Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Number 21: The Streets

When we first met Mike Skinner he was wide eyed and high. He told stories that seemed distant iun their britishness while being ever so close in there twenty-something nothingness and boredom.

Mr. Skinner let 2005 float by with the lesser players of Grime gaining buzz and with R. Kelly aping his descriptive melodrama over minimilist beats thing (though R. Kelly probably assumes he invented it). He allowed The Hold Steady and Art Brut literally talk to the hipsters about the details that make their drug addled lives what they are. Next year should (if all goes right) see a new album from The Streets. If we're lucky, it will explore the most minute oif circumstances in a new and exciting and yet oddly familiar ways.

Number 22: Beck

Beck's Guero is in all fairness something of a commercial renisance for the man behind several of the finer albums of our time. Sometimes we sitting in our blogger bubble fail to notice that big for us is merely a drop in the bucket for the majors. I'm sure Beck on the other hand as one of the most universally lauded and well loved artists probably ever, thinks about this stuff all the time. In the end Beck has spent much of his career as a tepid property in the market. His biggest album Odelay only went double platinum at a time when albums were routinely selling upwards of 8 million.

This year Beck reached for the brass ring again, though it never quite felt like that's what he was doing. He made a pop album the only way he knew how with the Dust Brothers. He rapped and scratched and sampled left field things, he through down some crunchy ass blues guitar. It was the whole show trotted out again with enthusiasm. It never seemed like Beck hated what he was doing.

Beck's scope and depth are unquestionable. But now we know once again that Beck can bring the kids in at least for a minute. I can't wait to see how he fucks it uo again.