PopMatters Picks: The Best Music of 2000

After two relatively weak years with few truly great albums, 2000 was a major rebound year. The Billboard 200 charts in the US were littered with plenty of dreck as always, but beyond that, there was a rich offering of phenomenonal new music, particularly in the genres of indie rock, alt.country, and hip-hop. I’d go so far as to say this was truly the year of alt.country � former Whiskeytown singer Ryan Adams began a brilliant solo career with Heartbreaker, Lambchop gave us their masterpiece Nixon, Steve Earle returned with the finest album of his career. Over on the other side of the pond, British rock may be weaker overall than several years ago, but the complex, melancholy spirit of Radiohead’s OK Computer (1997) has influenced a host of strong new bands beginning to break stateside � Travis, Coldplay, Sigur Rós (actually they’re from Iceland). Meanwhile, hip-hop offered up a bevvy of powerful artistic statements � OutKast’s Stankonia, Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek’s Reflection Eternal, and Jurassic 5’s Quality Control.

Sarah Zupko, PopMatters Editor & Publisher

OK, on to the picks for 2000…

Best of Music 1999