Culture

Bestsellers

Culture | The Top 5 most-played albums on college and noncommercial radio, according to CMJNMR (College Media Journal New Music Report), Issue #798

Issue: "The cost of war," Feb. 15, 2003
1
( )
Sigur R-s 7 weeks on chart
STYLE
Somber, minimalistic New Age mood music from Iceland.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None.

WORLDVIEW
With turgid, title-free songs almost entirely bereft of melody and eerie, meaning-free singing almost entirely bereft of human characteristics, this album constitutes an extraordinarily ambitious exercise in pretentiousness, leaving one little choice but to conclude that it exists mainly to prove there's (still) a sucker born every minute.

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OVERALL QUALITY
Commensurate with the album title.

2
REDEMPTION'S SON
Joseph Arthur 5 weeks on chart
STYLE
Expensively produced, occasionally catchy, intermittently meaningful, and thoroughly inner-directed British-sounding pop from Atlanta.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None.

WORLDVIEW
"I don't know where we've been / Could you tell me where we are again? / And Jesus is my only friend / No one else knows who I am / ... Forgive us for what we've done, Lord" ("Redemption's Son").

OVERALL QUALITY
Definitely above average as Christ-haunted albums go.

3
EVIL HEAT
Primal Scream 3 weeks on chart
STYLE
Techno-punk.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"The Lord Is My Shotgun," the bonus-DVD "Miss Lucifer" video (sinister eroticism)

WORLDVIEW
"A life of work / is a life of crime / you pay your taxes / you serve your time / all that money / where does it go? / schools, prisons, hospitals, roads? / government funding of military science? / genetically modified ultraviolence?"

OVERALL QUALITY
Better than U2 in its techno-punk phase.

4
HAVE YOU FED THE FISH?
Badly Drawn Boy 9 weeks on chart
STYLE
Capriciously witty, expensively produced, undeniably catchy, essentially meaningless British pop.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None.

WORLDVIEW
In the tradition of his most obvious antecedent-Paul McCartney in his latter years as a Beatle-Damon Gough (a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy) doesn't make music with a worldview; he just generates a flow and goes with it.

OVERALL QUALITY
Empty package, great wrapping.

5
SPEND THE NIGHT
The Donnas 11 weeks on chart
STYLE
Punky, all-girl garage-band rock.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"Take Me to the Backseat," "Take It Off," "All Messed Up," "Too Bad About Your Girl," "Please Don't Tease" (adolescent flooziedom)

WORLDVIEW
Sex, booze, and rock 'n' roll (mitigated somewhat by the comparatively innocent bonus DVD).

OVERALL QUALITY
The catchiness and production values of the Go Go's and Bangles; the overtly trashy demeanor of the Runaways, the Ramones, and the Pandoras.

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