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2002 Review – Albums #120 – 111

Posted by July 30th, 2003 No Comments »

By Nada Staff

120. Everyday – The Cinematic Orchestra (Ninja Tune)
Is this what the kids are calling “downtempo” these days? Whatever you call it, Britain’s Cinematic Orchestra manage to meld ’60s and ’70s jazz, orchestral soundtracks, rhythm loops and live instrumentation into some very pretty soundscapes. Recommended for relaxing seaside naps in hammocks or fucking.

By Nada Staff

120. Everyday – The Cinematic Orchestra (Ninja Tune)
Is this what the kids are calling “downtempo” these days? Whatever you call it, Britain’s Cinematic Orchestra manage to meld ’60s and ’70s jazz, orchestral soundtracks, rhythm loops and live instrumentation into some very pretty soundscapes. Recommended for relaxing seaside naps in hammocks or fucking.

119. Kissin Time – Marianne Faithful (Virgin/Hut)
Wait, THAT Marianne Faithful? The beautiful blonde that hung on Jagger’s every word for awhile back in the 60s? Shouldn’t she be waiting tables somewhere with Joan Baez and Nico? Not with a surprisingly strong batch of songs and help from Beck, Billy Corgan, Dave Stewart and members of Blur and Pulp, like she used to make Kissin’ Time one of 2002’s best.

118. You Can’t Fight What You Can’t See – Girls Against Boys (Jade Tree)
I’ve been trying to turn people on to this New York City rock band since I first heard Cruise Yourself back in 1995. GVB’ music is characterized by dirty, dirty grooves and an innate sexiness that still sounds tough. This is probably the most accessible and hook-laden album the band’s yet released, so if you’re unfamiliar with their work it’s a great place to start.

117. Handcream for a Generation – Cornershop (Beggars Banquet)
Sadly, Cornershop are most likely resigned to one-hit wonder status thanks to “Brimful of Asha” that infectious-come-annoying-come-infectious 2000 hit that taught us “Everyone Needs a Bosom for a Pillow.” Which is unfortunate, because if you ever doubted hip-hop culture, folk songwriting and middle eastern influences could be mixed together and come out sounding cool, this quiet follow-up to When I was Born for the 7th Time proves it a second time.

116. Everybody Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone – The Walkmen (Star Time)
Well, smeone pretended to like The Walkmen long enough to get these New York foppish dandies a load of press clips and a couple national tours, so the band’s 2002 album title can’t be that accurate. Cheesy album-title-devices-aside, these guys make relatively complex music sound, and look, easy, and presupposed Seattle’s burgeoning supergroup The Vells, only hopefully not quite as good. Which isn’t to say The Walkmen aren’t good; they are. We just hope The Vells live up to the hype preceding their excellent debut EP on Luckyhorse.

115. Close Cover Before Striking/Romantica – Luna (Jetset)
It would be easier to write Dean Wareham off as some smarmy, overrated wussyrock songwriter if he didn’t keep releasing such achingly beautiful indie-pop records. The year of our lord two-thousand and two saw two releases by his most prolific incarnation, Luna, and both were worth noting. Probably not fair to old Dean-o to lump ’em together like this, but he’s already put out a likely candidate for 2003’s best of lists, so we doubt he’ll mind.

114. #1 – Fischerspooner (EMI)
OK, so maybe it forced several of our staff to question their sexuality, but gosh darn it if this isn’t some sexy, Euro-trashy synth-pop, and gosh darn it if “Emerge” wasn’t one of the catchiest songs of 2002. And don’t even get us started on Fischerspooner’s live show. It’s just plain wrong.

113. Daybreaker – Beth Orton
Time will tell if Daybreaker will rank among the great albums critical darling Beth Orton has released. While it ranks as probably her weakest so far, Daybreaker is still a fantastic record that mixes the trip-hop, folk and Britpop styles she’s employed over her career and benefits from guest spots from the likes of Ryan Adams, Emmylou Harris, and Johnny Marr.

112. This Night – Destroyer
Destroyer’s Dan Bejar had this to say about his Canadian-supergroup-come-Billboard-contender The New Pornographers, which features Northwest Songbird and Nada Favorite Neko Case. “We have big drumbeats and a good female singer. It was always my theory that if you had those elements, you’d become popular. When I write a song that sounds like a hit, I say, let’s get Neko to sing this one.” If you’ve heard Neko sing you’ll agree its a wise choice. The thing is, Bejar’s unique vocals carry the majority of that band’s songs and leave no one wonting. The same can be said for fan’s of his “main project” Destroyer and their terrific 2002 release This Night.

111. Don’t Worry About Me – Joey Ramone [Sanctuary]
Don’t Worry About Me is the last piece of album Joey Ramone made before he shuffled off to the great CBGB in the sky and features a cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World.” It’s fabulous. What else would it be?

See #’s 150 – 141
See #’s 140 – 131
See #’s 130 – 121


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