Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Albums of 2004

At the risk of being self-indulgent, I thought I would start using this blog by archiving my picks for best records of previous years. My archives only go as far back as 2004, so if you have any of my old e-mails send them my way so that I can post them.

Also, we're coming to the end of the decade soon, so think of this as a sneak preview of my inevitable "best of the 00's" list.

I've removed anything too personal from the list, but for the most part, the comments are unexpurgated:

Now that you're caught up, here are my top albums. Go out and buy them immediately.

1. Hot Fuss by The Killers: This is goodtime bombastic rock music that’s been tempered by the influence of 80s New Romantic and New Wave Brit bands, particularly The Cure, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode.

2. A Grand Don’t Come For Free by The Streets: It ain’t a rock opera, but in the iPod-era of shuffling tunes, The Streets dared to create an album that told the compelling tale of a hapless slacker living in London.

3. Good News for People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse: The success of “Float On” was a triumph for Modest Mouse in the same way that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was for Nirvana: a bona fide pop song that did not compromise the artistic concerns of a band living on the outer edges of pop culture.

4. Heroes To Zeros by The Beta Band: Another great experimental-pop band has passed into the annals of history: upon the release of Heroes To Zeros, Beta Band announced their dissolution. At least they’re going out on a career high.

5. Hopes and Fears by Keane: Since Chris Martin (of Coldplay) was too busy with Apple this year, the mantle of “sensitive Britpop band” had to fall upon the shoulders of Keane, Britain’s latest hyped-up saviours of pop music. The pounding piano chords of “Somewhere Only We Know” will probably end up as the theme song to a Jennifer Garner romantic comedy someday soon, so iconic sounding are the opening chords to this song. Still, it’s good pop-rock for people who are still too cool/young for Norah Jones but too old for Sum 41/Billy Talent.

6. American Idiot by Green Day: I finally gave in to this one; glad I did too because it’s as epic, raucous and timeless as Who’s Next and London Calling.

7. The College Dropout by Kanye West: Is Kanye the man who saved hip-hop? For me he is, eschewing the simplistic electro stylings of The Neptunes for wall-of-sound old skool sampling.

8. Talkie Walkie by Air: Electronica artists are either running out of ideas or music fans are just fickle; even if you agree with the former, Air produced a pretty, bubbly album of cool grooves that won’t put you to sleep.

9. Kasabian by Kasabian: Perhaps this is an album that doesn’t deserve to be in the top ten of 2004, but it deserves to be highlighted. Many bands try to live up to the legacy of dance-rock music carved by The Stone Roses a decade and a half ago, but none are as hard-hitting and groovy as Kasabian. Special thanks to JK for pointing me towards this album.

10. Antics by Interpol: Dark, post-punk, Joy Division-ish—Interpol makes clean, alienated alt-rock for the OC inside you (that sentence doesn’t make much sense and sounds more like an innocuous Spin Magazine sound bite; apologies, but I’m tired of writing and couldn’t think of anything clever—though I promise that the innocuous sound bite is my own and not lifted).

Hmm, don't know if I stand by all the pics on this list. I'd probably go with The Streets as my favourite if I was choosing now.

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