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In 2000 America rocked with Limp Bizkit, Slipknot and At The Drive In, while Britain got all soppy and introverted with Richard Ashcroft, Coldplay and Belle & Sebastian. As for Japan, I have mixed feelings. It was great that Melt-Banana, Audio Active and 54 Nude Honeys (my favorite Japanese bands) all delivered brilliant albums. Apart from that, there was little cool plastic around. But the live houses were as exciting as ever, and the bands more eclectic as there was no dominant scene.

And the best albums of last year are:

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