#35 Cotton Mather - The Big Picture (Rainbow Quartz, 2001)
The question raises itself once again: How do you follow up a classic? For Cotton Mather The Big Picture is the only answer needed. Sure, it may not be the towering triumph that was Kon Tiki, but it shines as a gem on its own merits. The album rocks ("Marathon Man" and "Amps of Sugarland" especially), blisses out ("Baby Freeze Queen"), and even dabbles in a bit of McCartney-esque preciousness ("Story of Anna"). "Panama Slides" and "40 Watt Solution" easily rank as two of the best songs of the last decade.
#34 Bowman - Living to Dream (Bill Bowman, 2004)
This is an album that wears its influences on its sleeve. If you don't hear hints of Will Owsley or Matthew Sweet here you need to swab out those ears. The Owsley touch is especially evident on great tracks like "Save Me," "Enemy," and "Thanksgiving." Thankfully, Bowman uses these influences as jumping off points and not as the destination. The writing on the ballad "So Many ways to say Goodbye" and the rocker "Scream" is top notch.
#33 Psychodots - Terminal Blvd. (Baby Ranch, 2005)
Veteran Ohio rockers Psychodots are always interesting, if sometimes more than a little "out there". This time out, however, feet are definitely on the ground. The result is a nine track album which leaves listeners wanting more. Highlights include "Disposable Man," the title track, "The Problem Song," and the ode to Ronald Reagan "The Great Communicator." Mommy!
#32 Tim Finn - Feeding The Gods (Periscope, 2001)
New Zealand icon Tim Finn entered the new millennium firing on all cylinders. This album is filled to the brim with ideas, hooks, spit, piss, and songs that live with you. "Songline," "Subway Dreaming," "Say it is So," and the blistering "What You've Done" begin the album with the bang of a thermonuclear device. The second half of the album may not reach the explosive power of the first half, though "Party was You" and "Incognito in California" send it off in grand style.
#31 Wisely - Parador (Not Lame Reords, 2006)
Is there anything Wisely cannot do? If this album is any indication the answer may have to be "no." You name the human emotion and there is a song on here to suit it. Got a broken heart? Drink along while Wisely sings "Too Quick To Love." Drank too much but don't really care? "Drink Up" Wisely advises. Kinda hung over the next day? "Stayin' Home Again" is probably the Wisely choice. The dreamy title track ends the album on a note that is just right.
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