalls a different '70s rock band almost to the point of copyright infringement, but I fell in love with Gold, warts and all, and probably listened to it more than any other record this year.

3. Bob Dylan "Love and Theft"
The old bard still got it-after stumbling incoherently out of the '80s and fidgeting nervously for the early '90s, Dylan started making great records again, and this is the best of the batch. Only time will tell, but this could be the equal of Highway 61 or Blood on the Tracks-the sharp wit and poignant storytelling are back, alongside quite possibly the most exciting band Dylan has ever fielded.

4. Spiritualized "Let It Come Down"
One of the best and most consistent acts of the '90s begins the new century with a sweeping orchestral transcendence of Rock, fueled by gospel and soul influences run through a Brit-pop filter. Both similar to and unique among their other three albums; as always, Spiritualized makes the best music to take drugs to.

5. Planes Mistaken For Stars "Fuck With Fire"
Ferocious and guitar-heavy, takes punk rock to task for its stagnancy and play-it- safe mentality. Lizard-and-Sabbath low end theory meets Rites of Spring crunch and conviction.

6. Idlewild "100 Broken Windows"
Like if Oasis were, say, half as good as the Beatles, and had some balls. This just rocks, and the songs stick in your head.

7. Radiohead "Amnesiac"
The pre-release mega-hype and anticipation that accompanied Kid A had disappeared, allowing this record to slip in under the radar of some, dismissed as electro-wannabe knob-twiddling by others. There are songs here, people, some of the most interesting, intelligent, and emotionally rich of the year.

8. Lucinda Williams "Essence"
Fabulously talented alt-country matriarch puts on hold the folksy storytelling style which won her critical acclaim in favor of matters closer to the heart. A stark, brooding, confessional song cycle, a setting so intimate you feel as if you're in her very bedroom, where she serenades you with that sultry Southern voice.

9. Gillian Welch "Time (The Revelator)"
Timeless and timely, transcendent, achingly beautiful, and utterly unique. Proof that folk music can still be important.

10. The Strokes "Is This It"
It's hipper to hate these guys than to like them-the other reason to like them besides the fact that they're actually a good band.

11. Buddy & Julie Miller "s/t"
12. Owls "s/t"
13. Jay Farrar "Sebastopol"
14. Mercury Rev "All Is Dream"
15. Blind Boys of Alabama Spirit of the Century"
16. Macy Gray "The Id"
17. Fugazi "The Argument"
18. The White Stripes "White Blood Cells"
19. Bjork "Vespertine"
20. Scott Miller & The Commonwealth "Thus Always to Tyrants"

Favorite Reissues of 2001:
Shuggie Otis "Inspiration Information"
Soft Boys "Underwater Moonlight"
International Submarine Band "Safe at Home"

 

 

 


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