On the Condition of Music

Here's a good Chicago magazine piece about rock criticism. Mmm, Christgau worship. Speaking of which, here's my traditional end-of-year lists. Like Michael Kinsley, I could never be a completist - we only have so much time, and I can't devote as much of it to listening as I did back in college days. And I don't get promos all the time anymore! So I admit I still haven't got round to listening to the Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots or David Gray's A New Day At Midnight. But of what I did get to hear this year, this is what moved me:

Singles of 2002:
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Bang". "As a fuck, son, you sucked". Six words. Sex hurts.
Missy Elliott "Work It". With a ridiculously catchy hook that proved impossible to decipher - until some research pointed out that it was just a flipped-and-reversed version of the previous line. Backward masking lives, and takes centre stage.
Tweet "Oops (Oh My)". Drips sex.
X-ecutioners "Genius of Love 2002". Okay, it's just the scratch geniuses revisiting one of the great 80s songs. But Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz are along for the ride. What do you consider fun?
Eminem "Lose Yourself". Because it loses itself in its own moment.

Albums of 2002:
Coldplay "A Rush of Blood to the Head". What, he's dating Gwyneth now? Blood must have gone to his head. But the album itself is spare, poignant, wistful.
Interpol "Turn on the Bright Lights".
Missy Elliott "Under Construction". She likes, how you say, the sex? All hail.
The Streets "Original Pirate Material". Hilarious. British hip-hop, and no hiding its origins. Don't mug yourself.
The Vines "Highly Evolved". And have you heard their cover of "Ms Jackson"?
Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot".

Bands of 2002:
The Vines and The White Stripes. Garage reclaimed.


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