Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top Albums of 2001

10. Alkaline Trio: From Here to Infirmary
I just recently discovered Alkaline Trio. Well that's not true, I always knew of them but I never started listening to them until a year or two ago. I enjoyed everything that I heard but From Here to Infirmary grabbed my attention in a way that Goddammit and Maybe I'll Catch Fire didn't. It also introduced me to my favorite song by them, Private Eye.

Much like Alkaline Trio, Regina Spektor I was late to the party of. In fact this year was the first year I really gave her a listen. I was instantly a fan of her debut album 11:11. It's simplistic bass and piano combination mixed with abstract time structures lead to some of the most enjoyable minimalistic albums of all time.

Blink 182 was the band that made pop punk popular in my high school. While everyone seemed to know their songs, you could tell the hardcore fans from just the mainstream fans. Take your Pants off and Jacket came out when I formed a band with two of my friends. This album became our album, songs like Reckless Abandon became anthems for us. Every time I hear this album, it instantly brings up good memories.

I've always enjoyed Rancid but it wasn't until recently that I checked out Lars' solo album and I was blown away to discover that it was equal in quality to Rancid's masterpiece ...And Out Come the Wolves. If you want to enjoy a good ska/punk style check it out!

Atmosphere is one of the most consistently great hip-hop artists/groups. This all began with 2001's Lucy Ford album (we can just ignore Overcast) featuring tracks like Guns and Cigarettes and like today that showed Slug's ability to openly talk about his life and relationships without fear or restraint.

The second I heard Clint Eastwood by the Gorillaz it completely blew my mind. In high school my cover band Mad Cow quickly learned the song the same week it came out and won the school talent show. While many of my fellow classmates were disappointed that none of the other tracks sounded like Clint Eastwood I quickly fell in love with it's variety of sounds and style. Gorillaz have continued to put out perfect and different albums every couple years.

Before Dashboard Confessional Chris Carraba was the front man of this Tooth and Nail Indie Rock band. This album is a game changer in the world of Emo comparable only to Weezer: Pinkerton and Get Up Kids: Something to Write Home About featuring some of Carraba's best lyrics and vocals. A must listen for fans of Emo and Indie.

In 2001 Garage music started to make a comeback. One of the originators of this return to rock roots was The Strokes. I'll always remember the first time I saw the video for Last Nite. The 'don't give a fuck' attitude of the band left an instant impression on me. While that was their biggest single, I still think the follow up single Someday was the best song in the band's career.

Along with the Strokes, The White Stripes helped bring back the garage band sounds of the early 2000's. Fell in Love With a Girl's all lego music video became an instant hit and even people who hated the song were mesmerized by the video. As much as I dug that video and song it was hearing Hotel Yorba that made me go out and buy the album. The song continues to be my favorite song in Jack White's catalogue

My cousin Dave came back from OzzFest one year with System of A Down's self-titled album and told me 'this band is going to be huge.' I didn't believe him, but man was he right. System of a Down seemed to come out of nowhere with their sophomore album Toxicity, it was definitely Metal... but it was metal in almost undefinable ways. Songs like Bounce and Prison Song still sound nothing like the music coming out today. It was one of the finest records of all time and must have for any music lover, even if you can't stand heavy metal.

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