Friday, October 30, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2003

In part four of our series of posts dedicated to the best music of this decade, we present today our 30 favorite albums and singles of 2003, a very rewarding year for those of us who enjoy loud guitars, strong female voices and discovering exciting new music.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who released the best debut of the year, had all those elements in place and so did The Kills. Karen O and Alison Mosshart are undoubtedly two of the most talented rock singers of their generation, while Nick Zinner and Jamie Hince are among the top guitar slingers. Other promising newcomers who released superb breakthrough albums in 2003 included The Sleepy Jackson, Metric, The Stills, The Bronx and The Rapture (who actually released their debut in 1999 but it was “Echoes”, their second LP, that put them on the map). The Postal Service, the project that came about through the collaboration of Death Cab For Cutie’s vocalist Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, released “Give up”, their first and only LP, that proved to be one of the best electro-pop albums of the decade. The Strokes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Peaches and Broken Social Scene all released excellent sophomore records, Cat Power delivered perhaps her best work ever with “You are free”, while the old school was represented by amazing albums from The Fall and Wire.

For our top 3 albums of the year, I’m quoting from the original end-of-the-year review posted in the old Cool Music Central site (our previous World Wide Web incarnation):

Coral Fang” by The Distillers: “The third Distillers album in just 4 years has been a true revelation, establishing Brody Dalle as the most powerful, inspired and inspiring front-woman in rock since the heyday of Courtney Love. “Coral Fang” is the disturbing, yet cathartic sound of Brody slashing herself up, sucking the venom out of her blood and spitting it back to the face of her detractors. The most gloriously manic punk rock album in years from a band that burns bright and fast! Let’s just hope they don’t burn out too soon.” (unfortunately, they did).

Elephant” by The White Stripes: “If we try to be objective for a moment, and we rarely are, “Elephant” is the obvious choice for Album of the Year. “White Blood Cells” put them on the map, but “Elephant” is their defining moment, their very own “Nevermind”. The White Stripes managed to take blues influenced garage rock, that has been there forever as an underground movement, mix it up with country, punk and their very own rock ’n’ roll energy and spirit and turn it into a worldwide mainstream phenomenon. The garages are buzzing with life again and it’s all thanks to a soul brother & sister team!”

Throwing Muses” by Throwing Muses: “There have been many reunions lately, but none as necessary or deeply gratifying as this one. Kristin Hersh brought her old band together (including prodigal Muse Tanya Donelly) for one last (?) time and delivered an album as good as anything they've ever done - in other words, an instant classic! How many bands do you know that have at least one classic album in three different decades? The doors of our own private Rock ’n’ Roll Hall Of Fame are wide open! As for the future, Kristin is ready to start all over again with 50 Foot Wave. Respect!”

Top 30 Albums of 2003

1. Coral fang - THE DISTILLERS
3. Throwing Muses - THROWING MUSES
4. Take them on, on your own - BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB
5. Fever to tell - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
6. Echoes - THE RAPTURE
7. Room on fire - THE STROKES
8. You are free - CAT POWER
9. The new romance - PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES
10. The real new Fall LP (formerly ‘Country On The Click’) - THE FALL
11. Send - WIRE
12. Sumday - GRANDADDY
13. Keep on your mean side - THE KILLS
14. Fatherfucker - PEACHES
17. You forgot it in people - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
18. Old world underground, where are you now? - METRIC
19. Rock N Roll - RYAN ADAMS
21. Blackberry belle - THE TWILIGHT SINGERS
22. La musica negra - VERBENA
23. Electric version - THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
24. Logic will break your heart - THE STILLS
25. The Bronx - THE BRONX
26. Rounds - FOUR TET
27. Speakerboxxx / The love below - OUTKAST
28. Hail to the thief - RADIOHEAD
29. The New Folk Implosion - FOLK IMPLOSION
30. This is the glamorous - NEW WET KOJAK

Top 30 Singles of 2003

1. Such great heights - THE POSTAL SERVICE
2. She kissed me (it felt like a hit) - SPIRITUALIZED
3. Drain the blood - THE DISTILLERS
4. Crawl home - DESERT SESSIONS
5. This is our emergency - PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES
6. Say hello to the angles / NYC - INTERPOL
7. Seven nation army - THE WHITE STRIPES
10. First it giveth - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
11. The seed 2.0 - THE ROOTS (ft. CODY CHESNUTT)
12. Bandages - HOT HOT HEAT
13. 12:51 - THE STROKES
14. My kind of soldier - GUIDED BY VOICES
15. Fight test EP - THE FLAMING LIPS
17. Black is the color of my true love's hair - THE TWILIGHT SINGERS
18. Just because - JANE’S ADDICTION
19. Way out west - VERBENA
20. Molly’s chambers - KINGS OF LEON
21. Kick it - PEACHES (ft. IGGY POP)
22. Hey ya! - OUTKAST
23. Bad day - R.E.M.
24. You were the last high - THE DANDY WARHOLS
25. (We wish) you a protein Christmas - THE FALL
26. Heartbreak stroll / The Christmas song - THE RAVONETTES
27. Bring it on - NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS
28. Pendulum EP - BROADCAST
29. Out of time - BLUR
30. Pass it on - THE CORAL

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