Best Five Albums of 2003

A lot of people have been asking around for music lately, so I figured this thread could easily spread the word on what we all thought was the best of the best in 2003. Some might preach about how all music sucks these days, but when I actually sat down on thought about it, it was really quite difficult for me to pick out the 5 best albums released this year. Of course…all of mine fall under the electronica division, as that’s really the only new stuff I listen to anymore, but of course we’ve all got slightly varied tastes, so we should be able to compose a pretty good list. Please include a small review or description also, so those ignorant to your tastes have an idea of what you’re talking about.

  1. Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians.

The 2-disc release from Middle Eastern trance sensations Infected Mushroom has unfortunately not made it to the US shores yet, and no release is scheduled yet. This is a real same, for it is leaps and beyonds beyond the trance and progressive trance most of us Americans are inundated with. Some have complained about the ‘cheese’ factor in the album and the rather absurd vocals, but in music like this lyrics can be forgiven and cheese has never tasted so good. String accompaniments, middle-eastern inflected guitars, winds, brass, and even a banjo all appear on this album, sampled by the band members themselves, and they are fitted in almost seamlessly with the psychadelic, pounding trance beats. Meant almost strictly for the dancefloor, this album is really enjoyable anywhere, from the car to your headset.

  1. Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes For Cash.

Though pretty much all of the material on this 2-disc album was composed prior to 2003, most all of it was unreleased up to this point. Richard D. James has an impeccable taste for mixing, and this album will make you want to crush the legions of DJ StupidHouseDiscSpinner with your valiant fist. The mixing is flawless, with James completely changing the faces of the songs he is remixing yet creating an equally, if not more compelling soundscape out of the old bits and pieces. It’s rare to see a 2-disc set not laden with filler, but I could not think of a single thing to remove from this collection, and these CDs are packed to the brim with 70+ minutes of music each. Sure, Druqks might have sucked, but this more than outweighs his faults and proves he is the extraordinaire techno artist.

  1. Autechre - Draft 7:30

Nearly impossible to listen to at first, I have never had an album done such an about face on me. This album is impossible to define or even put into words, yet with enough effort one discovers behind the crunching beats, squiggles, and bleeps, an album geared getting lost in. Autechre, on this album, thankfully starts to move away their random-beat-generator programs and instead goes for a manual mindfuck. The first 20 minutes of the album are incessant - drums crashing in a vibrant cacophony of sound, evoking an irrational array of genocidal imagery leaving you nearly exhausted by the end of the 4th track. Thankfully, for the first time since Tri Repetae, they realized that sometimes it’s okay to give the listener a repose, and as the fifth track moves in, a slow, moving synth starts to pervade the atmosphere, and the drums chill down to almost nothing, while a deep, intense, but but mellow bassline drifts you along through 11 minutes of reductio ad absurdum. The rest of the album continues this slow, downward spiral into obscurity, but it is a rational obscurity, with more familiar drum lines, such as the hip hop line of track 9, crunched together to lead you down Autechre’s inescapable path of insanity. Clearly not an album to be listened to in the background, this requires your full attention, but your efforts are more than well rewarded.

  1. Luke Vibert - YosepH

This album is pure fun(k). Luke Vibert is not only a master of making your lazy ass demand to get up and boogy down, but god damn, even your brain drools over this stuff. A return to the acid beats of the early 90s and late 80s, but with some actual feeling and melody, Vibert makes us all wish it was 1993 again (well, at least 1993 with his album available). “I Love Acid” here is the major highlight, featuring a groovetacular bass line which you’ll be humming for weeks, a modest amount of beats which don’t intrude but keeps things moving at a perfect pace (a nice break from the gorging of pounding 4/4 beats from progressive house and trance), not too slow, not too fast, but at just the right speed that your body could remain in perpetual motion forever, while a droning robot voice repeats the “i love acid” theme. Perhaps the best dance album of the millenium so far.

  1. Bonobo - Dial M for Monkey

This album sort of took me by surprise. I was not expecting such an intricate and beautiful composition. A jazzy hip-hop album (without vocal accompaniment), Bonobo ties together a beautiful sonic array of pianos, flutes, guitars, and orchestration with mellow hip-hop (but not quite trip-hop) beats. This is an album to chill out to, dance intimately to, make love to, or just give your mind some delicious attention - it works for anything and everything, and it will leave you wishing that it was not so short. Rarely does electronica produce feelings inside the listener outside of the ecstacy realm, yet this album succeeds in filling you with all sorts of inspirations from writing a great novel, a beautiful love sonnet to that crush of yours, finally picking up that old, dusty guitar in the corner, or laying alone on the bed, recalling the best memories you can think of from your past. This is the kind of album that makes even the most vehement electronica opposers stop and think for a minute.


Anyway. I haven’t heard any of those albums.
(I was kidding about metallica, too :P)

And don’t forget Underworld 1992-2002. That was one awesome compilation. It contained all of Underworld’s big hits, as well as many rare singles that were still very important back when they were released. In fact, seven out of the sixteen tracks on the compilation are non-album tracks. Exactly half of the compilation is dedicated to the band’s 1992-1994 period, and rightly so. Back then, they had a sound that no other techno band had - they had some very bluesy songs, and a sense of nocturnal melancholy that no other band could ever evoke. For example, their club hit “Dark Train” (included on the compilation) combines fast drums and deep bass, creating a feeling of night-time motion, with a tender-sounding, lightly anxious keyboard lead. It very accurately captures the feeling one gets when riding on a train at night and staring out the window at the stars - and you can dance to it, too.

If anyone wants an introduction to techno, either this or Underworld’s 1993 album (called Dubnobasswithmyheadman) would be a perfect pick.

i nominate the ugly organ by cursive and deloused in the comatorium by the mars volta.

Top 5 albums of 2003? Well most of the albums I got last year were made before 2003…infact quite a few were from the 80’s, but still, 2003:

Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death
Voivod - Voivod
Black Label Society - The Blessed Hellride
and uh… The Darkness - Permission To Land, although I haven’t heard the whole album, I just haven’t heard too much from 2003 that I liked.

Godsmack - Faceless
Linkin Park - Meteora
Static-X - Shadow Zone
Cold - Year of the Spider
Zeromancer - Eurotrash

in no particular order.

Aphex Twin is a God. It wasn’t released in 2003, but Selected Ambient Works II is just one of the best things ever. Druqs was a little too random though. :confused:

I didn’t actually buy much music in 2003. Squarepusher have a new alumb coming out soon though, apparently, so I’ll probably get that.

Not sure if they’re all from 2003

Dew-Scented - Impact
Machine Head - Through The Ashes Of Empires
Chimaira - The Impossibility Of Reason
Lamb of God - As The Palaces Burn
Destruction - Metal Discharge

in no particular order though…

Squarepusher’s Ultravisitor is due out in March 8th, at least in the UK. Don’t know about a stateside release, but my friend SEan is gonna be in Dublin on Spring Break, so I know he’ll be picking it up at the end of March.

As for 1992-2002…well, I didn’t include it because it was a “best of”. Sure, 26 Mixes for Cash for was a compilation, but that was like 95% unreleased material. I was trying to keep my list to new material, though 1992-2002 is undoubtedly a great compilation (unlike Orbital’s best of)

Linkin Park - Metora
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits
Muse - Absolution
Metalic - St. Anger
The Darkness - Permission to Land

Those are my 5.

  1. Feeder- Comfort in sund
  2. Limp Bizkit- Results may vary
  3. Linkin Park- Meteora
  4. Evanesence- Fallen
  5. Nickleback- The Long Road

I’m just gonna name a few because I can’t remember which albums I bought this year.

The Meadowlands by The Wrens- The band’s best album to date. I didn’t really like their other albums that much but I thought this one was great. Only one or two tracks are weak compared to the rest of the album but they’re still pretty good.

Echo and the Bunnymen 25th anniversary albums- The first five Echo albums (Crocodiles, Ocean Rain, Porcupine, Heaven from Here, and Echo and the Bunnymen) with a whole bunch of extra tracks and liner notes. I only have Crocodiles, Ocean Rain, and Porcupine so far but all three are good. The bonus tracks are also pretty cool.

My list does not include anything anyone else has listed here to date.

Sonata Arctica - Winterheart’s Guild
Gamma Ray - Skeletons in the Closet
The Jovian System - White Music for Black Hearts

And I don’t have any others. I’m going to refrain from bashing other peoples’ cause I haven’t enough time and/or energy.

Tenacious D - self titled.
The Strokes - Room on Fire
The Darkness - Permission To Land
Arrogant Sons of Bitches - All the Little Ones are Rotting
Aquabats - Fury of the Aquabats

I only bought two albums that were made in 2003 last year, Black Label Society’s The Blessed Hellride and Metallica’s craptastic St.Anger. The Blessed Hellride kicks ass and St. Anger sucks ass hard.

Outkast - The Love Below/Speaker Boxxx
3 Doors Down - Away From the Sun
Voivod’s Self Titled
Linkin Park - Meteora

That’s all I can remember that came out this year o_O

Some of these aren’t from 2003, but here goes:

The Ws-Fourth From The Last



Jimmy Eat World-Jimmy Eat World

The Best Of Inuyasha

I think I’m the only one who’s listed a mix of Christian music, imported music, and Alternative… whatever…


Well, my favorites of the year

  1. Less Than Jake - Anthem (actually kind of a disappointment, since they seemed to take a lot of the ska out of it)
  2. Blink 182 (Would probably be higher but I haven’t heard it enough)
  3. NOFX - War on Errorism
  4. The Ataris - so long, astoria
  5. Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue

And Shinobi, Fury of the Aquabats was like, a LONG time before 2003.

And BTW, was Sum 41’s Does this Look Infected 2003 or 2002? 'Cuz if it was 2003, slide it in at number 2.

Originally posted by Pappy’s daughter
[b]Some of these aren’t from 2003, but here goes:

The Ws-Fourth From The Last



Jimmy Eat World-Jimmy Eat World

The Best Of Inuyasha

I think I’m the only one who’s listed a mix of Christian music, imported music, and Alternative… whatever… [/b]

Best 5 reasons why I don’t like you in 2004:

  1. In the favorites category of your profile, you list at least two things (and usually more) in every category. It’s asking you for one ‘favorite’ - that’s why it says favorite “RPG”, “Movie”, etc. Notice the singular. Make up your mind.

  2. You list smart alleck responses in your profile. That makes you cool…oh wait, no it doesn’t. Gender: Isn’t it obvious? No, not really…you could be, and probably are, a 50 year old, pedophiliac, White Castle-eating, Card Captor Sakura-watching male. And if you really are a female, then I feel sorry for “pappy”, even though he’s probably what I mentioned just one sentence back.

  3. Listening to amix of Christian music, imported music, and Alternative… whatever… doesn’t make you cool, it makes you a person with not only one bad taste in music, but three bad tastes in music. And I guarantee you that you aren’t the only person who listens to these three incredibly diverse, unique, and enlightening genres of music. I could walk down the street and pick the ugliest, pimple-faced teenagers wearing clothes with shitty bands who are 250 pounds cause they spend all their time eating pocky and watching tentacle hentai and I bet you they’d listen to all the same bands that you do. In fact, they’d probably be your best friends.

  4. At Dragon_Tear’s request, I have plodded through all 51 of your wretched posts and I will now post what I think are the most worthwhile quotes:

“I like Aerith, Rinoa and Yuna! sigh If only I had their good looks…:hahaha;”

“Go Sailor Jupiter!:yipee:”

"I demand that you don’t shoot me because of my jigglin’*! Please…NO!!!

  • I’m Pappy’s daughter, I just has teh jiggle!"

“Personally, I don’t agree with the idea of evolution”

“Is the noise in my head bothering you?”

“Are you getting annoyed by me yet?”

  1. I never would have even bothered, but you did something stupid in my post, which I just cannot forgive. Notice the title of the post: “Best albums of 2003”. Notice, your albums, and when they were released:

The Ws-Fourth From The Last (1998)

Sonicflood-Sonicflood (1999)

Plumb-candycoatedwaterdrops (1999)

Jimmy Eat World-Jimmy Eat World (2001)

The Best Of Inuyasha (WTF even cares?)

If I cared about what your favorite albums were, which I don’t, since you all listed them in your favorite albums category anyway (see #5), I would have made a thread called "Wow hay guys im kewl what r ur fav albums? :kissy: " But I didn’t, because I don’t give a fuck, I asked for you to list the top 5 albums of 2003. That’s last year, in case you forgot that this is 2004. It’s not a hard concept - notice how everyone else, with the exception of perhaps a mistaken lapse in time, had no problems figuring it out? Go back to the anime forum or something.