The original draft of this list contained a number of very unlikely titles, including ones by Robbie Williams, Jordan Knight and the Damnations TX. That list reflected what I was listening to at the time.
This new list is completely revisionist, with albums I would discover later outranking what I had listened to before. Thing is, I wasn’t terribly attached to the original list, and I had a sense most of what I put there was placeholder to start. The newer list now includes titles that make it incredibly difficult to put a revisionist spin further down the line.
It looks as if my burgeoning interest in Japanese music started that year. No, it was really February 2000 during a trip back home to Honolulu that spurred it on. But that’s early enough in the year for 1999 still to be pivotal.
Musicwhore.org Favorite Edition 1999
NUMBER GIRL, SCHOOL GIRL DISTORTIONAL ADDICT
Will you look at that? There’s a podcast …
Shiina Ringo, Muzai Moratorium
… and here’s another podcast.
Utada Hikaru, First Love
At the time, the teen-aged Utada was described as mature for her age. Her voice sounded seasoned, and her music displayed an individuality that would not bow to conventional pop idol trappings. In that sense, she shared more with fiercely independent labelmate Shiina Ringo than perceived rival Hamasaki Ayumi.
ACO, absolute ego
ACO was a graduate of a pop idol finishing school, but with her fourth album, she started to fly her freak flag. absolute ego found the pouty singer turning a creative corner to a more abstract aesethetic.
Nina Hynes, Creation
Somewhere between the angularity of Björk and the obtuseness of Cocteau Twins is this debut EP by Irish songstress Nina Hynes. Back then, it was fashionable to be more vaguely electronica-like.
The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin
The Hipster Album of 1999.
Port of Notes, Complain Too Much
If Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt never recorded Amplified Heart, this album would have been the one they wished they made.
Mandy Barnett, I’ve Got a Right to Cry
Having played Patsy Cline in a Nashville stage production, Mandy Barnett took her affinity to Cline to its logical conclusion and worked with Cline’s producer Owen Bradley, who died before their sessions could be completed. Still, I’ve Got a Right to Cry is a beautifully lush period piece.
L’Arc~en~Ciel pulled a Guns N’ Roses in 1999, releasing two albums at one time. ark was the more commercially successful of the two, but ray has the better songs.
The Kiss Offs, Goodbye Private Life
Bratty, petulant and raunchy.
Some of the other albums displaced by retorspection …
- Jordan Knight, Jordan Knight It’s pretty grown-up, all told …
- eX-Girl, Kero! Kero! Kero! Who can resist the charms of "Disco 3000" or "Tofu no Uta"?
- Asylum Street Spankers, Hot Lunch The studio cleans up the rustic sound of the debut.
- Café Tacuba, Revés/Yo Soy The Village Voice described it best when calling this album the "Mexican Music for Airports."
- NUMBER GIRL, DESTRUCTION BABY The title is very descriptive of the content.
- OBLIVION DUST, Reborn OBLIVION DUST achieves clarity with its third album.
- UA, turbo UA crafts the most coherent album of her early pop work.
- Everything But the Girl, Temperamental Tracey Thorn sounds wonderful in front the four-on-the-floor beats.
- … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Madonna I was very disappointed Madonna named her new album Hard Candy and not … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.
- Dr.StrangeLove, Twin Suns You would think the guys behind Cocco’s sound would have a much bigger profile …