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The Countdown: Top 5 Records of 2003

Posted by - 05:24 AM on 08/29/13
In a special Thursday edition of "The Countdown," I've decided to travel back ten years to rank the five best releases from the incredible year of 2003. Little did we know how good we had it back then - while I won't complain that this year's output hasn't been fairly good, 2003 was a year that showcased some of our favorite bands at the top of its game. I didn't realize how difficult this was all going to be - it kind of all hit me when I was staring at a list of 30+ great-to-classic albums and realizing I had to pick five. Seriously, check out what was released and then try to pick five! Anyways, my final five features at least one AP.net classic while leaving out a few other much-adored records, as well as two releases with the same vocalist. Let the great debate begin.
 
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05:24 AM on 08/29/13
#2
Drew Beringer
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5) Brand New - Deja Entendu (June 17, 2003; Razor & Tie/Triple Crown)
NoteI was thisclose to leaving Brand New's legendary second record off my list. While I don't listen to Deja very often anymore, I cannot deny the impact it had on me during my senior year of high school and how many other bands and records it lead me to (also there are probably 5 to 100 posters who would search for my apartment and burn it down if I left it off). It truly is one of the most influential albums this scene has ever encountered. "Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't" was the Drew Beringer High School Anthem of 2003, but songs like "Good to Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have to Do Is Die" and "Play Crack the Sky" are the ones that still resonate with the adult version of Drew Beringer today.


4) Cursive - The Ugly Organ (March 4, 2003; Saddle Creek)
NoteCursive's fourth studio album, The Ugly Organ, is one record that really challenged me as a music fan ten years ago. And unlike some albums I loved back then, the theme, musicianship, and overall construction of The Ugly Organ is still relatable to this day. Tim Kasher is a mad genius and he holds nothing back on this album with his tales of deceit, murder, and overall depression of life. I still lose my shit anytime "Art Is Hard" or "The Recluse" pops up on shuffle (and nearly had an aneurysm when the band played the latter live last fall).


3) The Postal Service - Give Up (February 19, 2003; Sub Pop)
NoteBen Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello only needed to release one album to make a huge impact on music. Not only is Give Up Sub Pop's best-selling release since Nirvana's Bleach, it also kind of made electronic music cool again. After having shit like Moby and the like shoved down our throats in the early part of the 00s, The Postal Service's modernized take on new wave sparked the minds of young musicians every where and can be thanked (or blamed depending on your stance) for the popularity of the genre (and sub-genres) of 2013. The dark yet bubbly compositions were the perfect soundtrack during cold winter days in Indiana and continued to be that go-to album for me throughout my college years. Hell, it still is to this day in all it's fine 3xLP re-release glory.


2) Every Time I Die - Hot Damn! (August 1, 2003; Ferret)
NoteCome on, are you really surprised? You knew this record was popping up in this list eventually. Hot Damn! set off a revolution for me in the metalcore genre by showing fans and other artists that you could write serious music without being a depressed sack of shit. Also, I've never seen such grandiose lyricism from the genre until then, as Keith Buckley's words weren't only provocative but also featured a biting wit that was never too on the nose. He had the ability to make you think while also making you smirk. And the auditory assault coming from Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams is still unmatched. While they have become much better musicians, there is something about the chaotic nature of Hot Damn! that fans still find so endearing.


1) Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism (October 7, 2003; Barsuk)
NoteLike any other kid who was obsessed with The OC and who's muscles weren't big enough for the popular girls, Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism was a guide, security blanket, and best friend rolled up into one. Transatlanticism continued Ben Gibbard's brilliant streak of stunning lyricism, with tracks like "Tiny Vessels" and "A Lack of Color" serving as examples. It also featured some of the band's catchiest songs, with "The Sound of Settling" and "Title and Registration" launching the band into the mainstream. It's easily my favorite Death Cab album still and a record that's constantly on the turntable once the leaves change colors. Transatlanticism has only gotten better with age, a record I've truly grown with and one that'll always hold a special place in my music-obsessed life.
05:24 AM on 08/29/13
#3
Drew Beringer
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Now this is the list I was working from and you'll notice a lot of notable and important albums were left out. This was by far the hardest list for me to make yet. Just look at what all released in 2003:
Fall Out Boy - Take This To Your Grave
Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning
Deftones - Deftones
Armor For Sleep - Dream To Make Believe
Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie
Dashboard Confessional - A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar
Thrice - The Artist In The Ambulance
Thursday - War All The Time
Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue
The Bled - Pass The Flask
Saves The Day - In Reverie
Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Kevin Devine - Make The Clocks Move
The Early November - The Room's Too Cold
Something Corporate - North
Blink-182- Untitled
Further Seems Forever - How To Start A Fire
AFI - Sing The Sorrow
Rise Against - Revolutions per Minute
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
Sufjan Stevens - Michigan
The Appleseed Cast - Two Conversations
Story Of The Year - Page Avenue
Jay-Z - The Black Album
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told
Matchbook Romance - Stories and Alibis
The Strokes - Room On Fire
Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow

just fucking insane and I'm sure I left out a ton more
05:27 AM on 08/29/13
#4
TheDemosRock
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A list short enough to guarantee controversy.

I like your picks, though I never listened to Cursive.
05:32 AM on 08/29/13
#5
Drew Beringer
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A list short enough to guarantee controversy.

I like your picks, though I never listened to Cursive.
I wouldn't say it's controversial because all five of those albums are worthy but so are some other albums not on that list - it'll create a fun debate/discussion today (hopefully)

now if I wanted to be (c-c-c)controversial I would have left Deja off the list haha
05:32 AM on 08/29/13
#6
xapplexpiex
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Didn't realize how many good albums came out that year. I feel like more hip hop should have been in the list to be considered.
A list short enough to guarantee controversy.

I like your picks, though I never listened to Cursive.
You should. Domestica is their record to start with.
05:34 AM on 08/29/13
#7
jakeisthebest
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So many good albums came out in 2003, but my favourite will always be War All The Time. I know I'll be in minority here though.
05:37 AM on 08/29/13
#8
blinkeatworld
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What a year. I think Give Up is probably what will stick with me the longest in my life.
05:38 AM on 08/29/13
#9
theotheryabs
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40 hour train back to Penn came out in 2003...
05:45 AM on 08/29/13
Drew Beringer
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Didn't realize how many good albums came out that year. I feel like more hip hop should have been in the list to be considered.

You should. Domestica is their record to start with.
to be honest - hip hop had a weak year in 2003

the most notable releases were Black Album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Speakerboxxx/Love Below, Chicken N Beer, etc etc
05:46 AM on 08/29/13
Drew Beringer
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40 hour train back to Penn came out in 2003...
like I said above I definitely forgot some releases in that list and it's not meant to be a comprehensive list at all

but I mean, if I forget to put it on my big list it probably means it wasn't memorable enough to make the top 5 haha although I do enjoy that record a ton
05:57 AM on 08/29/13
Jerold Sunga
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2003.. Wow I was still in elementary back then.
06:00 AM on 08/29/13
incognitojones
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My favorite album of 2003, top three in my favorite albums of all time.

Black Album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Speakerboxxx/Love Below, Chicken N Beer, etc etc
Talk about some classic albums right there
06:11 AM on 08/29/13
Drew Beringer
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My favorite album of 2003, top three in my favorite albums of all time.


Talk about some classic albums right there
only 2 out of those four could be considered classic haha IMO
06:12 AM on 08/29/13
Attalaya
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2003.. Wow I was still in elementary back then.
and now I feel old

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