Archive for December, 2004

December 31, 2004

My Top 10 albums of 2004

10: Bjork – Medulla
I think this album elevated Bjork to an artist outside of the typical musical realm. She did a entire album with only vocals, and made sound like Bjork, only with vocals. She proved that instruments at this point are truly meaningless if you have the right amount of genius and creativity. Here experimentation with music makes her no longer just a musician. She is an artist in the painter/sculptor/writer sense of the word.
9. The Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat
Another album that demonstrates music as art, not just something to listen to. This album plays like a book. Each song is a story. And, that is a cliche thing to say in music, but if you heard this CD you’d know what I truly mean. People gushed over that new Green Day album because Green Day decided to do a couple multi-part songs. The Fiery Furnaces created a whole album of multi-part songs. And, when you listen, you hear in the structure and in the lyrics this album is more like a music book. I think the first song has about 10 parts to it. And, I have such respect for this group because they obviously could give a shit about album sales. They just care about their art.
8. The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
I love this group to death. They feed my urge for music that rawks, pure and simple. Listen to “Been Swank” and try and show me a song that rocks harder. And, you gotta love a rock group that is 2 guys and 2 girls, and I love the songs with the male-female vocal interplay. Great lyrics too.
7. !!! – Louden Up Now
This album definitely lived up to the promise of “Me & Giuliani Down By The School Yard”. They have a truly unique sound, even if admittedly they are in the punk funk vein. They kick the shit out of Franz Ferdinand. This album would be on my list for “Pardon My Freedom” alone. It’s rare you hear such glee in music. They’re fun, and you can dance to it.
6. UNKLE – Never, Never, Land
Electronic dance music is pretty much on haitus right now. James Lavelle is one of the only people to both still create and DJ dance music that still sounds new and interesting. It’s a really beautiful, moving album. It’s rare dance music can pull at my heart strings like the song “In A State” does. And, who would think Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age would sing on a dance album? He fits in perfectly with the darkness that this album is engulfed in. Easily better than UNKLE’s first album. More coherant.
5. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
I disregarded them because it seemed like a novelty act to me. But, I heard the single Take Your Mama, and I was amazed because it is pure Elton John… good Elton John. So, I gave in, and bought the album. The song writing is extraordinary. They sound like the Bee Gees, Elton John, all of that, but not like a rip off. They sound like a cohesive group though, and that is due to the songwriting. It rises them above their obvious influences. The dance songs are fun, but what amazes me is the couple ballads are not annoying or cheesy. The songwriting on the ballads is just as strong. This CD is just good music, plain and simple.
4. Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
I get off on two member bands. This band is a bassist and a drummer. I just love the sound they have. Angry metal with a bit of funk thrown. It’s catchy and fun and makes me wanna play air bass and dance around.
3. Arcade Fire – Funeral
I bought this album because the publications gushed over it oh so much. Pitchforkmedia.com made it their album of the year. It almost pisses me off when I find an album like that is truly that good. I think this album has the most modern sound in music right now. It really somehow encompasses everything that is going on. The artistry, songwriting, scope of insrtumentation, and vision are all there.
2. Interpol – Antics
Their first album had one shade, black. This album’s ten songs are so colorful and varied. it almost really is like a new group. I saw them live, and the songs are just so good! With songwriting like this after only two albums, they could really have an amazing career. I do believe their singer has one of the best voices in music. It’s unique and strong.
1. Blanche – If You Can’t Trust The Doctors…
I think you can see a pattern for me. I love good songwriting. Interesting, varied, unique songs. This album is one of the best albums I have ever heard. It’s certainly the best country album I have ever heard. No group’s debut album should sound this good. It’s all there. The writing, playing ability, instrumentation, lyrics, singing. All perfect in my ears. The lyrics especially.

Honorable Mention: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
Where the true heir to Madonna’s pop throne is revealed. This is the music snob’s guilty pleasure. Best pure pop album I have heard in a long time, maybe since the Spice Girls’ first album. And wow, does “Rich Girl” show Dr. Dre still has it.