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Old 12-25-2001, 11:06 PM   #1
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POE wasn't officially released as a single, but after Sept. 11 many radio stations picked it up and started playing it. That may be why this particular critic decided to put it on his list.
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Old 12-25-2001, 11:26 PM   #2
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Robert Hilburn is a GREAT GREAT and knowledgable critic.

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Old 12-26-2001, 03:06 AM   #3
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LA Times Critic Says POE Was The Second Best Single Of 2001

Sorry it's so long-but I thought it was an interesting article.

Monday, December 24, 2001
POP MUSIC
Musical Prayers for Peace

Neil Young's version of "Imagine" heads this list of the year's best
singles.

By ROBERT HILBURN, Times Pop Music Critic

For providing a remarkable moment of inspiration during a time of
national gloom, Neil Young's recording of John Lennon's "Imagine" was
the
most compelling single of 2001. In both his choice of the song and in
his
moving performance of it on the telethon to aid victims of the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks, Young demonstrated the bold artistry that is a
hallmark
of great pop.

The rock veteran could have performed one of his own songs of
comfort
and hope during the Sept. 21 telecast, but he no doubt realized that
because
the 1971 composition is already an international anthem of peace, it
would
build a more immediate bond with the show's millions of viewers.

Accompanied by an orchestra, Young played piano and sang with an
unassuming tenderness that conveyed beautifully its prayer-like dream
of a
time when "the world will be as one," stripped of religious, racial and
political divisions. There was added resonance in the familiar lyrics:
"You
may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

It was a defining moment of the telethon and a rare example these
days
of the cleansing, uplifting power that has made rock 'n' roll such a
liberating force.

Young's version of "Imagine" is on "America: A Tribute to Heroes,"
a
two-disc album taken from the telethon that also features a portion of
the
runner-up song on my list of the 10 best singles or album tracks of
2001:
U2's "Peace on Earth."

Commentary and inspiration aren't the only measures of memorable
pop,
but they are especially prized in an age when most commercial strains
are
disposable‹from the fluff of teen pop to the hopeless conformity of
angry
hard-rock.

The choices:

1. Neil Young: "Imagine" (Interscope). The impact of Young's
performance was
so poignant that this album track would have topped the list
regardless, but
the selection took on added power following the death last month of
George
Harrison. In the days after the former Beatle's passing, there was a
lot of
talk about the end of an era in pop music. But the continuing power of
the
Lennon song is just one sign that the legacy of the Beatles and of rock
'n'
roll is still alive.
Even though Lennon wrote "Imagine" after the breakup of the band,
its
spirit is in keeping with the music he made with the Beatles, and it
continues to set a standard of grace and craft by which all musicians
can
measure their work.
'Imagine'


2. U2: "Peace on Earth" (Interscope). This is another prayer for peace,
but
it's a statement of despair over the continuing specter of violence
rather
than the message of sweet optimism that Lennon expressed in "Imagine."
U2's Bono, who was born and still lives in Dublin, wrote the song
after
a 1998 terrorist bombing in Northern Ireland that killed more than two
dozen
people, many of them children. During the telethon, U2 lightened the
song's
tone, using just the opening lines as an intro to the more upbeat "Walk
On."
The full, sobering version, on the "All That You Can't Leave Behind"
album,
is what is saluted on this list. The darkness of "Peace on Earth" is
every
bit as human a feeling as the hopeful glow of "Imagine."
'Peace on Earth'


3. Ron Sexsmith: "This Song" (spinArT). Here's a commentary of another
sort‹a biting look at the way the record industry has become, in this
bottom-line conscious age, an increasingly hostile place for
singer-songwriters with substance and craft rather than novelty twists.
Set
against a comforting, light, country shuffle, the lyric speaks of a
songwriter protecting his creation the way a parent might cuddle a
child.
Sexsmith sings about taking his just-born song to the "tower of gold,"
where
it gets swallowed by the industry machinery. "I came unarmed, they've
all
got knives / How can this song survive?"
'This Song'


4. Angie Stone with Alicia Keys and Eve: "Brotha Part II/The Remix"
(J).
There has been a lot of verbal warfare between male and female artists
in
hip-hop and R&B in recent years, but Stone breaks from the norm with
this
expression of pride in black males. The original version is on the
singer's
"Mahogany Soul" album, but this remix has an added energy and fire.
'Brotha Part II/The Remix'


5. Staind: "It's Been Awhile" (Flip/Elektra). Here's another record
that
goes against the commercial grain, this time in opposition to the
endless
anger and self-pity in hard rock. Aaron Lewis, the lead singer of this
metal-tinged quartet, has written about lack of self-esteem and other
universal teen complaints.
But marriage and success have helped him break a cycle of
depression,
and he had enough courage to step away from the anger in contemporary
rock
to acknowledge the changes‹even though he had no guarantee his audience
would follow him. But the song topped the mainstream and alternative
rock
charts for almost four months.
'It's Been Awhile'


6. Alicia Keys: "Fallin' " (J). This No. 1 single, a stylishly crafted
and
superbly sung expression of being helplessly in love, is a leading
contender
for the record of the year Grammy.
'Fallin' '


7. Travis: "Sing" (Epic). As upbeat and unabashedly optimistic a number
as
the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love," this single seemed like a cinch
top 10
hit when released last spring. But the British rock band's tune simply
couldn't find a home on U.S. radio. Singer-songwriters aren't the only
ones
having a hard time with today's narrow formats.
'Sing'


8. India.Arie: "Video" (Motown). Here's an exquisitely designed,
liberating
statement in praise of embracing one's individuality rather than trying
to
look like all those girls in the videos.
'Video'


9. Missy Elliott: "Get Ur Freak On" (The Gold Mind/Elektra). You've got
to
find room in any list of top singles for some sheer, good-natured
exuberance, and this is the year's highlight in that category.
'Get Ur Freak On'


10. Pink: "Get the Party Started" (Arista). There are a lot of
fun-minded
contenders for this spot, including Mirwais' exotic "Disco Science" and
Daft
Punk's dance-happy "One More Time." But this punkette exercise,
recalling
the celebration of early Madonna records, has personality to burn.


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Old 12-26-2001, 03:15 AM   #4
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Nice, but...POE was not a single! Seems a bit strange.



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