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January 1, 2005 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Music nerds love nothing better than lists, and the end of the year is an excellent excuse to make one. Here are Rolling Stone's, Pitchfork's, and Boomkat's lists of the best albums of 2004. What albums did you enjoy in 2004?
posted by myeviltwin (120 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Personally, I enjoyed, in no particular order:

Brian Wilson - Smile
Annie - Anniemal
The Thermals - Fuckin' A
Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Shake the Sheets
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
posted by myeviltwin at 1:33 PM on January 1, 2005


The bizarre thing about living in a non-Western country is that, thanks to the internet, you can feel totally connected with your former country and its culture. You can know the in-jokes, current phrases, news slant, politics, fads, etc. But then whenever music comes up, there's this giant hole.

After looking through all three lists, 150 albums in all, I realize that I only know one song from the whole lot, and that being a Dead Texan song whose music video was linked in Mefi.

Words on the internet are free and legal, but music tends to be either free or legal.
posted by Bugbread at 1:42 PM on January 1, 2005


I think we've had this conversation, but:
(also, no particular order)

-William Shatner - Has Been
-Arcade Fire - Funeral
-Death From Above 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
-Feist - Let it Die
-Menomena - I Am the Fun Blame Monster
-K-OS - Joyful Rebellion
-The Go! Team - Thunder Lightning Strike
-Wilco - A Ghost is Born
-Metric - Old World Underground
-Kings of Convenience - Riot on an Empty Street
-Kaki King - Legs to Make Us Longer

Without reading the lists you linked to (yet), I'm guessing a few of my picks are on them.
posted by Evstar at 1:48 PM on January 1, 2005


My favorite album list was topped by Janna Newsom's The Milk-Eyed Mender... fascinating music in a year filled with interesting releases.
posted by kickerofelves at 1:48 PM on January 1, 2005


Green Day - American Idiot
The Mooney Suzuki - Alive and Amplified
Ok Go - Ok Go
William Shatner - Has Been
Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People

Seriously, if you like power indie rock you owe it to yourself to get your mitts on The Mooney Suzuki's new one. So good.
posted by the theory of revolution at 1:49 PM on January 1, 2005


2004 was very week compared to 2003. I was especially disappointed to see the new Boards of Canada postponed and the new Aphex Twin slowly materialize as an absurdly overpriced, vinyl-only two-track LP.
posted by ori at 1:51 PM on January 1, 2005


Not a vintage year - but I enjoy these:

1 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus
2 James Yorkston & The Athletes - Just Beyond the River
3 Elliott Smith - From A Basement On The Hill
4 Flotation Toy Warning - The Bluffers Guide to the Flight Deck
5 Delgados - Universal Audio
6 Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
7 Royal City - Little Heart's Ease
posted by James_in_London at 1:55 PM on January 1, 2005


Skimming over the pitchfork list reminded me of a few of the year's earlier albums I couldn't have done without. Sonic Nurse! My favourite Sonic Youth disc yet. I thought Fiery Furnace's Blueberry Boat was great fun too, as well as Aha Shake Heartbreak from the Kings of Leon, and The Killers' Hot Fuss.
posted by Evstar at 1:55 PM on January 1, 2005


1 Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
2 I Am Kloot - I Am Kloot
3 The Thermals - Fuckin' A
4 Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:00 PM on January 1, 2005


Dave Alvin's "Ashgrove" and Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose" were two of my 2004 favorites.
posted by maurice at 2:01 PM on January 1, 2005


The Arcade Fire's Funeral is certainly a great album, but I'm not sure I'd go as far as Pitchfork in saying it's the absolute best this year.
posted by Ryvar at 2:01 PM on January 1, 2005


Yeah... it's all about the Thermals, Fucking A

I thought the Beastie Boys had quite a good album this year, too.
posted by ph00dz at 2:02 PM on January 1, 2005


I don't know if it's the best one, but the one that's stayed with me constantly since I bought it was Modest Mouse's Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

Other ones that I listened to a lot that were published last year (i.e. near constantly for periods of two weeks or more) were:

Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
The Libertines - The Libertines
Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Radio Dept. - Lesser Matters
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

Yup, I'm a dyed in the wool indiekid. In my defense I listened to a lot of other shit obsessively this year that wasn't indie, but wasn't released in 2004. Also, I'm in a weird noise band, but I can never be bothered to keep up with that scene. Too everpresent in my head to make the effort for.
posted by Kattullus at 2:03 PM on January 1, 2005


I've heard the argument made that the real crisis facing the music industry isn't piracy, but an increasingly fragmented market with everyone listening to different stuff.

I've seen a few other "Best albums of 2004" lists, is it just my imagination or is there a lot less overlap between the various lists this year?
posted by bobo123 at 2:11 PM on January 1, 2005


In addition to some of the others mentioned above, I'd add

Nellie McKay - Get Away From Me
- can't wait to see what she does next

The Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
- we all know pretty much what they'll do next. But "Diabolic Scheme," among other tracks, shows an evolving band.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:15 PM on January 1, 2005


I second Anniemal, Blueberry Boat and Shake the Sheets.

I listened to a lot of different cds this year. These held my attention longest:

Hem - Eveningland
AC Newman - The Slow Wonder
I Am Robot and Proud - Grace Days (came out tail end of 2003, discovered it this year)
On! Air! Library! - Self Titled (2004)
Devendra Barnhart - Rejoicing in the Hands/Nino Rojo
Ozomatli - Street Signs
Jem - Finally Woken
Jason Forrest - The Unrelenting Songs of the Post 1979 Disco Crash
Mark Lanegan - Bubblegum
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
Katamari Damacy OST
M.I.A & Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism (which is also officially 2003, I believe)
Fly Pan Am - N'Ecoutez Pas

I've seen a few other "Best albums of 2004" lists, is it just my imagination or is there a lot less overlap between the various lists this year?

To be fair, two of the linked lists are from indie sites, who revel in the knowing the unknown, and the Rolling Stone list is a better indicator of the industry at large.

*wanders off to see what this "Fuckin A'" thing is all about.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:18 PM on January 1, 2005


If you like feel-good indie pop you owe it to yourself to check out Aberfeldy's album Young Forever - it's as good as this review would have you believe. I'll also second the nominations of the Feist and Kings of Convenience discs.
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 2:19 PM on January 1, 2005


Ok Go - Ok Go
A good album, but it's like two years old.
posted by bdk3clash at 2:35 PM on January 1, 2005


Oh my god, it's finally happened - I don't recognize 75% of these bands. I...grow...old.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:41 PM on January 1, 2005


bugbread: one possible solution (technically illegal, unfortunately): read reviews online, download albums off Soulseek/Kazaa/whatever, then if you like them buy them from Amazon. It's working for me.

bobo123: I've heard that argument, but not framed as a crisis for the record industry - more a new development in the market. It's the notion of the 'long tail', as first advanced in Wired. (it basically says that, instead of everyone listening to a few megahit albums, the internet makes it possible for niche markets to thrive, and that the industry should be able to take advantage of this).

2004 wasn't such a great year for me musically. Best of a disappointing year were:

Wilco: A Ghost is Born
Modest Mouse: Good News...
Kleptones: Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots
Kasabian: Kasabian
Interpol: Antics
Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:47 PM on January 1, 2005


Don't worry too much, elwoodwiles. The boomkat list looks like it's just trying to impress its readers by tossing in 50 bands hardly anyone's ever heard of. It makes them better music lovers, you know.
posted by Evstar at 2:47 PM on January 1, 2005


The best 2 came from New Zealand.

The 88 - Minuit* [info]
Ape to Angel - Pitch Black

It's a shame that Minuit don't have a record deal outside NZ but good news to here that they're recording a follow-up and great to see Pitch Black playing gigs in the US this year.

* Stricly speaking it's a 2003 release but I've played it to death and back in 2004.
posted by i_cola at 2:57 PM on January 1, 2005


Oh, I forgot two.

The Clash - London Callning
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
posted by eyeballkid at 3:08 PM on January 1, 2005


Excellent stuff here, and particularly refreshing not to find any emo here. Is it over? Please, God, let it be so. I don't know about you guys, but I couldn't deal with any more of Good Charlotte or Dashboard Confessional style I'm whiny, my feelings are hurt self-indulgopop.

Modest Mouse's album was good and definitely represented a continued progression for them, but it also made me wonder if they've outgrown their own idiom. Seems like they've taken it about as far as it can go.

I saw American Idiot listed above, which I bought on a lark. I had written off Billie Joe et al years ago, but I thought it was actually pretty good. A guilty pleasure, at any rate.

Still seemed like a weak year overall though. As much of a buzz as Arcade Fire has gotten, I still don't really get them. Don't get me wrong, the music is very pretty and appealing, in the way that Neutral Milk Hotel or the Rapture, just not memorable. I pretty much had the same reaction in 2003 to Tv on the Radio (another band that my friends were calling the new saviors of indie, but still left me cold). Maybe I haven't listened to enough yet, we'll see.

Also mentioned, another highlight of 2004 was that Antics didn't suck. It wasn't quite as transcendent at Bright Lights, but it didn't disappoint either. Looking forward to future offerings from Interpol.
posted by psmealey at 3:09 PM on January 1, 2005


I'm proud to say that I didn't buy a single new (non-reissue) record this year.
posted by jonmc at 3:33 PM on January 1, 2005


Tom Waits - Real Gone
Various - The Late Great Daniel Johnston
Preacher Boy - Demanding to be Next
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:35 PM on January 1, 2005


my list is here, if interested. includes favorites, most disappointing, etc.

if anyone cares.
posted by cathodeheart at 3:36 PM on January 1, 2005


That means a lot to us, jonmc.
posted by Evstar at 3:43 PM on January 1, 2005


I'm proud to say that I didn't buy a single new (non-reissue) record this year.

We forgot the obligatory, jonmc will say new music sucks in 3....2.....1..... comment.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:43 PM on January 1, 2005


I won't go that far, eyeball. I've tried but all the bands that everbody says are so "transcendent" and revelatory, like Radiohead, Interpol etc? I've listened to them, they're not bad or anything, I just don't get what the big deal is. And as you know, I see more new music cross my desk everyday than most people see in a month, so if the next great revelatory thing was gonna cross my path, it's had ample opportunity, but it didn't happen.

Maybe it's the music, maybe it's me. Maybe I'm past the age where anything can galvanize me as much as hearing Metallica or The Replacements did, or even as much as digging up something like The Band or The MC5. And if that's the case, it'll happen to you eventually, too.
posted by jonmc at 3:51 PM on January 1, 2005


Heehee. Jonmc in a music thread. I gotta get my lawn chair and a beer and settle down for the show.
posted by Bugbread at 3:56 PM on January 1, 2005


Welcome to middle age, Jon ;-)
posted by i_cola at 4:01 PM on January 1, 2005


for the sake of contribution, here are the songs I've listened to most this year , in no particular order:

Bearfoot "Molly" (1973)
Birth Control "Light My Fire" (1970)
Eddie Hazel "California Dreaming" (1977)
Joe Bataan "Subway Joe" (1969)
Chris Farlowe "Handbags & Gladrags" (1966)
Rose Garden "Next Plane To London" (1967)
Johnny Copeland "Sufferin' City" (1968)
posted by jonmc at 4:09 PM on January 1, 2005


It won't happen to me.

I dig The MC5 and the 'mats, but I'm not content to say "That's it, that's all there is or is ever going to be!" And I don't think I'd be proud of the fact that I'm not even bothering to try.

Also, this is a best of 2004 thread, which means it's not going to include Foghat, so why even bother commenting?
posted by eyeballkid at 4:10 PM on January 1, 2005


.
posted by kickingtheground at 4:11 PM on January 1, 2005


And I don't think I'd be proud of the fact that I'm not even bothering to try.

There's where your wrong, eyeball, I am trying, probably harder than most. I'd be happier than shit, if something new came along and blew me away, but for the past 5 years or so, the pickings have been slim, and since any thread about the "best of the year" is, on some level, about the health of the music scene, that's why I bother commenting.

Also, not being moved by what's coming out now does not make me a "Play 'Slow Ride' " reactionary. I can't help it if a song from 1966 (which is still new to me if I've never heard it) affects me more than what's being released today.
posted by jonmc at 4:16 PM on January 1, 2005


To jonmc's point regarding metallica, the replacements - I had a moment last night driving out to Long Island where after listening to the 'modern rock' stations for about an hour I suddenly got fed up and flipped to the 'classic rock' station where "Sweet Child O Mine" had just started. Compared to everything I had just heard that was supposedly 'new rock/whatever' this song, going on more than FIFTEEN years old, sounded like a fresh, invigorating breath of air.

I remember when Guns N Roses saved rock n roll (my opinion, of course..and i'm sure there will be passionate disagreement) and damn if music doesn't need a bitch slap right now of that nature. I honestly don't believe it's me. All this praise for Modest Mouse...I don't get it..it's their weakest effort and I'm a fan of theirs. Hard rock/metal??? It's fully of whiny poseurs whose tattoos and piercings are the 21st century equivalent of the makeup and hair of bands like Poison. All the supposedly edge stuff like Franz Ferdinand, The Shins, The Vines etc etc...it's all rehashed Mod rock. What's missing is balls. No one's got BALLS.

That said, I managed to find maybe two albums this year that got me excited, and even then, I didn't feel like new ground was really being broken. So, those albums:

The Faint - Wet From Birth
StellaStarr - StellaStarr

and an honorable mention for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's even though I think they are a one trick pony.
posted by spicynuts at 4:19 PM on January 1, 2005


The Delgados - Universal Audio
The Concretes - The Concretes
M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
Nouvelle Vague - Nouvelle Vague
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:23 PM on January 1, 2005


jonmc: re Radiohead, I've tried to capture it before. I'm not sure why people find Interpol so cathartic or whatnot, they seem a bit ironic and 80's for that.
posted by abcde at 4:31 PM on January 1, 2005


Madvilliany is killer.
Funeral is killer.
Milk Eyed Mender is killer.
Nino Rojo is killer.

The most killer of the year? Golden Apples of the Sun.

The least killer? The Killers - blech.
posted by Quartermass at 4:33 PM on January 1, 2005


In no particular order...

Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Interpol - Antics
Tom Waits - Real Gone
Duran Duran - Astronaut
The Concretes - The Concretes
Air - Talkie Walkie
Norah Jones - Feels Like Home
Jeff Buckley - Grace (Not a new release- just a new reissue- but it was my first time listening to Buckley and I'm hooked now)

I'll add that I found Prince's Musicology and U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (both of which I highly anticipated) to be very disappointing. Glad to see someone else drop some love on The Concretes; that record is stellar.
posted by kryptondog at 4:46 PM on January 1, 2005


spicynuts: Not virulent disagreement, but the humor I found in your remark via a comment I made to my sister not more than a week ago that if I never heard "Sweet Child O' Mine" again, it would be fine by me.

Perspectives are interesting... at least to me.
posted by sillygit at 4:46 PM on January 1, 2005


All the supposedly edge stuff like Franz Ferdinand, The Shins, The Vines etc etc...it's all rehashed Mod rock. What's missing is balls. No one's got BALLS.

You should listen to the new Ted Leo.
posted by myeviltwin at 4:52 PM on January 1, 2005


Tom Waits - Real Gone

Oh, god yes. His best since The Black Rider, and his most musically inventive in a good long while--no piano, for one thing, and most of the percussion is his own shrieks and growls. Tom Waits as human beatbox is not something I ever expected, or expected to enjoy, but it's fantastic.

Thank god for Real Gone, because it kept me from purposefully deafening myself with a sharp pair of knitting needles during my first listen to the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album, which was my biggest musical disappointment of 2004. There was a time when Nick Cave could do no wrong in my mind, even as recently as Nocturama, but despite my shameless fangirlishness I find Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus nearly unlistenable.

The Dresden Dolls' eponymous album was phenomenal--they were hands down the best live show I saw in 2004.

Firewater's Songs We Should Have Written had some rough spots (no one should try to do a faithful cover of Folsom Prison Blues) but was overall quite good.
posted by jesourie at 4:55 PM on January 1, 2005


You should listen to the new Ted Leo

As a matter of fact, I was just listening to that. I'm not that impressed. Sorry.

Sillygit: Yeah, the thing is it depends on how often you hear the song. I don't tend to listen to the radio much and I very rarely hear that song so when I do it always strikes me as better than most of what I hear around me. Still, I think it's an almost perfect song.
posted by spicynuts at 4:57 PM on January 1, 2005


I'm just waiting for the indie-pop Spinal Tap movie to surface because it is a genre in desperate need of lampooning. I listened to lots of new music this year but very little that will sustain me for any length of time. Feist, The Hold Steady, The Czars, Lonesome Sisters, and Mos Def all held my attention for more than a few minutes. I didn't think the new U2 was one of their best but it have that 'this will sound interesting live' feel to it. (Not that tickets will be affordable, mind you.)
I felt it with punk and feel it with so much music today - there's a reason why lots of these bands are only going to sell a few hundred CDs (including friends and family). Sometimes proficiency with an instrument is a good thing, and you shouldn't try to sound like every other band on your label.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 5:02 PM on January 1, 2005


Birchville Cat Motel – Beautiful Speck Triumph
Xiu Xiu – Fabulous Muscles
Tim Hecker – Mirages
Ghost – Hypnotic Underworld
Michael Mayer – Touch
Kevin Drumm – Impish Tyrant
Mitch Akiyama – If Night is a Weed and Day Grows Less
Wolf Eyes – Burned Mind
Sagan – Unseen Forces
Zeena Parkins & Ikue Mori – Phantom Orchard
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Arve Henriksen - Chiaroscuro
Annie – Annimal
Oren Ambarchi – Grapes From the Estate
Skygreen Leopards – One Thousand Bird Ceremony
Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat
Fennesz – Venice
Junior Boys – Last Exit
Animal Collective – Sung Tongs
Phoenix – Alphabetical
posted by corpse at 5:07 PM on January 1, 2005


People still listen to whole albums? Without deleting the boring songs? How quaint.
posted by dydecker at 5:09 PM on January 1, 2005


kryptondog, get outta my head. Our lists are almost identical. I'd add, however, strictly for beats that'll make you drop it like it's hot, Tasty by Kelis. Yeah, the one with the Milkshake song. Forget that, and go for "Trick Me" and call me when your pulse rate comes back to normal.
posted by Dreama at 5:11 PM on January 1, 2005


The Shins, The Vines etc etc...it's all rehashed Mod rock. What's missing is balls. No one's got BALLS.

Back off the Shins. For my money they're the best band out there these days. What they lack in balls (what does that mean anyway?) they make up for in crystal clear melodies, and ridiculously good songwriting chops. I'll give you the Vines... the Monomen covered the whole garage thing a decade ago in the way that the Vines, the Hives, etc. just don't get.

Otherwise, Guns 'n' Roses? C'mon man, SCOM was a great song, but anything else they did was a pale imitation of the best of Aerosmith during their heroin years.
posted by psmealey at 5:13 PM on January 1, 2005


psmealey, I love aerosmith but "Welcome To The Jungle" is more galvanizing than anything 'smith ever did. And I did hear the Ted Leo stuff, again it wasn't bad at all, but it didn't blow me away. Same with Polyphonic Spree. It was good, but hardly revolutionary.
posted by jonmc at 5:17 PM on January 1, 2005


Donnacha Costello - Color Series (Minimize)
N. Ln - Astronomy for Children (Highpoint Lowlife)
N. Ln - Chemical Friends (Badman)
Squarepusher - Ultravisitor (Warp)
Various - Double Down (M3rck)
Fripp and Eno - The Equatorial Stars (Opal)
Alexander Rishaug - Possible Landscape (Asphodel)
Various - Kompakt 100 (Kompakt)
Pan Sonic - Kesto (Mute)
Recon - White Label (Highpoint Lowlife)
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:20 PM on January 1, 2005


That Rolling Stone list makes me want to slap somebody. I love R.E.M., but Around the Sun blows.

Albums that are sure to appear in my top 15 list when I sit down to write it up:

- Incubus, A Crow Left of the Murder
- Piebald, All Ears, All Eyes, All the Time
- Head Automatica, Decadence
- Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous
- Franz Ferdinand, self-titled
- Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me
- The Get Up Kids, Guilt Show
- A.C. Newman, The Slow Wonder
posted by aaronetc at 5:33 PM on January 1, 2005


Since there's already been some hott self-link action above, I figure I'll throw my hat in the ring as well.

Quick summary of above linked list; some indie rock, some dark ambient, some modern classical. all over the board, really.
posted by almostcool at 6:22 PM on January 1, 2005


Appetite for Destruction is an album that gets better with each passing year. Seriously.

Though not revolutionary, I really dug Bravebird by Amel Larrieux.
posted by euphorb at 6:28 PM on January 1, 2005


People still listen to whole albums? Without deleting the boring songs? How quaint.

WACK
posted by lotsofno at 6:30 PM on January 1, 2005


I bought 3 Replacements CDs based on jonmc's raving about them, and ended up selling 2 of them back (Tim and Let It Be). I kept Don't Tell a Soul, (Computer World and Trans-Europe Express are both much better albums). The only CD I've bought that was actually released in 2004 is Aimee Mann's Live at St. Anns Warehouse. I've spent more getting CDs to replace old albums I used to own - Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Gang of Four - that era.
posted by rfs at 6:34 PM on January 1, 2005


Here's mine.
posted by hyperizer at 6:35 PM on January 1, 2005


First, rfs, let me say that I'm honored that you bought Cd's based on my bleating. Second, you sold Tim and Let It Be back???

But you're a Kraftwerk fan so I suppose I should accord you the same respect i accord normal humans. But I guess there's no accounting for taste.
posted by jonmc at 6:38 PM on January 1, 2005


everyone out to give SMILE a listen. and the new de la soul rekkid was really, really good.
posted by glenwood at 6:47 PM on January 1, 2005


OK, in the spirit of openmindedness, I am listening to the Arcade Fire album right now. Verdict in a few minutes.
posted by dydecker at 6:59 PM on January 1, 2005


Modest Mouse's album was good and definitely represented a continued progression for them, but it also made me wonder if they've outgrown their own idiom. Seems like they've taken it about as far as it can go.

Yep.

Tom Waits - Real Gone

3rd that.

People still listen to whole albums? Without deleting the boring songs? How quaint.

Yes, isn't it............I like being quaint. You should try it, you might hear something new.
posted by codeofconduct at 7:01 PM on January 1, 2005


Perhaps not everybody's cup of tea, but I thought the 5 song EP "Sink or Swim" by Summer at Shatter Creek was one of the finds of the year (at Redder Records). "Worlds Away" is a great example (mp3 link). Other mp3 links from the guy's annoyingly bad web site.

Apparently I'm not the only
one
who
liked it.
posted by spock at 7:03 PM on January 1, 2005


Jon, it was a major disappointment ... I'm glad I was able to get this off my chest after years of lurking !
posted by rfs at 7:04 PM on January 1, 2005


Dizzee Rascal - Showtime (though not as good as Boy in Da Corner)
The Roots - The Tipping Point
Ozomatli - Street Signs
posted by Peach at 7:06 PM on January 1, 2005


Don't worry too much, elwoodwiles. The boomkat list looks like it's just trying to impress its readers by tossing in 50 bands hardly anyone's ever heard of. It makes them better music lovers, you know.

I'd put it more down to Boomkat specialising in a niche than them trying to impress you. They are the online presence for a store of primarily electronic music. You might get a bunch of unfamiliar names reading UrbanSmarts' year end list too, being a site devoted to independent hip hop.

I thought 2004 was a good year, but was terrible for electronic and hip hop. Last year almost all of my favourites were one of those, and this year less than a quarter were.
posted by too many notes at 7:07 PM on January 1, 2005


Okay, according to MeFi, so far the top albums of 2004 are:

Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat (6)
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand (5)
Animal Collective – Sung Tongs (4)
The Thermals - Fuckin' A (4)
Tom Waits - Real Gone (4)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (3)
Interpol - Antics (3)
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News (3)
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free (3)
Wilco - A Ghost is Born (3)
posted by bobo123 at 7:21 PM on January 1, 2005


But you should hear the Mats do a live version of "Cruella DeVille" on this album, along with "Date to Church," on which Tom Waits wails about Jesus in the background. I wish they'd get back together and do an all blues-and-gospel-and-whatever album. They'd kick the entire rock world's ass.

Otherwise, I'd suggest Pleased to Meet Me, which despite being knocked by some at the time, is plenty loud and nasty.
posted by raysmj at 7:23 PM on January 1, 2005


OK, the Arcade Fire verdict: I am officially getting old. I can’t stomach indie rock anymore. This album had the effect of making me understand exactly why my mum got antsy and irritated when I put on music as a teenager. :(
posted by dydecker at 7:35 PM on January 1, 2005


I bought 3 Replacements CDs based on jonmc's raving about them, and ended up selling 2 of them back (Tim and Let It Be). I kept Don't Tell a Soul

Wow. I find this statement utterly shocking. Is it that modern ears just don't get 80s/lo-fi production values? There's no question that Don't Tell a Soul is a very appealing and slickly produced album, but Tim and Let It Be are touchstones, with phenomenal songwriting on them. I am not criticising your taste or sensibility, but having worshipped the Replacements as a kid going to college in the midwest in the mid 80s, I find it incredible that you would prefer DTAS over those other two gems.

Old fogey that I am, "Kiss me on the Bus", "Bastards of Young", "Here comes a Regular" and "I will dare" are still on most of the party mixes I make up for friends. As much as "Talent Show" and "Achin' to Be" are pleasant enough listens, they just don't have the depth and gravity.
posted by psmealey at 7:35 PM on January 1, 2005


Jonmc- if what moves you most was happening in 1966, check out the Reigning Sound's "Too Much Guitar". This ain't the White Stripes- they capture something about sixties music that no one has in a long time. And I like the White Stripes.

I think I'm the only person on earth who though the Casual Dots debut was flawless. But I found it the most likable record of the year.

The rest of mine are on dustedmagazine.com (dig around, there's a lot of other fine lists there.) Seems like the consensus of Dusted was the Joanna Newsom. I haven't heard the whole record, but I'm in the "pro" camp on her voice.
posted by bendybendy at 7:38 PM on January 1, 2005


No offense, but why is everybody jumping on Wilco now? It seams like they're just making up for missing the boat from 8 or so years ago. Cause really, what a huge let down.

I too liked William Shatner's album quite a bit, but owe a lot of it to the phenomenal production.

Then again, as long as the Lincoln Park park/Jay z mash up doesn't make anybody's top ten list, I can sleep well at night. Or should that be Linkin Park, I can't remember how teenage angst causes you to misspell words.

By the way, I'm the only opinion that matters.
posted by bigdave at 7:38 PM on January 1, 2005


Man, this is where iTunes' Smart Playlist feature really kicks ass (show me rating > 3 && year == 2004). In no particular order...

The Arcade Fire - Funeral - so good and apparently they rock live - still waiting for them to come back to Seattle.

The Bad Plus - Give - These guys smoke.

DJ Danger Mouse - The Grey Album - I'm not a Jay-Z fan really, but this one kept getting played.

Interpol - Antics - Just solid rock and roll.

Wilco - A Ghost is Born - tracks like Theologians and Handshake Drugs really shine through the pretenstion of 8 minutes of feedback.

Brother Ali - Champion EP - how could you not like a mixed race albino rapper from Minnesota? Also, he's really damn good - part of the Rhymesayers crew.

Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News - this album was on repeat for most of the summer. So. Good. Seriously, there's not a bad track.

Madvillain - Madvillainy - I'm glad knowing that there's still an avant garde rapper in the world. Still haven't picked up MF Doom's Mmmm...Food

Bjork - Medulla - this album is personal and so gorgeous. Probably my favorite of the year.

Kanye West - The College Dropout - hope for mainstream hip hop - believe the hype. Jesus Walks is nothing short of amazing.

Zero 7 - When It Falls - When it comes to chill electronica, I don't understand what all the hype surrounding Air. These guys are the real deal.

Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People - only Dan Nakamura and Prince Paul could tear down Wu-Tang then get RZA on one of the tracks. The track with Cat Power is gorgeous.
posted by jimray at 7:41 PM on January 1, 2005


the two saddest days of my life

1. the day steve bartman ruined it for the cubs two years ago

2. the day the replacements released Dont Tell A Soul, cuz i knew it was over for my favorite band

what psmealey said
plus "if only you were lonely" "fuck school" and "i hate music"

+ + + +

2004

loretta lynn
sonic youth
morrissey
eminem
kayne west
prince
tom waits
brian wilson
bad religion
the donnas
nirvana
posted by tsarfan at 7:47 PM on January 1, 2005


Converge's You Fail Me belongs at the top of the list, and nothing else matters.
Especially not re-hashed garbage like Franz Ferdinand. Seriously, how can something we've all heard so many times before suddenly be the best of 2004? If Franz Ferdinand were a link and it got posted here we'd all be screaming "double, triple, quadruple, ad nausem post" before matt could delete it.
posted by baphomet at 7:53 PM on January 1, 2005


Some that I believe have not been mentioned yet:

Architecture in Helsinki: Fingers Crossed. Utterly sweet Australian indie rock to please your inner child.

Blonde Redhead: Misery Is a Butterfly. It might be nonsense, but at least it's beautiful nonsense.

Electrelane: The Power Out. Girls doing sleek, retro-tinted rock with Teutonic intensity is surprisingly sexy.

Gravenhurst: Flashlight Seasons. Quietly reaches around your throat and squeezes. Stacks nicely beside your Nick Drake, James Yorkston and Damien Rice records.

Mouse on Mars: Radical Connector. Mouse goes Air/Röyksopp; not their best record, but certainly their most poppy.

Styrofoam: Nothing's Lost. Ben "Postal Service" Gibbard and Andrew "American Analog Set" Kenney contributes on shiny, catchy Belgian indie electronica/pop gems.

Tegan & Sara: So Jealous. Strutty chick rock.

The Elected: Me First. Beautifully produced navelgazing alt-country from the Rilo Kiley guitarist, with electronic flourishes by the Postal Service's Dntel.

The Standard: Wire Post to Wire. A bit like The Dismemberment Plan without the irony, or Clinic without the wind instruments and self-repetition.

The Walkmen: Bows + Arrows. Someone took Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and installed Shane McGowan on vocals. Sounds like it, at least.

Tilly & The Wall: Wild Like Children. Jangly, charming Belle & Sebastian the American way.

And I have to second the recommendation for The Concretes. Take Mazzy Star and add a dose of Saturday Looks Good to Me's 1950/60s-pop sensibilities, a pinch of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's quieter moments, add a chamber orchestra and a subtle brass section, and you have something approaching this beautiful album.
posted by gentle at 7:53 PM on January 1, 2005


I thought 2004 was a good year, but was terrible for electronic and hip hop.

As usual, good electronic music is a matter of what you find. It was a less impressive year for established acts, but a wonderful and hopeful year for new artists and labels; especially after last year's sloppy electroclash and pop electro fads, which were basically rehashes of early 80s new-wave.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:55 PM on January 1, 2005


Madvillain - Madvillainy - I'm glad knowing that there's still an avant garde rapper in the world. Still haven't picked up MF Doom's Mmmm...Food

It's good for what it is, but doesn't hold a candle to Madvillainy. Track down a copy of King Geedorah's (yet another of Doom's aliases) Take Me to Your Leader instead, if you haven't already. "No Snakes Alive" is a particularly brilliant track.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:57 PM on January 1, 2005


Also, does anyone read Rolling Stone any more for, you know, music? They seem to be a lot more interested in selling copies on the stands with pictorials of Britney Spears than having anything interesting to say about music. Even Pitchfork, with all their pretension, writes interesting (controversial?) music reviews.
posted by jimray at 7:57 PM on January 1, 2005


One other thing... I HAVE to inject another band of my era (starting to feel like I'm the oldest person on the thread by about 10 years) into this conversation:

Mission of Burma's ONoffON was definitely near the top of all the albums that were released in 2004. Just a phenomenal set, and rivals anything they've done since Vs.
posted by psmealey at 7:59 PM on January 1, 2005


Also, does anyone read Rolling Stone any more for, you know, music?

Uh, no. Revoltingly bad writing. It's amazing they can even get away with it.
posted by codeofconduct at 8:07 PM on January 1, 2005


I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Of Montreal's new album Satanic Panic in the Attic. I have mp3 samples of their album on my website, if anyone's interested.
posted by Frankieist at 8:12 PM on January 1, 2005


Gee, this sounds like something better suited for Askmetafilter... in fact if you include askmefi this would be a doublepost (almost, or at least a double thread). Just cause so many people reply to it does not make a great FPP.

AS well, I am kinda of a music nerd, and hate best-of lists.

Someone mentioned the music industry and fragmentation... I'll go one step further and suggest that the current state of music is very healthy, just not so on a big label scale. There is so much F'ing music nowadays its great. I'm in Duluth MN, and can go out ANY night of the week and hear live (non-cover) music, screw the major labels, they have reaped what they've sown.
posted by edgeways at 8:21 PM on January 1, 2005


I bought "Tim" because "Bastards of Young" was featured on "Beavis and Butthead". (Can you guess my exact age from that information?) It's still one of my favorite albums. Sadly, the only 2004 album I bought was Modest Mouse's "Good News," which I thought was their weakest album yet.

Poor Steve Bartman. He can't find peace, even in a thread about music.
posted by goatdog at 8:27 PM on January 1, 2005


Just cause so many people reply to it does not make a great FPP.

Shit, I was just about to get all effusive on your asses about what a great motherfucking FPP this was, when we were all served this sobering reminder. Thanks, edgeways. We owe you one.
posted by psmealey at 8:30 PM on January 1, 2005


Jonmc- if what moves you most was happening in 1966, check out the Reigning Sound's "Too Much Guitar". This ain't the White Stripes- they capture something about sixties music that no one has in a long time. And I like the White Stripes

Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

As far as the 'Mats go, I'm just curious about what he found lacking in Tim and Let It Be. DTAS is an inferior record, even though "Achin' To Be" is among my favorite Mats songs, mainly because it reminds me of someone.


No offense, but why is everybody jumping on Wilco now?

Well, I thought Being There was great, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot had it's moments to be sure, but Summerteeth and the new album lacked a certain...momentum and sense of dynamics that's most appealing to me. I think the last album by "new" artists that grabbed me were efforts by Guided By Voices and The Bell Rays and I guess both those bands owe a lot to older sounds. My distaste for a lot of new stuff is not political, as I fully support the idea of independent music, and it's not just to be a prick. It's aesthetic, I just find the direction rock is going in to be lacking, for me anyway.
posted by jonmc at 9:13 PM on January 1, 2005


Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
m-flo Astromantic
United State of Electronica USE
Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Minuit The 88
Love Psychedelico III
Metric Old World Underground
Rilo Kiley More Adventurous
The Killers Hot Fuss
The Magnetic Fields i
The Divorce There Will Be Blood Tonight

(No real order, and even though Minuit and The Divorce released their cds last year, I'm going to include them anyway. So there.)
posted by emmling at 9:23 PM on January 1, 2005


My favorites of '04... No particular order...

1. !!! [louden up now]
2. Moodymann [black mohogani]
3. Kanye West [the college dropout]
4. Miss Kitten [i com]
5. Dillenger Escape Plan [miss machine]
posted by j-urb at 10:05 PM on January 1, 2005


Here are my picks from the first time somebody asked this question. And some I managed to forget that time:

Madeleine Peyroux/William Galison - Got You on My Mind (Careless Love, too, while I'm at it, but GYoMM is much better)
Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People
DJ Nuts - Cultura Copia
Various - Afro Baby: The Evolution of the Afro-Sound in Nigeria 1970-79
posted by box at 10:11 PM on January 1, 2005


Off the top of my head:

The Arcade Fire - Funeral
Bjork - Medulla
PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
Feist - Let it Die

And I liked Misery is a Butterfly too, as well as The Libertines' The Libertines (before it all turned into the Pete Doherty death watch), The Decembrists, Low's A Lifetime of Temporary Relief (just on general principle), Le Tigre's This Island, and any of the Pixies' live recordings this year (I'll say Coachella, as I was there).
posted by jokeefe at 11:26 PM on January 1, 2005


Kanye West
Twista
The Streets
Killers
Polyphonic Spree
Bjork (Dokaka is on it, yay!)
posted by First Post at 12:10 AM on January 2, 2005


Can we talk about Sung Tongs a little bit? I find that album to be incredibly moving; Pitchfork's review of it explains its brilliance pretty well. Panda Bear's Young Prayer was pretty good too.

The new Interpol album is great, but I find that I'm just not as interested in it as their last one. It doesn't move me like alot of the other albums that have come out this year, including Good News, Nino Rojo, and The Milk-Eyed Mender. I see this "freak-folk" scene that those last two are sort of moving forward as becoming very obnoxious in the next few years.

But enough of that, Sung Tongs is real brilliant, isn't it?
posted by deafmute at 12:27 AM on January 2, 2005


deafmute: I gotta agree. There was something amazing about Turn on the Bright Lights - you could tell the band had spent most of the last four years slowly piecing it together. I'm not the Pitchfork fanboy I used to be, but whoever wrote up the review for that album nailed it when they said most bands don't sound that mature until after a few releases.

Antics was simply not as good. The album just felt like whatever magic had gone into the making of Turn on the Bright Lights had been left out of the recipe altogether this time.

I should clarify my above statement regarding The Arcade Fire's Funeral not deserving album of the year. Many people I know and whose opinions and taste I respect firmly believe it does. Perhaps they are right, but I simply can't get into half the tracks on the album. The first two and last two tracks are mandatory listening, to be sure, but I find myself unmoved by anything inbetween.
posted by Ryvar at 12:43 AM on January 2, 2005


In no order, and ranging from good to great:

The Walkmen, Bows & Arrows
Dosh, Pure Trash
Daedelus, Of Snowdonia
Skinny Puppy, The Greater Wrong of the Right (probably their least impressive album ever, but still good, especially after having seen them perform the new songs)
The Organ, Grab That Gun
Telefon Tel Aviv, Map Of What Is Effortless
M83, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
The Creatures, Hai!
Uncut, Those Who Were Hung Hang Here
The Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat (I wish I had a bootleg copy of the bizarre frenetic medley I saw them do live)
Elliott Smith, From A Basement On The Hill
posted by dreish at 1:24 AM on January 2, 2005


It's really not a band for most people, but I really like Jane Doe and You Fail Me by Converge. I've found myself less interested in heavy music this year, but they are my glaring, blistery exception. With Jane Doe, I was kind of indifferent until I googled the lyrics and deciphered the otherwise-meaningless vocals. "Eloquent" might be a malapropism for a singer that sings like Jacob Bannon, but I haven't found a band that plays music this loud with lyrics this good. I was going through a terrible breakup, and I'm sure that had plenty to do with it, but it just clicked for me. You Fail Me is the 2004 release. It's different, great, and maybe a bit more accessible. You can actually follow the (albeit still-necessary) lyric sheet this time, from "I need you to be the strength of widows and sole survivors" to "Hanging moon, be my light in this world of darkness."

I like these albums for very personal reasons, I guess, but I think liking them at all despite gravitating away from hardcore makes them noteworthy for anyone who can stomach the genre... Also, much love to Crimes by The Blood Brothers, the other remnant of my heavier days for similar reasons. I can't stand this generic, uncreative, cookie-cutter fashioncore shit, and these two were standouts to me. Something about the idea of very intelligent heavy music appeals to me. Isis' Panopticon apparently pulls heavily from Foucault. Mastodon's Leviathan is a Moby Dick concept album. I haven't managed to explore this trend too much, but I'm hoping I can soon.

Another nod towards Shatner's Has Been. I know it's the hipster thing to do these days to like retro, ironic things, but that's not why I like the album. Uneven? Sure. Gimmicky? I guess. But listen to "What Have You Done?" and tell me that Shatner's a joke and that Funeral was the only album about loss this year. I dare you.

Speaking of The Arcade Fire, I like them. I heard the CD at my college station before there was really any buzz, so I'm pretty confident in my inital assertion that they were one of the stronger releases of the year. That said, I think they've been talked up a bit by the pitchfork machine. If you look at the individual writers' lists on their top 50 list, you can see what I mean. There are 25 writers, the Arcade Fire breaks into the top 50 only fifteen times, and into the top 10 only six times. Maybe it's a visible example of the ever-lampooned hipster trait of "can't like it if it's cool!" but, maybe it's not that meta.

I'm ranting, so I'll wind this up. I'd like to see more love for The Magnetic Fields, Múm, M83, and The Decemberists. As usual I've still got plenty of albums to check out from this year, so I couldn't pin down a stable ranked list or a replacement for Album of the Year if you asked me to. Love the discussion here, though.
posted by rfordh at 2:24 AM on January 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


People still listen to whole albums? Without deleting the boring songs? How quaint.
posted by dydecker at 7:09 PM CST on January 1


actually, yes. i prefer to buy albums and not just singles with filler. the first thing i do when i buy a new disc is i play it all the way through. my hope is that the artist made a complete thought, as is certainly the case with one of my favorites this year, elvis costello's the delivery man.

also, and i know this technically came out dec 16th, 2003, but the soundtrack for wicked is just fantastic. idina menzel and kristin chenoweth are simply perfect.

on preview, i'll throw another one up for shatner. having ben a ben folds fan for some time, i don't think the match could have been more perfect. and rfordh, i'm right there with you on the decemberists. caught them with the long winters in nashville this summer. simply amazing.

i know they didn't release an album this year, but the mountain goats? very high on my list.
posted by Igor XA at 2:34 AM on January 2, 2005


Ugh, I'm tragically unhip. I think the last "new" album I bought was Shiner's "The Egg". Then maybe Rush's "Vapor Trails", but I don't think that counts, because I've been a fan for 25 years and probably would have bought steaming, shrink-wrapped poo. I think I've given up on new music. It's either too overproduced and fake or too indie and pretentious. It's likely just that I'm getting old, but I can't get behind that.

I'm turning into one of those obnoxious LP collectors. Maybe I should release my list of Top Ten vintage LPs I dug up this year.
posted by Eideteker at 3:06 AM on January 2, 2005


In no particular order:

Wilco: A Ghost Is Born
Mindy Smith: One Moment More
22-20s: 22-20s
The Divine Comedy: Absent Friends
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds: Lyre Of Orpheus/Abattoir Blues
Alanis Morissette: So Called Chaos
Sarah McLachlan: Afterglow
Therapy?: Never Apologise, Never Explain
Tom Waits: Real Gone
A Perfect Circle: eMOTIVe
The Wildhearts: Strike Back
Rufus Wainwright: Want Two
U2: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Secret Machines: Nowhere Is Here

Some of that is deeply unfashionable, but there you go. I think I need to check out The Go Team - they sound impressive. 2004 was a pretty good year for music, and 2005 looks like it's starting off well with new albums by Maximilian Hecker, Mercury Rev and Lemon Jelly amongst others. And a new Tori Amos album in Feb - woohoo!
posted by TheDonF at 3:57 AM on January 2, 2005


10. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
09. Lali Puna - Lali Puma
08. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
07. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
06. Magnetic Fields - I
05. Paul Westerberg - Folker
04. Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard
03. Cub Country - Stay Poor/Stay Happy
02. namelessnumberheadman - Your Voice Repeating
01. Hinkley - Frail and Poker Faced

Hinkley gets the nod for number one. This band is absolutely amazing. They are playing at the Luna Lounge on January 27th in NYC. If you live in the area, check them out. I recently plugged them at 75 or less.
posted by jasonspaceman at 6:28 AM on January 2, 2005


deafmute, we've gotta talk about sung tongs.

I don't get the appeal of the Animal Collective at all. Most of the stuff on people's lists seems to make sense to me...

For instance, I went back and re-listened to Arcade Fire, and that stuff is alright... not great, but not too bad. Wilco, Mad Villain... not my thing, but I guess I can understand why people like 'em.

Animal Collective, though... what the heck is the appeal?
posted by ph00dz at 6:34 AM on January 2, 2005


Isis - Panopticon
Fuck-Off Machete - My First Machete (Natasha Noramly of Ganger)
The Turn-Ons
Bloc Party
another nod for Skinny Puppy.

and another "i'm getting old" nod for not understanding the appeal of the Animal Collective or Arcade Fire.
posted by grimley at 8:41 AM on January 2, 2005


I think the last album by "new" artists that grabbed me were efforts by Guided By Voices

Jon, I think I know what you meant by "new" artists, but I chuckled a bit when I saw you reference GBV among them. Some incarnation of GBV as Pollard/Sprout or Pollard/Gillard has been around since 1985. Unfortunately, they just finished up their farewell tour this past December. They have been one of my all time faves for a long, long time... hopefully their retirement won't last too long.
posted by psmealey at 9:55 AM on January 2, 2005


I only got the Animal Collective album yesterday because so many people were enthusiastic about it. Having listened to it once, I like it. It's weird, but pretty.

Blueberry Boat, though...I've tried to listen to it a few times and I always end up turning it off because it's so annoying.
posted by myeviltwin at 12:23 PM on January 2, 2005


i also mostly jammed re-releases an old stuff - the crooked rain release,
the cambodia rocks series and the seminal, awesome coctails popcorn box set.

also, i found it fun to check out and digitize cd's from the library - so i've been jamming lots of leadbelly, jimmie rogers, civil war songs and german beer drinking songs.
posted by alfredogarcia at 1:30 PM on January 2, 2005


Igor XA, the Mountain Goats released the amazing We Shall All Be Healed in February 2004--definitely a highlight of the year in music. The rocked-up, revelatory version of "Palmcorder Yajna"that Darnielle did with John Vanderslice's band at the Knitting Factory was one of the best things I've ever seen happen at a concert.
posted by escabeche at 1:32 PM on January 2, 2005


This year was characterized for me by albums I got really excited about, played a bunch of times, got sick of and never needed to dig out again. Most of the albums mentioned in this thread can be included. I like the variety, I enjoy catching indie rock on the radio (!!??!!), but I doubt anything from this year will end up on permanent rotation. The only exceptions might possibly be PJ Harvey's Uh Huh Her (I rediscovered her after losing track of her for a few years and I've been really happy with this album) and TV On The Radio's Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes.
posted by cali at 2:17 PM on January 2, 2005


Guns N' Roses's long-awaited Chinese Democracy album was the best LP of 2014.
posted by inksyndicate at 2:35 PM on January 2, 2005


I totally agree about the Shatner album--it's amazing.

Please add it to my list, along with Lil Jon's "Crunk Juice".
posted by First Post at 3:30 PM on January 2, 2005


i really liked Autolux's 'Future Perfect.' kinda reminds me of Sonic Youth and Lush...not bad density for a three-piece.
posted by NationalKato at 4:31 PM on January 2, 2005


Blonde Redhead - Misery is a Butterfly has got to be number one on my list for this year. Couldn't stop spinning it.

Two albums that I had high expectations for, felt indifferent toward, then loved:
M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
RJD2 - Since We Last Spoke

(lots of numbers there)
posted by natedogg at 4:50 PM on January 2, 2005


I'm sorry I'm getting ripped here, but honestly the Replacements just didn't do it for me. I know all about lofi production, as I followed punk/new wave when I was in college in the late 70's - the Flamin' Groovies Teanage Head is a good lofi example that I like. The Replacements just didn't have enough hooks for me, and from all I had heard here I was expecting something truly great. I actually thought the Raspberries (don't laugh too hard !) did it better. It's probably a generational thing. I actually stopped listening to rock in the mid 80's and didn't start listening again until WDBM had started up (college indie radio station in East Lansing, MI). The only reason I kept Don't Tell a Soul is I'll Be You, which is a truly great song.
posted by rfs at 5:05 PM on January 2, 2005


I'm late to the party, but here are some of my favorites in no particular order:

The Secret Machines - Nowhere is Now Here
Tom Waits - Real Gone
Madvillian - Madvilliany
Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
The Hold Steady - Almost Killed Me
The Bad Plus - Give
Modest Mouse - Good News for People who Love Bad News
Tortoise - It's All Around You (it got bad reviews, but I absolutely loved it)
posted by greasy_skillet at 5:14 PM on January 2, 2005


I actually thought the Raspberries (don't laugh too hard !) did it better

Dude, I Love the Raspberries. I think "Overnight Sensation" may be one of the perfect pop/rock songs. So, I'm not rippin' on ya, honest. I was more curious than anything else.

The impact of the Mats on me and others may have a lot to do with the time we heard them as well as the music it self. the mid 80's were kind of a rough time for people who liked unapologetic and emotional rock of the Stones/Stooges vein, so they really stood out, and were an incredible breath of fresh air. And "I'll be You" is great, but so's "Bastards Of Young" and "Waitress In The Sky." ;)
posted by jonmc at 7:22 PM on January 2, 2005


I love these year end lists cause it lets me see what everyone else is raving about. Tiny Mix Tapes has thier top 25 listed, and after checking out the Arcade Fire (thier #1 pick) a few days ago I've already made my mind to drive 3 hours to see them in DC the end of this month. I've also been listening to everything else I've found on these lists that I can pull off of Kaaza.

Devendra Barnhart is pretty good, although I've only been able to come across a few of his songs, he does seem to fill part of the space left by Jeff Buckley.

I've recently fallen in love with William & Mary's radio station as a great alternative to the garbage on commercial radio.
Some of my favorites that I've discovered this year:

The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium (Inertiatic hits like a ton of bricks and doesn't stop.)
Brand New - Deja Entendu
Muse - Absolution
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
Damien Rice (check out the Volcano video on Winamp's video on demand.)
Particle - Launchpad

Most of these are from 2003 but I was first exposed to them in '04.
posted by daHIFI at 7:51 PM on January 2, 2005


The Mars Volta should not be missed live. Awesome squared.
posted by rfordh at 8:00 PM on January 2, 2005


Albums that are sure to appear in my top 15 list when I sit down to write it up:

- Incubus, A Crow Left of the Murder
- Piebald, All Ears, All Eyes, All the Time
- Head Automatica, Decadence
- Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous
- Franz Ferdinand, self-titled
- Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me
- The Get Up Kids, Guilt Show
- A.C. Newman, The Slow Wonder


I represent Mr. Newman, and he'd like to inform you that he wants desperately off your list. Also, he will be punching the Get Up Kids in the nuts on his way out, before yelling "I'll give you pussies something to cry about." He'll take Franz Ferdinand with him if they play their cards right.

Also, I second Architecture in Helsinki for most underrated pop awesomeness of the year, and add to them Camera Obscura.
posted by drpynchon at 8:21 PM on January 2, 2005


The impact of the Mats on me and others may have a lot to do with the time we heard them as well as the music it self.

Amen. The Mats were actually the first band (Husker Du followed shortly thereafter... which became nearer to my heart) that I was old enough to see live while they were still relatively undiscovered. I saw them at the Metro in Chicago when I was a freshman in college in 1985, and made quite an impression on me. I had grown up in the suburbs listening to the same awful rock that everyone else did (Foreigner, Journey, Styx and other bloated bands of that era), and I didn't know that music could be a loose, earnest and raw as that. It changed my life forever.
posted by psmealey at 6:20 AM on January 3, 2005


>m-flo Astromantic
>...
>Love Psychedelico III
>posted by emmling at 11:23 PM CST on January 1

Wow. My jaw dropped when I saw this. I skimmed through this thread wondering how many non-Western artists would pop up on people's lists. And Astromantic made it on my personal Top 15, as well. (Delico, not so much.)

I may as well give a shout-out to other bands from Japan -- my favorite best list 2004:

Sasagawa Miwa, Jijitsu
Art-School, Love/Hate
Supercar, Answer
Quruli, Antenna
Kicell, Mado ni Chikyuu
Zazen Boys, Zazen Boys II
Fuji Fabric, Fuji Fabric
posted by NemesisVex at 7:22 AM on January 3, 2005


Holy Fuck, I missed a Supercar release?!

I'll have to check it out at Tsutaya once all the New Year stuff is finished up. Thanks for the notice, NemesisVex!
posted by emmling at 10:34 AM on January 3, 2005


damn, late to the party again. well anyway, here's my list:


1. Styrofoam - Nothing's Lost
2. Khonnor - Handwriting
3. Phoenix - Alphabetical
4. TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
5. V/A - The Golden Apples Of The Sun
6. The Walkmen - Bows And Arrows
7. Stina Nordenstam - The World Is Saved
8. Silverbullit - Arclight
9. Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
10. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
11. Ambulance Ltd. - S/T
12. The Delgados - Universal Audio
13. Adem - Homesongs
14. Pinback - Summer In Abaddon
15. Hans Appelqvist - Bremort
16. M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
17. Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
18. CocoRosie - La Maison de Mon Reve
19. David Cross - It's Not Funny
20. Graham Coxon - Happiness In Magazines
posted by mr.marx at 12:12 PM on January 3, 2005


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