Wrapping up my look back at 2002 is a song from Low’s sixth studio album, Trust. Low is a Minnesota-based trio that performs a genre sometimes called slowcore or sadcore.
Think crawling tempos, lots of reverb, depressing lyrics. You know, for kids.
Allow me to pause to acknowledge my parents’ 50th anniversary, which they’re celebrating today. I hoped to find an appropriate song with which to acknowledge the milestone, but I wound up with a 8-minute dirge about heroin addiction. Sorry, mom and dad!
Australian band The Vines released their debut album, Highly Evolved, in 2002 to critical acclaim. They were hailed as one of the best new rock bands to emerge during the period where The Strokes and The White Stripes were also earning raves.
I never really got on board with that slate of garage band revivals. I dabbled in The White Stripes several years later when Jack White took their music in more interesting directions.
Though 2002 was the year following the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil, very few of the memorable albums from that year directly address 9/11.
Of the albums I’ve featured so far, only Eminem’s The Eminem Show tackles the topic. Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was an eerily appropriate release, but it was recorded before the attacks.
My only exposure to Sigur Ros thus far has been in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The song ‘Starálfur’ scored the film’s climactic scene, in which the crew of the Belafonte encounters the mythical jaguar shark.
For a scene that cathartic and sad, yet hopeful, the ethereal warbling of an Icelandic art rock band worked perfectly. Outside of that context, I’m not so sure.
The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots shows up on most critics’ lists of the best albums of 2002. I can’t remember if I bought it at the time and didn’t get into it, or if I just intended to buy it and never did. At any rate, it’s still unknown to me.
Yoshimi is a loose concept album about the titular battle, though only a few songs directly tie into that story. The overall theme is making the most of life in the face of our own mortality. Fun stuff!