November 4, 2009
Decade's End: The Year 2002
The best day of 2002? July 27, when Jasper came to live with me.
Another fucked up year. Seriously, it was very hard to live in DC at this time. We'd had 9/11, followed by ridiculous anthrax attacks and then, as a final insult, we had a sniper killing people randomly for several months. Whatever. Rather than linger on the drama, I thought this week I'd just comment on the music that made my 2002 list...
I am in the school of thought that finds PSB's Release their worst album, but I LOVE the first single Home And Dry, especially the vocodered middle eight, which I played over and over on a CD Walkman (before the iPod) - when I had to come back from another China trip only 36 hours after I'd landed there. Not good, but I also played I Miss You by Darren Hayes on repeat. I'm not a fan of his Spin album (the blond phase) but I also loved Insatiable... Beth Orton did what Bjork stopped doing by releasing the uber emotional epic string ballad Paris Train... An amazing Alison Moyet return with Hometime, as was the superb pop album by Pretenders... And Beck produced that spoken word track with Marianne Faithfull that is hot hot hot, but also melancholy. I love it when she says, "and now you have betrayed yourself..." The Alanis song was a total earworm (I also liked So Unsexy from that CD)... Tori's Taxi Ride was for her dead friend Kevyn Aucoin, but it's Gold Dust that I have been playing a lot in 2009, for my own lost friend... And in terms of loss, beautiful Lamya died in 2009. Her '02 album is so fantastic. Her Never's Such a Long Time is another song about losing a loved one... An interesting tidbit about the Toni Braxton and Brandy songs is that both were produced by Brandy's babydaddy, whose name I forget, and both are lush. She killed his career when he left her, but he had a unique pop style... At the end of the mix are two Craig Armstrong compositions. Craig had done strings in the 90s for Madonna's ROL album (and Spice Girls!). These two songs were great, especially because they resurrected brilliant vocalists in Neneh Cherry and David McAlmont. Note that the Armstrong CD also has one of the finest post 9/11 songs by - get this - Evan "Lemonheads" Dando. A heartbreaking orchestral epic called Wake Up In New York. Seriously, FIND that song.
Important: if you don't know Stars' MAJOR song Tonight, which is like a lost ballad from the eighties, read this post.
Frou Frou's Details was my album of the year. It remains on my Top 20 albums of all time and marked the appearance of Imogen Heap as a major pop artist.
XO’s Favorite Songs of 2002
Pet Shop Boys Home And Dry
Beth Orton Paris Train
Frou Frou Must Be Dreaming
Alison Moyet Do You Ever Wonder
Darren Hayes I Miss You
Marianne Faithfull Sex With Strangers
Alanis Morrissette Hands Clean
Pretenders I Should Of
Tori Amos Taxi Ride
Richard Ashcroft Science Of Silence
Sophie Ellis Bextor Music Gets The Best Of Me
Toni Braxton Selfish
Lamya Black Mona Lisa
Neneh Cherry & Craig Armstrong Twisted Mess
David McAlmont & Craig Armstrong Snow