Most Hyped 2002 Year in Review

Most Hyped 2002 Year in Review
Beck Sea Change (Geffen)
Revealing your latent capacity to be sincere doesn't necessarily make you a greater artist, especially if you haven't got any decent songs to support the gesture. Michael White

Dashboard Confessional
Glam bands in the '90s were a constant source of scorn because of their propensity for being cheeseball sentimentalists. Yet Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional gets away with his earnest croonings under the thin disguise of emo. Take away the tattoos, the skintight kitschy tees, the rockabilly hairdo and what do you get? Warbling diary entries set to an acoustic guitar and some slow beats. Get the guy some Kleenex already. Carla Gillis

At first it was enjoyable, now it seems that everyone with an old keyboard and computer wants to be the next Solvent & Lowfish or Russian Futurists. The electro scene has definitely reached a saturation point, powerful enough to even bring the Spoons out of retirement. The scene is going to give. I. Khider

From the ubiquity of cocaine to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the decade that's been in revival mode since 1991 finally caught up and made the millennium her bitch. But dance music fell the hardest, succumbing to analog attitudes and mixing performance art, ancient synthesisers, deadpan deliveries and a healthy dose of techno oomph to achieve maximum dance floor impact. Larry Tee's late-2001 Electroclash festival got the movement into magazines without expanding past its bases in New York, Detroit, Berlin and Montreal and by summer the originators were in full rebellion. But at least Tiga, Felix and Miss Kittin know our retro ‘80s nostalgia is ironic, right? Right? Joshua Ostroff

I would die a happy man if I didn't have to hear shitty 808 beats made by NYC hipsters and their legions of followers ever again. Neil Haverty

Dance music churns through genres faster than any other, but this year's rise and fall of electro-clash was the fastest in recent history. Things started off well with Felix da Housecat's Kittenz and Thee Glitz, but Tiga and Zyntherius' ridiculous "Sunglasses at Night" cover and Fischerspooner's overly theatrical shows and rock star attitude quickly dragged the scene back into the gutter. Too much attitude, not enough talent. Philip Downey

Granted that bands like Peaches and Fischerspooner have brought a needed sense of humour and personality to live electronic music. But the underground fetish for all things retro got boring really fast, not to mention purposeless, masturbatory and really insulting to the great synth-pioneers of the old wave. Interestingly enough, no one who has either celebrated or trashed the movement seems to have picked on its most obvious absurdity: that most of its vanguard is white. During the ‘80s, the term "electro" signified a Latino/African-American translation of Kraftwerkian visions into the fast-funk soundtrack of early New York hip-hop and its break-dancing renaissance. Feathered hairdos, leg warmers and Human League look-alikes might be another translation but as Marx once prophesied, the first time it's tragedy; the second time its farce. Prasad Bidaye

Eminem's Film Debut
Since when does playing a watered down version of yourself in a mediocre movie qualify as acting? Stuart Green

Eminem vs the Wimps
When is Eminem going to stop taking pot-shots at defenceless pop stars who can't fight back? The closest Eminem's come to battling anyone credible is with Everlast and Evidence, and that passed barely noticed. Thomas Quinlan

Geographical Scenes
Just because there is one good band from a certain city/town/country, it doesn't automatically mean every other band from there is equally good. Don't create a non- existent scene just so you have some fodder for a half-assed article. Michael Edwards

Nirvana's Lost Song
God bless 'em, but their "new" song is a B-side at best. Still, it did show how bad their numerous imitators are at ripping them off by demonstrating how it should be done. Chris Gramlich

Queens of the Stone Age
Gutless, soulless hard rock for those in denial about their inner jock. The ballsiest thing they did all year was invite the way heavier Trail of Dead to open for them. Michael Barclay

The Vines
With the media often dubbing them the "new Nirvana," the hype machine set its sights firmly on these Australian garage rockers, and unjustly so. They have a couple of catchy songs, but for the most part, the disjointed yelling and blatant rip-offs of Mr. Cobain hardly justifies the fuss. Rob Bolton

At least with the Strokes we were getting quality. Nirvana sung by some kid who can't handle his drugs was done years ago by that other Aussie band, Silverchair. Amateurs. Cam Lindsay