5. Led Zeppelin II — Listening to this again with
stereo changed everything. Between Jimmy Page’s guitar
shredding and Robert Plant’s patented howl, blues metal never
sounded so good.
4. “Batman 5”/“Spider-Man 2”
— Yes, it’s a bit early, but with Christopher Nolan
(“Memento”) on as director and Christian Bale
(“American Psycho”) cast as The Dark Knight as well as
an enticing preview poster for “Spider-Man 2” things
seem to be back up for the superhero genre
3. Kanye West – “Home” — West’s
allegorical tale of leaving home and loved ones over a ridiculous
beat and hook that must be sung along with, shows why he is one of
the best producer/rappers out now. College Dropout may already be
the album of next year.
2. “The Matrix Revolutions” — I still
have faith. Give the fights some meaning and use the characters for
more than pretty action and this could be a classic. I’m
calling it now — Mr. Smith is one of the old Neos.
1. “The Sopranos” Season 4 DVD — New
Jersey never looked better. Tapping perfectly into post 9/11
Tri-State angst without maudlin attempts for sympathy and
sentimentalism; every aspect of this season works in unison. Deep
continuity, constantly developing characters, deft writing, Meadow
and a friend from high school in the show make the countdown to
Season 5 that much harder.