The Seeds of Time

People remember 1982 for Men at Work more than they do for Elvis Costello or Gang of Four. Why should 2002 be any different?

A novelty hit with a chorus harder to decipher than the latest Sigur Rós album "Asereje, ja deje tejebe tude jebere seiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipi!" the debut single from a trio of Spanish sisters born to flamenco guitarist Tomate (which actually translates to "Tomato") was the most annoying record unleashed on an unsuspecting world since "Macarena." This time, however, the melody was also available as a cell phone ring tone.

Best Proof That Teen Pop Is Not Dead:

B2K Creates Pandemonium! And Three Other CDs

No guitars as undies for her: Michelle Branch breaks through.
No guitars as undies for her: Michelle Branch breaks through.

Contrary to popular opinion, teen pop did not disappear in 2002 it just changed its complexion. In one short year, B2K released two CDs of original material, a remix disc and a Christmas album and still managed to tour. At B2K's summer concert in Phoenix, the crowd of predominantly young black females got so wild the group had to cut short its set because the singers couldn't be heard over the screaming. Finally, parents no longer have to explain what Beatlemania was like.

Best Argument for a Bass-Playing Barbie:

Teen Girls With Instruments

Inspired by the success of Arizona's own Michelle Branch (or maybe a delayed reaction to Joni Mitchell), young girls from Vanessa Carlton and Avril Lavigne to Hannah Tosco of justincase showed it was possible to look good and play an actual instrument at the same time. And nobody looked better than Branch strumming her acoustic guitar on a Chicago street with Carlos Santana. Sadly, this trend was cut short when Christina Aguilera showed up on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing a guitar as a teddy.

Best Reason to Like September Again:

James Taylor, "September Grass"

Just when it looked like we were doomed to greet every September with a barrage of somber meditations from the media, the man with the friendliest voice in pop kicked off his surprise hit album, October Road, with a song coaxing listeners to "lie down here right now in this September grass." Mmm. Anybody still smell smoke?

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