So 2003 has come to a close and 2004 is underway... it's about time we take a look back and see what albums rocked our socks off this last year in our annual Editor's Choice Top Ten Albums listing. So peruse our list, but before you shake your fists because your favorite album didn't make our top ten, be sure to also check out our top ten albums that didn't make our top ten list.
Music-Critic.com's Top Ten Albums of 2003.
Permission to Land
Amidst all the hubbub about the return of rock music with The White Stripes' critically lauded Elephant, there was an even bigger return to rock with The Darkness's brand of 70s and 80s metal revival on Permission to Land. If you really want to RAWK, dig this.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/darkness_permissiontoland
Although most people remember Nada Surf for their mid-90s geek-rock song, Popular, they were easily forgotten by their sub-par sophomore effort. However, with Let Go, Nada Surf showed they were quite underestimated, as they put forth some of the most heartfelt pop rock ever to come pouring out of your speakers.
There are singer songwriters, and then there's Damien Rice - who's debut album is something any singer songwriter should be aspiring too. Draw-dropping tunes, emotionally wrenching lyrics, and a delivery to die for. If you wanted something simply beautiful this year, O was the way to go.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/ricedamien_o
Over the Rhine
Over the Rhine
Despite it's detractors, alt.country can, at times, be one of the truest forms of musical self-exploration, as Over the Rhine's double-disc triumph, Ohio proves within it's first 30 seconds. An absolutely stunning trip throughout, with a defining moment when we meet Jesus while drinking bloody marys in the South.
Grandaddy have always tended to explore the good and bad of our societal integration with technology vs. our natural roots, but Sumday finds the band finally building a full collection of tremendous songs... whether you take a look at their message or not.
The departure of guitarist Graham Coxon from Blur seemed like it could be the death knell for the group. Thankfully, Think Tank proved that Blur had so much more up their sleeve than anyone ever really gave them credit for. This is the album Radiohead should have made this year, but didn't.
Fountains of Wayne
Fountains of Wayne
Welcome Interstate Managers
The commercial success of Stacy's Mom was surprising, to say the least. Even more surprising was the fact that for this album, Fountains of Wayne received a Grammy nomination for best new artist - despite the fact this is their third release, and their first NOT on a major label. Still, it is their best to date. A superb collection of funny, yet truthful pop songs.
D-d-don't Stop the Beat
The evil squirrel in Shynola's video for Junior Senior's "Move Your Feet" was, by far, the video villain of the year... and Junior Senior's debut collection of wonderful dancey delights was, by far, the party disc of the year. It's fun, and that's about it. But it's REALLY fun.
full review https://musiccritic.com/pop/juniorsenior_dontstop
The Postal Service
The Postal Service
Chances are, if you're into music even just a bit, someone this year asked you "have you heard The Postal Service yet?" The collaboration between Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie found a home throughout the record collection of fans of electronic, post-punk, new wave, emo rock, and more with its unique approach to electronic music.
full review https://musiccritic.com/electronica/postalservice_giveup
Super Furry Animals
Super Furry Animals
Whether you agree with Gruff Rhys's political views or not, Super Furry Animals proved, once again, that political and social commentary, along with a dose of oddity, can make for a brilliant album. Combinations of Beach Boys pop song writing and elements of country, rock, and electronic music made Phantom Power our Editor's pick for album of the year.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/superfurryanimals_phantom
Title: Music Critic Articles | Top Ten Albums 2002
Meta: Music Critic Articles | Top Ten Albums 2002
Top Ten Albums 2002
the overgrown supershit
by: bill aicher
2002 is nearly at a close, and like everyone else it's time for Music-Critic.com to announce our picks for the top ten albums of 2002. As you'll see while we count down, 2002 was an unbelievably strong year for great music... we unfortunately had to leave off a lot of favorites this time around. Also, you'll see 2002 was one of the best years in hip-hop... but that's all we're saying for now...
Music-Critic.com's Top Ten Albums of 2002.
2002 was the year of sub-par chillout releases, as the genre became the bandwagon to jump on. However, amidst all the mediocrity, relatively few stood out. On their debut album, Melody A.M., Norway's Royskopp shined.
full review https://musiccritic.com/electronica/royksopp_melodyam
Not only was "Work It" one of the funkiest hip-hop tracks released this year, but Missy Elliot proved with Under Construction once and for all that she is the female force to be reckoned with in hip-hop.
full review https://musiccritic.com/urban/elliot_underconstruction
The Last Broadcast
The sophomore release from British rock group, Doves is proof that not everyone can agree on a great album. In our own review from Peter Naldrett, we gave it an initial diss... but here it is on our top ten.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/doves_lastbroadcast
Common's foray into semi-experimentalism in hip-hop was by far one of the year's most innovative releases, and one of the most ambitious hip-hop releases ever. For those not afraid of newness in hip-hop, you couldn't do better than Electric Circus.
full review https://musiccritic.com/urban/common_electriccircus
The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
For years critics have known that when a Flaming Lips record drops, you best pay attention. This became more true after The Soft Bulletin - and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots was an unbelievable follow-up. There's a reason we keep saying these guys are going to save the world someday.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/flaminglips_yoshimi
Even with all the innovations going on in the world of hip-hop, it's nice to know that a solid, classic album can still be made. Blackalicious's Blazing Arrow is about as solid as they come. If you give a damn about music at all, you'll be digging on this disc.
full review https://musiccritic.com/urban/blackalicious_blazingarrow
Milwaukee's Promise Ring was a longtime favorite among the emo crowd, but their last two albums found them pursuing more traditional pop/rock routes. On their final album, they worked with Stephen Street, and came out with something truly remarkable.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/promisering_woodwater
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
After being dumped by their label, it was a question as to when, if ever, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot would see the light of day. Fortunately it did, because it's an album destined to become a modern classic.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/wilco_yankeehotelfoxtrot
Iceland's Sigur Ros decided to not even title their latest album or any of the songs, and sang in gibberish "Hopelandic," but once again they put out a truly remarkable album of ethereal, beautiful music that'd even make Mogwai jealous.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/sigurros_notitle
Handcream for a Generation
Cornershop's follow-up to When I Was Born for the 7th Time came out of leftfield for some. It wasn't the artsy masterpiece When I Was Born... was, instead Handcream... was by far the most fun album of 2002. And it's our pick for #1.
full review https://musiccritic.com/rock/cornershop_handcream