Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews - We listen to the lousy records so you won't have to.

Year In Review: 1992

Things were bad on MTV and the radio: Nirvana and Pearl Jam assaulted our eardrums with Seattle grunge, self-styled "gangstas" overran hip hop, and Madonna was more focused on her pornographic coffee table book than on music. There was some good news in the pop arena: Deee-lite added politics to their frothy dance-pop without losing their melodic sense while newcomer Des'ree brought substantial emotional depth to her largely electronic brand of R&B. Two singles topped the charts for several months each: Boyz II Men's savvy, sentimental "The End Of The Road" and Whitney Houston's inescapable Dolly Parton-penned "I Will Always Love You." Australian rockers Midnight Oil served up a powerhouse live album. Comeback of the year was either the triumphant reunion of Television or the countrified rebirth of Janis Ian.

But the really great records were off the beaten path: Sonic Youth's consistently hard-hitting Dirty; Adrian Belew's Inner Revolution, a one-man Beatlesque tour de force; and Praxis's restlessly experimental Transmutation, with key participation from P-Funk alumni Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell.

Most 60s and 70s dinosaurs refrained from polluting the airwaves during the year, but Ringo Starr and Keith Richards continued to push their luck, and pseudo-dinosaurs Spinal Tap completely missed the boat with a new parody album. Public Enemy stumbled badly with a weak remix album, George Clinton produced a horrendous album for son Trey Lewd, and Babes In Toyland's cynical major label debut led many to conclude (incorrectly) that Riot Grrrl rock was just media hype. Thank god that year's over.

The Latin album of the year was Silvio. (DBW)

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