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The Best CDs of 1998

by Daron Faught

5. The Beastie Boys - "Hello Nasty"
I don't think anything will top the stunning diversity of their first three albums but the Boys still can out turn out party masterpieces whenever they feel like it.

4. Local H - "Pack Up The Cats"
Somebody forgot to tell this band that the grunge era has come and gone. Thank God for that! This is just great modern rock and with Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, The Cars) producing, this is definitely one wild ride. "All The Kids Are Right" is one of the best songs of the year.

3. Billy Bragg and Wilco - "Mermaid Avenue"
Woody Guthrie's lyrics magically come to life courtesy of the music provided by Bragg and Wilco. The sounds and words combine to take the listener to another era and provide emotions and ideas that you just can't find on other current releases.

2. Semisonic - "Feeling Strangely Fine"
This Minnesota band have put out one other album and an EP before this and they're great as well but this one stands out for the simple fact that "Closing Time" is one of the catchiest songs of this decade. They've also got the production they richly deserved.

1. The Eels - "Electro-Shock Blues"
An album that deals with death and despair can sometimes be emotionally draining to listen to. However, special works of art like Lou Reed's "Magic and Loss" and this gem are ones that make you realize how precious life is while enjoying some great music.

Garbage - Version 2.0
Midnight Oil - Redneck Wonderland
Pulp - This Is Hardcore
Elliott Smith - XO
Scott Weiland - 12 Bar Blues

Van Halen - 3 ("Where's Dave when you really need him?")

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