Sure, I love In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by the Neutral Milk Hotel. But there’s no way I was cool enough to listen to it when it came out in 1998. I discovered that years later. The same applies to From the Choirgirl Hotel by Tori Amos, A Thousand Leaves by Sonic Youth, and Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life by Jay-Z. In the spirit of Pitchfork and all the other websites doing 1998 retrospectives, I take a look at what I, an eighteen year old in New Zealand, actually listened to in 1998 and how it stacks up in retrospect.
Wave these proudly
Air — Moon Safari
Bring It On — Gomez
Mezzanine — Massive Attack
Psyence Fiction — UNKLE
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby — Fatboy Slim
Roseland NYC Live — Portishead
This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours — Manic Street Preachers
The Shape of Punk to Come — Refused
Yield — Pearl Jam
Nu-Clear Sounds — Ash
Up — R.E.M.
Thankfully I never
These records were everywhere in 1998. They sucked then and they most definitely suck now.
Feeling Strangely Fine — Semisonic
Try Whistling This — Neil Finn
Americana — The Offspring
Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too — New Radicals
Dizzy Up the Girl — Goo Goo Dolls
Follow the Leader — Korn
System of a Down — System of a Down
Guitar music was apparently at a nadir in 1998. The electronic music I liked in 1998 still holds up today, and I still regularly listen to Massive Attack, Air and UNKLE. I didn’t think it would go that way.
Looking through the list of albums released that year, there are a lot of records that are follow-ups to massive successes. Alanis Morrissette, Hootie and the Blowfish, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, among others, all released albums that didn’t get close to the success of their albums that feature the only songs anyone can name from them… (Ironic, I Only Wanna Be With You, and Scooby Snacks, respectively). Success is a fickle, elusive bitch.