2002: Top Ten CDs

by Duke Egbert

Been a busy year for yours truly, with some new ventures and a lot more work. But I still had time to listen to a lot of music. Some of it was bad, most of it was average -- and some of it was wonderful, proving once again that the Internet has brought us more musical diversity. Without further ado, here are 2002's Top Ten CDs:


10. Shana Morrison -- 7 Wishes

The daughter of Van Morrison proves she has some pipes and some talent of her own on this outstanding pop release.


9. T. Thorn Coyle -- Give Us A Kiss

The only CD on here I haven't gotten to yet (and we'll be changing that pretty darn soon, yes, yes, my precious), a gutsy, no-holds-barred work of rock and roll from one of the best Pagan artists out there.


8. Dolly Parton -- Halos And Horns

Damn, it must be fun to be Dolly Parton again. Doing music she loves, getting critical acclaim and Grammy nominations, and being herself. Another magnificent roots and Americana release from the reborn and relevant Parton.


7. Jenny Bird -- Joy Of It

One of the best independent releases of the year from a pure singer/songwriter, Bird's Joy Of It was, indeed, a pure joy to listen to.


6. Great Big Sea -- Sea Of No Cares

Past CD of the year anointees Great Big Sea return with another rollicking CD of Newfoundland folk-Celt-rock, this time with a few new twists in the production department.


5. Carrie Newcomer -- The Gathering Of Spirits

Indiana's own Carrie Newcomer delivers a steel fist in a velvet glove with this lyrical, crystalline, and potent release. Easily the best written CD of the year.


4. Emerald Rose -- Fire In The Head

The rare live CD that doesn't suck. Far beyond that, in fact, it rocks, catching the infectious sound of Atlanta-based CeltPagan rockers Emerald Rose at their best, funniest, and most incendiary.


3. John Cowan -- Always Take Me Back

This is the CD that meant the most to me personally this year, with songs like "Blood" providing some needed catharsis. Cowan's collection of newgrass, pop, and rock and roll is powerful and brilliant.


1 (TIE). Spock's Beard -- Snow; James McMurtry -- Saint Mary Of The Woods

OK, perhaps I weenied out here. But I literally could not decide, so call it a tie; these two CDs were equally brilliant and utterly incomparable. Snow may end up being the swan song of L.A.-based progressive rockers Spock's Beard, but if it is, what a way to go; a double-CD concept album that actually works. Austin's James McMurtry delivered an understated, perfectly crafted album of country and blues-tinged rock that didn't leave my CD carousel for weeks. There's no comparing them, so I guess we're ordering two trophies this year…

So there they are. Here's looking forward to 2003.

All content © The Daily Vault unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article or any portion thereof without express written consent of The Daily Vault is prohibited. Album covers are the intellectual property of their respective record labels, and are used in the context of reviews and stories for reference purposes only.