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Kevin Forest Moreau's Top 10 Albums of 2000

1. Matthew Ryan: East Autumn Grin (Interscope)
Front-line dispatches from the thin line between love and hate. Ryan sets loose his demons to strident rock marches worthy of the Clash, U2 or the Waterboys, while his scorched-earth ballads fuse Steve Earle's hell-and-back worldview with a fluid lyrical precision.
 
2. U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind (Interscope)
Fuses the band's recent postmodern musical milieu with the straightforward passion of its best 80s work. Not a masterpiece, but another deft recovery.
3. Idlewild: 100 Broken Windows (Capitol)
Frustratingly inaccurate R.E.M. comparisons aside, Idlewild might just become Scotland's own U2. Roddy Woomble's gritty poetics nicely contrast a broken-glass musical approach (prophetic title, eh?) girding wordy but insistent melodies.
 
4. Neko Case and Her Boyfriends: Furnace Room Lullaby (Bloodshot)
Heartache at arm's length. In the world we should live in, Case's gossamer vocals would make her bigger than Reba, Shania and Faith put together.
5. The Twilight Singers: Twilight as Played by the Twilight Singers (Sony)
A darker, more esoteric journey from Afghan Whig Greg Dulli. A makeout record seductive in its languid nihilism.
 
6. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope)
The critics and fans are both right. Frighteningly misogynistic and spiteful, revealed in intricately coiled loops of shape-shifting wordplay. A maddeningly talented rapper more menacing than a roomful of gangstas.
7. PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (Island)
Lyrical fusions of love, longing and apocalypse, combined with sharp, concise songwriting and arrangements. A consistent and accessible high-water mark.
 
8. John Hiatt: Crossing Muddy Waters (Vanguard)
The singer-songwriter goes back to his folksy roots and delivers on his often-untapped potential. A thinking, drinking man's backyard hoedown.
9. Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker (Bloodshot)
The wrenching soundtrack of your worst heartbreak, with Adams seconds away from cracking. Put away the booze, the pills and the gun before putting this on.
 
10. Ween: White Pepper (Elektra)
This duo of genre-crossing merry pranksters puts gross-out humor on the backburner, sliding in and out of musical archetypes with a finesse even Beck can't muster.
 
Notable near misses:
 
  • Johnny Cash: American III: Solitary Man (American)
  • Galactic: Late for the Future (Capricorn)
  • OutKast: Stankonia (LaFace/Arista)
  • Radiohead: Kid A (Capitol)
  • Royal Fingerbowl: Greyhound Afternoons (TVT)
  • Sigur Rós: Ágćtis Byrjun (Fat Cat/Bubble Core)

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