Sunday, September 06, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2000

Not much to go for the end of the decade and various "best of" lists are already starting to appear. Our own album list for the '00s is going to be finalized early next year because we feel that we should concentrate on 2009's music for now. However, starting this month, we shall dedicate two or three of our monthly posts to the presentation of our 30 favorite albums and singles for each year of the '00s (detailed lists for these years are going to be posted on Cool Music Database as soon as we finish with the '90s).

Starting our countdown of the '00s, we have today the best of 2000, a year dominated by some of our favorite artists of the past two decades. It didn't take much thought to give P.J. Harvey's "Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea" the "Album of the Year" title and I don't think it is much of a spoiler to say that this timeless rock record is also a strong candidate for "Album of the Decade". To quote myself when I was ranting and raving about it at the time: "...This is her best work since the 1993 classic "Rid of Me", a more mellow and mature effort that sounds just as captivating and powerful. The 50ft Queenie is growing up in style. "Good fortune", one of the many highlights of this record, is also one of Y2K’s greatest singles. Definitely the most uplifting album of the year".

Similar raves were in store for the next two records on the list, Primal Scream's "XTRMNTR" (their best work ever, for my money) and The Fall's "The Unutterable" (their best for the '00s along with "Fall Heads Roll"). Quoting from the old Cool Music Central site (before its reincarnation here on Blogger): "..."XTRMNTR" is truly the first 21st century-sounding album. A chaotic, mind blowing head-on disco-punk collision that can make you dance ’til your ears bleed...The best ever Primal Scream record and also the perfect ending to the Creation legacy". As for "The Unutterable", this is what I had to say at the time: "...The Fall phenomenon continues. It is truly amazing that after 24 years and thirty-something albums, Mark E Smith can still marshal his latest recruits so masterfully and deliver an album as astonishing as this. "Two Librans" and "Serum" are just two of the instant Fall classics included here. The sound of a rejuvenated band that is determined to remain a force to be reckoned with in the new century".

Other notable releases of 2000 included the second Queens Of The Stone Age album (Josh Homme taking his work with cult '90s desert-rockers Kyuss to the next level), the last one for At The Drive-In (one of the greatest punk records of the '00s) and the fifth for Sleater-Kinney (as I wrote in Blast From The Past Vol.5, they were perhaps the best new band of the late '90s and continued being amazing in the '00s). Sleater-Kinnney also had some involvement in the album that proved to be the most important comeback of the year and, perhaps, of the '00s (which says a lot, in a decade that was full of comebacks and reunions). Robert Forster and Grant McLennan rejoined powers for the first Go-Betweens record since the '80s (with Janet Weiss providing the beats) with the end result being among their finest moments. Modest Mouse released "The Moon and Antarctica", the record that made me realize just how great Isaac Brock's band really is, while Grandaddy and Idlewild reached their pick with their 2000 releases. The best debut of the year was the electroclash classic "The Teaches of Peaches", Peaches' naughty introduction to the world, equally shocking and exhilarating - just like great sex. Here's what the Top 30 albums and singles of the year look like:

Top 30 Albums of 2000

1. Stories from the city, stories from the sea - P.J. HARVEY
2. Exterminator - PRIMAL SCREAM
3. The unutterable - THE FALL
5. Relationship of command - AT THE DRIVE-IN
6. All hands on the bad one - SLEATER-KINNEY
7. The friends of Rachel Worth - THE GO-BETWEENS
8. The moon and Antarctica - MODEST MOUSE
9. The sophtware slump - GRANDADDY
10. 100 broken windows - IDLEWILD
11. The teaches of Peaches - PEACHES
12. Automatic midnight - HOT SNAKES
13. More light - J MASCIS + THE FOG
14. Good news for modern man - GRANT HART
15. God says no - MONSTER MAGNET
16. Thirteen tales from urban bohemia - THE DANDY WARHOLS
17. Golden lies - MEAT PUPPETS
18. The W - WU-TANG CLAN
19. Got it made - BRASSY
20. Will save us all! - CHICKS ON SPEED
21. Melody of certain damaged lemons - BLONDE REDHEAD
22. Dongs of sevotion - SMOG
23. And then nothing turned itself inside-out - YO LA TENGO
24. NYC ghosts and flowers - SONIC YOUTH
25. 1000 hurts - SHELLAC
26. Pound for pound - ROYAL TRUX
27. Whiteout - BOSS HOG
28. Stankonia - OUTKAST
29. Good looking blues - LAIKA
30. Chore of enchantment - GIANT SAND

Top 30 Singles of 2000

1. Good fortune - P.J. HARVEY
2. Going blind - THE GO-BETWEENS
Kill all hippies - PRIMAL SCREAM
4. Little discourage - IDLEWILD
6. One armed scissor - AT THE DRIVE-IN
7. The lost art of keeping a secret - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
8. You’re no rock'n'roll fun - SLEATER-KINNEY
9. Bohemian like you - THE DANDY WARHOLS
10. Whiteout - BOSS HOG
11. Work it out - BRASSY
12. Kaltes klares wasser - CHICKS ON SPEED
13. Hip hop - DEAD PREZ
14. Lovertits - PEACHES
15. Uneasy - LAIKA
16. The crystal lake - GRANDADDY
17. Up with people - LAMBCHOP
18. Son of Sam - ELLIOTT SMITH
19. Melodie citronique EP - BLONDE REDHEAD
20. Radio video EP - ROYAL TRUX
21. B.O.B. - OUTKAST
22. Gravel pit - WU-TANG CLAN
23. A song for the lovers - RICHARD ASHCROFT
24. Ballad of Cable Hogue - CALEXICO
25. Disillusion - BADLY DRAWN BOY
26. You can have it all - YO LA TENGO
27. Forbidden love EP - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
28. Mr. E’s beautiful blues - EELS
29. Music is my radar - BLUR
30. The Coney Island of your mind - THE WISDOM OF HARRY

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