The summer of 2003 showcased some of the most influential tours, records and new bands in recent history. Although these artists may not necessarily be new, their actions over the past few months have elevated their status in the music world. Here is a list of breakthrough acts, albums and artists of the summer presented by Mary Alice Groves, Whitney Meers and Rorik Williams of the Oracle’s music staff.
BeyoncÃ© – Being the first member of Destiny’s Child to announce her solo project, it was hard for many to believe that BeyoncÃ© Knowles would produce an album worth the hard-earned college student dollar. She proved them wrong. BeyoncÃ© showed that she had range and could hold her own. She goes from a rock-style composition to a sultry sonnet even the sirens couldn’t match. BeyoncÃ© also showcases her feelings for her alleged companion Jay-Z on some of the tracks on the album. It is safe to say that BeyoncÃ© will keep fans “dangerously in love” with her if she can keep producing quality sounds like the ones on this album.
Junior Senior -The video for the song “Move your Feet” may make these guys seem weird, but Junior Senior is about way more than being a one-hit wonder. Actually, they’re about making music that will get you in the mood to go out and have some fun –wherever you may be. Jesper Mortensen and Jeppe Laursen are two Danish musicians who created a sound just as infectious as their colorful video. Junior Senior makes fun music, and their new album D-D-Don’t Stop the Beat is packed full of it.
Christina Aguilera with Justin Timberlake – When two of the most powerful young people in Hollywood get together for a tour, the result is bound to be sensational. When the Justified and Stripped tour hit Tampa in July, the duo showed fans that the teenybopper icons were all grown up. Even though Timberlake may be this millennium’s King of Pop rehash and Aguilera’s image is “Dirrty,” these performers have excellent voices, great dance moves and can put on a killer show.
The Mars Volta — Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala formed the band after the breakup of their previous project, At the Drive In. The sounds of The Mars Volta took ATDI’s experimentation to another level. The music ranges from wailing 70s rock to Latin tempos and funk, complete with expert bass lines from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Mars Volta made headlines before the release of its summer album, De-loused in the Comatorium, when one of the band members, Jeremy Ward, died of a drug overdose. It’s an unfortunate reason for the band to garner attention, but the music is important enough to speak for itself.
Lil’ Kim– Lil’ Kim is one of the most influential women in hip-hop since the days of Salt-N-Pepa. The “Queen Bee” from Brooklyn recently released her third album, La Bella Mafia. Though she’s just under 5 feet tall, Lil’ Kim seems larger than life. In addition to a new album and an American tour, this diva also released her clothing line over summer. Lil’ Kim is hot enough to keep fans sweating all winter long.
The White Stripes – They didn’t technically break through this summer, but it was this summer when the Stripes showed the crowd at USF’s Sun Dome what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. The soul of Jack White’s vocals, his expert guitar shredding and the energetic pounding of Meg’s drums create dirty rock and wholesome fun at the same time. They performed raunchy blues numbers like “Ball and Biscuit” and catchy sing-alongs like “Hotel Yorba.” And due to the last minute announcement of the concert, it was a relatively intimate setting. Anyone who missed this concert really blew it.