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PRP Best Of 2002

Eighteen of the best records to grace 2002 as deemed by thePRP.com with Brian Webb and wookubus each selecting their own top 10 albums of the past year.


Brian Webb's Top 10 Albums Of 2002:


Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Purchase here
Coldplay - "A Rush Of Blood To The Head"
(www.coldplay.com)
While Coldplay lack the ability to truly rock in the same manner that Radiohead launched their career, there is still something undeniably universal about this album. Be it the jarring guitars and haunting melodies of "Politik" or the breathtaking piano work on "Clocks" it sends any tribal allegiances to specific genres of music out the window. Anyone fond of soft, sensitive, emotional ballads cannot fail to be won over by this beautifully crafted record...even metalheads dare I say. - Brian Webb


Clann Zu - Rua
Purchase Here
Clann Zu - "Rua"
(www.clannzu.com)
No album so thoroughly engrossed me this year than "Rua". Rock music with one foot planted in the tradition of folk, the music takes you through a blender of emotions. With aching ballads like "Five Thousand More" it has the ability to stop you dead in your tracks casting music that both weighs heavy on the heart and sends you into a daydream like state. Pure escapism the album is equal parts hope and sadness amidst all that soul searching. Music at its most genuine and passionate. The best ten bucks you'll ever spend. - Brian Webb

Coheed & Cambria - The Second Stage Turbine Blade
Purchase here
Coheed & Cambria - "The Second Stage Turbine Blade"
(www.coheedandcambria.com)
Released early on in the year, this gem of a record is nevertheless still very much in the minds and record players of the lucky few who discovered its charm. Offering a truly multi-faceted experience through their music Coheed and Cambria's complex and precise arrangements have delighted music fans with their fresh approach of emo and prog rock with an almost sci-fi tone. The vocals are perhaps its most endearing factor bringing numerous comparisons to Rush and has fooled many to wrongly believe it is a female vocal or even two vocalists the range is so immense. Inspirational and full of emotion this records is far and above the likes of Thursday and Saves The Day who hogged the limelight this year. Perhaps closer to the likes of At The Drive-In the band can look forward to an equally passionate fan base if this record is anything to go by. - Brian Webb

On Broken Wings - #1 Beautiful
Purchase Here
On Broken Wings - "#1 Beautiful"
(www.onbrokenwings.com)
"#1 Beautiful" was undoubtedly the best metal and hardcore record to come from an independent act this past year. It is no surprise then that Eulogy Records soon signed them up with a first full length eyed for the summer. This 6 track EP showed an act professional beyond their years and gave hope to a scene that just lost one of its best acts in Zao. The band have a fitting name given their nature to both destroy and create beauty amidst that crunching sound. - Brian Webb

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - By The Way
Purchase Here
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - "By The Way"
(www.redhotchilipeppers.com)
Having carved out a legacy of crazy, funky, rapping rock with ballads strewn along the way The Red Hot Chili Peppers became one of the biggest bands of the 90's. In contrast however, by the way, features little of what made the band so famous with very little in the way of the hard and furious sounds of old. The songs on "By The Way" still retain the Chili Peppers feel but instead take on a more whimsical and melodic form. A beautiful blend of melody and rock and a step forward for a band that has unparalleled chemistry between band mates. - Brian Webb

A Life Once Lost -
Purchase here
A Life Once Lost - "The Fourth Plague: Flies"
(www.alifeoncelost.com)
Philadelphia's A Life Once Lost gave us one of the most undeniably heavy records of the year. Albeit only an EP, at five songs long this record proved that technical metalcore was alive and well. Like Dillinger Escape Plan, only more listenable, they leave a loyal fan base eagerly looking towards 2003 for the upcoming full length entitled "A Great Artist". - Brian Webb


dredg - El Cielo
Purchase Here
dredg - "El Cielo"
(www.dredg.com)
With the cult status that "Leitmotif" afforded them and the passing of four years since its initial release, expectation was understandably high for this major label debut. Having said this, Dredg again produced the goods with more beautiful and uplifting music. - Brian Webb

Glassjaw - Worship And Tribute
Purchase Here
Glassjaw - "Worship And Tribute"
(www.glassjaw.com)
What this album lacks in consistency it makes up for in its truly thrilling moments. Beautiful and angry, the raw emotional energy that emanates from this album is almost unparalleled. The experimental nature and aggressive edge of their last album is ever-present with a welcomed darker tone that sees the band further distinguish themselves from their overplayed contemporaries. - Brian Webb

Rescue
Purchase Here
Poison The Well - "Tear From The Red"
(www.poisonthewell.com)
With a first album that was labeled genre defining you'd forgive Poison The Well for sticking to the same formula on subsequent efforts. Thankfully this was not the case for a band unwilling to revisit the same place twice and this brave move ultimately paid off as we saw a more melodic and musically aware band come to the fore. - Brian Webb

Isis - Oceanic
Purchase Here
Isis - "Oceanic"
(www.hydrahead.com/isis)
An album of few words "Oceanic" defines the bands identity as the premiere metal band for creating instrumental art and atmosphere. Gone are the bands hard sounding days of old where comparisons to Neurosis and Godflesh were common place, the band now enjoy their own unique position of creating music without regard for convention. Like its namesake, this record ebbs and flows with melody and atmosphere being the two main focuses. - Brian Webb

wookubus' Top 10 Albums Of 2002:


System Of A Down - Steal This Album!
Purchase Here
System Of A Down - "Steal This Album!"
(www.systemofadown.com)
Amusing that a collection of previously unreleased tracks from a few different sessions could impress me so much this year, but given the talent of this band I don't think it's too much of a shocker. Heavy, chaotic, political and obscure, System Of A Down are kind of like a lean Mr. Bungle for the new millennium and a band who have continued to win me over with each successive album they release and besides, what other band could pull off the "Knight Rider" theme in a metal song without a hitch? - wookubus


Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf
Purchase Here
Queens Of The Stone Age - "Songs For The Deaf"
(www.qotsa.com)
To be honest a lot of people jumped on the Queens bandwagon this year thanks to Dave Grohl drumming and touring with the group, but being a longtime fan of the band I could care less if they had Turner and Hooch behind the kit as the chemistry between Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme is where the real talent lies. Planting their stoner rock roots and harvesting a colorful hybrid crop pungent with a catchy rock n' roll flavor, the attention to detail and brilliant simplicity of this album never ceases to amaze me. - wookubus

Glassjaw - Worship And Tribute
Purchase Here
Glassjaw - "Worship And Tribute"
(www.glassjaw.com)
Those who've come to the site for the past few years know the special place I hold for Long Island's finest and while it was no "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence", "Worship And Tribute" still held its own and showed that a band can heavily experiment and practically reinvent themselves without losing the original magic that caught the fans interest in the first place. More mature and far more broad, this effort was definitely worthy of its title. - wookubus

dredg - El Cielo
Purchase Here
dredg - "El Cielo"
(www.dredg.com)
No surprise here, perhaps the most challenging and painstakingly crafted album released through a major label in 2002. Perceptive, subtle, flush with depth, grace and intelligence, this band are about as close to the new millennium's Pink Floyd as we're going to get for now. - wookubus

The Postman Syndrome - Terraforming
Purchase Here
The Postman Syndrome - "Terraforming"
(www.postmansyndrome.com)
Initially I was skeptical of this band as all signs pointed to them being some more run of the mill metalcore. How wrong I was, this is prog-rock taken to a new metallic level as aggression is expressed with devastating rawness, yet structured and aided by intelligent instrumentation and schizophrenic twists and turns. Sure its reminiscent of Tool, but Tool haven't been this in your face balls out heavy in years. 30 Seconds To Mars deserve an honorable mention for this type of style, but if I were to take just one prog/spacey rock release from this year "Terraforming" would be it. - wookubus

The Les Claypool Frog Brigade - Purple Onion
Purchase Here
The Les Claypool Frog Brigade - "Purple Onion"
(www.lesclaypool.com)
Primus are one of my all-time favorite groups so it was a nice surprise to see Claypool hop out of the jam scene he'd been sitting in for the past few years and get back to the style of music that made him famous. The man pretty much single-handedly inspired me to start playing bass nearly a decade ago, so I'm generally a bit bias towards his work. Regardless, "Purple Onion" is an eclectic collection of songs with the trademark Claypool flair. Colorful and off the wall, it may not be his best but it is still damned good to have him back on track. - wookubus


Cage - Movies For The Blind
Purchase Here
Cage - "Movies For The Blind"
(www.cagekennylz.com)
It may have been Eminem's year sales and publicity wise, but despite being overlooked his arch enemy Cage still managed to release an album that had enough heart and sociopathic tendencies to make "The Eminem Show" almost look like a Will Smith record. Factor in some tight beats and rhymes that name check everything from "Grand Theft Auto 3" to Mudvayne and you've got one of the most cutting edge emcee's out there today. - wookubus

Jurassic 5 - Power In Numbers
Purchase Here
Jurassic 5 - "Power In Numbers"
(www.jurassic5.com)
A disappointing year for metal maybe but they were some really solid rap releases put out this year and Jurassic 5's "Power In Numbers" was unquestionably one of them. Funky and nodding back to the roots of the genre while still keeping modern and relevant, this group embody what hip-hop should be in the 21st century. - wookubus

Cky - Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild
Purchase Here
Cky - "Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild"
(www.ckymusic.com)
Cky jumped leaps and bounds beyond their past record with this release and while the band is often overshadowed by their association with Bam Margera's exploits, this album proved that they have what it takes to stand on their own. Hooky melodies, honest aggression and some of the most creative guitar riffs in years. Cky already managed to win over Axl Rose; Hopefully in the next year they'll be able to win over the rest of the world. - wookubus

Candiria - The C.O.M.A. Imprint
Purchase Here
Candiria - "The C.O.M.A. Imprint"
(www.candiria.com)
There were definitely some strong releases from the hardcore/metalcore camp this year, Poison The Well, Zao, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Norma Jean all come to mind, but in the end I still found myself listening to this re-released collection of re-done songs from Brooklyn's finest more than anything else. True power and true musical talent, this group is easily is one of the most competent heavy bands to emerge in ages. - wookubus

By wookubus/Brian Webb
(01/05/2003)
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