New York Award Winners

Heroes and Villains! Winners and Losers!

6 Great Transformations

15 Signs of the Times

Who Came? Who Went?

The New Lingo

Guilty Pleasures:
5 Websites

Memorable Quotes

September 11

Top 10 Movies

Theater's Best & Worst

Top 10 TV Shows

Top 10 in Classical Music

Top 10 Music Releases

Top 10 Books


Best of 2001
Top 10 Pop Music CDs


Björk: Not your typical swan song.

Avalanches, Since I Left You
Good record collections have been given a bad name by rare-groove snobs and narrow-minded hip-hop classicists like D.J. Premier. But like De La Soul and D.J. Shadow before them, the Avalanches capture the sheer bliss of skipping through genres, searching for the perfect beat. (London-Sire)
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Basement Jaxx, Rooty
Impatient with boundaries in the best possible way, the U.K. house-music duo Basement Jaxx mixes everything from Minneapolis funk to two-step garage into its second album and creates some of the most exuberant party music since Parliament's mother ship first landed. (Astralwerks)
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Björk, Vespertine
The Björk album for on-the-fence fans like me: All the elfin joie de vivre and twinkling soundscapes without the overt whimsy or irksome kitsch. (Elektra)
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Blaze, Natural Blaze
Soulful house slipped into self-parody this year, all precious solos and odes to "deepness." But the New Jersey house duo Blaze maintains a multi-instrumental groove without falling into fastidiousness. They're more Earth Wind and Fire than Body & Soul. (Lifeline)
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Bob Dylan, Love and Theft
Dylan can be cranky and conservative (he told the Los Angeles Times he "wouldn't even think about playing music if I were born in these times"), but Love and Theft has ease, humor, and the pure country swing of The Basement Tapes. (Columbia)
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Missy Elliott, Miss E...So Addictive
The lyrics cover well-traveled hip-hop territory -- insufficient lovers, excessive partying, outsize joints -- but the beats (mostly from producer Timbaland) are so radical that even electronica's fringe can't quite keep up. (Elektra)
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Fischerspooner, #1
.Half D.J. duo and half art-school project, Fischerspooner brings the eighties back to the future with dazzling sonics and a sly, sexy sense of clubland decadence. (International Deejay Gigolos)
Buy it at the label

The Horrorist, Manic Panic
A grimly hilarious trip through rave culture's underbelly. Imagine The Gangs of New York as written by the Prodigy. (Things to Come)
Buy it at the label

Prince, The Rainbow Children
A glorious mess, Children features rambling jazz fusion and indecipherable political commentary -- but also flashes of genius not seen since Sign o' the Times. (NPG )
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The Strokes, Is This It
They're despised by indier-than-thou sourpusses for their distinctly un-punk lineage. But the hooks are everywhere. (RCA)
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2001 New York Award Winner

Photograph by Ines Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

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