Music

PopMatters Picks: The Best Music of 2003

PopMatters Music Critics

That favorite rite of passage for all music critics is here again . . . the annual top 10 lists, or in this case top 50. As in years past, we have top 10s from the whole crew of regular PopMatters music writers, but this year we're adding a twist. What you have before you is our mammoth list of the 50 best records of the year as voted on by our entire music staff.


OutKast


The Shins


Dizzee Rascal


The White Stripes

That favorite rite of passage for all music critics is here again . . . the annual top 10 lists, or in this case top 50. As in years past, we have top 10s from the whole crew of regular PopMatters music writers, but this year we're adding a twist. What you have before you is our mammoth list of the 50 best records of the year as voted on by our entire music staff. Every day we'll also publish another 3-5 of the individual lists from our writers in a special section on the front page of the site right above where columns normally are. So, with no further ado, onto the picks . . .

:. Start here to read about all 50 albums.

TOP 50 ALBUMS

50 - 46 > 45 - 41 >
40 - 36 > 35 - 31 >
30 - 26 > 25 - 11 >
20 - 16 > 15 - 11 >
10 - 6 > 5 - 1 >



CRITICS' LISTS

st2003-williams.shtml">Adam Williams liams
#1: Led Zeppelin
Simon Warner
#1: Blur
st2003-thompson.shtml">Jason Thompson ompson
#1: Tom Heinl
Patrick Schabe
#1: Fountains of Wayne
st2003-sawyer.shtml">Terry Sawyer er
#1: Buck 65
Devon Powers
#1: The Decemberists
st2003-potts.shtml">Ryan Potts /font>
#1: The Blood Brothers
Mitch Pugh
#1: Fruit Bats
st2003-neal.shtml">Mark Anthony Neal Neal
Anthony Hamilton and more
David Medsker
#1: The White Stripes
st2003-macneil.shtml">Jason MacNeil Neil
#1: The National
Seth Limmer
#1: Fountains of Wayne
st2003-korenkiewicz.shtml">Jason Korenkiewicz n Korenkiewicz
#1: The New Pornographers
Christine Klunk
#1: Brand New
st2003-kalet.shtml">Hank Kalet /font>
#1: The White Stripes
Kevin Jagernauth
#1: The Strokes
st2003-horning.shtml">Rob Horning ng
#1: Deerhoof
Marc Hogan
#1: The Lucksmiths
st2003-hill.shtml">Marc L. Hill
#1: R. Kelly
Andy Hermann
#1: Tiga
est2003-heaton.shtml">Dave Heaton on
#1: Yo La Tengo
Will Harris
#1: Fountains of Wayne
st2003-haag.shtml">Stephen Haag
#1: The White Stripes
Gary Glauber
#1: Bleu
st2003-gilstrap.shtml">Andrew Gilstrap ilstrap
#1: My Morning Jacket
Jon Garrett
#1: The Strokes
st2003-fuchs.shtml">Cynthia Fuchs hs
Missy Elliot and more.
Gypsy Flores
#1: I Muvrini
st2003-desrosiers.shtml">Mark Desrosiers esrosiers
#1: The Midnight Evils
Justin Cober-Lake
#1: Elbow
st2003-ciolfi.shtml">Sal Ciolfi
#1: Broken Social Scene
Matt Cibula
#1: El Gran Silencio
st2003-christopher.shtml">Michael Christopher el Christopher
#1: The White Stripes
Anthony C. Bleach
Basement Jaxx and more.
st2003-begrand.shtml">Adrien Begrand grand
#1: Manitoba
Michael Beaumont
#1: Blur
st2003-antrobus.shtml">David Antrobus trobus
#1: The White Stripes


















To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less
10

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image