My Favourite Releases of 2000
compiled 9 January 2001
At the time of compiling this list, there are a number of albums which I am
yet to hear. This is not the best albums of 2000 as decreed by me - these are
my favourites amongst those I did get the chance to hear.
Albums released 2000:
- All That You Can't Leave Behind (U2) -
This was released with much hoo-ha and it was bizarre to hear so many people
describing it as a return to their rock roots. Sure, it will probably go down
as a U2 classic but you can hardly play this and The Joshua Tree back-to-back
and say they're cut from the same cloth. There were plenty of synthesisers and
nifty effects and if anything, it was simply a pop album by one of the great
rock bands. After playing this album to death for no apparent reason, all I
can say is that Bono is probably the most distinctive rock lyricist and
- Red Dirt Girl (Emmylou Harris) -
Those who bought "Wrecking Ball" are probably now doomed to buy everything
else she ever releases in the hope that she produces something as good as
that album, so this album didn't help matters at all. Emmylou decided to
try her hand at writing the songs and came up with some evocative, poetic
stuff. "Bang The Drum Slowly" was one of the most moving songs of the
- Kid A (Radiohead) -
God knows what it was all about but Radiohead have a habit of making noise
that somehow gets under your skin anyway. Incomprehensible but compelling
- Faith And Courage (Sinead O'Connor) -
One of the most surprising albums of the year. As a woman known for being a
little bizarre, this was strong, polished and her most mainstream effort yet.
"Jealous" was one of my favourite pop songs of the year.
- Crossing Muddy Waters (John Hiatt) -
This one almost didn't make this list but after a conversation with a friend
about a failing relationship brought me back to the song "What Do We Do Now?"
I was forced to admit that yes, some of these songs were worthy additions to the
canon of Hiatt classics. I'm not convinced that the songs needed to be
presented acoustically for us to properly appreciate them (unlike, say,
Springsteen's "Nebraska") but you can't knock an album of songs this well
written. Hiatt remains a vital songwriter.
- This Time Around (Hanson) -
In this case, the indefensible is well worth defending. No, really. While U2
were getting serious about being great, these guys got serious about making
great, fun pop music. Pop doesn't always need to be this bright and
irrepressible but someone has to do it occasionally and these guys do it very
well indeed. Dismiss it if you like but then it's probably a fair bet to say
you never actually heard this album, did you?
Musical discovery of the year:
- Juggernaut (Hunters & Collectors, 1997) -
Nothing knocked me sideways like Lyle Lovett did last year but if I was
making a 1997 list now this album would definitely be on it. The final studio
album from a band I've paid little attention to was a bit of a gem, featuring
sharp lyrics, great tunes and tight (but not overdone) production. This album
gave me real reason to mourn their breakup. The $5 price tag also made it my
bargain of the year.
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