PRINT December 1999

Dennis Cooper

1. Aphex Twin (Selected Ambient Works ’85–’92) A Mondrian-like early work of techno by an artist who’s subsequently become so-called electronica’s Bruce Nauman.

2. Björk (Post) The most charismatic, forward-thinking, yet old-fashioned recording artist of the decade, at a moment of beautiful solidity.

3. Cat Power (Moon Pix) Small and incredibly pure.

4. The Flaming Lips (The Soft Bulletin) The way the songs’ intricate musical layouts create a little chapel around each syllable of their silly-ass lyrics suggests a kind of Pet Sounds–like paean to the perils of qualified sincerity.

5. Future Sound of London (Lifeforms) Easily the most ambitious work of the decade. Whether the album ends up over time sounding as crappy as Tales of Topographic Oceans doesn’t matter (yet).

6. My Bloody Valentine (Loveless) The CD that killed rock.

7. Pavement (Terror Twilight) The only great American band that keeps getting greater.

8. Public Enemy (Fear of a Black Planet) The CD that killed hip-hop.

9. Sebadoh III The album that for all intents and purposes identified lo-fi recording techniques as the back entrance to the soul and inadvertently revealed that Guided by Voices were the face of God.

10. Spiritualized (Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space) These came really, really close: The Black Dog, Spanners; Fugazi, Repeater; Guided by Voices, Bee Thousand; Missy Elliott, Da Real World; Orbital 2.