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Kevin Forest Moreau's Top 10 Albums of 2001

1. Bob Dylan: Love and Theft (Columbia)
A haunting portent of change and loss, released on the day the world changed. The eerie sense of prophecy only underscores the transfixing depth of one of the most progressive (while backward-looking) works of an already-distinguished career.
 
2. Fugazi: The Argument (Dischord)
Echoes of the Clash resound in the quartet's most polished and consistent effort to date. A career pinnacle.
3. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Everything the year's most-hyped record--the Strokes' Is This It--isn't: engaging, raucous and original in its devotion to and extrapolation of the duo's obvious influences.
 
4. Radiohead: Amnesiac (Capitol)
Notably imperfect, but still much more approachable and cohesive than Kid A. Its icy disconnect camouflages a compelling pathos.
5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: B.R.M.C. (Virgin)
A case study of style over substance, but when it sounds this good, who really cares?
 
6. Guided by Voices: Isolation Drills (TVT)
Ultra-prolific iconoclast Bob Pollard gets personal, mining a deteriorating marriage for GBV's tightest and most accessible effort in years.
7. Creeper Lagoon: Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday (Dreamworks)
Bay-area buzz band's major label debut is a breezily hummable slice of playful, reflective guitar pop.
 
8. DMX: The Great Depression (Def Jam)
One of the top dogs of gangsta rap struggles to reconcile his gruff, rottweiler-fierce persona with a deep core of faith and family. An uneven album, but a fascinating character study.
9. Whiskeytown: Pneumonia (Lost Highway)
Ryan Adams is often as grating as he is talented, and his prolific proficiency often results in rushed genre knockoffs. But his churn-'em-out ethic yields pleasant results here, bridging the ragged-edge country of Whiskeytown's earlier efforts, the poignancy of Heartbreaker and the uneven, grab-the-brass-ring ambition of Gold.
 
10. Tenacious D: Tenacious D (Epic)
Kyle Gass's understated persona doesn't translate as well on record, and a third of the disc drags on well past its expiration date. But when Gass and Jack Black score, as on the (surprisingly) musically substantive "Wonderboy" and the droll piss-take "Dio," the duo expands the scope of its one-note acoustic folk-metal shtick.
 
Notable near misses:
 
  • The Beta Band: Hot Shots II (Astralwerks/Regal)
  • Continental Drifters: Better Day (Razor & Tie)
  • John Hiatt and the Goners: The Tiki Bar is Open (Vanguard)
  • Kittie: Oracle (Artemis)
  • Stephen Malkmus: Stephen Malkmus (Matador)
  • Monster Magnet: God Says No (A&M)
  • Preston School of Industry: All This Sounds Gas (Matador)
  • Lucinda Williams: Essence (Lost Highway)

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