Tag Archives: 2001

9 of the best – sounds of 2001

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2001 and in no particular order:

The Strokes – Hard To Explain

Ian Brown – F. E. A. R.

The Shins – New Slang

Daft Punk – Digital Love

Radiohead – Pyramid Song

Spiritualized – I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You

Lift To Experience – Falling From Cloud 9

Röyksopp ‎- Remind Me

The Strokes – Modern Age

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Honourable mentions also go to: Weezer for ‘Island In The Sun‘; Zero 7 for ‘In The Waiting Line‘; Jay-Z for ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)‘; Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin for ‘Rippin Kittin‘; The Other People Place for ‘Let Me Be Me‘; Muse for ‘Bliss‘; Cannibal Ox for ‘Iron Galaxy’; Roger Sanchez for ‘Another Chance’; Radiohead for ‘Knives Out’; and Yann Tiersen for ‘La Valse d’Amélie‘.

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The Other People Place – Let Me Be Me (2001)

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Sticking with 2001 and a year before he died of heart complications, Drexciy’s James Stinson created this fidgety techno classic. The anthem ‘Let Me Be Me’ featured on his album Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café released on Warp Records under the name of The Other People Place. Detroit via Sheffield. Have a great weekend.

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The Strokes – The Modern Age (2001)

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To say this song is all intro would be doing a would be doing a disservice to Julian Casablancas’ passionate vocals. “Leaving just in time/Staying for a while/Rolling in the ocean/Trying to catch her eye/Work hard and say it’s easy/Do it just to please me/Tomorrow will be different/So this is why I’m leaving”. But I love that intro, and those kickdrums, and that guitar, and… This was 2001; ‘The Modern Age’ is the second track on The Strokes’ classic Is This It.

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Papa M – Krusty (2001)

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After spending his formative guitar years with Slint, Tortoise and collaborating with Will Oldham, Dave Pajo released the largely unnoticed album Whatever Mortal as Papa M, a solo project of his. The fifth track ‘Krusty’ is an instrumental set over the backdrop of an episode of The Simpsons (Episode #9F13, ‘I Love Lisa’!). The track reminds me of the lo-fi sound of Guided By Voices.

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Lift To Experience – Falling From Cloud 9 (2001)

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lift-to-experience

Lift To Experience performed at Austin’s South by Southwest festival in 2000 and by the next year they were signed to Bella Union and releasing a double-disc concept classic The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads. Frontman Josh T. Pearson is the son of a Texan preacher; and the album is replete with Christian references and a wall of sound that has biblical proportions. It was momentous and never to be repeated; the band split shortly thereafter. Last year, to every shoegazing fan’s delight, Elbow’s Guy Garvey convinced them to put on a reunion set at London’s Meltdown Festival.

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Radiohead – Pyramid Song (2001)

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radiohead-2001

Melancholy channeling itself through ascending chords. It’s hypnotic, sweeping and a little trippy. It ends up in a sort of jazz-rock. This was Radiohead’s prog rock from circa 2000. At the time, it’s a well known fact that they considered releasing a double album, but then opted for two releases eight months apart – Kid A and Amnesiac. ‘Pyramid Song’ is the centrepiece of the latter.

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Janet Jackson – Doesn’t Really Matter (2001)

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janet-jackson

This one is verging on a guilty pleasure, but probably has enough credibility to duck that ignominy. Janet Jackson may have written ‘Doesn’t Really Matter’ for the soundtrack to the movie Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, but the Jam and Lewis production lifts it above all of that tosh. The experimentation with fluid (almost acid-like) sounds combined with her classic vocal bridges and breakdowns make this timeless contemporary R&B.

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Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin – Rippin Kittin (2001)

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Miss Kittin

In the late 1990s, a movement of electroclash emerged to reinvigorate a flagging a dance music scene. It brought with it a sense of humour and irony. ‘Rippin Kittin’ was one of the more elegant examples. Miss Kittin’s lyrics made for something unsettling and less trashy than most of the genre’s output. It reached the top of the UK dance charts in 2001.

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Fischerspooner – Emerge (2001)

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Casey Spooner

Do you recall electroclash? The fusion of techno, New Wave, electro, rap and rock took clubs by storm at the end of the 1990s. Let’s endearingly call it a creative response to the lull in dance music and to an abundance of cocaine. The genre reached it sleaziest peak in 2001 when NYC duo Casey Spooner and Warren Fischer chanted “Hyper-media-ocrity” to the masses. ‘Emerge’ featured on Fischerspooner’s debut album #1. Feels good, looks good, sounds good, feels good too, a-ha, that’s right.

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Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days (2001)

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Roots Manuva

“Dreamy days/Come what may/We feel no way/There’s gonna be fun and lots of laughter.” Roots Manuva created a spot of magic with his clever use of the MacArthur Park sample and his expressive use of the word “larfter”. Rodney Smith featured the single as the closing track on on his lauded LP Run Come Save Me. Have a great week.

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The Strokes – Hard To Explain (2001)

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The Strokes 2001

Has it really been almost 15 years since The Strokes released their gold-plated debut Is This It? I love this song. I love this video. It is ‘Hard to Explain’.

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Weezer – Island In The Sun (2001)

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Weezer

‘Island in the Sun’ is the second single from Weezer’s 2001 self-titled album, also known as the Green Album. The Cars’ Ric Ocasek produced the album and it was he who insisted on the song’s inclusion. The combination of those impassive “hip hips” and Rivers Cuomo’s power-pop chant “we’ll run away together” would have been lost otherwise. Ric – you are an island in the sun.

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Röyksopp ‎- Remind Me (2001)

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Röyksopp

Easing my way into the start of the week, it’s the chilled-out instrumentals of Röyksopp’s ‘Remind Me’. Featuring on their 2001 long player Melody AM, the track was released as a single the following year. Have a great week.

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James – Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) (2001)

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James

Shortly after the release of the band’s ninth studio album Pleased To Meet You, lead vocalist Tim Booth announced he was leaving the band. The anthemic ‘Getting Away With It’ featured at the end of the album and now sounds like a great exit. Have a great weekend.

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The Shins – Caring Is Creepy (2001)

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The Shins

‘Caring Is Creepy’ is the opener of The Shins debut and indie classic Oh, Inverted World. For that alone, it deserves reverence. But the song stands on its own merit, making great use of James Mercer’s shimmery vocals and Marty Crandall’s floaty keyboards. Have a great week.

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