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Oldies But Goldies: Best Of The 2000s, The Letter R


R. Kelly – Chocolate Factory (2003) – On his very next album R. Kelly would make a profound ass of himself pretending to be the next Stevie Wonder but Chocolate Factory was just a straight collection of soul classics. One of the very very best albums of the decade.

R. Kelly – Untitled (2009) – I still don’t have a complete handle on it yet but it has the feel of a very complete sex and dance knock out. “Echo” has the tag of the year with its “Sex in the morning, sex all day” and the “Number One” remix with T.Pain and Keyshia Cole is special, especially Cole who I’d never much noticed before.
By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers (2002) – “This Is The Place” is the best song RHCP ever wrote. It’s better than “Californiation” and “Give It Away”. The entire album is of such an intense power it may have been the best of 2002. The next one sucd.
Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope (2006) – It took Marie Lynn forever to turn me on to this album. She sounded both quirky and girly ridin’ her piano like Elizabeth Taylor on National Velvet on the way to the Lilith Fair. Call it sexism because today I have no idea why it would take more than a listen to love “Fidelity” or “Better” or “Edit”. A Masterpiece.
Regina Spektor – Far (2009) – Marie Lynn’s claim is it is over-produced and I think she might be right. So “Folding Chair” is overproduced, so “Eet” is overproduced”, so “Human Of The Year” is over produced. So what? The songs are still vastly superior to nearly everything else on the planet.
Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) – I wrote a coupla dozen posts ago about naff follow ups to smash album and Rated R is maybe the perfect example. Rated R might not be as bad as I make it sound but Good Girl Gone Bad is a hip hoppy dance move topped by the-Dream’s “Umbrella” which even Taylor Swift covered.
Rilo Kiley – The Execution Of All Things (2002) – Invented indie rock. Altogether: “and if you want me you better speak up I won’t wait so you better move fast”.
Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous (2004) – Perfected indie rock. By yourself: “it’s just the slow fade of love”.
Rufus Wainwright – Want One (2003) – It’s not great because he’s gay, his gayness has nothing to do with “Dinner At Eight” (a family trauma) or “Vibrate” (go on, call), it’s great because he is an emotionally devastating singer who can write anything.
Ryan Adams – Gold (2001) – No, it’s not that he wants to be the new Gram Parsons, it is that he is the new Gram Parsons.
Ryan Adams – Rock N Roll (2003) – What a fucking mess
Ryan Adams – Love Is Hell (2004) – A lost love album disguised as a bad case of withdrawal -for Beth Orton would be my bet because she’s just a tall glass of water and he’s pouring her down the sink.
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – Cardinolgy (2008) – A lotta crossed out names.

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