Monday, August 22, 2005


#5) Aimee Mann - Lost in Space (2002)

When I was preparing this list, I debated long and hard about which of her two early decade albums would go on this list. In the end, I took the coward’s way out, putting both in my top ten, with this one faring better than Bachelor No. 2 to me. More polished musically and lyrically, Lost in Space covers a lot of the same territory as Mann’s previous works, but there’s just something about some of these songs that haunts, from the tragic-romantic refrain of High on Sunday 51 "Baby, let me be your heroin" to the sick-of-it-all This is How it Goes. And to think she was very nearly chased completely out of the music business.

Monday, August 15, 2005


#6) Pilate-Caught By the Window (2004)

Being in the Canadian music market has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, there's entire genres-worth of bands to fill out your music collection with; on the downside, often, no one's ever heard of them. Pilate is such a case, and I'm firmly convinced that if these guys could fake an English accent, they'd be bigger than Coldplay. Sharing a sound with the best of Brit-pop bands such as the aforementioned Coldplay, Travis, Radiohead and others and lead-singer Todd Clark at times becoming a dead-ringer for Bono, you could accuse them of being followers, that is, if they didn't write such brilliant hooks and honesty heartfelt lyrics (heavy on the obsession and desperation). Clark's vocals, in addition to echoing U2's frontman, also push into one of the strongest falsettos since Freddie Mercury, but still have the power to find a low growl when he needs it. Combine this with haunting melodies and not a single track of filler, and you have one of the best bands and albums you've never heard of.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

#7) The New Pornographers - Electric Version (2003)

I'm not sure how much I have to say about this album that hasn't been covered by Calvin Trager (Between you and me, I think he was looking over my shoulder at my list). However, I can say this; pop music doesn't get much more perfect than the 13 tracks on this album. The deceptively simple hooks and gorgeous vocal twang of Neko Case will have you wondering how no one crafted music like this before. They have, of course, in a way, but main songwriter A.C. Newman has distilled the Beach Boys, The Beatles along with elements of everything from new-wave to doo-wop into their constituent elements and recombined them into something approaching a demented genius. More over, this album sees The New Pornographers really develop a more mature sound than on Mass Romantic, their debut, as opposed to being a studio sensation. Someone has to stick up for the poor neglected and abused genre of pop, and give thanks that we have The New Pornographers to do so.



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