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Monday, August 07, 2006

Millenium Project: Day One (Albums 100-91)

100. Mya - Fear of Flying (2000)
Mya’s always been, at least in my eyes, a little more ambitious than her r&b peers. She doesn’t have the “belter” kind of voice, which means she doesn’t over rely on it. This is a good thing because it allows her albums to focus on catchy songs. This is a good, if not utterly spectacular pop album with some amazing tracks (Case of the Ex, Free, Pussycats).

Mya - Case of the Ex

99. Shakira - Oral Fixation Volume Two (2006)
Although a lot of fans preferred the tepid (at least in my eyes) Volume One, I think that this album is a lot more fun to listen to. The thing about good pop albums is that they tend to run the gamut when it comes to styles and genres. While Shakira’s focus is Latin music, with this album, we get surf guitars (Animal City), No Doubt style ska (Hey You) and eighties dance (Timor).

Shakira - Timor

98. Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way (2002)
Although not as good as their late 90’s effort, Californication, By The Way is an incredibly consistent and at times surprising album. Fueled by a ridiculously good lead single, By The Way was also a pretty diverse record. From the new-wave styling of Throw Away Your Television to the flamenco of standout Cabron. Overlong at 16 tracks, but a great summer listen.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way

97. Madonna - Music (2000)
Unlike some, I’m not really a fan of Madonna’s post-80’s music. Honestly, to me she always sounds a bit up her own ass. This album, however, is the exception (in addition to Ray of Light, but that’s not from the 2000’s). Great lead single, even better follow-up…it was the perfect sound for the late summer of 2000. It’s not perfect (Paradise just kind of drudges along), but it’s catchy and fun, which is important when it comes to Madonna.

Madonna - Music

96. Tegan & Sara - So Jealous (2004)
It takes awhile to get past the almost alien harmonies of these twin sisters, but once they pull you in with the pure pop of their songwriting (awash with gentle synths and punchy guitar stabs) you will be entranced. Lead single Walking With A Ghost is purely hypnotic. The songs on this album are so simple, and because of this they could have all been singles (just imagine Where Did The Good Go playing in the background of a TV montage). There are no standouts on this record, because everything is so good.

Tegan & Sara - Walking With A Ghost

95. Nelly Furtado - Whoa, Nelly! (2000)
I remember I first read about Nelly in Entertainment Weekly magazine. They were reviewing this cd and saying how she was going to become this massive, massive star. Well, it took six years, but it’s finally happened with Promiscuous and Maneater. Back in 2000, Nelly was a little less mainstream, but still made insanely catchy music and racked up quite a few hits from this album. It’s consistent and varied in style. Most importantly, it was different from anything out at the time.

Nelly Furtado - …On The Radio (Remember The Days)

94. Muse - Black Holes And Revelations (2006)
I’ll be honest when I say that I actually had higher expectations for this cd. With two brilliant lead off singles (Supermassive Black Hole in the UK and Knights of Cydonia in the US) I was expecting utter brilliance. What I got was a nice album, almost tent poled by those two tracks (and the stunning Map Of The Problematique in the middle). In other words, not as consistent as their previous release, but it’s Muse, so of course it’s still great.

Muse - Map Of The Problematique

93. Shaggy - Hotshot (2000)
Here is probably the only good (and the only hit) record that Shaggy will ever have. I really don’t care much for the rap/reggae genre, but this album was so damn poppy. I practically played it out. It was also the kind of record that I bought upon its release (based on the terrific Hope, Dance & Shout, and Luv Me, Luv Me) when nobody even cared about it. Then, a year or so later (and with the help of the massive Angel and It Wasn’t Me) everybody owned it.

Shaggy - Hope

92. Elton John - Songs From The West Coast (2001)
I love Elton John. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is one of the best albums ever recorded. However, I hate 80’s and 90’s Elton John (other than the Lion King, of course). Songs From The West Coast was Elton’s return to his 70’s form, and that description is pretty accurate. From the heartbreaking This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore (complete with Justin Timberlake video) and American Triangle to the beautiful I Want Love, there are echoes of Yellow Brick Road here.
Elton John - This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore

91. Eminem - The Eminem Show (2000)
From Elton to Eminem…interesting. But, that’s my taste in music. Actually, Eminem’s whole career has been so damaged by his disappointingly lame follow-up efforts to this album (and the prominence of boring rap today) that The Eminem Show has lost a lot of its luster. There was a time, though, where I would play this over and over. It’s the poppiest of his efforts, which is probably why I like it the best. Yes, Without me was (and still is) annoying, but Say Goodbye to Hollywood, Cleaning Out My Closet, and Business are all good. And, hey…it’ll be good for a time capsule.

Eminem - Say Goodbye To Hollywood


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