are a few of my favorite things.
Albums of 2002
Fingathing: Superhero Music
On their second album, Fingathing make hip-hop fun again by adding cello, long drum interludes and an array of vocal samples.
Mum: Finally We Are No One
Another sophomore release, this from an Icelandic band whose work recalls Bjork’s “Vespertine.” Music boxes, bells, and crisp layered sounds conjure
images of snow and ice-covered lakes.
Deadly Avenger: Deep Red
An assortment of soundtrack flavors, breakbeats and old school funk, co-starring the Budapest Film Orchestra. The album comes with stickers too!
Dom and Roland: Back for the Future
The best drum and bass album . . . ever! Industrial-sounding beats are expertly mixed to create a coherent, exciting whole.
Various Artists: Chill Out in Paris 02
After the disappointing Buddha Bar IV, David Visan returns to what made him so effective: a textured, smoothly blended array of international beats and spiritual vocals.
Linkin Park: <MYDSMR “This is my December; this is my snow-covered home.”
The Doves: There Goes the Fear “Think of me when you’re coming down.”
Tori Amos: Gold Dust “And then we’ll understand, we held gold dust in our hands.”
Craig Armstrong: Sea Song “If you won’t change your mind, I’m going back to the sea.”
Rjd2: Smoke and Mirrors “Who knows what tomorrow will bring, maybe sunshine, maybe rain.”
With great power comes great responsibility, and Raimi fails to disappoint. The rare instance in which the year’s highest-grossing film is also the most enjoyable.
The Two Towers:
The film improves upon the novel by reorganizing the material and expanding the battle of Helm’s Deep. Also check the special edition DVD of Fellowship.
Spirited Away :
A unique and wonderful anime from the maker of Princess Mononoke. Every frame bursts with inspiration; imaginatively conceived and brilliantly executed.
The Brotherhood of the Wolf:
Multiple movies crammed into one, completely over the top. Neither subtle nor
coherent, but ever so entertaining, dramatic & sumptuously lensed.
Count of Monte Cristo :
Grand old-fashioned moviemaking; changes in the source material have transformed the story into something more triumphant than tragic.
Revenge: A Story of Hope (Laura Blumenthal) Redemptive Middle East memoir.
Poems to Read (Ed. by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz) Introduced by readers.
Good Poems (Ed. by Garrison Keillor) Good indeed, with categories like “Yellow.”
A Sideways Look at Time (Jay Griffiths) A cross between Calendar and Faster.
The Rural Life (Verlyn Klinkenborg) NYT columnist combines nature & sociology.
~ Rich Allen