1. Geraldine Fibbers, Butch (Virgin)
Crazed on bathtub crank, Patsy Cline’s ghost screams after witnessing an accident between a pickup truck filled with migrant workers and an old jazz guitarist on a mule. And you are there.
2. Dear Janes, No Skin (Geffen)
A painfully wonderful bipolar foray wherein the musical analogs of sweet and sour meet the lyrical equivalents of yin and yang. Home to my song of the year: “Sore Thumb Baby”.
3. Crisis, The Hollowing (Metal Blade)
The album title is apt, as Karyn Crisis can’t possibly have anything left inside her after this cathartic musical upchucking. Share the stain.
4. Katell Keineg, Jet (Elektra)
The year’s sweetest and most moving pop record. Change your living will now to ensure “One Hell of A Life” plays as you slip into the void. Your loved ones will dig the gesture.
5. Midnight Oil, 20,000 Watt R.S.L. (Columbia)
I normally ban compilations from my year-end list as a matter of principle, but Midnight Oil demonstrate so many of their own principles here that I feel I can ignore my own.
6. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Barafundle (Mercury)
Wild orchestral psychedelia from Wales. No, I didn’t think I needed any of that either until I heard this record. Now I can’t seem live without regular doses of it. This scares me.
7. Dog’s Eye View, Daisy (Columbia)
A great record by the type of band I normally hate: young, smart, hard-working, earnest, male, American, sensitive, clean. The exception that defines the rule. Don’t tell anyone, okay?
8. Misfits, American Psycho (Geffen)
Forget Glenn Danzig’s tedious Jim Morrison-fronting- Ministry shtick. The Misfits have–and in so doing have created their biggest, baddest beef-cake of a record to date. Heavy!
9. Jamiroquai, Travelling Without Moving (Work)
The revolutionary video for “Virtual Insanity” had people focusing more on the Jamiroquai look than on the Jamiroquai sound. Big, big mistake: the sound beats the look any day.
10. Can, Sacrilege (Mute)
Not Can, really, but instead a collection of works by contemporary mix-masters who have detonated the Can canon and built strange new things from the fragments. Extremely cool.