December 17, 2000, Sunday
by Mark Edwards Chief
From Radiohead to Ruders and David Grubbs to
Guerrero, The Sunday Times critics select the
best CDs of 2000
Serious Tam (Real World) Pounds 13.99
George Telek was born in New Britain,
Guinea. When he came to old Britain for the first
time, he headed straight for the Abbey Road crossing
to get his photo taken. This may explain why Serious
Tam is so beautiful. Haunting Pacific rhythms and
harmonies combine with melodies that have been subtly
informed by the best pop the northern hemisphere can
2 SINEAD O'CONNOR
Faith and Courage (Atlantic) Pounds 16.99
Forget the therapy-in-public years.
On Faith and
Courage, O'Connor has finally rediscovered the
songwriting genius (not to mention the sheer energy)
last heard on I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.
3 EMMYLOU HARRIS
Red Dirt Girl (Grapevine) Pounds 12.99
Unusually, Harris wrote all but one
of the songs
herself. Her timeless imagery and the
in-the-room-with-you production, however, give the
songs the weight of ageless folk standards. The best
album of her 30-year career.
The Sophtware Slump (V2) Pounds 12.99
Unfocused? Certainly. Erratic? Indeed.
Of course. Yet the unfeasibly bearded post-slacker
rockers pulled it off. The mad, beautiful spirit of
Brian Wilson permeates
The Once and Future (MCA) Pounds 16.99
In this new golden age of female
Jazzyfatnastees trumped their better-known rivals with
this collection of smooth, soulful tunes. Got Macy
Gray? Get this.
Nixon (City Slang) Pounds 13.99
Kurt Wagner's mission? To merge the
finest points of
country and soul using a 14-strong band of part-time
musicians. On Nixon, the whole stupid idea works
7 DAMIEN JURADO
Ghost of David (Sub Pop) Pounds 14.99
Jurado explores the quiet, acoustic
world marked out
by Spring-steen's Nebraska. His songs are lo-fi, grim,
8 SUPER FURRY ANIMALS
Mwng (Placid Casual) Pounds 14.99
The Super Furries have made their
finest album so far.
They've also sung the whole thing in Welsh. Still, it
is their first language. And, apart from the
wonderfully weird pop we expect, I swear some of the
ballads will have Burt Bacharach taking notes.
9 LORI CARSON
Stars (Restless) Pounds 13.99
Carson was once the singer with the
and her latest solo album is a ray of sunlight.
Impossibly pretty songs that quite distract you from
the fact that she's singing lines like: "I wish I had
your head in a box."
Wookie (Soul II Soul) Pounds 12.99
In the year of UK garage, Wookie
(aka Jason Chue) made
the genre's first great album. Not content with
programming the best rhythms in town, Chue also turns
out vocal melodies that Stevie Wonder would have been
happy with back in the 1970s.