Saturday, November 06, 2004

The 3rd Annual Reynolds Top 20 List (1992)

Guess what??? It's the end of another year, so it's time yet again for those boring and self indulgent lists called...........
THE ALBUMS..........
20) Mark Curry-It's Only Time This is another one of those neo-folkie albums, which usually only get one spin on my CD player. But the fact that he partied at my house in Ithaca made me listen a few times, 'cause he's a cool guy. The songs got stuck in my head for days. "Sorry 'Bout The Weather" has been played to death in my car.
19) Junk Monkeys-Bliss This is the second power pop masterpiece from this Detroit quartet. All the songs are under 4 minutes, and feature loud guitars, and even louder choruses.
18) Prince & The N.P.G.-Androgynous It's the second album for the purple man with the N.P.G., and they sound even tighter than last year's Diamonds & Pearls. The album leapfrogs from genre to genre (reggae to hardcore urban/rap to soulful piano ballads), and pulls it off with ease. James Brown must be proud of "Sexy MF", and "The Morning Papers" is one of Prince's best straightforward pop songs ever.
17) The Judybats-Down In The Shacks Where The Satellite Dishes Grow This is the second album from this Tennessee band, and the avoid the sophomore slump big time. An album filled with great hooks, and fine vocal harmonies. It's almost too damn pleasant to listen to.
16) Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds-Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds Guns N' who??? Izzy escapes Axl hell, and puts out a great, straightforward rock album. His voice is like Keith Richards, his sound is like Keith Richards, but his album is much better than Keith's. "Shuffle It All" is the best 6 minute tune of the year. I wish that the song was actually longer, it's that good.
15) Bruce Springsteen-Lucky Town Yup, I'm the only person who still like the Boss. Human Touch was his worst album, but this one ranks up there with his other work. A great album about the starting of a family, and the fears and hopes behind it.
14) The Black Crowes-The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion Another artist whose second album far exceeds their first. They sound like a road weary band, who are still very idealistic. As long as they keep that attitude, they'll be great for years to come.
13) Lindsey Buckingham-Out Of The Cradle A pop masterpiece. The quality of the amazing production enhances the hooks o' plenty in every tune. This album proves who kept Fleetwood Mac afloat.
12) Lemonheads-It's A Shame About Ray Another pop masterpiece. Even Dando might have turned the tempo down a notch, but he turned up the songwriting to 11. And with new cover of "Mrs Robinson" tacked on, perhaps more people will be exposed to its brilliance.
11) Cracker-Cracker David Lowery left the weird songs and sound of Camper Van Beethoven, and now has weird, hooky songs with a straight ahead rock sound. A change for the better, if you ask me. "Teen Angst" sounds great speeding down any highway.
10) Faith No More-Angel Dust A sonic car accident. About every genre combined into a loud, in your face blitz. I had to rest after listening to this album for the first time. There is so much going on that I suggest only listening to this if you're in an experimental mood. Wow.
9) Beautiful South-0898 Beautiful South This band's third album is it's best yet. The slick pop sound (lots of piano and classy strings) goes down like a fine imported beer, and the bitter lyrics hit you across the face with the emptied beer bottle. A great combination.
8) Phish-A Picture Of Nectar Kudos to Dave Hoffman for turning me onto this band. My best musical discovery of '92. Absurd lyrics, and extremely intricate music make for one interesting listening adventure. Certainly not for everyone, but those who like it, really like it.
7) Arrested Development-3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of... Thank goodness MTV played these guys a lot. I would not have discovered how breathtaking a rap album this is. A positive message abounds throughout, with a folky tinge to the musical backing. A watershed for rap.
6) Soul Asylum-Grave Dancer's Union Many older SA fans are crying sellout. I say that you can't pretend you're 20 forever. The music might be more mellow, but the fine lyrical content is still there. And they still kick butt live.
5) Neil Young-Harvest Moon After all the feedback of Arc/Weld & Ragged Glory, Neil switches gears, and surprise, surprise, gives us a classic sequel to Harvest. This album has a timeless quality about it, and shows while he is one of the few rock legends whose later work matches up with the classic work of their youth.
4) Los Lobos-Kiko Forget La Bamba here. This is an album that shatters the stereotypes of how instrumentation should be used on a rock record. The sound is so diverse that I won't even try to describe it. Just buy it, and hear a group at its creative peak.
3) Lou Reed-Magic And Loss Here is the only artist besides Neil Young that I can think of whose current work rivals their earlier stuff. This album is about death, and not something to be used at your last party of '92. But it is a work that can help anyone grieving over the loss of a loved one. The imagery of his lyrics are so good that it's almost painful to listen to his pain of the loss of two close friends. An album that will go down as one of best of the 90's.
2) Sugar-Copper Blue Bob Mould in a power trio, with excellent songwriting, as per usual. That describes how freakin' good it is. Get it now if you don't have it. And guess what?? They'll have a new album in April. Way cool.
1) R.E.M.-Automatic for the People Second year in a row at #1. With an album that tops Out Of Time. Stipe sings brilliantly, and the playing is superb. While this album takes a little bit longer to get into than the last one, it is well worth the effort. How are they going to top this one???

20) Poi Dog Pondering-Be The One
A great pop love song, with the Texas/Hawaii Poi of view, and sound.
19) Helmet-Unsung Great guitar grunge, with a cool lyrical hook.
18) Arc Angels-Living In A Dream The guitar riff of the year.
17) Sonic Youth-100% 2 minutes of pure feedback frenzy. Ahhhh.
16) Matthew Sweet-I've Been Waiting Power Pop at its finest.
15) Beautiful South-Old Red Eyes Is Back Slick pop at its finest.
14) Del Amitri-Always The Last To Know A hook as big as Cleveland.
13) Megadeth-Foreclosure Of A Dream Best hard rock tune of the year.
12) XTC-The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead Another pop classic from these guys.
11) Bruce Springsteen-Human Touch/Better Days A fine double sided release.
10) Tesla-What You Give A great hard rock ballad. I liked this even before I worked for a hard rock station.
9) Cracker-Teen Angst What the world needs now are more songs like this one.
8) Faith No More-A Small Victory The closest they've come to a straight pop song.
7) Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds-Shuffle It All Any song that starts out with a bass solo is great in my book.
6) Arrested Development-Tennessee Rap at its finest.
5) Soul Asylum-Somebody To Shove I got my first speeding ticket to this song. Ahh, memories......
4) Sugar-Helpless I love loud power pop.......
3) Paul Westerburg-Waiting For Somebody Did someone say power pop??? Here's another great example.
2) Tom Cochrane-Life Is A Highway I'm still not tired of this song. Even after tremendous overplay.

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