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The Monsters
Monster Music Review of 2002
Best Album

David Gray - A New Day At Midnight
David Bowie
- Heathen
The Music
- The Music
The Cooper Temple Clause
- See It Through and Leave
Doves
- The Last Broadcast
Flaming Lips
- Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots


Best Single

Flaming Lips - Do You Realise
Oasis
- Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Nirvana
- You Know Your Right
The Hives
- Hate To Say I Told You So
Doves
- There Goes The Fear
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
- Spread Your Love
Aqualung
- Strange and Beautiful
Doves
- Pounding
Manic Street Preachers
- There By The Grace Of God
One Giant Leap
- My Culture
The Strokes
- Someday
Liam Lynch
- United States of Whatever
Best Kept Secret

Aqualung - Aqualung
Lemon Jelly - Lost Horizons
McAlmont & Butler - Bring it Back
Noonday Underground - Surface Noise
One Giant Leap - One Giant Leap
Alpinestars - White Noise

Shut The F*** Up

Robbie Williams - Escapology
Justin Timberlake - Justified
Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Daniel Bedingfield - Gotta Get Thru This
Kelly Osbourne - (and her f***ing family)
Gareth Gates - Where My Heart Wants To Stay
Blazin' Squad - In The Begininng
Over Rated

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Eminem - The Eminem Show
The Streets - Original Pirate Material
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - By The Way
Craig David - Slicker Than Your Average
Robbie Williams - Escapology


Biggest Let Down

Oasis - Heathen Chemistry
Moby - 18
The Vines - Higher Ground
Crackout - This Is Really Neat


Winner:   Doves - The Last Broadcast.

F
rom the moment Doves released this album you just knew there was never going to be a better one all year. I don't think it has been out of my CD player from the moment I brought it. Dispite loving all the others in the final list, none of them really came close to challanging Doves. It's one of those rare albums where it's hard to find a single weak track. Hard hitting in places and full of energy complete with their own fantastic sound. Full of anthems, it's an album you can put on no matter what mood your in. It's simply great music made by great muscians. No bullshit, no hype, they just let the music do the talking and it speaks volumes louder than anything else from 2002.
David Bowie also returned with his best album in ages. More inventive than any of these so called younger great singer song writers around today. Bowie always likes to try something different, and this album didn't let us down. The best solo album of the year by a mile. The Music and Cooper Temple Clause both released their debut albums. Both of which were fresh, new and very loud. The songs also had something to say, which is always a good sign. But if these two are anything to go by the future looks good for young new bands that are on their way. Their second albums will give us a good idea as to if these two will be hanging around a bit longer, we can only hope so.
David Gray took his genius a step further with his new album. It seems he is one of those artists you either love or hate. But for the life of me I can't see how anyone could hate his work. Not many people put so much of themselves into their music these days, and there is nothing better than hearing a song that's sung by someone who means what they are singing about.
The Flaming Lips brought out the most bizzare album name of the year but also one of the best sounding ones as well. A concept album about a Japanese girl fighting robots sounds like a joke, but the result is an album with some excellent tracks and a real break from the norm.
Winner: Oasis - Stop Crying Your Heart Out    &
             
Doves - There Goes The Fear

So many good singles this year for a change, but it did make this one very difficult to call. In the end I couldn't chose at all between Oasis and Doves. So they both get this one. In the end the only way to chose the best single of the year, is to see which one stays in your head the longest. Which on can be enjoyed any time. Stop Crying Your.... is one of the best singles in my opinion in the last 10 years, the sentiment and sheer perfection that only Oasis can offer make this such a stand out track. The music is great, the lyrics are sincere and the track has to go down as one of their best.
There Goes The Fear came out in Feb and no matter how many times I hear it I have never wanted a rest from it. Usually no matter how much I love a track I do tend to need a rest from it, but this single seems to be the exception to the rule. Again another single with great lyrics "You turn around and life's past you by......again". Brilliant track full of emotion that builds up to a fantastic climax after a slightly quieter start, and possibly the best drum playing performance of the year as well............nothing to do with him being called Andy Williams you understand. 
Both moments of pure music perfection, and therefore I can't chose between them, and why should I.
The Manic's, Nirvana and Hives released singles only they could. 1 Giant Leap brought us the fantastic My Culture. Aqualung's haunting Strange and Beautiful was wrongly over looked, and Liam Lynch ended the year with the two minute gem United States of Whatever.......Nice.
Winner:    Noonday Underground - Surface Noise

So many good things came out last year and got missed by so many people. In a way it's always good to own a hidden gem, but after a while you do tend to get annoyed when you talk about this great album and you are faced with blank faces. This was also a hard one to call as all the albums are worthy of winning. One Giant Leap travelled the world and came back with an album that should be getting more air time than it does. Aqualung showed Coldplay what atmospheric music should sound like. Alpinestars' White Noise was THE best dance/chillout album of last year. Lemon Jelly's album was fresh and inventive, just what dance music has been missing. Bernard Butler finally wrote the album we all knew he could, getting more than the best out of David McAlmont. It was an album SO radio friendly, it's criminal that no one is playing it.
But last years best kept secret was Surface Noise by Noonday Underground. An awesome album full of new sounds and guest vocals. The wonderful Barcelona is the highlight of the album, but every track takes you somewhere else. The guest vocalist (including Paul Weller) have all been chosen to sing exactly the right tracks and just add to the whole thing perfectly. It's by no means a mainstream album,  but if you just love to hear something new and different then you should enjoy.
There definatly moments on the album that are radio friendly, and this should have been on the air more.
But now you know the secret there is no excuse, in fact try all 6 albums.
Winner:    Coldplay - A Rush OF Blood To The Head

As the only person left in this country to just not see it, I happily give the Over Rated award to Coldplay. It all started so well with Yellow and like everyone else I was enjoying one of Britains fresh and exciting new bands. And then I heard the album, had I been writing these at the time then it would hve won the Biggest Let Down of the year. Take away the singles and it was a really dire album, but I seemed to be totally alone. Then came the second album, and what can I say.......even worse. And how the hell are people comparing them to U2 ?????. What an insult to U2, and you can bet anything that all those people who moaned that Radiohead were depressing are listening to Coldplay's new album and shouting how great it is. Pot and Kettle ???? I just don't see what all the fuss is about, all I can ever hear is the same single released again and again and then they bring an album full of them out. A Rush Of Blood...... is an album that trys to go somewhere and ends up nowhere. You can see what they are trying to do or want to do, but I honestly don't think they can pull it off one bit.
Just to give you some idea of how badly I feel Coldplay were over rated last year, they beat Eminem, Craig David and another of my favourite gripes Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who have to be one of the most over rated bands of the past ten years. Under the Bridge is not a great record. OK.
Last year also saw The Streets enter the charts, we can only hope they go as quick this year. There is nothing clever in making lazy music and speaking your lyrics. We can all hit the demo button on our Yamaha Keyboards you know. End of story.
Winner:    Robbie Williams - Escapology

Possibly no surprise here. This is mainly targeted at those people you have heard all year round non-stop and just want them to go away and never make music again. Robbie Williams wins not because of who he is but the music and dire album he has made, and believe me it was close with Coldplay on his tail. Escapology is the first album he really honestly has written on his own and my god does it show. But his fans don't seem to have minded at all......but then there is no surprise there really. What Robbie has tried to do is show he can make it on his own. He failed. Of course a number one album tells a different story and it's all about sales at the end of the day, but listen, very closely to the lyrics on his single, what the hell is he going on about ?. It makes no sense and it's not a case of him trying to be clever, oh no, you can just tell he thinks this is a deep and meaningful record. And after having the great pleasure of having to hear the rest of the album on Radio One over a week, the standard is worse not better. There are some really dire and bizzare tracks on there, and not because they are supposed to be. This really is an artist struggling to write a song. And when you have had it in your ear all year you just want to shout Shut the f*** up. Please please please public, suss this twat out and stop buying his dire records. PLEASE.
As for the others, well Justin Timberlake tried to show us his hard masculine but sexy side...and fell flat on his face. Mainly due to his stuipid squeaky voice.
Daniel Bedingfield tried pretty much the same thing, although I am not sure anyone took much notice. Kelly Osbourne along with that pathetic demented family of hers made me want to smash things up. Kelly your not a pop star and never will be. Your dad is a mess and your mum is a foul mouthed slag. How does your brother put up with you all, and how the f*** are you all famous?
Coldplay, well I have had my say on them and a year of them was more than enough for me. Gareth Gates is nothing but a run of the mill voice, famous simply because of his stammer. Come on think about it, would he really have got that far in Pop Idol if he didn't have one? After all there is no personality.
And then we have Blazing squad. There is nothing I hate more than kids singing about love and sex. Here we have a group of about 8 of them all trying to convince us they know all about the ladies. Please boys, you don't even have hair around your un-dropped bollocks yet. It really does surprise me that record companies release stuff like this. Of course there is no point in them releasing records about train sets and what games they play in the playground during school, but a load of 12/14 year olds singing about how to get a woman into bed. Please. This isn't a case of me  getting old or becoming a prude, but there really is nothing more tacky. And there really isn't anything more annoying than watching a load of 12/14 year olds walking round thinking they are all that.
GET BACK TO SCHOOL YOU COCKENDS.


I hear end this rant and this years Monsters.
If I have missed something let me know, or if you disagree, these pages are meant to cause debate as well as let me sound off. Especially let me know if you have a Best Kept Secret that I didn't list, always good to hear new things.
The Ginge
Winner:    Oasis - Heathen Chemistry

I didn't feel let down much at all last year and can only find four groups to put on the shortlist for this one. But there I was with the rest of the nation awaiting the 5th studio album from Oasis. The Hindu Times and Stop Crying Your Heart Out had given us more than a taster of what was to come, and I don't think I had looked forward to an album so much in ages. And then I played it. I honestly don't think I have felt so let down by an album. I know I am very much in the minority on this one going on the responces I got after doing a review of the album, but for me a good 6 months on this album still has that special Oasis feel missing. Add Songbird to the two singles and Little by Little and you have four great tracks but the rest of the album just didn't do it for me. As I said in the review, I don't know if this is because Noel let the rest of the band have a bigger hand in the album or whether I became a victim of expecting too much from the band (something I know I moan about when others fall foul of this). Oasis are Oasis, you don't want anymore from them or expect it, they are one of the best bands in the world, this album has not changed my mind on that at all, but Heathen Chemistry just doesn't do it for me, and I so wanted it to. I have taken a break from it and them played it again to see if I would hear it differently, but I don't and so it remains the Biggest Let Down of the year for me.
Moby's 18 is just Play part two and that let me down rather a lot. But over the past 8 odd months I have grown to love at least half of the album, which did save it from becoming a joint winner with Oasis. Moby likes to make something different with each album and I think that is what I felt was the let down this time. But still some great moments. The Vines promised loads and delivered, I feel, not much at all. They are well talked about but to my ear they are good but nothing special.
I had heard a lot about Crackout and brought the album without really hearing anything from them. It's not an album that will be played again in my CD Player. Limp Bizkit with Indie sounding guitars. No thanks. But you pays your money and takes a chance.