View Full Version : Poll: Best albums of 2002

Last Exile
2nd January 2003, 03:16 AM
2002 is over, big names and new acts have released the good stuff, so I ask you: What music did it for you in 2002? (Hey, that rhymes! :D ) And try not to give one sentence answers when you say why you liked that album.

For me, well: (this could take a while)

Pearl Jam - Riot Act. The remainder of the Seattle hype somehow survive the aftermath of the Roskilde tragedy and dig deep to make this gem. OK, it sounds quite different from typical Pearl Jam, but Roskilde would ensure Pearl jam could never go back to what they were. There's more melody but the riffs are still there, but what really made this album great was Eddie Vedder lyrics. He seemed to be far better than ever in terms of songwriting. Accepting the universe in the atmospheric 'Can't Keep', howling in the urgent 'Save You', healing the wounds in the gorgeous 'Love Boat Captain', soaring in the alluring 'I Am Mine', getting funky and passionate in 'You Are', singing murder in 'Green Disease' and sticking the finger to Dubya in "Bu$hleaguer', it worked better than expected. The tour (me seeing them on February 16) is bound to be out of this world.

Silverchair - Diorama. Daniel Johns spends nearly a year recovering from reactive arthritis, but not even that stopped this album from going all the way. Aussie's finest changed tack by adding the orchestra to their lineup and Daniel's songwriting improved accordingly. The alluring beginning of 'Across The Night' drifted into the epic mash of 'The Greatest View' and the orchestral punch of 'Without You' and back to the soft harmony of 'Luv Your Life'. They can rock and be harmonious all at once. With the world tour in full swing now, expect fireworks. Silverchair are back.

The Vines - Highly Evolved. The rock revival started by The Strokes and The White Stripes in 2001 led to Australia joining the bandwagon. The chaotic Craig Nicholls screamed and crooned his soul onto short, simple ballads that go straight to the heart. Screaming and trashing with enough vitriol to destroy the universe on 'Highly Evolved' and 'Get Free' then being soft and melodic on piano-based jewels like 'Autumn Shade' and being stoned fools on the fake reggae of 'The Factory', Kurt Cobain's legacy seemed alive once more. If Nicholls can live long enough, The Vines will be etched into rock folk lore for eternity.

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Topping their first album was always going to be tough, as was shaking the Radiohead-Jeff Buckley tags. Bringing in the piano and toning down the pitch of the vocals did it as they forged their own sound. 'Politik' was poignant and inspiring with a message for the world, 'In My Place' was typical Coldplay with its melting guitars and Chris Martin's mopey croon. 'Clocks' was enough to send one to Heaven while 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' was a narcotic mix of Martin's tale of love of a girl verging on obsession and gorgeous riffs, tinged with sorrow yet fueled with enough fire to burn to down a major city. If their best is yet to come, heaven on earth is a chance yet.

Beck - Seachange. Okay, who destroyed the enigma?! Beck's breakup with his partner of eight years brought a rapid change in his style. For once his vocals were straight and non-cryptic, while the sound was crusier and slower than a snail. Bringing in legendary producer Nigel Godrich (producer of Radiohead's last three albums) introduced a very atmospheric and electro feel based on very laid-back guitar to echo Beck's heartbreak and misery, yet providing a sound that is very summertime. 'The Golden Age' is like the peak of summertime on golden beach with clean water rushing on your feet, 'Paper Tiger' has a violin section to die for, 'Lost Cause' was a dangerously catchy tale of heartbreak, 'Already Dead' almost made despair sound alluring as before Beck begins to perk up with the sexy Eastern-style 'Sunday Sun'. Perhaps the most underrated album of 2002.

Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For the Deaf. A good metal band can do it for oneself like nothing else can. Bringing Dave Grohl into the fold provided the punch this outfit needed. 'I May Not Look Like I'm Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like I'm A Millionare' was enough to blow your brains to a bloody pulp in 3 minutes, and that was just the first song. Then the essentially catchy 'No One Knows' with its bouncy feel and tale-like lyrics left you fulfilled and ready for more. 'Song For The Dead' featured some of the best drumming in history while 'Go With The Flow' featured a psycho piano, a crazy guitar and manic vocals to boot. The most radical album of the year by far.