Ah, the mind of the music critic — a fabled
breeding ground for some of the most wonderfully insightful and
creative thought in the history of mankind. Some of history’s greatest
achievements were forged by music writers: Hamurabi’s ancient edict "an
eye for an eye" was developed while reviewing the mediocre Boston
hardcore band of the same name. Not many folks know that George Foreman
worked briefly as a rock critic (sample from his review of the Bens EP:
"Blows. Should’ve been called the Georges"), during which time he
invented his grill, now a staple graduation gift for state-college
bound chubby high school seniors everywhere. The list is endless.
Take for example, this seemingly simple directive:
Dear Prefix Staff Writers:
Please submit your Top Ten lists for 2003 as soon as possible. Thanks.
Your feeble non-music-critic mind probably sees only a basic
request for a specifically formatted submission. But oh simple reader,
you fail to see that to the creativity-factory that is the mind of a
music critic, this is simply yet another opportunity to express the
inner genius. You could for example, reject the boring, traditional
"ten" and instead submit, say, three. Or you could do fifteen, you
could list your favorite bubble gums, you could include explanations,
you could make bad jokes about your favorite albums, you could invent
cheese and eat ten pieces of it. Or twelve. Or you could top them all
and not do a goddamn thing, an option so creative that seventy percent
of our music scholars opted for it.
And so without further ado, Prefix‘s Best of 2003. Make of it what you will simple reader; you may not be able to keep up — we on some next level shit.
~Ryan Duffy, Staff Writer
|25|| White Stripes
|24|| The Mars Volta
De-loused in the Comoratorium
|22|| The Darkness
Permission to Land
Hail to the Thief
|20|| The Rapture
|19|| Belle & Sebastian
Dear Catastrophe Waitress
New York Catcher" is clearly the masterstroke. But there’s lots of good
tunes on this, the best Belle & Sebastian product in years:
complex, initially off-putting tunes that eventually win you (several
times) over, which, of course, have been B&S’s stock-in-trade since
Tigermilk’s "The State I Am In." And by the way, why did folks make
such a big stink over Isobel’s leaving the group? Did she strike anyone
else as, I dunno, overly twee? Maybe even fey? Anyhow, this is a neat
album, because the title track sounds like an outtake from Forever
Changes and it’s almost as good as "All the Things She Said."
|18|| Ted Leo
Hearts of Oak
This man is the Chevy Truck of fucking rock music. Is there a more consistently marvelous songwriter alive?
|18|| Lightning Bolt
|18|| The Gossip
|17|| Viktor Vaughn
Up in Flames
|15|| Broken Social Scene
You Forgot It in People
|14|| Cat Power
You Are Free
So fucking gorgeous. I don’t care if she rapes pigeons at her live shows, this is breathtaking.
|13|| Dizzee Rascal
Boy in Da Corner
|12|| The Decemberists
|11|| Matthew Shipp
A strong year for Thirsty Year. Highlighted by super jazz pianist Matthew Shipp.
|10|| Aesop Rock
|9|| Pretty Girls Make Graves
|8|| Four Tet
|7|| Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fever to Tell
|6|| The Wrens
|5|| The Shins
Chutes Too Narrow
|4|| The Strokes
Room on Fire
|3|| The Unicorns
Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?
Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
Honestly. These doods are just toying with us now.
|1|| Prefuse 73
One Word Extinguisher