IN 2002
Album: Untouchables from Korn
Album: Break Syndical from the Cowboys Fringants
Top 80 of 2002
Top Sucks 2002

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's Mutter best album of 2001, a record that still believe to be excellent but not THE best. Not since I know Toxicity 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 Song, Needles, Deer Dance, Chop Suey!, Bounce, Shimmy, Toxicity, Psycho, Aerials) 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, Hollow Life, Bottled Up Inside and Embrace complete pretty 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), but 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.

Heavy Metal
Les Cowboys Fringants
Without any hesitation my French-language #1 of the year! Some real Cowboys Fringants, funny as they are!

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?!

Anger Rising
Jerry Cantrell
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!

7 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 Cobain.

Laissez Venir à moi les Grandes Brunes Le Nombre
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).

9 Mutter
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.

10 One Last Breath Creed
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 Godsmack
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 Mass Hysteria
Power Welcome, indeed! There's no other French band that rocks hard like Mass Hysteria!

Never Again Nickelback
Good music, good lyrics, my favorite from the Canadian band Nickelback.

Aerials 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.

Sorrow  Bad Religion
Far from Aerials, but this is the closest one! Emotion, interesting lyrics, not too-bad singer... kind of uncommon punk!

Expert Canin Okoumé
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.

18 Runaway Linkin Park
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 Pearl Jam
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."?

20 Cochise
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!

Thoughtless Korn
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.

Prayer Disturbed
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 Noir Désir
One of the best French songs of the year.

Open Your Eyes Goldfinger
Above-average punk in an original subject.

25 Qu'est-ce que ça peut ben faire Éric Lapointe
The cover of the year! It's unbelievable what Éric managed to make with so less!

J'me Sens Triste (même si je t'aime) Vénus 3
Ouch! A tough one by Vénus 3! From the 5 X Non compilation against the violence made to young women.

Last Nite The Strokes
Light, but entertaining and interesting.

Running Away Hoobastank
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.

29 L'Hiver Approche Les Cowboys Fringants
Mostly for some parts of the lyrics and the finale that ends up their shows so nice.

30 You've got to Hide your Love Away Eddie Vedder
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 the best!

The Red Chevelle
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 Noir Silence
Kinder music with agressive lyrics!

The Game Disturbed
Another one without any fineness but still efficient in its kind for Disturbed. That makes 5 since the band's 2000 breakthrough with Stupify.

34 Ma Femme me Trompe Jéronimo
Great surprise for the Belgian that we just discovered in Quebec. catchy chorus.

Imposer de s'imploser Groovy Aardvark
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 Papa Roach
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!

37 La Bombe Big Sugar
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 Pénélope
Voted for it twice at COOL FM!...

39 Feuer Frei! Rammstein
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 The Hives
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.

Téléguidé Kermess
Good song with interesting lyrics.

42 I Feel So Boxcar Racer
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.

43 All my Life Foo Fighters
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!

44 Métis Ophélia

45 L'Expiré Rationel Dhotch

46 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.

Riff Commercial 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? Filter
Not the best one from Filter so far, but it's still good Filter!

The One Foo Fighters

52 Weathered Creed

Time and Time Again Papa Roach

54 Mélanie est Partie Hépatite B

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?!

56 Timide Bactérie

Monsieur Destin Capitaine Révolte

Depuis Marc Déry

Hungry Dave Navarro

Amber 311

61 Demon Speeding Rob Zombie

62 I'm Just a Kid A Simple Plan

63 For You Staind

Murmures Le Karlof Orchestra

Hands Clean Alanis Morissette

Le Vainqueur Big Sugar

Vendre mon Âme Okoumé

Miss Ecstasy Dumas

Youth of the Nation P.O.D.

70 Ché pu où j'm'en vas Le Sabotage

71 World Free Tuppert

Deny Default

Friends and Family Trik Turner

74 Somewhere Out There Our Lady Peace

75 First Date Blink 182

Les Eaux Troubles Steve Hill

Bother Stone Sour

78 Laisse-la Donc Tomber Wideload

79 À L'Abri Marie-Chantal Toupin

80 Revolution Stone Temple Pilots

81 Hero Chad Kroeger & Josey Scott

82 J'allumai le Ciel Dhotch

83 Check-moé ben Aller
Grim Skunk

84 Dreamer
Ozzy Osbourne

85 Poem

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 in 1999.


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.

Omnibus, by Laut Sprecher & Katie Skate
Les Soeurs Tordues, cover of We're not Gonna Take it of the Twisted Sisters by the band Les Martiens
Parle, Parle, 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
I'm Alive, by Céline Dion
Dirrrty, by Christina Aguilera
Super Sexworld, by One Ton

Let's get this Party Started, by Pink
The Zephyr Song, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Still Waiting, 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...)
Sk8er Boi, by Avril Lavigne
Everyday, by Bon Jovi
BareNaked, by Jennifer Love Hewitt

rev.: 2003/01/11, 2003/02/08

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