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Damien Jurado


Top 10 of 2000
5.25.2001 by Sean


Today I am going to backtrack to my files from January, and share with you all that most egotistical of pursuits - the Top Ten List. Here are my Top 10 Albums of 2000. Please forgive the silly figurative language; the albums you like best are hardest to describe.

Top 3 (in no particular order)

Radiohead - Kid A
An album for the cold winter nights in fairyland, where, amidst the pixie glow, you can hear a heart breaking and a man falling apart. Radiohead's best album.

Coldplay - Parachutes
I don't care what anti-mainstream people think. This is a beautiful soundwash of an album, a strange mirror image of Radiohead's deconstructionism. Music for blue-skied winter days, when happiness hits you like a warm wind, filling you.

Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
Not an 'alien' album as some has suggested, Agaetis Byrjun is above all earthly, rising out of the ice singing as the Old Things did. Soundscapes that pulse and weave and change. Incredible. (I'm gonna count this as 2000, even though, strictly speaking, it's 1999.)

4. Kathryn Williams - Little Black Numbers
A lovely voice, beautiful songs. Like Nick Drake, but better.

5. Damien Jurado - Ghost of David
Sad songs from a tremendous songwriting heritage. Lovely little stories. What this year's Bright Eyes release could have been.

6. Badly Drawn Boy - Hour of the Bewilderbeast
Overhyped, but "the Shining" continues to take my breath away. What's more, Damon Gough is amazing on stage, selling himself as an artist, breathing life into his little tunes.

7. The Doves - Lost Souls
I hear it's "Art Rock". I just think they're damn good songs, weird and wonderful sounds. Great as a cohesive album.

8. Mirah - You Think It's Like This But It's Like That
A surprising album by a singer who gets into my head... it's as if she's singing just for me. Aww...

9. The Delgados - The Great Eastern
Their best album, brings the orchestral poppiness to maturity. Warm, fuzzy, yummy.

10. The Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy
A triumphant return to some sort of contentedess. Quirky while remaining dense, layered, and important.

Runners Up:
Smog - Dongs of Sevotion
Grandaddy - The Sophtware Slump
Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Black Heart Procession - 3
The Beatles - 1
The Tragically Hip - Music @ Work
Death Cab for Cutie - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes

Top 10 Disappointments (or rather, albums that I wish had been better):
1. Belle and Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
Jeez! I wanted this so bad! And then it turned out to be crap! I've probably listened to it fewer than 10 times! No songs I particularly liked, blah blah blah. Give me another Sinister, Scottish kiddoes!

2. Morcheeba - Fragments of Freedom
Way to take the "trip-hop" out of "trip-hop". Gah. Commercialized neo-disco crap from one of my favourite (previously) lesser-known groups.

3. Elliott Smith - Figure 8
More of the same, and nothing that rises out of the album as particularly memorable.

4. Gomez - Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline
Rarities and weirdness? I made a better Gomez rarities album... but the Beatles cover is terrific.

5. Bright Eyes - Fevers and Mirrors
Just isn't as true, as melodic, as tremendous as Letting off the Happiness. The better production is fine, but I just wish the songs were superior! The terrible irony-less depression doesn't hold up when the songs can't communicate it sincerely.

6. Queens of the Stone Age - Queens of the Stone Age
Best album of the year according to NME? Come again? Is this the same disc we're talking about?

7. Travis - The Man Who
Nice melodies, good words, but moany, dopey vocals! I have a really hard time listening.

8. Rachel's/Matmos - Handwriting LP
Yeah, it's fine. But Sea and Bells still kicks ass.

9. Godspeed You Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists...
Nothing remarkable here. Indie post-rock people are too often fooled. Classical music has done this -way- better. Some of GYBE!'s earlier releases were much more significant.

10 [tie] - Nelly Furtado - Whoa Nelly!
Less Mariah Carey, more "Hey Man". Please?

10 [tie] - Fatboy Slim - Somewhere Between the Gutter and the Stars
Hey, I liked his last album. But this? Nothing to catch my fancy.




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