Counting down the hits with Nailor

by Seth Nailor

1. Jack Johnson: Brushfire Fairytales – For those of us who weren’t in the loop before we certainly are now. Jack Johnson’s release makes us believe that the music world isn’t all Brittany and Justin. Alas, there are still very talented singer-songwriters out there that need to be listened to.

2. Phantom Planet: The Guest – Phantom Planet scored meager radio and video play with “California” but the album is full of infectious songs that we can’t help but sing along with like “Lonely Day” and “Anthem.” This is one of those compact disc’s that makes you feel bad if you skip through a song.

3. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells – The hit “Fell in Love With a Girl” got this brother/sister combo kick-started and “Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground” kept them rolling all year. Jack and Meg have a raw sound that fans love.

4. The Red Hot Chili Peppers: By The Way – By The Way pushed its way into my CD player and made me forget about their 1995 effort, One Hot Minute. “The Zephyr Song” and “Minor Thing” will have you hooked and wondering what it is that singer Anthony Keedis did to his voice, and why he didn’t do it earlier.

5. Weezer: Maladroit – Rivers Cuomo and company return to their hard rock childhoods and produced an excellent effort. Much like Pinkerton, it wasn’t love on first listen but it didn’t take long. “Keep Fishing” is just one of the many great songs on this album, and who else can pull off doing a video with the Muppets besides the original “nerd rockers” themselves.

6. Audioslave: Audioslave – One of the most anticipated albums of 2002 is also one of the best. It is going to take some doing to ever hold Audioslave in the same regards as Rage Against the Machine but Chris Cornell and Tom Morello do this effort justice. Morello’s unique guitar sound and the rest of the bands driving force teamed with Cornell’s made-for-rock-music voice makes this album one for the collection.

7. Midtown: Living Well Is The Best Revenge – Midtown puts out an excellent follow up to Save The World, Lose the Girl with their latest release. “Like A Movie” and “Become What You Hate” make this CD one full of angst, heartbreak, and revenge. Midtown is second only to Saves The Day in the growing punk scene.

8. Dashboard Confessionals: MTV Unplugged – Chris Carraba and friends have a tailor made act for MTV’s Unplugged TV show, which explains why the finished project was so good. The crowd provides word for word background lyrics that make you wonder if you are sitting around the campfire. “The Best Deceptions” and “Screaming Infidelities” highlight this CD.

9. Foo Fighters: One by One – The always-solid Foo Fighters do not disappoint with One by One. “All My Life” is the first release off this album and is harder than what you normally associate with the Foo Fighters, although the guys pull it off. Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters make it so damn hard not to like them.

10. The Hives: Veni Vidi Vicious – The arrogant Swedes that call themselves The Hives are almost as good as they think they are. “Main Offender” and “Hate to Say I Told You So” are high points on this disc. The Hives are one of those bands that have been tabbed with the task of bringing rock back, although we should note that this album was originally released in 2000 but still makes the list over genre counterparts The Vines.