Jan 292003
Authors: KCSU Staff

Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Release Date: July 16, 2002

By: Asst. Music Director, Abby Berendt</p>

After their debut at an Oklahoma City transvestite club, 10 albums and almost two decades later, the Flaming Lips are still burning up the music industry. With a cult-like following and only one “Top 40” hit, the Lips struck an amazingly unique chord with their 2002 release, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. It is a sweet collection of psychedelic space rock. A rare album, one that intricately and ambitiously tells a story throughout 11 tracks. Like the Who’s Quadrophenia, the concept might be a bit confusing and a bit abstract. But as each track glides into the next, a futuristic trance reinvigorates the listener. Multi-layered vocal tracks on “Flight Song”, and orchestral choruses in “Do you Realize,” rightfully proclaim the maturity of the Lips’ indescribable talent. Yoshimi is dream pop- a montage of sounds and a collection of unforgettable melodies. It’s an album everyone should hear- one of the best of 2002.

Spoon: Kill The Moonlight

Release Date: August 20, 2002

By: Music Director, Daniel Higley

Austin’s Spoon has had a string of good albums, and this year, they added one more to the list. ITALKill The Moonlight is a departure somewhat from the stripped down rock sound of the 2001 release Girls Can Tell. This record finds lead singer Britt Daniel experimenting with new sounds, some synthetic beats, and overlapping vocal tracks. The result works well in most cases. “Stay Don’t Go” is a good example of new sound Britt seemed to be searching for. One track is Britt creating a rhythmic beat using vocal percussion, and then another vocal track with his lyrics. The hit of the album is the catchy “That’s the Way We Get By”, which is the only really straight rock track on the record. This record leads us to believe that more good things are on the way for Spoon.

Slobberbone: Slippage

Release Date: 2002

By: Program Director, Zach Ginsberg

REMEMBER, IT’S ROCK! Call it what you will. (Cow Punk, Americana, Alt.

Country) BUT REMEMBER, IT’S ROCK. That’s all the boys from Slobberbone ask, because that’s what they provide. With Slippage, Slobberbone brings pure rock with a taste of home. From the hard driving and in your face “Springfield, IL” and the raunchy – poetic tale contained within the “Butcher,” to the maudlin and morose “Sister Beams” and a heartfelt rendition of the Bee Gee’s classic “To Love Somebody” featuring the beautifully broken vocals of lead singer Brent Best. Rock ‘n’ Roll has never been so simultaneously gritty and sweet. While a hard rocking departure from “Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today,” Slobberbone did just what they meant to do … ROCK! In every way they know how!

Bad Religion: The Process of Belief

Release Date: February 12, 2002

By: Production Director, Bryan “Beano” Bean

The Process of Belief is a return to the musical foundation Bad Religion was founded on. Many would say that after 20 years and more than a dozen full-length releases there couldn’t be much life left in a punk band. Bad Religion, however, one of the most well-known and influential punk bands, proves those assumptions wrong. Their latest album features the return of original guitarist Brett Gurewitz and is a revival of the song writing style that BR fans have grown to love. Singer Greg Graffin’s intuitive and often over-bearing lyrical arsenal is still at its best as he sings about everything from global pollution to family politics and everything he holds true. The Process of Belief is proof that you don’t need to scream till your neck bleeds, shave a Mohawk in your hair or sing about girls to make a pristine punk album. If you love punk or are simply looking for an inspiring rock album, ITALThe Process of Belief was one of the best of 2002.

Sleater-Kinney: One Beat

Release Date: August 20, 2002

By Thea Domber

Who says women can’t rock? Certainly not Sleater-Kinney, who returned in 2002 with One Beat, their most sonically pleasing album. Yet political undertones seep into the album on tracks like “Combat Rock” and “Far Away;” which were written in response to September 11th. But many of the songs could just as easily be about rebellion against the blahs of the world. With ferocious vocals and choppy guitar stylings, Sleater-Kinney recall bands as diverse as the Ramones to the modern garage sounds of the Strokes. One Beat picks up right where their classic Dig Me Out left off. While the girls continue to perfect their sound, their lyrics have grown deeper and more complete. “Oh” is an intense and demanding track that pulls you in, while “Hollywood Ending” plays out all the stereotypes. With the flood of neo-punk invading the airwaves, it’s refreshing to hear Sleater-Kinney stick to their classic sound. One Beat is a triumph of true talent.

Blackalicious: Blazing Arrow

Release Date: April 30, 2002

By: Urban Music Director, Rebecca Rodriguez

2002 was an interesting year in the Hip Hop scene. Its growing popularity in the mainstream has caused many to lose sight of the culture due to the glare off the “bling-bling” (aahh- choo!P-Diddy … bless me), but at the same time has inspired underground artists to stand taller. With that I would like to recognize a KCSU favorite album of 2002, Blackalicious Blazing Arrow. This CD begins with a funky intro, continues with on point rhymes, varied beats, and leaves you feelin’ at ease. Blazing Arrow also has featured guests such as Ben Harper, Chali 2NA and even spoken word from Saul Williams. The music production by Chief Xcel has an impressionable style with contributions from Cut Chemist, Babu, ?uestlove and Hi-Tek. Lead lyricist, Gift Of Gab (a name well assumed) delivers lyrics that speak cleverly on the ways of the world. These lyrics come with unique heat, unreal quickness, and crazy wordplay, yet are smooth and at times soothing, as you’ll hear in songs such as “Green Light.” Despite a couple of curveballs, you’ll find that this album is overall a fine piece from start to finish.

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