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Giving in to rampant listage, here's mine, gathered from the *mumble*-hundred-and-17 CDs I've purchased so far this year.

(of course, I reserve the right to change this whenever I feel like it, until the end of the year...)

Top 10 releases of 2001 :

  1. The Blackeyed Susans - Dedicated to the ones we love : Nothing can touch this as my favourite release of the year. It hurts so bad and feels so good, and there's a consistent sense of class through the whole album. Sure, it's a bit daggy, but that's the appeal.

  2. Stephen Cummings - Skeleton Key : A consistently good new album, which I've already reviewed (such as it is. "review" is perhaps the wrong word. Let's just say I've "covered" it elsewhere. Or "dealt with it" elsewhere. Or something).

  3. Sparklehorse - It's a wonderful life : and it's a wonderful album, too. I wasn't sure what to expect here - the cavalcade of famous names I'd heard would be appearing on it made me a bit apprehensive, since it's often the kind of thing people do to prop up an otherwise uninteresting album. But that's not the case here, it retains Mark Linkous' magic with lyrics and weird sounds.

  4. Art of Fighting - Wires : right from the opener, Skeletons, you're drawn into another world.

  5. Smog - Rain on Lens : More edgy goodness from Bill Callahan.

  6. Pernice Brothers - World won't end : Joe Pernice hones his talents, putting out an extremely refined piece of work. "it's just like the Beach Boys", a friend said.

  7. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells : They've certainly become bigger than I expected. But rightly so, I suppose.

  8. Timeless - The Hank Williams tribute : A whole lotta stars wheel themselves out for this one, and it's a great collection of covers.

  9. Low + the Dirty Three - In the fishtank : An interesting (perhaps not too unexpected) choice of bands to team up, and the results are pure magic - especially on their cover of Neil Young's Down by the river.

  10. Tortoise - Standards : Nice post-rock (yeah, that word) noodling. Some of it almost feels a bit like they're on automatic, but it's still good. Seeing them live was great, too.

other contenders : Mogwai, that Drag City supersession thing, Sodastream, Karma County.

Top 10 non-2001 releases that I bought in 2001 :

  1. The Auteurs - After Murder Park : Somewhere in the peak of Luke Haines' lyrical talents, we have this album, given a nice, louder edge by Steve Albini's production. A couple of classic tracks - Unsolved Child Murder, Married to a lazy lover, Tombstone and the title track - all show off a great sense of bitterness.

  2. Mekons - Journey to the End of the Night : Yow. Demons. Lots of them. Dark, but almost lovingly so.

  3. Golden Rough - This Sad Paradise : covered elsewhere.

  4. Palace Brothers - There is no-one what will take care of you : He sings almost like he's dying, or something.

  5. Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band - The Mountain : A great album, I'm told they were even more amazing playing live.

  6. Mekons - Honky Tonkin' : I found my copy when I was holidaying in Wellington. My first Mekons CD, and it makes great drinking music, or something.

  7. Smog - Red Apple Falls / 'neath the puke tree : So edgy it cuts you. ex-con is a fantastic tale of alienation. I mention 'neath the puke tree here because it improves so much on I was a stranger.

  8. Grand Salvo - (1627 - 1727) : Ouch. It hurts. But it's great.

  9. Rian Murphy and Will Oldham - All Most Heaven : Lyrically, I don't really get it (not yet anyway), but that's because I've been distracted by the overall sound - fantastic.

  10. Registered Nurse - Strippers : Not only does he run a great label, Richard Andrew also makes great music.

* 14:41 * music