Yes, yet another year behind us!
It's time for recaps! The year 2003 was not the most impressive and
that will certainly show in my chart of the last 12 months. I won't
write a chronicle on a particular disc neither, because I do not
consider that there is enough meat to do it. Of course, I got some
music records of the year in 2003 (Attache ta Tuque
from the Cowboys
from Evanescence and Pearl Jam's Lost Dogs
but one of them was not even listened to at the time of writing this
(the Pearl Jam) and the 2 others, although obviously good records, did
not inspire me enough to do so.
However, I would still like to take this opportunity to tell you
about a mini-album (5 songs) from a Montreal-based rock band named Bordello
After having played in nearly ten bars and concert halls since the
beginning of 2000 and after suffering the great hardship of the
departure of its singer,
and unbelievable stage animal Erle at a very inopportune moment in
February 2001 (or maybe late January), the band persevered and has
finally got to a first professional-sounding record (which doesn't mean to be
negative about Make me Bleed
(2000), of which I liked the songs very much, but which recording quality was pretty bad, honestly) in
2003: No Angel
This album, the band's first public recording with a woman (Nadzine) on
lead vocals, justifies the wait with a more professional sound and more
serious lyrics than before. Even if I personnally was deceived of not
finding the good old catalysts Welcome
to the Show
and Strap On
as well as the nice and soft Down in the Shades
on this record, my general feeling of the disc remains very positive, in particular for the title track and Echoes
Some may doubt of my impartiality since I personnally know 2 (not to
say 3) of the band's 5 members, so I might as well stop here, but let
me just tell that I honestly think that this band deserves to be
better known. By their status of English band in French
province/country, there will probably be only a thin line between two
ways: remaining a small band in the great Montreal or become popular
throughout Canada. I invite you to buy their CD at the Cruella boutique
Montreal or on www.bordello.ca
, and maybe you could contribute to make them take the good the best of two paths.
Maybe I could also briefly talk about the French-language concert
of the year in Quebec: the Cowboys Fringants
at the Bell Center on December 30th 2003. Over 20,700 people
(a record for a Quebecker band inside a concert hall) and a show with
the Cowboys' usual energy, but also with an excellence that managed to
go well beyond expectations, which were already up for an historic
result. Everything was perfect musically, they were using new and
excellent arrangements and linkings, really no down period during the
(over) 2 hours of concert, 3 curtain calls, many good guests such as
Jorane and Dumas, etc... It simply was the apogee of the Quebecker
musical event. Those who were not at the Bell Center that night just
missed something completely amazing!
So here are we getting to the main subject of this article: the
favorite songs of the author and administrator of PowHertz in 2003! Not
the best year so far, but still well enough stock for a top
65! I would like to recall, like at every year, that this represent
PowHertz' FAVORITE songs and not necessarly the songs that PowHertz
believe to be the best technically or artistically. They are all songs
that aired on the radio and/or musical T.V. in 2003, except for the
following 3 exceptions that were released in December 2002 but that I
only discovered in early 2003: Fine Again
from Seether (I even think that this one was released in November
2002... it is very close from simply be put in the forgotten ones of
2002, but I deceided to include it in 2003 anyway), Dans les Airs
Vénus 3 and Lifestyles of the
Rich and Famous
from Good Charlotte. Note that there is less French this year. The end of COOL
FM's daily French-language chart did not help, as well as the definitive closure of the station just before Christmas time.
tough to name a #1, especially when we are conscient that it is not the
greatest artistic success of the decade... Neither the talent of author
not the talent of composer really impress in this song, but the
final result really is a finished one; it SOUNDS SO BIG! I think that
there are some people who did a wonderful job in studio to work out and
put the final touch on this track, that
probably is the one that made me trip the most in 2003. Obviously, this
is the best one from Cold to date. I admit, not having purchsed their
record Year of the Spider tough, since I had been a bit disappointed of the previous one, 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage, despite presence of the very good No One.
Show me how to Live
|Audioslave's marketing strategy has become clear with this single! Cochise was the radio cut for the fans of Rage Against the Machine, Like a Stone was a new style for the 4 members of the band and Show me how to live
is the single aimed at former fans of Soundgarden! For the grunge fan
that I've been and that I still am, it's been a delight for me to hear
a song sung by Chris
Cornell (ex-singer of Soundgarden) that was that worthy of the best
days of his former band! It's true real Soundgarden, with a little
surprise at the end in bonus. It was not the biggest hit of 2003, but
it's because I didn't vote enough for it!!
song a bit "grungy" that reminds me the kind of band of Local H, but in
even better. The song talks about real things and could certainly be
useful to alcoolics as a Last Resort from Papa Roach has been for suicidals.
|A little bit deceiving the first time I listened to it, because it was reminding me a bit too much of Voodoo.
However, after a few times I listened to it, I finally admitted that it
only was a song in about the same style as another one played by the
same band, but certainly not a case of auto-plagiarism. It's an
excellent songs that come and get you with its tribal arrangements and
its general subject in which most people can recognize themselves.
|Less popular but more convincing than Bring me to Life,
according to me. The voice of Amy Lee (no, not the porno actress!)
litterally carries on the song and even makes it touching. So deep and
true, she carries the song so high that it gives some emotions! Has a
singer such as Céline Dion ever made you feel anything like
that? Not me! Going Under
ends in simplicity, with a chorus that is identical or so to the other
choruses of the song, as if the band wanted to say: "we already got as
far as we could, now we're just giving you a little bonus". They would
be right. When they start the last instance of the chorus, they already
won and the rest is only celebration.
Metallica, heavy as we like them ! It comes back a bit more to the
style of old discs such as Master of Puppets, but with the sound and
technology of 2003! What a pleasure to listen to this mega-piece of no
less than nearly 6 minutes... that passes like 4! Also, nice guitar
during the "Keep seaching
[...]", which sound so round in the ear.
Girl's not Grey
relationship with this one. After the first few times, I was finding it
a bit "cheap", seeing in it a side of very ordinary punk following the
receipe of thousands of punk bands throughout America. However, after
hearing it more and more, it solidly inlaid in my head and is now
prisonner of it forever! After all, I do not even think that it sounds
like punk anymore; I cannot even find anything to compare it to! The
rock song of 2003 that is the more pleasant to sing and the most
rousing one too. To play in any kind of party without any problem.
Mon Chum Rémi
||Les Cowboys Fringants|
ballad from the Cowboys. Despite the seriousness of the subject of the
song (suicide), they still find a way to make us laugh with the "50
piasses" or "celui que j'pleume à chaque
année avec le pool de hockey"! Now I recognize my little Cowboys
of the time of Dieudonné Rastapopoulos! By far my favorite French song of the year!
should fear to listen, listen again and again and again. In the
beginning, even for very well-trained ears like mine, it was looking a
bit like easy "smashing" with the sole goal to insure that everyone
understood that Metallica was back to its tough style. However, we end
up seeing a bit clearer in this very dense
sound (like some Korn) and appreciate more accurately this excellent
performance of musicians, in particular the drums in the verses and
guitar in the bridges. A little slackening in the choruses, though. Pay
good attention to Lars
Ulrich's drums during the verses; you'll notice as offset is the beat.
It's disconcerting at first, but cool when you catched it.
So Far Away
to rank, because on one hand the soft guitar of the intro and verses is
so entrancing that we would like to make it a #1, but on the other
hand, this beauty dwindles very clearly just as the guitarist's fingers
get tired (already at the 2nd verse, he seems to hope that it's gonna
end soon!). Also, Staind tries here to make a song of the
verse-chorus-verse type, but you cannot adopt this formula and
completely botch up your chorus! So, overall, it's a nice song, but a
song that could have been even much better. Good idea to incorporate
strings (other than guitar and bass) during the slight raise of
intensity before the last chorus.
|Strong comeback for Jane's Addiction! Explosive, dynamic, well executed, as good as their classic Been Caught Stealing, in my opinion. Much more in the style of Stop (their other hit from Ritual de lo Habitual in 1990), though. Obvious lack at the lyrics level, though, but the strengths of this track are elsewhere.
time I heard it on the radio: disaster! I could not manage to hear
anything else than the little electronic sound that I was finding hyper
commercial and I was telling myself that The Offspring was continuing
on its drop that started after its legendary album Smash.
However, when the shock was behind and digested, the 2nd time was not
as bad, and I finally tamed it. When I listen to it today, it's the
bass that I hear first, followed by guitar and drums; well, the base
elements of the punk
Offspring of its origins. In fact, it's not really an as radical change
as I believed at first. Excellent one from The Offspring, with
interesting lyrics too.
best from Linkin Park? Hard to say... one thing's for sure, it is more
than satisfying! I like the electronic intro, entry of the drums in the
song, and all the rest. Little
passage extremely similar to some Marilyn Manson near the end, proving
Chester no longer has the voice of a little boy (I talk about the part
when he says "hear me out now [...]").
Seven Nation Army
||The White Stripes
|I was loving it at first with all its guitar exploration under the same simple and retro
little theme, but I unfortunately got an overdose of it! I was loving
it after the very first times I hear it on the radio at 99.9 The Buzz
(months before it becomes famous), but after hearing it twice a day
during months and at every radio station possible, I finished by
cooling off! Still one of those that gave me the most sensations this
Diamonds & Guns
but very efficient mix of rock and rap. "Rock-rap, you mean something
like Rage Against the Machine?" Not at all! "Like Beastie Boys then?"
Not at all! You got to listen to it to really understand. A song that
doesn't really have a second degree (at least not to my ears), but
which really catches on and makes you want to hear it again.
|Ostie qu'y s'lève Tard
complicated, but very pleasant, as it is often the case with Marc. I
was close to rank this song a few positions lower, but then I reminded
myself the buzz that I was feeling when I was hearing its first note on
the radio and that every time, regardless of my mood!
Did my Time
|Very good one from Korn, not as good as the singles of 2002 (Here to Stay and Toughtless),
but different. Only one point to reproach: they should have cut it
shorter! If I was them, I would have stopped that at 3:31 while the
climax reaches its peak, instead of getting back to the same chorus
again one last time. The piece would have appeared more intense and the
end a little more special. Well, it's just my opinion!
Straight out of Line
surprising, nothing better than usual, just some good Godsmack without
any compromise, true ot its roots! Very solid rock, heavy, without
||Red Hot Chili Peppers
was greatly happy to hear some RHCP that, finally, was no sounding the
same as the large majority of their radio hits from the last few years
such as By the Way, Californication and Otherside
! Can't Stop
was something fresh, new, light, something that has nothing exceptional
but which you can listen very well in any circumstances.
Like a Stone
|Very different style for the former members of Rage Against
the Machine and Soundgarden. Nice love song, well made, never boring at all.
Joyeux Calvaire !
||Les Cowboys Fringants
|Another hyper-rousing track from my national Cowboys! Particularly efficient in concert.
|Creatures (for a while)
entry after the"Watch it now!"! I enjoyed a lot 311's attempts of soft material over the last few years (Amber, I'll Be Here a While), but they always remain that appreciated in their unique original style!
I Hate Everything About you
||3 Days Grace
for music of the verses and the voice of choruses. Do not rely on the
title to think that it's a sadistic song! The title has a legitimate
meaning, but you need to listen to the song to understand it properly!
|D-Natural is Back
first impression is obviously to laugh or at least to smile, faced a
sound that's so "old school" and a chorus like "D-Natural is back,
envoye, sors ton '6-pack' pis embarque dans'
barraque". However, we cannot deny that this song is catchy! Then, the
reflexion starts. "Is that really this bad or only different?". The
answer is B, ddifferent from the rap that's done in 2003; a rap that is
more "old school", almost even comparable to likes of MC
Hammer, but at the same time a rap that is more musical, much faster,
dynamic et stirring, less coarse, sung in a more caucasian way (that
said without any racism, the black rappers are all sharing a
similar way to pronounce their rap, and it's not necessarly everyone
who likes this way of rapping) with lyrics that fell with a great
also mention, for those who would not know, that
D-Natural has retired once again in this year 2003. His Web site
www.d-natural.com is even closed now, aftre having posted for several
days a long message in which he was saying that rap is only about
"brutality" and "violence" and that he prefers to retire from that. He
was also sharing his fears in regards to the spread of private
information on his such as his address and phone number, so it is not
excluded (according to me) that he received some threats from people of
the "purist" hip hop world.
|Pas de Panique
song was playing at COOL FM not long before its definitive shutdown. It is a cool little Quebecker song,
sung by actress Isabelle Blais. Here are a lyrics excerpt of which I remember:
refrain: "Madame, pas d'panique. Pas de pani-que, pas de panique. On
est tout p'tits, oui tout petits, tout p'tits à l'infini [...]"
Dans les Airs
bit of exploration for Vicky and her men! As it's almost always the
case with this band, the lyrics does not really mean anything and are
not really interesting, but the music and the melody are very good!
However, this tracks marks the beginning of a use of electronic
technologies and a new tone for the band, which makes it hardly
comparable to their many old hits.
heard it only 3 times on the radio, but I know that I would have just
needed to have it in my possession to have listened to it 25 times
instead of 3 this year! Nothing genious but, a bit like Straight out of Line from Godsmack, it's a song without any compromise, real hard rock as we are expecting from Disturbed.
Away From me
|| Puddle of Mud
said that P.O.M.'s new record has no originality and that this first
single out of it is only a bad attempt to imitate Kurt Cobain and
Nirvana. I admit visible similarities between Nirvana and some Puddle
of Mud songs including this one, but it's not that bad for it! The
lyrics are sometimes a bit easy and foreseeable, but the overall piece
remains some respectable grunge, pleasant for fans of this style as I
have I searched it on the Internet this one!! Never found! I only heard
it a few times at the radio station 99.9 The Buzz, and that's all! A
dirty rock in which is very tightly integrated a weird but fascinating
robotic/electronic aspect, a rock that I liked even the first time I
heard it and which appreciation was just confirmed after that.
Definitely, Blur ever releases 2 similar singles for the radio! They
are great cameleons...
deceiving coming from Radiohead, but it obviously remains good material
anyway. Particularly brilliant finale (in the context).
|31||All in the Suit that you Wear
||Stone Temple Pilots
to listen with good speakers! It bangs! Average comeback for the
legendary S.T.P.; not totally joyful, not deceiving neither.
Somewhere I Belong
|A bit irritated by Chester's persisting "I was confused" during the verses, but it's a good song overall.
|33||Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
band's best. A punk close to be qualified of "typical", but it
distinguishes from the mass with a lighter and more pleasant sound, a
more original main subject, a much better care given to the vocal
aspect, maybe a bit more melody,
Bring me to Life
shock at first (a girl that almost seems to think that she's in an
opera, on a background of electric guitars with a very rock sound and
the guy that raps and screams on top of that!!!), but I went beyond the
shock and got to appreciate the emotion transmitted by singer Amy Lee.
Not as efficient as Going Under, though.
|Hot Hot Heat
|Simple but catchy song.
L'Amour dans le Désert (Montuno, Baby)
all mixed up for Stéphane a.k.a. Stefie! Usually, he works very
very hard on his texts and simplifies the music a lot. This time
around, it's the exact opposite: it's pretty complex music with a
relatively weak text! No matter the lyrics, it's a pleasant song to
long wondered if it was an old song that I just didn't know from our
national famous alcoolic, but finally it seems to be a song of early
this year! It's pretty funny, very pleasant to hear. There are
memorable lyrics, such as: "C'comme les enfants obèses, qui se
mayonnaise pis qui mangent des tartes aux fraises" or "ça fait
d'jà 5 couplets et j'affiche complet, même si j'trouve
ça un peu simplet".
Inferior to Linkin Park's average, but it would be a good song to end up the album.
|I love the intro. I enjoy the rest.
|A style that breaks down a bit too much, like if they were auto-cesuring themselves! I like it less than Still Frame, but I like it anyway, including for the guttural "anyone"s!
Bottom of the Bottle
||Smile Empty Soul
Volvo-driving Soccer Mom
Let's Push Things Forward
Qui a le Droit
remake, but in the end, it was a good idea of song to cover. We realize
that it was a very good song from its root, but that only Patrick
Bruel's performance that was making it a bit oldish and boring.
|46||Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades
|Special, very special! Came at the very end of the year, it may be disadvantaged here; future will tell us!
Send the Pain Below
|Relatively ordinary, definitively not as good as their first hit The Red
released last year, but still deserving a place in this chart. I often
cranked up the volume just before the explosion of "I can't feel my
chest, drop down"!
Elle Dort avec moi
Out of Control
Ma Folie Douce Amère
I know, it does not belong there! It's during my 3 days in Rimouski
this summer, I had nothing else to listen than the region's little pop
station and I heard this song a few times there, and I admit having
been a bit charmed by the sensuals "j'avoue, tu m'étonnes" from
the little Annie!!!
Kung Fu Minou
|Definitely bad lyrics, but definitely interesting music!
|Really just for the chorus' very catchy lyrics: "ça
pogne d'in dans des Whippets fondants, quand tu mords dedans ça
fait 'squick, squick, squick'"!
|The verses just suck very bad, but I love the air of the chorus, very catchy.
D'ailleurs, c'est définitivement meilleur quand c'est Mark (le
bassiste) qui chante!
|Red Hot Chili Peppers
laughing at it for so long, I guess I probably can say that I got to
like that... or it's maybe just after hearing so much other songs from
Sean Paul, all as bad from one to the other, that I finally got to find
this one good!!!
||System of a Down
|By far System of a Down's worst radio single that I know. Yet entertaining.
|"Don't wanna be you-ou, don't wanna be just like you". Very punk, I admit.
Meant to Live
|A bit deceiving and unoriginal comeback, but it's still R.E.M.
Girls and Boys
|I don't like the song, but I stuck to the denunciatory lyrics of the chorus: "Girls don't
love boys, girls like cars and money".
Let's also mention My Immortal
which I discovered only a 3 or
4 days from the end of the year and that I heard only once in 2003. I
will maybe (and probably) gets higher in my esteem within the next few
Forgotten from the previous years: I'll be Here a While
, from 311
(2001, maybe 2002) and Warning
, from Incubus
(2001 or 2002).
TOP SUCKS 2003
Oh yeah, it's cool to honor the good tunes, but why not also
remember the "best" mediocrity of the year as well?!? Like last year, I
listened to almost no pop radio this year, except during my 3 days in
Bas Saint-Laurent, where there was no rock radio! Consequently, I don't
have a lot of material for the Top Sucks again this year, but I still
noted a few titles that I feel the need to mention! So here is the top
10 of the auditive garbage.
1. [Jean-François Bastien] Je Vais Changer le MondeSo
ridiculous, so rosy and stuff, it's like a song for kids but that
doesn't talk about subjects that interest kids such as a cow (La Vache en Alaska from Carmen Campagne) or fishes (Passe-Partout)! Completely, purely a SHAME!
2. [Yvon Krevé] Chaque FoisIt's so much that I
don't know if he's serious. It's probably a satire, or at least a
character. If not, I don't see how rap could get any lower than that!
Lyrics like "j'ai besoin d'une chick sur mon dick dans mon lit" or
"Chiller comme qu'on chill, ça c'est du sport D'être
à jeun, c'est rare", eeeesshl!!! You want some more?! OK, too
bad for you! I would also have "Les dames qui
ont un big butt.
Bouge ton big butt bien bombée bébé" or
"Aussitôt qu'on traverse ta porte, dans tout ton block, ça
va sentir le pot". It's enough! Let's move on to the next one...
3. [Caroline Néron] Qu'est-ce que t'Attends?That's
what it gives when all the stars of television and cinema are starting
to make music records (Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, etc.)! It
gives people who are where they belong such as Caroline
Néron, with this atrocious song with "suckful" and a bit
sluttish lyrics (to fit with the sexy image she's giving herself),
badly rendered by an obvious lack of voice.
4. [Black Eyes Peas] Shut UpDo I need to explain anything?! A slut that says "shut up, shut up" during 3-4 minutes, you know!!!
5. [Kate Ryan] LibertineIf I understood correctly, this is a cover of Mylène Farmer. The song probably was already bad from the beginning, but to tak about something I know, this
version is pretty funny! The super-punch chorus: "je,
je suis libertine, je suis une catin. Je, je suis si fragile, qu'on me
tienne la main".
6. [Ève] Si tu m'aimesNew easy pop icon for
Quebec, new 17-year-old little girl that they try to make look like
24-25 with an hyper-sexy (dynamite, sexual bomb, etc.) in the likes of
Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. Yes, the ex-Baby Spice (a band
that was a tribute to the Spice Girls and which has briefly been very
popular in Quebec) is now performing her own songs, with beautiful and
deep texts from within such as: "Si tu m'aimes,
fais-moi connaître l'amour extrême. Donne-moi un peu de ta
chaleur." (If you love me, make me know extreme love. Give me a bit of
7. [Jacynthe] Look Who's Crying NowI'll tell you
honestly, I did not even heard it myself! However, a trustworthy person
assured me that I could easily put it here as a very bad song.
8. [Les Wampas] Manu ChaoFrustrated guys! If you were
good like Manu Chao or Louise Attaque, maybe you would have better
chances to have their "banking account" or their "billfold"!
9. [Wilfred LeBouthiller] Amène-toi chez nous
I don't even want to talk about it, it's just boring! I still wonder
though if Wilfred's fans or the author of the song believe that these
hyper-intelligent and poetic... I hope not!
10. [Live] Heaven
Finished, F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D that band! Heaven sometimes resembles to Dolphin's Cry, but being not as good, while Dolphin's Cry
was already far from their career best! They had a chance to get back
on track, they didn't take it. Too bad, continue to die slowly from one
record to another!
minor revision 2005/01/09:
-added the title and artist for Pas de Panique, which I finally found thanks to an e-mail from a reader of Powhertz
minor revision 2004/02/16:
-switched I Hate Everything About You and D-Natural is Back
-added Warning from Inbubus in the forgotten songs from past years
-few improvements to the text
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