Tag Archives: 2003

The Strokes – Reptilia (2003)

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Unlike one of their songs, no one wanted The Strokes sound to come to an abrupt stop. Two long years after the release of Is This It, came their second L.P. Room On Fire. The album featured ‘Reptilia’, a scientific term for the part of the brain we share with reptiles. The song seems to be about a long night that’s not going so well. “The room is on fire as she’s fixing her hair.” The song evidently gave the album its name and tempo. Have a great week.

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The Postal Service – Natural Anthem (2003)

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Seattle/L.A.-based The Postal Service formed as a collaboration between Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello (aka Dntel) in 2001. The duo released one album of hit-and-miss electronica, and for those that make it to the end of the aptly named Give Up, they are treated with a ‘Natural Anthem’. This one should get you whirring on a Monday; have a great week!

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Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You (2003)

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Alicia Keys gets one mention on my blog and the next thing you see is her feature on a sacred Friday. But the single ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ is worth it, in all its Stevie Wonder-like glory. The track featured on her modestly titled album The Diary Of Alicia Keys. This was R&B with some Alicia neo-soul.

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Buck 65 – Wicked And Weird (2003)

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Hip hop artist or alt country blues, Buck 65 may split opinion but the sound is undisputedly intriguing. With more that a touch of the Dust Brothers, ‘Wicked And Weird’ just about sums it up. The track features on the Canadian’s 2003 album Talkin’ Honky Blues.

 

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Evan Dando – Whoops (2003)

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Evan Dando returned to music in 2003 after a long, long lost weekend. The former Lemonheads frontman released the lo-fi Baby I’m Bored, which featured the track ‘It Looks Like You’. Released as a single, its B-side was the jaunty ‘Whoops’. “We all fall short, but it’s a long way down.” The man had seen the dark side; perhaps that’s why the song was incomprehensibly consigned to a flip-side.

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Kings Of Leon – Wicker Chair (2003)

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When the Kings Of Leon debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, hit the shelves in 2003, it was a sensation with the UK music press. Their potential had been heralded earlier in the year by their first pressing, an EP entitled Holy Roller Novocaine. The record contained ‘Wicker Chair’ – a gem of track, with its simple country melody and hook. Until its close, it belies the raucous blues/punk that would take them to the top over the next 5 years.

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The Handsome Family – Far From Any Road (2003)

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Husband-and-wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks explore some dark, wistful americana on their 2003 album Singing Bones. With its mandolin and trumpet, ‘Far From Any Road’ evokes dusty backcountry, far removed from The Handsome Family’s Chicago.

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Yo La Tengo – Today Is The Day (2003)

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Yo La Tengo’s 2003 album Summer Sun is a slow burner. It was always going to be difficult to follow 2000’s brilliant And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, but the Georgia Hubley song ‘Today Is the Day’ reminds me of something earlier. I recollect ‘Shadows’ off I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, their equally sublime album from 1997.

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The Killers – Mr. Brightside (2003)

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2003 could not pass without some mention of The Killers for their ubiquitous track ‘Mr. Brightside’. Hot Fuss indeed.

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The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army (2003)

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The White Stripes

“I’m gonna fight ’em off/A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back…” The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ was released in 2003 as the lead single from their fourth album Elephant. The bassline riff was instantly recognisable and everything would be slightly different for evermore. Have a great week.

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Broken Social Scene – Stars and Sons (2003)

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Broken Social Scene 2003

Now for one my favourite tracks from Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People.  With its handclaps and driving rhythm, ‘Stars and Sons’ was the band’s first single and a perfect introduction to the collective. As together as you are, someone’s got to sing lead. Brendan Canning steps forward and whispers in the self-respecting dissonance.

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Outkast – Hey Ya! (2003)

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André 3000

When ‘Hey Ya’ broke, everyone appreciated the song. The confidence. The talent. The pop hook. The sense of humour. The purpose of pop. “Shake it like a Polaroid picture.”

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The Thrills – One Horse Town (2003)

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The Thrills 2003

On the subject of self-imposed hiatuses, whatever happened to The Thrills? They may have been part of a mid-noughties trend for the ’60s, but their revivalisism was a satisfying blend. Clearly influenced by the West Coast sounds of The Beach Boys, Byrds and Neil Young, the jangly Dubliners produced two welcomed albums in 2003/04: So Much For The City and Let’s Bottle Bohemia. ‘One Horse Town’ features on the former.

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U.N.P.O.C. – Amsterdam (2003)

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The Fence Collective’s Tom Bauchop also records as U.N.P.O.C. In 2003, ‘Amsterdam’ was the firs single released from his album Fifth Column. “Ididn’ttellthemanythingIdidn’ttellthemanythingIdidn’ttellthemanything.” What was all that about?!

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