Here is finally that much-anticipated time of the year to make my personal
retrospective of the ending year in music! I use to start by writing a short
article on the album that I like the most of the last year, but this time
I won't for 2 reasons: because I own only 2 records released in 2002 (Untouchables
from Korn and Break Syndical
from the Cowboys Fringants) and because
I don't want to repeat my error of last year. In fact, 12 months earlier,
I was declaring Rammstein
best album of 2001,
a record that still believe to be excellent but not THE best. Not since I
from System of a Down
, a disc that I bought in
early 2002 and that listened more often than the total of all of my other
CDs during the last year! I can only agree with these numerous reviewers who
were praising it last year as one of the best metal album of the entire modern
era. "System" can attempt to surprise its auditor at any time, so the listener
really has to be ready to rock to better live his auditive experience. Hardcore
for sure, but really not only some instrument-bashing as most people would
think after hearing it for the very first time. If you can appreciate hard
rock and its better-orchestrated hits, you should like at least 8 or 9 (Prison
, Deer Dance
, Chop Suey!
) of the album's 14 tracks.
I can still give you a word about my 2 albums of 2002. Let's begin with the
latest effort from Korn
, this American band with so much reputation.
They are back with yet another great album, no genie, no great evolution from
the previous record and of course without a single happy lyric, but most
of the songs are successes. The first 2 singles of out it are, as you'll see
in the below top 80, extremely efficient, while the Make Believe
, Bottled Up Inside
well the package. I would rate it probably 7.5/10.
As for the Cowboys Fringants
, finally their success expands from their
little native cities (Repentigny, Charlemagne and L'Assomption) throughout
all Quebec! Well, what to say about this new record? These guys were fed up
of having to keep 2 jobs at the same time, so they had got to make into a
little bit more commercial if they wanted to keep the band alive longer. When
we listen to Break Syndical
, we can hear that's what they did,
but, not in a bad way. The album aims more at reaching new fans than satisfying
the old fans, but it is still a very nice record, every song having its own
personnality and making a very complete album overall, way above the industry
average. I personnally prefered the previous one (Motel Capri
proof that I like this one too: there are 4 singles out of this album that
made their way into my personal top 50 personnel of 2002, an all-time record.
Enough said, here is the top of the songs that Powhertz had liked the most
in 2002 among the radio singles. A year that resembles a lot more to 2000
than 2001, in the way that it is a little less strong on top, but still shows
an impressive average. Like 2000 but totally unlike 2001, I have no rock-solid
#1, but I have the though choice to order a ton of #5s! Here is the result.
|Here to Stay
|It was a tough choice to make,
but it's the song that I listened to the most often in 2002 so it deserves
this high rank! Maybe my 2nd favorite from Korn after Falling Away
From Me. To listen and listen again, because you need extremely exercised
ears to like it right the first time. It can sound like a wall of noise at
first, but you got to analyze it and put in evidence all this sublime musical
arrangement with the different guitars. In short, it's an heavy sound but
you got to learn to tame it right! On the lyrics side, it's Korn so of course
there's nothing too happy into that, but at least it can be perceived as
a song of hope (in the liberation of a submission), judging by this lyric
excerpt: "This shit's gone way too far. [...] I'm done, I'm not a whore.
You've taken everything, Oh I cannot give anymore [...] I'm here to stay
[...] Gonna Break it".
|You Know You're Right
|The song for which I voted
the most often on the radio in 2002! What a triumphal comeback for Nirvana!
To be honest, You Know You're Right is not even in the top 5 of the
band's best songs in career, but it's so nice to hear new material with the
legendary voice of Kurt Cobain that we missed so much! After 8 years without
a new studio-recorded single (Nirvana had released 4 or 5 radio singles after
the death of Kurt, but these were all live recordings), they could have released
any kind of crap and make a hit anyway, but they didn't think like that and
came up with an excellent song anyway.
|Les Cowboys Fringants
|Without any hesitation my
French-language #1 of the year! Some real Cowboys Fringants, funny as they
|System of a Down
|In 2001, I've been caught underestimating
System of a Down's songs and put #3 what should have been #1 and underposition
to #33 what should have been in the top 20 and even in the top 10 only because
these tracks had been released too late in the year. I've learn from that,
and this year I do not hesitate to place the latest from System of a Down
very high even if it was released not even 2 months ago! Very short, but
how much intense! And another great vocal performance by the singer Serj
Tankian! The only default: a bit too similar to what we found on the album
Toxicity, but how can we blame the best metal band of the last
15 months to "only" repeat their totally great achievements in their unique
style and push back the evolution to a little later?!
|Just so much joyce for the
grunge fan that still lies in me! A tracks that sounds a lot like the Alice
in Chains of the best days, but sounds like nothing that's been released in
the last 2 years.
|No One Knows
|Queens of the Stone Age
|I can only hail to Queens of
the Stone Age! No One Knows is like the perfect balance between a
solid rock and a pop-rock susceptible to be liked by anybody, happy melody
but not gay, lyrics politically correct without falling into the "I love you,
you love me". And what a performance by the musicians! Especially the legendary
Dave Grohl on drums, who's playing as incredibly well (and even better) than
in his glorious times behind the drums of Nirvana. It's pleasure just to
imagine him Dave play what we're hearing in these delightful choruses!
||She Hates Me
||Puddle of Mud
|Nice song, a little pop but
not too much, very simple but extremely catchy by Puddle of Mud. Expresses
true feelings with emotion in a style that reminds a little bit Master Kurt
|Laissez Venir à moi les Grandes
|Not very serious, but deserving
to become a classic of Quebec's rock! Funny, but also interesting and catchy
music, mostly in the 2-guitar version (there is one version with two guitars
and another one, released just a little later, with just one guitar).
|A bit like Maurice au Bistro
of the Cowboys Fringants last year, this is a song that was one of my favorites
the previous year but that was released on the radio only one year later,
letting me time to lose a bit of my enthousiasm. Still a great song though.
||One Last Breath
|A song that I sulked for a
few weeks so much I was discouraged to see how much Creed was auto-plagiating
themselves (think of What's This Life For, One, etc...), but
at some point I cracked. The complex guitar melody is so wonderful that I
would find completely cold a guitarist who would not feel anything for it!
If it had been Creed's first hit, it would have probably been their biggest.
Better than With Arms Wide Open and several times better than Higher.
| I Stand Alone
|I've been relatively deceived
of this new one from Godsmack, but still it is a very solid song that listened
many many times in 2002! Just hard enough for the The Scorpion King movie.
| Drift & Die
||Puddle of Mud
|After Control and Blurry,
my opinion of Puddle of Mud was kind of neutral, like "another average rock
band like any other one". It's Drift & Die that made me realize
that I might be wrong, which was confirmed later by She Hates Me. Very
nice accoustic song that drives a lot, well-sang and well-accompanied by
the cello and the electric guitar. I suppose that we could put this into "power
accoustic", but much better than the one of Days of the New!
|La Puissance Bienvenue
|Power Welcome, indeed! There's
no other French band that rocks hard like Mass Hysteria!
|Good music, good lyrics, my
favorite from the Canadian band Nickelback.
||System of a Down
|The most "general public" of
System of a Down. I would hesitate in claiming it the 3rd best track of the
album Toxicity, but for sure it is one of the most melodic, one of
the better lyrics and the one using the most instruments.
|Far from Aerials, but this
is the closest one! Emotion, interesting lyrics, not too-bad singer... kind
of uncommon punk!
| Expert Canin
|I'm still impressed by last
year's drastic musical change of Okoumé. A song that is different,
music and lyrics, and which has nothing to do with the commercial songs of
the first record.
|Unbelievable that after 3 mega-hits
like they had last year, this 4th single has been nearly unnoticed!
It compares well with One Step Closer, Crawlingand even In
The End. Full of emotions. Violent emotions for sure, but who said that
the only good feelings to express in a song are sadness and melancholy?!
|I Am Mine
|Eddie Vedder's band has rocked
more than this, but once that fact it accepted, I Am Mine comes to
satisfy the man! A very American song that reminds some American solo singers,
but in much better. And the lyrics, another great text for the famous lyric-writer
Vedder! How can't you have nice thought for "I know I was born and I know
that I'll die, The in between is mine, I Am Mine.", or "The sorrow
grows bigger when the sorrow's denied."?
|Exagerately similar to Rage
Against the Machine (Freedom, for example) and the singer (Chris Cornell,
formerly from Soundgarden) on which age starts to show in his voice, that
starts to sound nearly more like some AC/DC than some Soundgarden. Then why
put Cochise at #20? Because that real good Rage Against the Machine
music with a better singer than Rage Against the Machine ever had!
A very good mix!
|Like any song from Korn, needs
to be listened to a few times before being able to give a good verdict. Except
the "Gonne take you down"'s that I would have made different or completely
taken off, it's another brilliant song form Korn, melodic despite what it
looks the first time.
|Disturbed did not (or not too
much) deceive with the first single of its 2nd album. For sure we can't ask
Disturbed for any fineness, but they are efficient in their style.
| Son Style 3
|One of the best French songs
of the year.
| Open Your Eyes
|Above-average punk in an original
||Qu'est-ce que ça peut ben faire
|The cover of the year! It's
unbelievable what Éric managed to make with so less!
| J'me Sens Triste (même si
|Ouch! A tough one by Vénus
3! From the 5 X Non compilation against the violence made to young
| Last Nite
|Light, but entertaining and
|Personnally, I would say that
I like it better than the band's greatest hit Crawling in the Dark.
More credible despite the very ordinary capacities of the lead singer.
||Les Cowboys Fringants
|Mostly for some parts of the
lyrics and the finale that ends up their shows so nice.
||You've got to Hide your Love Away
|Puts in parallel the voice
of Eddie Vedder with John Lennon's (lead singer of the original version by
the Beatles)... and we realize once more that the most popular is not necessarly
|I reproach to this song the
same thing as I was reproaching to Pearl Jam's Even Flow in the early
nineties: very good verses but the intensity completely blocks when the chorus
begin! Still, that didn't prevent Even Flow from being a good song
overall and it will be the same for The Red!
| J'ta Boutte
|Kinder music with agressive
|Another one without any fineness
but still efficient in its kind for Disturbed. That makes 5 since the band's
2000 breakthrough with Stupify.
||Ma Femme me Trompe
|Great surprise for the Belgian
that we just discovered in Quebec. catchy chorus.
|Imposer de s'imploser
|Honestly, I'm not sure that
this makes the French-Quebecker band's top 10 (Y'a tu Kelkun?, Dérangeant,
Boisson d'Avril, Le P'tit Bonheur, Ingurgitus,
Amphibiens, T'é Triss, etc?), but it's still a
very good song.
|She Loves me Not
|Disappointed by Papa Roach's
return at first, until I hear it in the demo of the PC game NHL 2003! After
all, it's good stuff!
|| La Bombe
|I have so much respect for
Big Sugar, this English-Canadian band that simultaneously released its latest
album both in English and in French! La Bombe was particularly good.
|Oup'a Lai Lai
|Voted for it twice at COOL
|An extremely violent song that
I liked a lot in 2001 but that I probably listened only once in 2002! Too
bad for them if they took too much time to release it as a single! For the
curious, Feuer means "fire" and Frei means "free", while the
expression would translate as just "Fire!" (the guns).
| Hate to Say I Told You so
|Music as simple as it can get,
but we are won by the energy, the happiness it inspires and the now famous
"Now it's all out and you knew" that reminds a little bit Blur's "Woo
hoo" in Song 2.
|Good song with interesting
|| I Feel So
|Clearly superior to Blink 182,
which 2 of the 3 members find themselves in Boxcar Racer. More serious
lyrics and music of a greater quality.
|| All my Life
|Definitely not the best of
the Foo Fighters, but at least they came back with a first single closer to
Monkey Wrench than Learn to Fly!
|| L'Expiré Rationel
|| Toune d'Automne
||Les Cowboys Fringants
| En Berne
||Les Cowboys Fringants
|EXCELLENT "drumming" by Dom
Lebeau, you've got to hear this!
| Nothing Could Come Between Us
||Theory of a Deadman
|Not to take too seriously,
but still interesting.
||Le Karlof Orchestra
|Good ironic critic of the music
industry, as in the following lyrics excerpt (translated from French): "Since
this fatal day we live bid after bid, and we're living as 'has beens' waiting
for the comeback."
| Where do we go from here?
|Not the best one from Filter
so far, but it's still good Filter!
| Time and Time Again
||Mélanie est Partie
|By the Way
||Red Hot Chili Peppers
|Way too much like the Californication
(especially Otherside) album, but still not bad. By the way, isn't
it yet again one of the biggest hits of the year?!
||I'm Just a Kid
||A Simple Plan
||Le Karlof Orchestra
| Hands Clean
|Youth of the Nation
||Ché pu où j'm'en vas
|Friends and Family
||Somewhere Out There
||Our Lady Peace
|Les Eaux Troubles
|| Laisse-la Donc Tomber
|| À L'Abri
|| Marie-Chantal Toupin
|| Stone Temple Pilots
||Chad Kroeger & Josey Scott
|| J'allumai le Ciel
||Check-moé ben Aller
| Grim Skunk
Forgotten in 2001: Cigarette
, of the band Cafféine, which should
have made my top 60, even if I don't like cigarettes!
Let's also mention Du Tout
from the band Yelo Molo that I discovered in 2002
and liked pretty much this year, but wasn't elligible because this song was released
TOP SUCKS 2002
There are good ones, and there are atrocious ones! That's why I'm presenting
once again the Top Sucks, 2002 edition, for the worst songs of 2002. This
year, I won't order them, I will content myself of a simple list of songs
to forget as fast as possible, since I did not take enough notes in 2002 to
make a top 20 or even a top 10.
HORRIBLY SUCKING SONGS RELEASED IN 2002
, by Laut Sprecher & Katie Skate
Les Soeurs Tordues
, cover of We're not Gonna Take it
Twisted Sisters by the band Les Martiens
, by Jonathan and Éloi Painchaud
Love de Toi
, by 4 You (a kind of Backstreet Boys/'N Sync)
Hot in Herre
, by Nelly (what can I say from a chorus like "It's
gettin' hot in here, so take off all your clothes
The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)
, by Las Ketchup
, by Céline Dion
, by Christina Aguilera
, by One Ton
SONGS THAT MAYBE DON'T SUCK THAT BAD BUT STILL VERY DECEIVING OR WITHOUT
Let's get this Party Started
, by Pink
The Zephyr Song
, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers
, by Sum 41 (I don't understand that people didn't even
notice the obvious -bad- copy of Metallica's classic Master of Puppets
in the verses...)
, by Avril Lavigne
, by Bon Jovi
, by Jennifer Love Hewitt
rev.: 2003/01/11, 2003/02/08