As we've been preparing to wow the world with our picks for the top ten albums released in 2003, we realized there are quite a bit of impressive albums that just didn't make the cut for this year's list. Many of these are the albums that you'll scream at us for not including in the list, but we thought we'd give them a bit of props.
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Outkast's double-disc album was quite an amazing feat, but at times it seemd a bit too self-indulgent for its own right. Then again, this is Outkast, so self-indulgence is not all that surprising. Besides, Andre did make Polaroid film cool again for the first time since the mid-80s.
full review https://musiccritic.com/urban/outkast_speakerboxxxlovebelow
The Jealous Kind
People who dismiss country music off the bat obviously haven't heard the right country music, as Chris Knight has demonstrated on his album The Jealous Kind. His latest showcases a tremendous songwriting ability, making Knight one of the best songwriters currently recording.
full review https://musiccritic.com/country/knightchris_jealouskind
New Sacred Cow
Kenna's album, New Sacred Cow seemed like it might never come out, as tracks for it were floating around for years. Thankfully it did, and showed Kenna as one of the most innovative artists of the year, blending hip-hop, electronica, rock and more into a sound all his own.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/kenna_newsacredcow
The debut album from Akrobatik demonstrates just what is needed in a great hip-hop album, a balance between dope beats, intelligence, and bouncy fun. If you're a hip-hop fan, there's no way you missed out on this... did you?
full review https://musiccritic.com/urban/akrobatik_balance
The Dandy Warhols
Welcome to the Monkey House
The Dandy Warhols took a bit of a sidestep with their most recent album, due mostly to the fact that their love of Duran Duran went almost a bit too far - but that didn't stop "You Were The Last High" from being one of the year's coolest song, and Welcome to the Monkey House one of the cooler albums - Simon LeBon guest vocals and all.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/dandywarhols_monkeyhouse
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
Marty Stuart, despite his mighty silvered mullet and the "Marty Party" persona, has rebirthed himself as one of country music's truest believers. This album doesn't just sport the most apt title of the year; it's a testament to the different sounds and textures of country music...if this is corny, then bring the butter and some extra napkins!
full review https://musiccritic.com/country/martystuart_countrymusic
Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie
Featuring even more of Ben Gibbard's trademark lyrical introspection, as well as a masterful level of song composition, Death Cab for Cutie finally found themselves with Transatlanticism.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/deathcabforcutie_transatlanticism
Logic Will Break Your Heart
Following the current trend to explore 80s new wave and post-punk influences, The Stills decided to incorporate these into their sound rather than simply rehash. This, along with the fact that Tim Fletcher can write a damn fine song, make The Stills not only a great band now, but one to watch in years to come.
Hail to the Thief
Radiohead's latest album found them embracing a more mainstream sound, creating an album that their more standard fare from Amnesiac and Kid A had interspersed throughout. Still, it felt a bit disappointing in the end, when many people expected another step forward from the group.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/radiohead_httt
Chutes Too Narrow
The Shins brand of summery indie pop was further developed on their sophomore release, showing that their debut, Oh Inverted World, was no fluke. Fans of intelligent, fun music rejoice - and run and out and get yourself a copy of Chutes Too Narrow if you haven't.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/shins_chutestoonarrow