First the chill, then the stupor: Best of 2002

From 2002-2004 I didn’t think the Libertines were a punch line. Credit producer Mick Jones or an instinct that told them now or never, for nothing on Up the Bracket suggests they couldn’t keep grinding out songs about their dissipation forever. About their travails as a band is another story. It’s possible the love story between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty happened too soon — imagine “Boys in the Band” and “Can’t Stand Me Now” released in a post-Obergefell environment in which my straight male students admit to double dates with their gay best friends.

The rest is more or less where I left the year when I was as hedonistic as I imagined the Libertines were: Timberlake’s best album despite several putative triumphs; close to Alan Jackson’s best, keyed to a great dad song and the most empathetic 9-11 song ever written, better than Springsteen’s; Wire’s spectacular return; a Breeders album I learned to love after it got stuck in my Explorer’s CD deck; and Luna’s best after Penthouse.

For this arrangement I eschewed alphabetical for descending order.

Kylie Minogue – Fever
The Libertines – Up the Bracket
Justin Timberlake – Justified
Alan Jackson – Drive
Mekons – OOOH!
Luna – Romantica
Toby Keith – Unleashed
Wire – Read & Burn ’01
Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
The Breeders – Title TK
DJ Shadow – The Private Press
Nas – God’s Son
Clinic – Walking With Thee
Clipse – Lord Willin’
The Roots – Phrenology
Youssou N’Dour – Nothing’s in Vain (Coono du réér)
Imperial Teen – On
Aaliyah – I Care For U
The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee
David Bowie – Heathen
Dolly Parton – Halos and Horns
Spoon – Kill the Moonlight

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2 Responses to First the chill, then the stupor: Best of 2002

  1. dongarito says:

    By descending, do you mean we’re go from first to last, or last to first?

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