Top Albums of 2003 Reader List
Thank you to everyone who submitted their list this year.
(82 total / 22 countries representing)

Andreas A (Stockholm, SWEDEN)

Anton (Lund, SWEDEN)

  1. Broken Social Scene . You Forgot It In People
  2. The Wrens - The Meadowlands
  3. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas And Lost Ghosts
  4. Manitoba - Up in flames
  5. Xiu Xiu - A Promise
  6. The Clientele - The Violet Hour
  7. The Shins - chutes too narrow
  8. Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone
  9. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings from Michigan
  10. Four Tet - Rounds
  11. Grandaddy - Sumday
  12. Bear Quartet - Angry Brigade
  13. The Decemberists - Castaway and Cutouts
  14. The Rapture - Echoes
  15. Explosions In The Sky - The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

Manuel Arag█n (Madrid, SPAIN)

Mikkel Arre (Terndrup, DENMARK)

  1. Broken Social Scene ░¸ You Forgot It in People [Arts & Crafts]
  2. Radiohead ░¸ Hail to the Thief [Parlophone]
  3. Dub Tractor ░¸ More or Less Mono [City Centre Offices]
  4. Four Tet ░¸ Rounds [Domino]
  5. Opiate ░¸ Sometimes [Morr]
  6. Manitoba ░¸ Up in Flames [Leaf]
  7. Mew ░¸ Frengers [Epic]
  8. White Stripes ░¸ Seven Nation Army 7" [XL]
  9. Postal Service ░¸ Such Great Heights CDS [Sub Pop]
  10. Strumm ░¸ Strumm 7" [www.morningsiderecords.dk]
  11. Supersilent ░¸ 6 [Rune Grammofon]
  12. LFO ░¸ Sheath [Warp]
  13. So ░¸ So [Thrill Jockey]
  14. Manual «C Isares [Static Caravan]

Alexandros Aslanidis (Athens, GREECE)

  1. Xiu Xiu - a promise
  2. Ex Models - zoo psychology
  3. Microphones - mount eerie
  4. Mars Volta - de loused in the comatorium
  5. Smog - supper
  6. Kopernik - kopernik
  7. Khanate - things viral
  8. Angels of Light - everything is good here, please come home..
  9. Calexico - feast of wire
  10. Cat Power - you are free
  11. Cerberus Shoal - chaiming the knobblessone
  12. Aerogramme - sleep and release
  13. Crescent - by the roads and the fields
  14. Blithe Sons - we walk the young earth
  15. Soft Pink Truth - do you party ?

Adam Ball (Albuquerque, NM, USA)

  1. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists "Hearts of Oak"
  2. Broken Social Scene "You Forgot it in People"
  3. Damein Jurado "Where Shall You Take Me?"
  4. Kings of Leon "Youth and Young Manhood"
  5. Radiohead "Hail to the Thief"
  6. Tie: Postal Service "Give Up" Death Cab For Cutie "Transatlanticism"
  7. The Shins "Chutes Too Narrow"
  8. Cat Power "You Are Free"
  9. The Strokes "Room on Fire"
  10. The Stills "Logic Will Break Your Heart"

David B (Duif, BELGIUM)

  1. David Sylvian - Blemish (Samadhisound)
  2. Kazuki Tomokawa - Box 13CD (PSF)
  3. Minamo - Beautiful (Apestaartje)
  4. Supersilent - 6 (Rune Grammofon)
  5. Dorine_Muraille - Mani (FatCat)
  6. Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland (Hannibal)
  7. Ekkehard Ehlers - Politik braucht keinen Feind (Staubgold)
  8. Current 93 - Hypnagogue (Durtro)
  9. The Angels Of Light - Everything is good here / Please come home (Young God)
  10. Doron Sadja - A piece of string, a sunset (12k)
  11. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra... - "This is our punk rock!," thee rusted satellites gather + sing (Constellation)
  12. The Tiger Lillies / Kronos Quartet - The Gorey end (Nonesuch)
  13. Virus - Carheart (Jester)
  14. Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble - Memory/Vision (ECM)
  15. V/A - Amplify02 balance 7CD+DVD (Erstwhile)

Lynne B (Atlanta, GA, USA)

  1. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan The Great Lake State
  2. Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
  3. The Postal Service - Give Up
  4. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People
  5. Four Tet - Rounds
  6. The Wrens - The Meadowlands
  7. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  8. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
  9. Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts Of The Great Highway
  10. Cat Power - You Are Free

Daniel Bergman (SWEDEN)

  1. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
  2. Ed Harcourt - From Every Sphere
  3. The Radio Dept. - Lesser Matters
  4. Four Tet - Rounds
  5. Damien Rice - O
  6. U.N.P.O.C. - Fifth Column
  7. M. Ward - Transfiguration of Vincent
  8. Josh Rouse - 1972
  9. Bart Davenport - Game Preserve
  10. The Tyde - Twice
  11. Goldcard - Goldcard
  12. The White Stripes - Elephant
  13. Grandaddy - Sumday
  14. The Knife - Deep Cuts
  15. Buck 65 - Talkin' Honky Blues

Bertu Bernabeu (Asturies, SPAIN)

  1. Nacho Vegas - Cajas De Musica Dificilies De Parar
  2. Manta Ray - Extratexa
  3. Tv On The Radio - Young Liars (ep)
  4. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Nocturama
  5. Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People
  6. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
  7. Spiritualized - Amazing Grace
  8. Tindersticks - Waiting For The Moon
  9. Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power
  10. The Fire Theft - Fire Theft
  11. Yo La Tengo - Summer Sun
  12. Landsbury - That Creepy Hope On Love
  13. El Columpio Asesino - El Columpio Asesino
  14. Mars Volta - Deloused In The Comatorium
  15. Mojave 3 - Spoon And Rafter

Toon Bijnens (BELGIUM)

  1. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
  2. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher
  3. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas And Lost Ghosts
  4. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan The Great Lake State
  5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Nocturama
  6. Arab Strap - Monday At The Hug And Pint
  7. Manitoba - Up In Flames
  8. Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes For Cash
  9. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn
  10. The Notwist - Lichter
  11. B.Fleischmann - Welcome Tourist
  12. Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place
  13. Manual - Isares
  14. The Sunburned Hand Of The Man - Headdress
  15. Autechre - Draft 7.30

Baiba Bondare (SWITZERLAND/LATVIA)

  1. M83ýDead Cities ýRed Seas&Lost Ghostsý(Goom)
  2. The Workhouse ĐThe End of the pierý(Bearos)
  3. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band With Choir "This Is Our Punk-Rock," Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing" (Constellation)
  4. Explosions In The Sky "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" (Temporary Residence/Bella Union)
  5. Mogwai ĐHappy Songs For Happy Peopleý (Rock Action/PIAS/Matador)
  6. Honey for Petzi ĐAngels Campý(Gentlemen/Namskeio,CH)
  7. Honey for Petzi ĐNicholsoný(Gentlemen/Namskeio,CH)
  8. Icebreaker International&ManualýInto Foreverý(Morr music)
  9. Tex la homa ýIf Just Today Were to Be My Entire Lifeý(Hybrid Electric)
  10. Manitoba ýUp in flamesý(Domino USA)
  11. Cat Power ĐYou are freeý(Matador)
  12. The Delgados ýHateý(Mantra)
  13. Aphex Twin Đ26 Mixes for Cashý(Warp)
  14. The Fall ĐCountry on the clický(Action)
  15. EinstŞrzende Neubauten ýPerpetuum Mobileý(Mute)

Matt Bryan (Spartanburg, SC, USA)

  1. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
  2. The White Stripes - Elephant
  3. Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People
  4. Four Tet - Rounds
  5. The Desert Sessions 9 & 10
  6. The Rapture - Echoes
  7. The Strokes - Room On Fire
  8. Electric Six - Fire
  9. Wire - Send
  10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
  11. Blur - Think Tank
  12. Stereolab - Instant 0 In The Universe
  13. Broadcast - Microtronics Volume 01
  14. The Notwist - Neon Golden (Domestic Release)
  15. Elliott Smith - Pretty (Ugly Before)/A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free 7"

Dainis Bushmanis (Riga, LATVIA)

  1. Explosions In The Sky "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" (USA) (Temporary Residence/Bella Union)
  2. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band With Choir ""This Is Our Punk-Rock," Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing," (Canada) (Constellation)
  3. Emery Reel "....For And Acted Upon Through Diversions" (USA) (First Flight)
  4. King Crimson "The Power To Believe" (UK/USA)(Sanctuary)
  5. Mogwai "Happy Songs For Happy People" (UK) (Rock Action/Play It Again Sam/Matador)
  6. Sublux "Nothing That Is Still" (USA) (Selective Focus Records)
  7. Clogs "Lullaby For Sue" (USA) (Brassland)
  8. Matt Elliott "The Mess We Made" (UK) (Domino/Merge)
  9. Do Make Say Think "Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn" (Canada) (Constellation)
  10. The Potomac Accord "In One-Hundred Years The Prize Will Be Forgotten" (USA) (First Flight)
  11. The Workhouse "The End Or The Pier" (UK) (Bearos Records)
  12. Fractal "Continuum" (USA) (Fractal)
  13. Laughingstock "Underskin" (USA) (Poor Me Music)
  14. Melatonine "Les Environnements Principaux" (France) (Unique Records)
  15. Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia... "My Elixir: My Poison" (UK) (Truck Records)

Christophe (Rochemaure, FRANCE)

  1. The books : the lemon of pink
  2. Supersilent 6
  3. Ulrich Schnauss : a strangely isolated place
  4. Forss : soulhack
  5. Bernard Fleischmann : welcome tourist
  6. Coin gutter : all your dreams are meaningless
  7. Fe-mail : syklubb fra haelvete
  8. Leafcutter John : the housebound spirit

Ivan Daguer (Santiago, CHILE)

  1. The Shins, Chute too narrow
  2. Babasonicos, Infame
  3. Rechenzentrum, Director's Cut
  4. The Warlocks, Phoenix (European Edition, 2003)
  5. The Rapture, Echoes
  6. Jackie-O Motherfucker, Magick Fire Music/Wow!
  7. Bardo Pond, On the Ellipse
  8. The Black Lips, The Black Lips
  9. Cat Power, You Are Free
  10. No-Neck Blues Band - Intonomacy

Daniel (Stockholm, SWEDEN)

  1. Manitoba "Up In Flames" (Leaf) "Loveless has the lazer-guided rights to children."
  2. Plaid "Spokes"(Warp)
  3. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks "Pig Lib" (Domino)
  4. The Radio Dept. "Lesser Matters" (Labrador, www.labrador.se)
  5. Ed Harcourt "From Every Sphere" (Heavenly)
  6. Chris Clark "Empty The Bones Of You" (Warp)
  7. Franke "Optmismens H┬n" (Service, check out: www.srvice.com)
  8. LFO "Sheath" (Warp)
  9. Danger Mouse & Jemini "Ghetto Pop Life" (LEX)
  10. Spiritualized "Amazing Grace" (Sanctuary)
  11. Broadcast "Ha Ha Sound" (Warp)
  12. Four Tet "Rounds" (Domino)
  13. Maximilian Hecker "Rose" (Kitty Yo)
  14. Prefuse 73 "One Word Extuinguisher/Extuinguished Outtakes" (Warp)
  15. Autechre "Draft 7.30" (Warp)

Ryan Dee (Lincoln, NE, USA)

  1. Supersilent - 6  {Rune Grammofon}
  2. Valentin Silvestrov - Metamusik / Postludium  {ECM New Series}
  3. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts  {Gooom / Labels}
  4. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow  {Sub Pop}
  5. Alva.Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Vrioon {Raster-Noton}
  6. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher  {Warp Records}
  7. B. Fleischmann - Welcome Tourist  {Morr Music}
  8. William Basinski - The River  {Raster-Noton} and A Score In Red Tile  {Three Poplars}
  9. Ellen Allien - Berlinette  {Bpitch Control}
  10. The Books - The Lemon of Pink  {Tomlab}
  11. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings from Michigan, the Great Lake State {Asthmatic Kitty}
  12. Sagor and Swing - Allt Hänger Samman  {Häpna}
  13. Animal Collective - Here Comes the Indian  {Paw Tracks}
  14. Paul Barnes - The Music of Philip Glass: The Orpheé Suite for Piano  {Orange Mountain Music}
  15. So - So  {Thrill Jockey}

Lauren Dziuban (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

  1. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
  2. Gustavo Lamas - Brotes
  3. Bubba Sparxxx - Deliverance
  4. Express Rising - Self-Titled
  5. Robokoneko - Anembo
  6. Softland - One Is A Very Small Crowd
  7. Broadcast - Ha Ha Sound
  8. Kill Bill Vol. 1 Original Soundtrack
  9. Signaldrift - Compass
  10. Freescha - What's Come Inside Of You
  11. Steve Burns - Songs for Dustmites
  12. Outkast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below
  13. Michael Mayer - Fabric 13
  14. Matthew Dear - Leave Luck To Heaven
  15. Robert Hood - Wire to Wire

Grant E. (Minnedosa Manitoba, CANADA)

Greg Eggebeen (Chicago, IL, USA)

  1. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists- "Hearts of Oak"
  2. The Soft Pink Truth- "Do You Party??"
  3. Radiohead- "Hail To The Thief"
  4. Dizzee Rascal- "Boy In Da Corner"
  5. Aesop Rock- "Bazooka Tooth"
  6. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy- "Master and Everyone"
  7. William Elliott Whitmore- "Hymns for the Hopeless"
  8. All The Real Girls Soundtrack
  9. Lightning Bolt- "Wonderful Rainbow"
  10. Need New Body- "UFO"

Kareem Estefan (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

  1. Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
  2. Manitoba - Up In Flames
  3. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People
  4. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts
  5. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
  6. Russian Futurists - Let's Get Ready to Crumble
  7. Need New Body - UFO
  8. Xiu Xiu - A Promise
  9. Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
  10. Songs: Ohia - Magnolia Electric Co.
  11. The Books - The Lemon of Pink
  12. Deerhoof - Apple O'
  13. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  14. TV on the Radio - Young Liars EP
  15. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher

Craig Evanson (Cheshire, England, UK)

  1. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (One of the best shoegazy type albums since "loveless". Intense melody throughout)
  2. Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (Not sure if it surpasses TWTTTSD yet, but definitely just as moving)
  3. The Microphones - Mount Eerie (Phil Elvrum is still a genius)
  4. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People (It's not often that i love an album on first listen. This thing is addictive)
  5. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief (Not up to the usual standard, but it definitely redeems itself on the last three tracks)
  6. Hecker - Sun Pandamonium (Dont skip any tracks just sit back and endure the every splinter of sound)
  7. Pluramon - Dreams Top Rock (Anyone who loves Cocteau Twins or other dreampop bands shouldn't miss this one)
  8. Gescom - Ska20 (The difference between this and "Draft 7.30" is Ska20 actually has feeling. A proper acid record)
  9. Christ - Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle (One of the more nostalgic electronic albums of the year)
  10. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn (A much more consistent release than their last one)
  11. The Silver Mt. Zion & Tra-La-La Band with Choir - This is Our Punk Rock (DoesnÝt even touch their other releases, but still very good)
  12. Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place (I would like to heard more of this blissful landscape electronica)
  13. Plaid - Spokes (Some of Plaid's best tracks mixed with some rather average ones)
  14. Luke Vibert - Yoseph (Very good although the first track "Liptones" seems to be in a different league to the rest of the album)
  15. The Postal Service - Give Up (Hated this the first time i heard it, but now cant help loving it)

Medard Fischer (Toronto, CANADA)

  1. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
  2. Menomena ˝ I am the Fun Blame Monster
  3. The Postal Service ˝ Give Up
  4. Ellen Allien ˝ Berlinette
  5. Plaid - Spokes
  6. Fog ˝ Ether Teeth
  7. Chris Clark - Ceramics is the Bomb
  8. B. Fleischmann ˝ Welcome Tourist
  9. Tied & Tickled Trio ˝ Observing Systems
  10. Ms. John Soda ˝ No P. or D.
  11. Four Tet ˝ Rounds
  12. The Books ˝ The Lemon of Pink
  13. Manitoba ˝ Up in Flames
  14. Death Cab for Cutie ˝ Transatlantacism
  15. Radiohead ˝ Hail to the Thief

Mads Flintholm (Odense, DENMARK)

  1. The Radio Dept: Lesser Matters (Labrador)
  2. Rufus Wainwright: Want One (Dreamworks)
  3. The Postal Service: Give Up (SubPop)
  4. Hope Of The States: Black Dollar Bills (Seeker)
  5. Maximilian Hecker: Rose (Kitty-Yo)
  6. Prefuse 73: One Word Extinguisher (Warp)
  7. The Thrills: So Much For The City (Virgin)
  8. Hawksley Workman: Lover/Fighter (Isadora)
  9. The French: Dagenham (Too Pure)
  10. Rocky Dennis: Mable Leaves (Service)
  11. Saloon: If We Meet In The Future (Track & Field)
  12. The Clientele: Violet Hour (Merge)
  13. Tindersticks: Waiting For The Moon (Beggars Banquet)
  14. Blaumusling: Hej Bublu (Globus)
  15. White Stripes: Elephant (v2)

Sean Ford (CA, USA)

  1. The Unicorns ˝ Who Will Cut Our Hair When WeÝre Gone? ˝ This disc had some of the most inventive, ridiculously smart rock (not sure why they get labeled as pop?) that IÝve ever heard. Guitar riffs come in out of nowhere and are gone just as quickly, leaving your jaw on the floor as they go. The album is thematically tied together in that all the songs are about death, unicorns or dying unicorns. Give it a try. Innoculate the Innocent is the heart of the album, the second best song of the year and a good place to start. Also, this is one of the best live bands I have ever seen.
  2. Xiu Xiu ˝ A Promise ˝ Jamie Stewart and the rest of Xiu Xiu make possibly the most inventive music on the planet. They tie together gamelan and Japanese theatre music (thatÝd be lots of tonal percussion, bells, and abrasive percussion) with a Joy Division/Cure/Smiths pop sensibility. Jamie writes possibly the most honest lyrics you will ever encounter and it can make listening unnerving as you can feel this guy tearing himself to shreds, it can also (and usually does) make for some of the best music you will ever hear. Jamie is also an amazing performer live, I suggest you drive anywhere within a 50 mile radius to see him.
  3. Cat Power ˝ You Are Free ˝ Chan Marshall hasnÝt put out a record of original songs in five years. It was worth the wait (in some ways) to get an album this considered and rocking. Free (the song) has one of the best sentiments of the year. This is going to sound trite as hell, but hopefully itÝs not another five years before Chan rallies to make a record.
  4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs ˝ Fever to Tell ˝ This album is weird. The first time I listened to it, I thought the first side was trash and the second side was the best thing IÝd heard all year. ŰMapsÝ is certainly the best song of the year (side two) and ŰTickÝ may be among the worst (side one). But if you can deal with Karen OÝs occasional vocal tantrums, Nick ZinnerÝs wicked riffs will make you a believer of team YYY in about five seconds. DonÝt believe me? Listen to any five seconds of ŰY ControlÝ.
  5. M83 ˝ Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Seas ˝ This album takes the idea of My Bloody Valentine (letÝs clarify: Loveless) and runs about 10 yards farther than Kevin Shields took it (not a dis to Kevin, just giving M83 itÝs props). Keyboards and synths replace the distorted guitar and it works. ItÝs amazing that two guys on completely electronic instruments can create this vast, vast sounding music thatÝs not ever remotely boring. One of the rare good electronica albums to come out in recent years (sorry, not a big fan of the genre lately).
  6. Radiohead ˝ Hail to the Thief ˝ IÝve taken a lot of flack for this one. Radiohead can be annoying, and yes, they do seem to be slowly morphing into the new U2 with their annoying take on Űbeing politicalÝ, but damn it, this album is great. With all the so-so bands making some crappy mix of electronica and rock, Radiohead is doing it right and better than almost anyone out there. A return to form after the b-side hell of ŰAmnesiacÝ. Maybe their best since ŰOK ComputerÝ.
  7. Ellen Allien ˝ Berlinette ˝ Gasp, another electronica record! Shit, I must getting old or something. Ms. Allien has an odd way of fusing Bjork, Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk, and Missy Elliot that actually works. Her songs grew on this listener almost insipidly to the point where I was listening to this album daily for quite some time. Would be higher if the lyrics made any kind of sense.
  8. Menomena ˝ I Am The Fun Blame Monster ˝ This band has a very interesting way of putting songs together. Legend has it, they invented a computer program to resample their recordings blah blah blah Í whatever. The songs are great. I donÝt care what they used. The result is very organic rock songs often structed around simple percussion and piano riffs. They had me at Űhello.Ý
  9. The Strokes ˝ Room On Fire ˝ Another year, another Neu New York Rock Band ... Oh wait, itÝs the original Neu New York Rock Band back for more! Yes, the It kids are back. EveryoneÝs favorite would be models have returned. IÝm sorry, sometimes the coverage of this band is ridiculous, and sadly it takes away from the fact that theyÝre a pretty solid young band that should stick around for a while. This album proved they werenÝt one hit wonders, now maybe next time out they can do something new. God, even I sound negative, this is actually a really good album. But you probably already have it, if not borrow it from your little sister (listen to me! IÝm horrible!).
  10. Single Frame ˝ Wetheads Come Running ˝ In a fantastic year that gave me at least twenty CDs that I know I will be listening to ten years from now, this gets the coveted final spot in my top ten. Oddly, this is one of the more uneven records of the year. These boys from Austin seem almost afraid to make songs, but when they do watch out. Some of my favorite songs of the year are hidden on here. Watch this band.

andrew forell (melbourne, AUSTRALIA)

fruitbat (?, ?)

  1. Broken Social Scene, "You Forgot it in People"
  2. The Books, "The Lemon of Pink"
  3. Ted Leo/Pharmacists, "Hearts of Oak"
  4. The Microphones, "Mount Eerie"
  5. Cat Power, "You Are Free"
  6. Calexico, "Across the Wire"
  7. Manitoba, "Up in Flames"
  8. Frog Eyes, "The Golden River"
  9. The Unicorns, "Who Will Cut our Hair when we're Gone?"
  10. Do Make Say Think, "Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn"
  11. The Constantines, "Shine a Light"
  12. The New Pornographers, "Electric Version"
  13. Deerhoof, "Apple O'"
  14. The Shins, "Chutes too Narrow"
  15. The Blood Brothers, "...Burn, Piano Island, Burn..."

Neville Giles (NEW ZEALAND)

  1. British Sea Power - The Decline Of British Sea Power
  2. The White Stripes - Elephant
  3. The Darkness - Permission To Land
  4. Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood
  5. Hot Hot Heat - Make Up The Breakdown
  6. Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power
  7. The Thrills - So Much For The City
  8. Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers
  9. Rooney - Rooney
  10. Van Morrison - WhatÝs Wrong With This Picture ?

Goldberge (Rochester, NY, USA)

  1. Bikehead - Soundtrack to the Apocalypse (http://www.geocities.com/goat_splatter - an epic)
  2. The Microphones - Mount Eerie (one of the greatest of all time)
  3. Outkast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below
  4. The Majesticons - Beauty Party
  5. Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People
  6. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
  7. The Shins - Chutes too Narrow
  8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
  9. Fannypack - So Stylistic
  10. The Wrens - The Meadowlands

Jos╚ Gon┴alves (Porto, PORTUGAL)

  1. Autechre: Draft 7.30
  2. John Cale: HoboSapiens
  3. Chris Clark: Empty the Bones of You
  4. Robert Wyatt: Cuckooland
  5. Kid 606: Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You
  6. The Postal Service: Give Up
  7. Four Tet: Rounds
  8. LFO: Sheath
  9. Manual: Isares
  10. Soft Pink Truth: Do You Party?

Brian Gow (Boston, MA, USA)

  1. Buck 65 ˝ Talkin Honkey Blues
  2. Sixtoo ˝ Antagonist Survival Kit
  3. Sole ˝ Selling Live Water
  4. Frog Eyes ˝ Golden River
  5. Sufjan Stevens ˝ Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lake State
  6. The Delgados ˝ Hate
  7. Echoboy ˝ Giraffe
  8. Villain Accelerate ˝ Maid of Gold
  9. The Blood Group ˝ Volunteers
  10. Broken Social Scene ˝ You Forgot it in People
  11. Why? ˝ Oaklandazulasylum
  12. Prefuse 73 ˝ One Word Extinguisher
  13. Alias ˝ Muted
  14. HymieÝs Basement ˝ S/T
  15. Josh Martinez ˝ Buck Up Princess

Christopher Gramstadt (London, UK)

  1. Radiohead - HTTT
  2. My Morning Jacket - At Dawn (well released in UK in 2003 anyway)
  3. Manitoba - Up In Flames
  4. Blur - Think Tank
  5. Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place
  6. Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is not a cold dead place
  7. The Rapture - Echoes
  8. The Postal Service - Give Up
  9. Zwan - Mary, Star of the Sea
  10. Sleepy Jackson - Lovers
  11. Mary Lorson + Billy Cote - Piano Creeps
  12. Mew - Frengers
  13. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn, Summer Hymn, Country Hymn
  14. Sleepy Jackson - Sleepy Jackson
  15. Maximilian Hecker - Rose

Aaron Grauer (Lincoln, NE, USA)

  1. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher
  2. Cat Power - You Are Free
  3. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People
  4. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lake State
  5. Colleen - Everyone Alive Wants Answers
  6. D.O.T. - D.O.T. LP
  7. Four Tet - Rounds
  8. The Books - The Lemon Of Pink
  9. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  10. Matmos / Wobbly / People Like Us - Wide Open Spaces
  11. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn
  12. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Master And Everyone
  13. Triosk Meets Jan Jelinek - 1 + 3 + 1
  14. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
  15. Chris Clark - Empty The Bones Of You

Chris H (Calgary, CANADA)

  1. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People
  2. 1 Mile North - Minor Shadows
  3. The Wrens - The Meadowlands
  4. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lake State
  5. The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
  6. Menomena - I am the Fun Blame Monster
  7. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
  8. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn
  9. TV on the Radio - Young Liars EP
  10. The Decemberists - Her Majesty
  11. The Microphones - Mount Eerie
  12. Explosions in the Sky - The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
  13. Manitoba - Up in Flames
  14. Cyann & Ben - Spring
  15. Ellen Allien - Berlinette

Chris Haynes (Nashville, TN, USA)

  1. Songs: Ohia - "Magnolia Electric Company"
  2. Broken Social Scene - "You Forgot It In People"
  3. The Wrens - "The Meadowlands"
  4. Radiohead - "Hail to the Thief"
  5. The Shins - "Chutes Too Narrow"
  6. Blur - "Think Tank"
  7. The Decemberists - "Her Majesty the Decemberists"
  8. Menomena - "I Am the Fun Blame Monster"
  9. Super Furry Animals - "Phantom Power"
  10. Pinback - "Offcell EP"
  11. Sufjan Stevens - "Greetings from Michigan..."
  12. Sun Kil Moon - "Ghosts of the Great Highway"
  13. M. Ward - "Transfiguration of Vincent"
  14. Calexico - "Feast of Wire"
  15. South - "With the Tides"

Alastair Hadden (Dublin, IRELAND)

  1. Do Make Say Think / Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn
  2. M83 / Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
  3. The Microphones / Mount Eerie
  4. The Shins / Chutes Too Narrow
  5. The Unicorns / Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
  6. Viktor Vaughn / Vaudeville Villain
  7. The Wrens / The Meadowlands
  8. Mogwai / Happy Songs for Happy People
  9. The Rapture / Echoes
  10. The Decemberists / Her Majesty
  11. Menomena / I Am the Fun Blame Monster
  12. Radiohead / Hail to the Thief
  13. Explosions in the Sky / The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
  14. Polmo Polpo / Like Hearts Swelling
  15. The Books / The Lemon of Pink

Joseph (Adelaide, AUSTRALIA)

  1. cat power - you are free
  2. the decemberists - her majesty
  3. sufjan stevens - Michigan the great lake state
  4. viktor vaughn - vaudeville villain
  5. villalobos - alcachofa
  6. pulseprogramming - Tulsa For One Second
  7. brother ali - shadows on the sun
  8. the rapture - echoes
  9. junior boys - birthday ep
  10. black eyes - s/t

Mike Jonze (Royal Oaks, MI, USA)

  1. broken social scene - you forgot it in people (no question!)
  2. british sea power - the decline of british sea power
  3. the postal service - give up
  4. sufjan stevens - greetings from michigan:the great lake state
  5. grandaddy - sumday
  6. radiohead - hail to the thief
  7. four tet - rounds
  8. the shins - chutes too narrow
  9. the wrens - the meadowlands
  10. manitoba - up in flames
  11. cursive - the ugly organ
  12. the rosebuds - the rosebuds make out
  13. blur think tank
  14. tie: stars - heart / belle & sebastian - dear catastrophe waitress
  15. tie: M83 - dead cities, red seas & lost ghosts / lost in translation - original soundtrack to the film

Sean M. (West Haven, CT, USA)

  1. Calexico: Feast of Wire
  2. Ellen Allien: Berlinette
  3. Desormais: Iambrokenandremadeiambroken
  4. So: So
  5. Ricardo Villalobos: Alcachofa
  6. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People
  7. Ulrich Schnauss: A Strangely Isolated Place
  8. Matthew Dear: Leave Luck to Heaven
  9. Busdriver & Radioinactive with Daedelus: The Weather
  10. Geoff White & Stewart Walker: Discord

Marshall (Athens, OH, USA)

Kyle McConaghy (?, ?)

  1. You Forgot It In The People, Broken Social Scene
  2. Echoes, The Rapture
  3. Chutes Too Narrow, The Shins
  4. Room On Fire, The Strokes
  5. Hail To The Thief, Radiohead
  6. Young Liars EP, TV On The Radio
  7. A Promise, Xiu Xiu
  8. Up In Flames, Manitoba
  9. HaHa Sound, Broadcast
  10. It Still Moves, My Morning Jacket

Terry McGregor (Airdrie, Alberta, CANADA)

  1. Radiohead> Hail To The Thief: This year, for the first time, I travelled through the gorgeous countries of Wales, England, and Scotland. Simply put, Hail To The Thief was my travelling companion. It shall forever be a time capsule--I can open it and hear and see in these songs the landscape whence they came: Britain. A timely, memory-producing album.
  2. Ulan Bator> Nouvel Air: France gave birth to exceptional music this year, and I feel the best of it all is this gorgeously melodic, moving, emotive album. They have changed their sound to something more pleasant to the ear, compared to former releases. The songs are achingly beautiful.
  3. Arca> Angles: As I said, 2003 was the year of great music from France. Arca mix French and English spoken-word with perfect, dark musical backdrops, creating a sometimes heart-rending, sometimes disconcerting, but always engaging, atmosphere.
  4. Manitoba> Up In Flames: Wow! At first listen this masterpiece by Canadian genius Manitoba sounds like a mass of digital sounds and real instruments thrown into a mix. With further listens, those myriad sounds become coherent, and ultimately, experimental and beautifully melodic.
  5. Aerogramme> Sleep & Release: Two words describe this album: raw emotion. Scotland's best musical group. The emotions range from utter rage and primal screaming on some tracks, to absolutely sublime, lush, delicately tear-producing emotions on others.
  6. Empyrium> Weiland: Dark, acoustic, operatic, emotional songs from Germany. Soothing and rousing at the same time.
  7. Readymade> On Point And Red: An overlooked album from a dreadfully overlooked Canadian group. Beautiful, lingering, and deeply contemplative . This is urban music, set to space rock.
  8. No-Man> Together We're Stranger: Fragile, touching, slow-paced atmospherics, where every sound is delicate and arranged. Hailing from Britain, No-Man produce this necessity, for any who enjoy exceptional music.
  9. Arca> Arca/Cinematique: If you did not hear anything from Arca this year, your 2003 missed some VITAL melodies. This is their first album, from 2001, but a staple for me through 2003.
  10. Savoy Grand> Burn The Furniture: Relaxed, contemplative music from England, sought out because of the Reader's list of 2002 on Almostcool.org. I decided to try it, and found it to my ultimate liking. Perfect music for walking alone at night in a park, or in the country, which indeed is how I used it.
  11. Bel Canto> Dorothy's Victory: I love all Bel Canto's albums, and this Norwegian group continue to produce exceptionally high-quality bittersweet music.
  12. Deep Forest> Music Detected: A happy album, from French world-music-loving group Deep Forest, actually produced in 2002. A very superb album, covering several genres. A delightful change of pace this album provided me.
  13. Mull Historical Society> Us: Another exceptional album from a Scottish band which slowly grows on the listener.
  14. Bark Psychosis> Hex: So, I am nine years late on discovering this masterpiece from British group Bark Psychosis; now I wonder: How on earth did I get by without this album?? Intelligent, literary music.
  15. Encre> Encre: A sensational 8 tracks from French group Encre. Cutting and pasting real instruments and digital songs to create moving, experimental music.

Courtland Miles (Rocklin, California, USA)

  1. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn, Country Hymn, Secret Hymn
  2. Silver Mt. Zion - This is our punk rock, these rusted satellites gather and sing...
  3. Nervous Cop - Nervous Cop
  4. Cheval de Frise - Fresques sur les parois secr╦tes du cr┬ne
  5. Crime In Choir - The Hoop
  6. Explosions In The Sky - The earth is not a cold dead place
  7. Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
  8. Zs - Zs

Malcom Miles (Lincoln, NE, USA)

  1. Cat Power "You Are Free"
  2. Four Tet "Rounds"
  3. Radiohead "Hail To The Thief"
  4. Matmos "The Civil War"
  5. Broadcast " haha sound"
  6. Cursive "The Ugly Organ"
  7. Do Make Say Think "Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn"
  8. Head Of Femur "Ringodom or Proctor"
  9. Manitoba " Up In Flames"
  10. Mayday "I Know Your Troubles Been Long"
  11. Berg Sans Nipple "Form of..."
  12. Broken Social Scene "You Forgot It In People"
  13. Rachel's "Systems/Layers"
  14. Black Forest / Black Sea s/t
  15. M. Ward "Transfiguration of Vincent"

rasmus mirvan (lybech, holstebro, DENMARK)

Moonmen (?, ?)

  1. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan... The Great Lakes State.
  2. Menomena - I Am the Fun Blame Monster.
  3. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People.
  4. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief.
  5. Saturday Looks Good to Me - All Your Summer Songs.
  6. The Books - The Lemon of Pink.
  7. British Sea Power - Decline of British Sea Power.
  8. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow.
  9. The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone.
  10. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak.

Christian Mortensen (Copenhagen, DENMARK)

  1. Rufus Wainwright: Want One (Dreamworks)
  2. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People (Arts & Craft)
  3. Four Tet: Rounds (Domino)
  4. The Coral: Magic And Medicine (Deltasonic)
  5. The New Pornographers: Electric Version (Matador)
  6. Ulrich Schnauss: A Strangely Isolated Place (City Centre Offices)
  7. The Swords Project: Entertaiment Is Over If You Want It (Arena Rock)
  8. Icebreaker International & Manual: Into Forever (Handshake/Morr)
  9. Manitoba: Up In Flames (Domino)
  10. Stars: Heart (Paper Bag)
  11. The Postal Service: Give Up (Sub Pop)
  12. Cat Power: You Are Free (Matador
  13. Dakota Suite: This River Only Brings Poison (Glitterhouse)
  14. Mew: Frengers (Epic)
  15. Dub Tractor: More Or Less Mono (City Centre Offices)

Joe Myles (?, ?)

  1. AEREOGRAMME - SLEEP AND RELEASE - It's beyond me that I have seen dozen's of top 10's for this year and NOWHERE does this album appear. These Scottish lads gave the world one of the most wonderful albums of the year (or any year for that matter). Can't wait to hear more.
  2. THE HANDSOME FAMILY - SINGING BONES - Every year the Handsome Family release an album and every year they wind up on my top 10. Again, this album is not showing up on ANY lists - There REALLY is no justice.
  3. BUCK 65 - TALKIN HONKY BLUES - With all the gangsta dis and the booty dat this is a more than a welcome change - Hip Hop was originally about poetry and Buck 65 returns to the roots while taking along Tom Waits for the ride.
  4. JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN COMES AROUND - What can be said...Johnny, we'll miss you. Not the perfect Johnny Cash album but contains one of the best songs he ever recorded...and one of his last...HURT. Best song of the year as well.
  5. VARIOUS ARTISTS - WINNIPEG : THE HIGH AND LONESOME YEARS VOL II - Once upon a time not so long ago there was a tiny little club on the corner of Main Street and St. Mary Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The club was home to many of Winnipeg's best bands and Janitor John Scoles took it upon himself to record many of these bands. This is the result. Beautiful.
  6. STEW - SOMETHING DEEPER THAN THESE CHANGES - Mark "Stew" Stewart of The Negro Problem. Never heard of him? Neither had I. Great songwriting, amazing vocals and a feel like nothing else. You'd never guess this guy is a 300 pound Black man - not that there's anything wrong with being a 300 pound black man. We'll all be hearing more about him in the coming years - I promise.
  7. ARAB STRAP - MONDAY AT THE HUG AND PINT - More great music from Scotland. Sad, Drunk, Depressed, Beautiful.
  8. NEIL YOUNG - GREENDALE (ACCOUSTIC VERSION!!!) - Although the electric release was mediocre at best this accoustic version is fucking amazing. It's Neil at his accoustic best - think early 70's On the Beach. Surrounded by five or six candles Neil and his guitar introduce us to the town of Greendale and a cast of characters from deep within his mind. If you have the patience please watch the DVD of this - If you're a Neil fan at all then it'll blow you away.
  9. MICO - OUTSIDE THE UNBEARABLE GROWS - Hailing from Calgary, Alberta these guys rock but always with a serious edge lyrically and musically - plus it's one of the best title's of the year.
  10. TWILIGHT SINGERS - BLACKBERRY BELLE - Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs released his second album with The Twilight Singers.

Carles N (Barcelona, SPAIN)

  1. Sufjan Stevens _ Greetings from Michigan
  2. Prefuse 73 _ One Word Extinguisher
  3. Rhythm & Sound _ The Artists / The Versions
  4. Deerhoof _ Apple O
  5. Matt Elliot _ The Mess We Made
  6. (Smog) _ Supper
  7. Wire _ Send
  8. Broken Social Scene _ You Forgot It In People
  9. Colder _ Again
  10. Nina Nastasia _ Run To Ruin
  11. Villalobos _ Alcachofa
  12. Cat Power _ You Are Free
  13. Robert Wyatt _ Cuckooland
  14. Berg Sans Nipple _ Form of...
  15. Refree _ Nones

Gon┴alo N (Lisboa, PORTUGAL)

  1. Broken Social Scene ˝ You Forgot It In People
  2. Sufjan Stevens ˝ Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lake State
  3. The Wrens ˝ The Meadowlands
  4. The Books ˝ The Lemon of Pink
  5. The Shins ˝ Chutes Too Narrow
  6. M83 ˝ Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts
  7. Radiohead ˝ Hail to the Thief
  8. Cat Power ˝ You Are Free
  9. Single Frame ˝ Wetheads Come Running
  10. TV on the Radio ˝ Young Liars EP
  11. Why? ˝ Oaklandazulasylum
  12. Rachel's ˝ Systems/Layers
  13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs ˝ Fever To Tell
  14. Menomena ˝ I Am the Fun Blame Monster
  15. Blur ˝ Think Tank

Erik Nash (Milwaukee, WI, USA)

  1. m83 - dead cities, red seas & lost ghosts (gooom)
  2. clue to kalo - come here when you sleepwalk (mush)
  3. kpt.michi.gan - player, player (aesthetics)
  4. the prids - love zero (luminal)
  5. manitoba - up in flames (leaf)
  6. crack we are rock - cosmic mind flight (tigerbeat6)
  7. pulseprogramming - tulsa for one second (aesthetics)
  8. ulrich schnauss - a strangely isolated place (city centre offices)
  9. styrofoam - i'm what's there to show that something's missing (morr music)
  10. colder - again (output)

Neil (Dover, UK)

  1. Mogwai - "Happy Songs For Happy People"
  2. Frankie Sparo - "Welcome Crummy Mystics"
  3. Aereogramme - "Sleep And Release"
  4. Explosions In The Sky - "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place"
  5. Radiohead - "Hail To The Thief"
  6. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra And Tra-La-La Band With Choir - "This Is Our Punk-Rock, Thee Rusted Satellites Gather And Sing"
  7. Esmerine - "If Only A Sweet Surrender To The Night To Come Be True"
  8. Polmo Polpo - "Like Swelling Hearts"
  9. Ulrich Schnauss - "A Strangely Isolated Place"
  10. Clear Horizon - "Clear Horizon"
  11. Throwing Muses - "Throwing Muses"
  12. Envy - "A Dead Sinking Story"
  13. Molasses - "A Slow Messe"
  14. Set Fire To Flames - "Telegraphs In Negative/Mouths Trapped In Static"
  15. The Zephyrs - "A Year To The Day"

Johan Nell (Porterville, Western Cape, SOUTH AFRICA)

  1. muse- absolution [WOW!]
  2. mew- comforting sounds
  3. mogwai- happy songs for happy people
  4. sigur ros- () [i got it this year]
  5. sigur ros- ageatis byrjun [same story]

Paco (Linares, SPAIN)

  1. The hidden cameras - The smell of our own
  2. The white stripes - Elephant
  3. Edison woods - Seven principles of leave no trace
  4. Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland
  5. Yeah yeah yeahs - Fever to tell
  6. Do make say think - Winter hymn country hymn secret hymn
  7. The postal service - give up
  8. The strokes - Room on fire
  9. The shins - Chutes too narrow
  10. Ricardo Villalobos - Alcachofa
  11. The soft pink tuth - Do you party?
  12. Radiohead - Hail to the thief
  13. Manitoba - Up in flames
  14. The rapture - Echoes

Corey Pierce (Oakville ON, CANADA)

  1. The Darkness - Permission to Land (Atlantic)
  2. Steve Burns - Songs For Dustmites (PIAS)
  3. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People (Arts & Crafts)
  4. The Blood Brothers - Burn Piano Island Burn!
  5. The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? (Alien8)
  6. The Rapture - Echoes (Universal)
  7. A Mighty Wind - Original Soundtrack (Sony)
  8. Junior/Senior - D-D-Don't Don't Stop The Beat
  9. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief (Capitol)
  10. White Stripes - Elephant (V2/BMG)
  11. OutKast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (La Face)
  12. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop)
  13. The New Pornographers - Electric Version (Matador)
  14. Strapping Young Lad - SYL (Century Media)
  15. Constantines - Shine A Light (Sub Pop)

DAREK PIECUCH (POLAND)

  1. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People
  2. Rapture : Echoes
  3. Postal Service: Give Up
  4. Cat Power : You Are Free
  5. Manitoba: Up In Flames
  6. Basement Jaxx: Kish Kash
  7. Blur: Think Tank
  8. Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner
  9. Madlib: Shades of Blue

Adam Richardson (Louisville, KY, USA)

  1. outkast - speakerboxx/the love below
  2. super furry animals - phantom power
  3. the dandy warhols - welcome to the monkey house
  4. !!!- me and giuliani down by the school yard (a true story)
  5. broken social scene - you forget it in people
  6. the rapture - echoes
  7. single frame ashtray - wetheads come running
  8. my morning jacket - it still moves
  9. the strokes - room on fire
  10. radiohead - hail to the thief

Elwin Rijken (NETHERLANDS)

  1. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn (I had the pleasure of seeing them LIVE, twice this year! I just LOVE this band)
  2. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People (Canadians RULE, they just do)
  3. Stars - Heart (Did I mention that Canadians make GREAT music?)
  4. The Dears - No Cities Left (And some Canadians like to joke around, a Canadian Brit-pop album? Yup, call it cheesy but it's got some SWEET moments)
  5. Aereogramme - Sleep And Release (really THICK good rock songs)
  6. The Postal Service - Give Up (Catchy Cool Clark Gable Style Pop Songs)
  7. Explosions In The Sky - The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place (All songs are actually constructed in the same way, so there are no surprises here, just BEAUTIFUL melodic movement and that is not a bad thing!)
  8. Plaid - Spokes (Cool album, between al this dark ambient stuff "Get What You Gave" is a real Joyfull standout, check it out)
  9. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan (Even in West-Brabant, The Netherlands, this album works. Very very charming)
  10. Matmos - The Civil War (Experimental and catchy at the same time! Some Statement)
  11. The Wrens - Meadowlands (Excellent Rockalbum, great melodies and lyrics)
  12. The Shins - >Chutes Too Narrow (Providing us with warmth and sunlight no matter what season)
  13. The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? (Wonderfuly wacky)
  14. Four Tet - Rounds (Playboxes never sounded this good)
  15. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Albanian (Ok I know it's not an album, not even officially out, but it's a DAMN *sorry for cursing* GOOD song and I hope that they will return with more of this energy on their next album)

Ritchie (USA)

Andy Roddick (Ottawa, CANADA)

  1. Calexico: Feasts of Wire (I just discovered these guys this year...perhaps the most solid album released in 2003)
  2. Non Prophets: Hope (This is the cd I want everyone to listen to. Sage Francis makes me laugh and think at once)
  3. Manitoba: Up in Flames (woah. Yeah Canada)
  4. Arab Strap: Monday at the Hug and Pint (Saw these guys live. Well worth it. Good for rainy weather and drinking)
  5. The Decemberists: Her Majesty the Decemberists (Forget Pirates of the Caribean, go with these guys!)
  6. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot it in People (Nice suprise)
  7. Brother Ali: Shadows on the Sun (Emotional ride, but man can he rhyme)
  8. The Quantic Soul Orchestra: Stampede (great funk and soul...much like the Poets of Rhythm, in that it feels like this should have been released 20 years ago)
  9. RJD2: The Horror (Best producer in hiphop right now, hands down)
  10. Sigur Ros: () (grew on me)
  11. The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (Still exploring this one, and I think it lives up to the hype)
  12. Vaudeville Villain: MF Doom (the song on here, Let me Watch, is so good...defines Doom as a comedic villain. But the beats make it ever so serious)
  13. Four Tet: Rounds (I agree with all the hype).

Tony Romaker (Columbus, OH, USA)

  1. The Wrens - The Meadowlands
  2. Single Frame - Wetheads Come Running
  3. My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
  4. Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic
  5. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People
  6. Clearlake - Cedars
  7. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
  8. Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway
  9. Earlimart - Everyone Down Here
  10. The Thermals - More Parts per Million
  11. Ted Leo/Rx - Hearts of Oak
  12. New Pornographers - Electric Version
  13. Cat Power - You are Free
  14. 84 Nash - A Secret Reward
  15. Grandaddy - Sumday

Raffaello Russo (Rome, ITALY)

  1. Frankie Sparo ˝ Welcome crummy mystics
  2. Mogwai ˝ Happy songs for happy people
  3. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band with Choir ˝ ýThis is Our Punk Rock,ţ thee rusted satellites gather+sing
  4. Spokane ˝ Measurement
  5. Arca ˝ Angles
  6. Arab Strap ˝ Monday at the Hug & Pint
  7. Cat Power ˝ You are free
  8. .Explosions in the Sky ˝ The Earth is not a cold dead place
  9. At Swim Two Birds ˝ QuigleyÝs point
  10. Esmerine ˝ If only a sweet surrender to the nights to come be true
  11. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
  12. RachelÝs ˝ Systems/Layers
  13. American Analog Set ˝ Promise of love
  14. Giardini di Mir┌ ˝ Punk...not diet!
  15. Okkervil River ˝ Down the river of golden dreams

Ryan (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

  1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Fever to Tell
  2. The Cardigans -- Long Gone Before Daylight
  3. Goldfrapp -- Black Cherry
  4. The Rapture -- Echoes
  5. Cursive -- The Ugly Organ
  6. Black Box Recorder -- Passionoia
  7. The Blood Brothers - Burn, Piano Island, Burn
  8. Lamb -- Between Darkness and Wonder
  9. The SSION -- Opportunity Bless my Soul
  10. The Postal Service -- Give Up

Javier Santaf╚ (Barbastro, SPAIN)

  1. Matt Elliott "The mess we made"
  2. Nina Nastasia "Run to ruin"
  3. Bonnie "Prince" Billy "Master and everyone"
  4. (Smog) "Supper"
  5. Diamanda Galřs "La serpenta canta"
  6. Mogwai "Happy songs for happy people"
  7. Jackie-O Motherfucker "Change"
  8. M. Ward "Transfiguration of Vincent"
  9. Howe Home "The listener"
  10. Do Make Say Think "Winter hymn, country hymn, secret hymn
  11. Alasdair Roberts "Farewell Sorrow"
  12. Frankie Sparo "Welcome crummy mystics"
  13. Diamanda Galřs "Defixiones, will and testament"
  14. The Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band with Choir "This is our punk rock, thee rusted satellites, gather + sing"
  15. Set Fire to Flames "Telegraphs in negative/mouths trapped in static"

James Sauceman (Florida, USA)

  1. dj /rupture - minesweeper suite (i use the broken social scene exemption allowing one album from 2002 into my list)
  2. the wrens - meadowlands (so many great hooks; the wrens have 4 great singers while so many bands have trouble finding one)
  3. the swords project - entertainment is over if you want it (beautiful postrock that doesnt sound anything like mogwai/eits [not that theres anything wrong with that])
  4. king gheedorah - take me to your leader (samples that are alternately beautiful and hilarious; made me forget all about anti-pop consortium breaking up)
  5. city of caterpillar - city of caterpillar (see, i knew not all hardcore sucked!)
  6. the dears - no cities left (great album for anyone who likes their music nice and dramatic)
  7. sun kil moon - ghosts of the great highway (writes melodies like its EASY or something)
  8. british sea power - the decline of british sea power (some of the best lyrics ive heard over great noisy pop songs)
  9. asobi seksu - asobi seksu (overlooked postrock band with great singing and the wall of sound dynamics everyone loves nowadays)
  10. prefuse 73 - one word extinguisher (yeah, he's probably a genius; puts emotions other than fear and anger into his hiphop)

John Schietinger (?, ?)

  1. Summersault - The Shape of the Sky
  2. The Wrens - The Meadowlands
  3. Four Tet - Rounds
  4. The Rapture - Echoes
  5. Elbow - Cast of Thousands
  6. The Postal Service - Give Up
  7. Massive Attack - 100th Window
  8. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
  9. Manitoba - Up in Flames
  10. Lucinda Williams - World without Tears

Brad Shoup (Austin, TX, USA)

  1. the Books ˝ The Lemon of Pink
  2. Groovie Ghoulies ˝ Monster Club
  3. Kelley Stoltz ˝ Antique Glow
  4. Andre 3000 ˝ The Love Below
  5. the Fiery Furnaces ˝ GallowsbirdÝs Bark
  6. the Hidden Cameras ˝ The Smell of Our Own
  7. the Blow - the Concussive Caress
  8. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People (I still count this as 2002, but heaven forbid people think I don't love this album)
  9. Polysics ˝ Neu
  10. TV on the Radio ˝ Young Liars EP
  11. the Rapture ˝ Echoes
  12. Aesop Rock ˝ Bazooka Tooth
  13. Rachel's - Systems/Layers
  14. Nick Zammuto - Solutiore of Stareau (reissue)
  15. Need New Body ˝ UFO

Roger Simonsen (Lincoln, NE, USA)

  1. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn: Last year I was blown away late in the year with Fly Pan Am's effort and this year I got to listen to this Constellation gem all the way back from Georgia in December. Actually makes for some great xmas music!
  2. Tom Leach - Homemade Handmade - We may have lost Johnny Cash but Tom Leach is a spectacular country artist in his own right. Not only are these tunes totally infectious but I think he makes them in his kitchen.
  3. Philip Glass - The Orphee Suite - Along with Marianas this came along to give Lincoln, Nebraska two true masterpieces in 2003. Program your cd player to play random with this and Marianas "Upward and Onward" (or is it "Onward and Upward" I always forget?)
  4. Matmos - The Civil War - Could end up being #1 on my list once I've given it a few more listens. Perfect mix of innovation and listenability. They even enjoyed this one at the office!
  5. Angels of Light - Everything is Good Here/Please Come Home - There's a lot of depth in this release and it ranks right up there with The Swan's best efforts. If you want a good dose of 21st Century goth, try this out for size.
  6. Ministry - Animositisomina - Just like the good old days! After being off my radar for many years I listened to this one on Homer's listening station and fell in love all over again. Covering Magazine was a pleasant surprise.
  7. Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People - This one could have had a few more peaks but I listened to it a lot and it happened to be on my play list on one of those rare days when my life was running on high drama, so that should solidify it in my brain for some time to come. "Hunted by a Freak" will go down as my theme song for the year. Hmm, but who's the REAL freak???
  8. Kraftwerk - Tour de France Soundtracks - This isn't their best work but there are some wonderfully fun moments and besides I hope to see them on tour in 2004 so I need to give 'em a little push. Electro... Cardiogram... Uh-whoo Uh-whoo...
  9. King Crimson - The Power to Believe - I did see this band on tour in 2003 and as with Ministry this was one of their best releases in many years. All the dynamics of yesteryear with a re-vamped lineup.
  10. Muslimgauze - Uzbekistani Bizarre and Souk - The best posthumous Muslimgauze release so far. Don't even try to listen to it...let it listen to you. This one's for you Saddam.
  11. All the stuff I haven't heard yet.

Jonathan Skaggs (Austin, TX, USA)

  1. Mars Volta - de loused in the comatorium
  2. Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
  3. Deerhoof - Apple O'
  4. Crime in Choir - The Hoop
  5. The Shins, "Chutes too Narrow"
  6. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  7. Matmos - The Civil War
  8. Talking Heads box set
  9. The Rapture, Echoes
  10. Ex Models - zoo psychology

Edgars Smits (Riga, LATVIA)

Nick Spangler (Rocklin CA, USA)

  1. Nervous Cop - Nervous Cop
  2. Crime in Choir - The Hoop
  3. Explosions in the sky - The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
  4. Cheval de Frise - (not sure how to spell the title)
  5. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn, Country Hymn, Secret Hymn

Jean-Ren╚ Sylvestre (Deux-Montagnes, CANADA)

  1. Four tet - Rounds
  2. Manitoba - Up in flames
  3. Mogwai - Happy songs for happy people
  4. Polmo polpo - like hearts swelling
  5. Explosions in the sky - Earth is not a cold dead place
  6. Frankie Sparo - Welcome crummy mystics
  7. Death cab for cutie - Transatlanticism
  8. D╚sormais - Iambrokenandremadeiambroken
  9. Stafraenn Hakon - Skvettir edik a ref
  10. The kills - Keep on your mean side

Sean Taylor (Sherman Oaks, Ca, USA)

  1. Frog Eyes-The Golden River
  2. The Unicorns-Who Will Cut Our Hair When WeÝre Gone?
  3. The Bruces-The War Of the Bruces
  4. Broken Social Scene-You Forgot It In People
  5. Clearlake-Cedars
  6. Dizzee Rascal-Boy In Da Corner
  7. Ex Models-Zoo Psychology
  8. Single Frame-Wetheads Come Running
  9. The Fiery Furnaces-GallowsbirdÝs Park
  10. Deerhoof-Apple OÝ
  11. Lightning Bolt-Wonderful Rainbow
  12. The Russian Futurists-LetÝs Get Ready To Crumble
  13. The Blood Brothers-Burn, Piano Island, Burn
  14. Ellen Allien-Berlinette
  15. Ms. John Soda-No P. Or D.

Tim (Adelaide, SA, AUSTRALIA)

Rob Toste (Toronto, CANADA)

  1. Manitoba - Up In Flames
  2. Polmo Polpo - Like Hearts Swelling
  3. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn
  4. Four Tet - Rounds
  5. The Books - The Lemon Of Pink
  6. Telefon Tel Aviv - Fahrenheit Fair Enough
  7. Explosions In The Sky - The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
  8. LFO - Sheath
  9. Matthew Herbert Big Band - Goodbye Swingtime
  10. Matmos - The Civil War
  11. Special Mention - Broken Social Scene " You Forgot It In People" ( Even though it was released in 2002, this is by far the best album of the past couple of years. Can any Canadian band/artist make bad music? )

Fr╚d╚ric Tremblay (Alma, Qu╚bec, CANADA)

  1. Grandaddy - Sumbay
  2. Elbow - Cast of thousands
  3. The White Stripes - Elephant
  4. Mickey 3D - Tu vas pas mourir de rire
  5. Gothan Project - La revancha del tango
  6. Radiohead - Hail to the thief
  7. Blur - Think tank
  8. Stephie Shock - Le d╚cor
  9. Thomas Fersen - Pi╦ce mont╚e des grands jours
  10. Mogwaď - Happy songs for happy people
  11. Dumas - Le cours des jours
  12. Cardigans - Long gone before daylight
  13. UNKLE - Never never land
  14. Nick Cave and the bad seeds - Nocturama
  15. The Strokes - Room on fire

Greg W. (New York, NY, CANADA)

  1. Alasdair Roberts ˇ Farewell Sorrow
  2. Grandaddy ˇ Sumday
  3. Stephen Duffy and the Lilac Time ˇ Keep Going
  4. Shack ˇ Here's Tom with the Weather
  5. Bonnie Prince Billy ˇ Master and Everyone
  6. Thrills ˇ So Much for the City
  7. Idlewild ˇ The Remote Part
  8. Songs Ohia ˇ Magnolia Electric Co.
  9. Lowlights ˇ s/t
  10. Matt Elliot ˇ The Mess We Made
  11. Richard Youngs ˇ Airs of the Ear
  12. Radiohead ˇ Hail to the Thief

Mike Weis (Chicago, IL, USA)

  1. William Basinski - The River
  2. Scott Tuma - The River 1,2,3,4
  3. Philip Jeck - 7
  4. Low - Murderer e.p.
  5. Crescent - By the Roads and Fields
  6. Wind-Up Bird - Whips
  7. Mirror - Die Spiegelmanufaktur
  8. Polmo Polpo - Like Hearts Swelling
  9. Rope - Widows First Dawn
  10. Boxhead Ensemble - Quartets
  11. Oren Ambarchi - Triste
  12. 1 mile North - Minor Shadows
  13. Rothko - Search for Origins
  14. Alastair Galbraith - Radiant
  15. Dean Roberts - Be Mine Tonight

Brent Wilson (Prince George, British Columbia, CANADA)

  1. Jackie-O Motherfucker - The Magick Fire Music/Wow! [ATP] (OK, technically its a reissue, but this goes a long way in proving that JOMF are one of the best and most productive bands of the millennium thus far)
  2. The Wrens - The Meadowlands [Absolutely Kosher] (I thought 30-40 year-olds bitching about their relationship woes would be somewhat horrid, but when NJs finest are behind it I find that I'm oh so wrong)
  3. Manitoba - Up in Flames [Leaf/Domino] (In two years Dan Snaith went from being Canada's answer to Boards of Canada to being our version of Mercury Rev, and in the process created an album for the ages. Beautiful is the only word that can describe it)
  4. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn [Constellation] (After 4 albums DMST finally prove that they can beat Mogwai at their own game. All I can say is Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!)
  5. The Bevis Frond - New River Head [Rubric] (Another reissue, this time of one of the nineties most sorely unappreciated albums. Expanded to two full-to-bursting discs without any filler material, the greatest psychedelic album you've never bothered to hear just got better)
  6. The Delgados - Hate [Mantra] (Seeing as i can't put You Forgot it in People on this list as i got it in 2002 I'll put the latest masterpiece from Glasgow's finest, which didn't see the light of day 'til 2003 on this side of the pond, on instead)
  7. The Animal Collective - Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished/Danse Manatee [Fat Cat] (Yet another reissue, showing the growth of one of avant-rock's greatest bands as they gathered more members. Even though the material is barely 2 years old nice to have it in one easy to find package)
  8. The Dears - No Cities Left [Maple] (Murray Lightburn is not Morrisey in black face, he just sounds like he is. This is the closest you'll ever find to a collaboration between the Smiths and Belle and Sebastian, so any music lover needs to hear it)
  9. The Magic Band - Back to the Front [ATP] (Members of the various incarnations of the Magic Band rehearsing for their reunion at ATP Los Angeles. Even without Captain Beefheart's vocals this albums is the best greatest hits package a fan could hope for)
  10. M83 - Dead Cities Red Seas and Lost Ghosts [Gooom] (French shoe-gazer-y techno band that finally made me realize that the French can make music worthy of all the praise its give, unlike Air)
  11. Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes for Cash [Warp] (Collecting all of Richard D James Remixes in one place was a smart move, what with him being one of electronic music's only greatnesses and all.)
  12. TV on the Radio - Young Liars EP [Touch & Go] (I was prepared to hate this little album, but after hearing it I don't see what I was so worried about. Even the Pixies cover works, and who else would have re-imagined Mr. Grieves in acapella with a gospel choir (?) backing it??)
  13. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief [Parlophone] (Not exactly a return to form, but far from a disappointment.)
  14. Summer at Shatter Creek - s/t [Absolutely Kosher] (Everybody loves the beach Boys, am I right? Well, SaSC (aka Craig Michael Gurwich) makes sunny pop songs better than the Beach Boys have in 35 years. So everybody should love em just as much.)
  15. Stereolab - Instant 0 in the Universe [Elektra] (When Mary Hansen died, I was sure that Stereolab wouldn't recover. Well, I was wrong. This is easily their best release since Emperor Tomato Ketchup)

David Yezukevich (Boston, MA USA)

  1. Bent - The Everlasting Blink
  2. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher
  3. RJD2 - The Horror
  4. I Monster - Neveroddoreven
  5. Karminsky Experience Inc - The Power Of Suggestion
  6. Centro-matic - Love You Just The Same
  7. Ralph Myerz And The Jack Herren Band - A Special Album
  8. High Llamas - Beet Maize & Corn
  9. Postal Service - Give Up
  10. The Books - The Lemon Of Pink
  11. Calla - Televise
  12. Special Mention: Urlich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By (released 2001, but new to me in 2003...looking forward to hearing A Strangely Isolated Place. Great lists everyone...here's to excellent music in 2004.)
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