Sitting in our new little casita in Santa Fe looking out at the snow that fell steadily last night, I’m realizing how nice it’s been splitting my time this morning between reading His Dark Materials to Irene and our soon-to-be-born daughter; listening to the fabulous Tony Bruno & Gary Radnich on KNBR; and finishing year-end and decade-end features for Boulder Weekly and Mas New Mexico. There will be substantial introductions and editorial additons to the lists that end up in the newspapers, but I thought it’d be fun to share one great album from my “Best of the 2000’s” list every few days here at Beautiful Buzz as the next decade nears. Your own opinions (whether via firstname.lastname@example.org or the comment option below) are more than welcome!
2000: PJ Harvey Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (Island)
“I just feel like it’s the end of the world,” English singer-songwriter and riot-goddess PJ Harvey sang on “Big Exit,” the blistering first track from her diversely breathtaking fifth album. Dynamic professions of bold love – from “I’m immortal when I’m with you” to “with you I wait to be born again” – are delivered via Harvey’s emotive vocals, which recall Patti Smith, Nick Cave, and even legendary blues queens like Mahalia Jackson. Harvey called Stories “my beautiful, sumputuous, lovely piece of work” in 2001, and part of the album’s breakout success was due to a streamlining of her more explosive previous work, but this captivating record’s elegant aggression made it soar.
Honorable mention: Air The Virgin Suicides (Astralwerks)