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Our Writers Picks for 2001
Top Ten Albums

Trae Cadenhead

1. Violet Burning - Faith And Devotion of a Satellite Heart
2. Common Children - The Inbetween Time
3. Denison Marrs - World Renown For Romance
4. Mike Knott - Life of David
5. Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger
6. Five Iron Frenzy 2 - Electric Bugaloo
7. P.O.D. - Satellite
8. Cush - EP
9. Kevin Max - Steretype Be
10. PFR - Disappear

Scotty Teems
  1. Tool ­ Lateralus - I didn’t stop listening for nearly six months. Spellbinding, and worth that five-year wait (how often is that the case?).
  2. Moke ­ Carnival - From out of nowhere, these Brits put the ‘rock’ back in 'pop-rock,’ and they’re the best live band I’ve seen in two years.
  3. POD ­ Satellite - Quickly becoming the kings of ‘nu-metal.’ This record rules.
  4. Poundhound ­ Pineappleskunk - Doug Pinnick’s second solo outing is a scattershot effort, but it grows on you in time.
  5. 77’s ­ A Golden Field of Radioactive Crows - Mike’s still got the goods, even if he didn't do much of the writing this time out. Their most accessible and consistent record ever.
  6. Incubus ­ Morning View - The future of ‘modern rock,’ so you might as well get used to them.
  7. King’s X ­ Manic Moonlight - A new direction, with less than spectacular results. But even their weaker efforts are better than most.
  8. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals ­ Live from Mars - Brilliantly showcases all aspects of Harper’s repertoire. An awesome, sprawling achievement. 
  9. Brian Webb ­ The Evolving CD - Singer/Songwriter from Boston, his songs cut to the heart. As passionate a writer as you’ll find. 
  10. System of a Down ­ Toxicity - This makes it on the strength of “Chop Suey!” alone. Now, if we could only temper their political views...
Honorable Mention 
Pearl Jam’s Live CD’s  ­ An amazing collection from the greatest live band of our generation. Period.

Biggest Disappointments
Weezer ­ Weezer (The Green Album)
Toadies ­ Hell Below/Stars Above
Rollins Band - Nice

Megan Lenz
In no particular order, except alphabetical by artist.
  1. Bob Dylan, Love and Theft - The best album of the year.
  2. Jennifer Knapp, The Way I Am - Hopefully, this will finally put cries for her to repeat Kansas to rest.
  3. Kevin Max, Stereotype Be - See Kevin write. See Kevin sing. See Kevin release a superb album.
  4. Muse, Origin of Symmetry - Not yet released to the US. Go dig up an import.
  5. R.E.M., Reveal - Yay for R.E.M.: still around and making good music. Now if we could just get a tour.
  6. Radiohead, Amnesiac - Almost better than Kid A. Not bad for a few leftovers.
  7. Travis, The Invisible Band - Still hasn't left my CD player.
  8. Pete Yorn, Musicforthemorningafter - Tired of constantly being fed The Next Big Thing? This guy's the real deal.
  9. The Beatles, Revolver--What's that you say? It wasn't released this year? Well, it's still a darn good album, isn't it?
  10. This space for rent. Reasonable rates. Inquire within.
Honorable mention: Smashing Pumpkins, Rotten Apples & Judas O (would have made the top 10, but picking a greatest hits album is cheating); Radiohead, I Might Be Wrong (would have made the top 10, but picking a live album is cheating); P.O.D., Satellite (close but no cigar); Incubus, Morning View (Fred Durst, kiss my you-know-what).

Jeffrey Overstreet 
Here are my top ten of the year so far. (But I've got to hear that new Mick Jagger album sometime. I'm not a fan, but the reviews have emphasized a new emphasis on soul searching and spirituality there that has me curious... as does the involvement of Bono.) 
  1.  Sam Phillips - Fan Dance.  It equals the most enjoyable albums of her career, "The Turning" and "Martinis and Bikinis", while also standing as her most mysterious, sparse, and tightly-woven work yet. 
  2. Bob Dylan - Love and Theft.  Another masterpiece... that's two in a row! And even though the lyrics are funny, complicated, and relentlessly clever, Dylan's ongoing arguments with the Divine are still front and center. 
  3. R.E.M. - Reveal.  Their most beautiful work since "Automatic", and their most cohesively thematic album ever... a library of testimonies from characters trying to venture past the boundaries of their worlds. 
  4. Over the Rhine - Films for Radio.  A bolder, brighter (and, yes, more radio-ready) sound. Several fantastic songs, and the rest are good too. 
  5. Gillian Welch - Revelator.  Her most personal, original, and complicated work. Guitarist David Rawlings really deserves equal billing, especially since he produced this one. 
  6. Leonard Cohen - Ten New Songs.  A decade of waiting, and finally this masterful poet delivers.  Dark, brooding, deceptively simple music, full of prayer and meditations on our humble state in the constant loving presence of God.  "I am not the one who loves... no, it's Love that chooses me." 
  7. Buddy and Julie Miller - Buddy and Julie Miller.  This one just keeps growing on me... a red-hot-and-roll country-rock record full of the Millers' infectuous cheer and heartbreaking sentiments. 
  8. Suzanne Vega - Songs in Red and Gray.  This is Vega at her most intimate as a recording artist, journalling through a period of divorce and painful parenting. There's also a startling new dialogue with God going on. 
  9. (tie)  The Innocence Mission - Small Planes  and   Don Peris - Ten Silver Slide Trombones.  The Perises deliver again, this time with tunes fro the closet and Don's own personal work. Shimmering pools of light, hope, faith, and beauty. 
  10. Daniel Amos - Mr. Buechner's Dream.  Give them credit for the magnitude of this 33-song marathon... and not a bad song on it!  It's good to hear the band in peak condition. 
  11. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind.  Okay, so this was my #1 record last year, but today it still sounds as fresh and exciting and exhilarating as ever. I still play it constantly, and the concert was the most inspiring event I've ever waited in line to attend.  The Elevation DVD is astonishing... pick it up and see what you were missing! 
Ken Mueller
    Okay...so here's my top ten for 2001, give or take a few....I was never good at following rules...and some of these may actually have been released near the end of 2000, but I got them and reviewed them in 2001.  so there.  wanna start a  fight???  And I'm sure I've forgotten some.

    Here's what i've been digginng on this year, in no particular order, because I find it hard to rank these things..so let's go for alphabetical order so no one's feelings are hurt:
     

  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - BRMC - could be best new artist for the year.  This psychedlic trio from San Francisco spent a lot of time in my CD player...well, their disc did...not them, per se.
  • Charity Empressa - self-titled - this drone project from Eric Campuzano and friends has some really interesting work on it.
  • Crash Rickshaw - Crash Rickshaw - one of the newer releases from this year, this is a side project of two of the members of Project 86.  Not as hard or hardcore as Project 86, but still a rockin' good time.  Old-school punk with attitude and angst, and NOT overproduced, like most of the stuff that tries to pass itself off as punk these days.
  • CUSH - ep - originally a Cornerstone only release, this disc is now availabe to the masses.  Not as good as last year's debut, but still a great album.  And a whole new style, with a partially new line-up.
  • The Czars - Music from the film "I'd Rather be...Gone" 
  • (absalom 3")/The Ugly People vs. The Beautiful People - OK...so this is actually TWO cds, but since one is only 4 songs, I thought I would lump them together.  First discovered them from the Absalom 3" release.  This Denver club band has a great laid back, dream-like sound, with intense vocals and great lyrics...especially the song "Drug" which is on both releases.
  • Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most - Chris Carrabba and his stripped down, acoustic emo with tons of songs about falling in love only to have your heart RIPPED out of your chest and stomped on repeatedly.  Ah...the good old days...  I really love this disc and the memories it brings back.
  • The Denver Gentlemen - Meet the Denver Gentlemen - also from Absalom, this disc was recorded a few years back.  This band is a precursor to 16HP and you can hear the similarities. Kurt Weill meets German beer hall meets Salvation Army street musicians.  Quirky music and dark, spiritual overtones.
  • The Dingees - The Crucial Conspiracy - produced by Mr. Hottie himself, Frank Lenz (he took over after the death of Gene Eugene), this is old school punk, a la the Clash, in all its glory.  A nice raw sound with reggae thrown in for good measure, and some nice stripped-down, laid back tunes.
  • Jason Gay - A Place Called Hope - a real fave in the Mueller household, and one of the few discs my wife and I can agree on.  Technically this is a 2000 release, but I reviewed it in 2001.  So sue me.  Well produced indie singer/songwriter fare influenced by Mark Heard, Pierce Pettis, and the like, with the ability to rock out at times.  I never get tired of this disc.
  • Neilson Hubbard - Why Men Fail - also from 2000, but discovered in 2001 (thanks Jeremy!)  Melancholy melodies and smooth vocals, with lo-fi songs about love gone bad...or gone wrong...or something like that.
  • Damian Jurado - Ghost of David - again, a late 2000 release. Possibly his best album yet.  This dude is channeling Nick Drake while drinking heavily from the fountains of low-fi DIY punk.  Did you like the movie Fargo? well, then you'll love the misfits ad losers that populate Jurado-land.
  • Kelly Wingate - Are You Sleeping, Love? - another 2000 disc, that I received at the end of the year, and in fact included as a runner-up for my 2000 end of year list.  But I hadn't given it enough time.  One of my faves of the year, now.  Slo-core acoustic dream pop from Mississippi produced by the aforementioned Neilson Hubbard.  Oh, and this is a band, not a chick, which is why it is alphabetized in the K's and not the W's.  Unfortunately this incarnation of the band no longer exists, but some of the members are working on a new project...
  • Mike Knott - Life of David - or "Life of Mike" as the case may be.  Everyones favorite quirky songmeister gets introspective as he compares his life with that of King David, with all of the highs and lows that go with it.  Some really beautiful stuff here.
  • Over the Rhine - Films for Radio - I'm one of those misfits who always felt that "Eve" was their best album, and since this disc is a bit of a  return to that form, I was as pleased as punch.
  • P.O.D. - Satellite - This will be the disc of the year for a lot of people, and while I'm not sure I go that far, it is a great disc, and the fact that its release was 9/11 makes it even more interesting.  Lyrically they address a lot of the issues being discussed as a result of the attacks of 9/11. And the single playing at radio, "Youth of the Nation" is probably the weakest cut on the album.  Full-on rock 'n' roll.
  • Rock & Roll Worship Circus - Big Star Logistics - now THIS is what worship music should sound like.  At least on a CD.  Not sure I'd be comfortable with it in church, but as a worship CD it is great.  Retro-psychadelia with influences as diverse as the Stones, Beatles, Pink Floyd, and the Violet Burning.
  • This Beautiful Mess - Falling on Deaf Ears - the emo movement if bleeding profusely, and as a result, emo label Deep Elm has been putting out a lot of mediocre stuff lately.  But this band is the new face of emo, if you can label it anything.  Fresh new indie-pop from Holland.  Great lyrics dealing with issues of faith, doubt, sin, and redemption, and great vocals, to boot!
  • Various artists - Seen/Unseen - this benefit CD from Absalom  features some of the best indie pop artists out there, from Kelly Wingate and the Czars to the Psalters and Dan Donovan. As well as a few more established starts, such as Joe Henry, 16 Horsepower,  and Frank Black. 

  • Runners-up:

  • Sam Phillips - Fan Dance - not as new and different as I had hoped it would be, but still a nice effort 
  • Vigilantes of Love - Summershine - a runner-up you say?  I'm still a fan of the old stuff, especially Killing Floor, and this one didn't have the staying power in my CD player that I had expected.  But I still like the disc.
  • 16 Horsepower - Hoarse - this is the band's live disc.  Just not quite good enough to make my top list.
  • Pierce Pettis - State of Grace - you may be sensing a theme here, but again, I prefer his earliest three albums, but this is somewhat of a return to that earlier, raw style.
  • Sufjan Stevens - A Sun Came... - nice quirky indie-pop 

  • Disappointments of 2001:

  • REM - Reveal - not a bad disc, but when I'm in an REM mood, I find myself returning to the "classics" of yesteryears gone by.
  • Red House Painters - Old Ramon - doesn't live up to the hype.
  • Radiohead - Amnesiac - ditto
  • Bob Dylan - Love and Theft - I'm a huge Dylan fan, but this one hasn't grown on me quite yet.
  • Tait - Tait - too much hype, and even though it will be the most popular of the three, it is probably the worst of the solo releases from the members of DC Talk.
  • various - Happy Christmas 3 - this Christmas compilation from Tooth & Nail doesn't live up to the first two.  Seems like they are running out of material...kinda like the label as a whole.
  • Soul Junk - nothing they released in 2001 lived up to their reputation, which is a shame, because I really love these guys.
  • various - Start Right Here: Tribute to Keith Green - I have a soft spot in my heart for some of Keith Green's earlier albums.  Unfortunately, the folks at Tooth & Nail, despite their intentions, couldn't do his music justice.
  • TW Walsh - Blue Laws - the latest release from this Pedro the Lion associate sounded like the same song over and over again.  The previous release, "How We Spend Our Days"  was nothing short of brilliant.  Maybe next time...
  • Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger - despite all the press and hubbub, this is NOT another Pet Sounds.  too much hype and it doesn't pan out.

  •  

     

    Other stuff I've been digging in 2001: 

  • white octave - style no. 6312
  • 5-8 - the good nurse
  • Stavesacre - Collective
    Anxiously awaiting new stuff from:
  • Sixpence None the Richer
  • Dido
  • Beth Orton
  • Richard Buckner
  • Pedro the Lion
  • Damian Jurado
  • Frank Lenz

Brian Smith

My Top Ten (or so) of 2001 (in no particular order)

  1. VOL - Summershine.  Great Brit-pop hooks.  Hasn't left the player since I got it.  There are easily six singles here if anyone would play them.  But I still may like Audible Sigh more...
  2. King's X - Manic Moonlight.  Only disappointing if compared to their earlier.  Lyrically not as strong as other albums, too short, etc.  I have the same complaints as most of the reviews.  But it's still better than 90% of what I've heard this year.
  3. Nate Houge and the Honest Folk - Folkstar.  If Bill Mallonee was 20 and living in Minnesota, this would be his latest release. A great album by an unknown.
  4. The Jelly Jam.  Side project by Ty Tabor and others, similar to the Platypus albums. Great prog rock.
  5. Poundhound - Pineappleskunk.  The best King's X related album since Ear Candy.  Side project of Doug Pinnick - rocks loud and strong.  Some of the strongest music he's done in years.
  6. Rachel Kurtz - there is beauty.  Another Minnesota indie.  Acoustic based folk/rock in the vein of Leigh Nash.  Honest, tuneful, and enjoyable.
  7. Mitch McVicker - Crossing the Horizon.  Maybe my favorite album of the year.  Mitch continues to grow musically and lyrically as he emerges from Rich Mullins' shadow. 
  8. Rock N Roll Worship Circus - Big Star Logistics.  Everything Ken said and more.  Ranges from Pink Floyd to Radiohead to Bush musically.
  9. Yogi - Any Raw Flesh?  Influenced by King's X, Extreme, and Star Wars.  Great new album by a Seattle unknown.
  10. Da - Mr. Buechner's Dream 

  11. Hip By Proxy
Other good stuff:
  • Million Time Winner
  • Glen Phillips - Abulum
  • Divine-N-Sight


Acquired and love it, not released this year:
 

  • Supershine - another Doug Pinnick side album, with Bruce Franklin of Trouble.  Great Alice in Chains sound
  • Ty Tabor - Naomi's Solar Pumpkin.  Much better mix of vocals than Moonflower Lane.  Great guitar work


Perennial favorites:

  • toad the wet sprocket - fear
  • VOL - Audible Sigh, Killing Floor
  • Pearl Jam - Ten
  • King's X - Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, Dogman
  • Rich Mullins - all releases
  • The Call - Reconciled
  • Midnight Oil - all


Looking forward to:

  • Getting my house unpacked (moved in Dec 1)
  • Podunk
  • picking up the new Barenaked Ladies CD
  • The King's X dates in Feb- March
  • Anything Bill/VOL has forthcoming
  • A new Steve Taylor album? (This is getting to be like the Boston rumors in the 80's...every year you hear a rumor it's gonna come out...every year nothing happens).
  • Waterboys - still haven't picked it up

Dave Kerschbaum 

Top whatever discs (out of order):

    1. Summershine - VoL
    2. Films For Radio  OtR
    3. Mr. Buechner's Dream - DA
    4. Hip By Proxy
    5. Adam Again & Friends Cornerstone 2000
    6. Golden Field of Radioactive Flowers - 77s
    7. Sunday Best - Ticklepenny Corner
    8. O Brother soundtrack
    9. Real Men Cry - Lost Dogs

Eric Daams

I'm afraid I've been listening to a lot of older music (from Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue to Radiohead's OK Computer). Those have really been the highlights of the year for me, but we were asked for the best of 2001, so here's my top few.
 

  • Leo Nine by Leo Nine -My guitar teacher keeps on reinforcing a lesson: "Focus on quality, not quantity". With only five tracks on this little gem, Leo Nine seem to have taken this lesson to heart. A beautiful, consistent piece of work from the band that once was Battered Fish.
  • Amnesiac by Radiohead - A very listenable release, this was actually my introduction to Radiohead. Yorke's a brilliant vocalist and Radiohead have a genuine talent for creating interesting, poignant songs. 
  • Since I Left You by The Avalanches - Should have been released in the States by now. This Australian dance group's debut sparkles with creativity and energy. Must have been a painstaking job putting together this album, since it consists of literally hundreds of samples.
  • Classic YoYo by YoYo Ma - Wouldn't ever have discovered this guy if it wasn't for my mother. YoYo Ma is a brilliant cellist with, as this greatest hits (of sorts) indicates, great variety. Includes everything from performances of Bach pieces to songs of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack.
  • Golden Field Of Radioactive Crows by the Seventy Sevens - Not quite what I was hoping for after E.P. but even so a fantastic rock album. Since summer's here (for those of us below the equator), I think I'll be listening to this one a bit more.


The most disappointing albums this year have been P.O.D.'s Satellite, Third Day's Come Together, Carolina Moon by the Glenn Kaiser Band, and the Stavesacre songs off their split E.P. with Denison Marrs.

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock

Here is my top ten for 2001, these are not necessarily in order.

  • 1 Mr. Beuchner's Dream by Daniel Amos -   After a career of over 20 years the band is still going strong as shown by this 33 song classic. There isn't a clunker in the bunch
  • 2 Live From The Acoustic Stage by various artists - A sonic chronicle of the Silent Planet stage from Cornerstone 2001.This is a perfect album for those who enjoy the singer/songwriter genre.
  • 3 Tonio K. and 16 Tons Of Monkey's Live - Recorded in 1992 but just released this year, this album is a perfect example of what we used to call butt-kickin' rock n roll
  • 4 Real Men Cry by Lost Dogs - The harmonies are sweet, the playing is great and this 3 legged dog lives on.
  • 5 Breath of Heaven by David Fitzgerald - Why can't all worship music be this good ???
  • 6 The Weatherman In The Missile Age by CAVU - Hailing from Mesa, Arizona this is a band that a lot more people need to be aware of. Vocalist Peggie Balcom is the sister of Annie Quick from Stickman Jones.
  • 7 Spin by Mark Giacobbe - This is a perfect example of why I love NY. Mark is an all around professional in all that he touches.
  • 8 Stings Attached by Glass Harp - A live performance by the band accompanied by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. This album rocks. 
  • 9 Bareface by Aaron Sprinkle - Minimalist music at its best. Neil Young and the Stray Gators eat your hearts out.
  • 10 Walking Without Effort by Richard Swift -  Although still not released as of yet, this is probably my favorite one this year. 
  • Favorite movie: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Favorite books: Fiction/ The Mystic Rose by Stephen Lawhead  Non fiction/ Common Ground- An Explanation of Eastern Christianity For the American Christian by Jordan Bajis

Dan Singleton

Best Albums of 2001:

  • 1. P.O.D. - Satellite  (simply awesome, and you haven't even heard the best tracks on the radio)
  • Tie 2. Yogi - Any Raw Flesh? (new progressive artist who overdosed on Rush and Star Wars)
  • Tie 2. Crunchy - All Day Sucker (debut by former Galactic Cowboys bassist Monty Colvin, very high-energy Foo Fighters feel)
  • Tie 2. King's X - Manic Moonlight (not the best album by these groove metal monarchs, but it includes some great single tracks like "The Other Side" and "Jenna")
  • Tie 2. Unfisted - Define Strength (new band with great hardcore in the tradition of Stavesacre and Traindodge but with a very different vocal style)
Other great acquisitions (released in 2000):
  • Isle of Q - Isle of Q (hard-rock grunge fare executed to perfection, some similarities to the Mustard Seeds)
  • Dave Beegle - A Year Closer (guitar deity Beegle brings rock, Mediterranean and Eastern European influences to bear in this great mainly acoustic-prog album)

Steve Baldwin 

Favorite Album of 2001: 

  • P.O.D.: Satellite 


Other Favorite Albums from 2001 in alphabetical order:

  • Creed: Weathered 
  • Daniel Amos: Mr. Buechner's Dream 
  • Glenn Kaiser's Carolina Moon
  • Mike Knott: Life of David 
  • Lost Dogs: Real Men Cry 
  • Over the Rhine: Films for Radio 
  • Sam Phillips: Fan Dance 
  • Seventy Sevens: A Golden Field of Radioactive Crows 
  • Aaron Sprinkle: Bareface 
  • Tait: Empty 
  • Vigilantes of Love: Summershine 


Honorable Mention from 2000: 

  • Rick Altizer: Go Nova 


Greatest Hits Albums Worth Recommending: 

  • Adam Again & Friends: Live at Cornerstone 2000 
  • Audio Adrenaline: Hit Parade 
  • dc Talk: Intermission 
  • Elvis Presley: Nearer My God to Thee 

James Stewart

In no particular order:

  • Jonatha Brooke Steady Pull
  • Sarah Masen The Dreamlife of Angels
  • Radiohead Amnesiac
  • Over The Rhine Films for Radio
  • Unamerican Unamerican
  • Bruce Cockburn Anything Anytime Anywhere
  • The Waterboys Too Close To Heaven
  • Buddy and Julie Miller s/t
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds No More Shall We Part
  • PJ Harvey Stories From The City Stories From The Sea
Honourable mentions: Just outside the top ten, not because they're lacking but
because there's so much competition.
  • VoL Summershine
  • Brian Houston Mea Culpa
  • Stevenson and Samuel Grace Notes
  • Bell Jar On the Outside Looking In
  • Iain Archer For What Feels Like Forever
  • Radiohead I Might Be Wrong


Currently on order: Slipping in as everything I've heard from them so far has
been fantastic, but I have yet to receive my copies to really spend time with.

  • Suzanne Vega Songs In Red and Gray
  • Bob Dylan Love and Theft
  • Bjork Vespertine
Top Live Shows of 2001: It's been a good year for tours this year. These are
more selected highlights than the years best.
  • U2 Elevate the Astoria - Astoria, London, February
  • U2 Elevation Tour - Earl's Court, London, August
  • Radiohead/Beck/Supergrass/etc. - South Park, Oxford, July
  • Antonio Forccione - Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh, August
  • Vigilantes of Love/Airstar/Bell Jar - Zodiac, Oxford, October
  • Nitin Sawhney/Julian Joseph - Royal Albert Hall, London, August
  • The Waterboys - Brixton Academy, London, November
  • Kings of Convenience - Union Chapel, London, June
  • Juliet Turner - Dingwalls, London, November
  • Sarah Masen/Susan Enan - The Borderline, London, June
  • Dum Dums/Eddi Reader/Courtney Pine/et al - Greenbelt

Josh Hurst

  1. Films for Radio - Over the Rhine - Films for Radio is an amazing collection of songs that should appeal to fans of... what kind of music IS this, anyway? These tunes are as "artsy" as the come, but many of them are also fairly accessible. Creative instrumentation, honest lyrics and spine-tingling vocals make Films for Radio an instant classic.
  2. The Way I Am - Jennifer Knapp - When it comes to the topic of grace, Jennifer Knapp is one of the best in the business. Her third project, The Way I Am, is not her most accessible, but it is easily her most artistic and thought-provoking.
  3. The Golden Hum - Remy Zero - A rock band that plays pop songs. This band sounds like a cross between U2 and Pink Floyd, and the intense, passionate performance makes The Golden Hum a must for rock fans.
  4. Blue Boy - Ron Sexsmith - Why does everyone always ask me, "Is that his real name?" I don't really know, but I do know that his pop/folk music boasts great hooks and refreshingly genuine lyrics.
  5. Big Surprise - The Elms - Drawing from influences such as The Beatles and other classic pop/rock bands, The Elms show a lot of courage on their debut LP by stepping out of the box musically, and a lot of talent by doing it with so much success.
  6. Satellite - P.O.D. - Normally, I am not a fan of hardcore music, but P.O.D.'s passionate, Christ-centered songs are very impressive.
  7. Stereotype Be - Kevin Max - Despite the fact that he occasionally borrows too much from the Fab Four, U2 and Sting, Kevin Max's solo debut is a unique, cohesive piece of music that is full of colorful lyrics.
  8. Downhere - downhere - My favorite new band of the year.
  9. Electric Boogaloo - Five Iron Frenzy - Reese Roper's clever lyrics really make this album. Five Iron is just as funny as Relient K, but not as preachy.
  10. The Anatomy of Tongue in Cheek - Relient K - These guys are hysterical, and an amazing live band. There are a couple of bad apples in the bunch, but overall, this is a solid album.

Dave Draeger

  • Joe Henry--Scar
  • Bob Dylan--Love and Theft
  • Ike Reilly--Salesmen & Racists
  • Wilco--Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 
  • VoL--Summershine

Aaron Bell

  • Aaron Sprinkle -- Bareface
  • Travis -- Invisible Band
  • VOL -- Summershine
  • Great Fiction -- Screaming Through The New Speak
  • Elton John -- Songs from The West Coast
  • LA Symphony -- Big Broke LA (EP)
  • Ryan Adams -- Gold
  • Over the Rhine -- Films for Radio
  • POD -- Satelite
  • Mars ILL -- Raw Material

Thomas V. Bona

  • Over the Rhine - "Films for Radio"
  • REM - "Reveal"
  • VOL - "Summershine"
  • Radiohead - "Amnesiac"
  • Buddy and Julie - s/t
  • Natalie Merchant - "Motherland"
  • Eliza Carthy - "Angels and Cigarettes"
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack
  • Ani Difranco - "Revelling/Reckoning"
  • Mike Knott - "Life of David"

Shelby Foster

  1. Joy Electric - The White Songbook
  2. Danielson Famile - Fetch the Compass Kids
  3. The Icarus Line - Mono
  4. Fugazi - The Argument
  5. Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Comne to Fear the Most
  6. Les Savy Fav - Go Forth
  7. Will Haven - Carpe Diem
  8. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
  9. 16 Horsepower - Hoarse
  10. Zao - Self-Titled

Olin Jenkins

Just settling down for the first time in 2002 and can offer a few notes regarding my favorite ten recordings from 2001. No preambles with exception to this: I'm supplying URLs for stuff for which you may not be familiar:

(1) Hannah and Elizabeth. This duo is from my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, and this CD really surprised me; it's sharp! There's praise and worship and absolutely beautiful music. <http://www.hannahandelizabeth.com>

(2) Jennifer Daniels: Dive and Fly. Another regional artist (from Lookout Mountain, Tennessee). This is Jennifer's second full-length project. Trivia: she recorded it while her vocal chords were strained, but it's impossible to tell. On her supporting tour for this project, she stopped to have her doctor look at her vocal chords, and the tests turned out fine. So much so that Jennifer took the photos of her vocal chords on tour with her! This is acoustic rock at its best, and Jennifer is accompanied by multi-talented musician husband Jeff Neal. <http://www.jenniferdaniels.com>

(3) Gary Oliver: More Than Enough. This is the first project I'd ever heard from Oliver (music, that is; I've heard a lot of his Promise Keepers messages since then from "Promise Keepers Radio Highlights"). The music project blew me away, and I really laughed a lot the first time I heard his techno-funk version of "Celebrate Jesus." It seemed almost irreverent, but hey, he composed it!

(4) Benjamin Dube (last name spelled correctly: "Dubé"): I Feel Like Going On. I don't have this CD with me; it's at the radio station. Recorded in South Africa, Epic Records got it to us in 2001, although it's dated 1999. Lots of long praise and worship songs, and absolutely the most heart-wrenching version of "Power in the Blood" I've *ever* heard. I don't know where to get my own copy, and every time I play a medley of it on the air at WQXL, our listeners call to ask where they can get a copy!! ;-)

(5) Michael W. Smith: Worship. I don't have this one yet, but our radio station does, and I like every single tune from this project. Awesome.

(6) Skillet: Alien Youth. I never thought the guys (and gals) could outdo Hey You, I Love Your Soul. I'm glad I'm wrong! ;-)

(7) Beki Hemingway and Jonathan Rundman: Present. A six-song Christmas EP. Its only problem was that it was *way* too short. For a home-grown project (recorded in Beki's living room), it really got me in the Christmas spirit. <http://www.pastemusic.com>

(8) delirious?: deeper: the d:finitive worship experience. I'm behind on my reviews for The Phantom Tollbooth (this one's next), and I absolutely love the remixes.

(9) Vineyard Music: Come, Now is the Time to Worship. Actually released in 2000, I think, but I just bought it last year. The absolute best Vineyard collection released. A close second is the recently released Breathe: 15 Modern Worship Classics.

(10) Paul Wilbur: Lion of Judah. Messianic praise and worship, and this project also had something to do with "regional" for me, since Paul covered some songs from the worship team from Charlotte, North Carolina's Morningstar Ministries.

 

   
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