What were your favorite albums of 2004?
December 6, 2004 6:21 AM   Subscribe

What were your favorite albums of 2004? The critics will be releasing their lists soon and I'm curious what Metafilter liked.

I'll start things off

1. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
2. Jim Guthrie - Now, More Than Ever
3. Adem - Homesongs

Honorable Mentions
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Joanna Newsom - Milk-Eyed Mender
Ratatat - Ratatat
Goodbye, Babylon
posted by driveler to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (84 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Collective Soul - Youth and um I guess INXS2: The Remixes. There really wasn't much that I liked this year, I guess the Garden State soundtrack was nice.
posted by riffola at 6:40 AM on December 6, 2004

Hot Snakes - Audit in Progress
Mastodon - Leviathan

It did seem like a slow year, or perhaps it's just the morning talking.
posted by safetyfork at 6:45 AM on December 6, 2004

(also availble on my blog www.softlord.com)

(in no particular order)

1. Garden State OST (Epic)
2. Ari Hest - Someone To Tell (Columbia/RED)
3. The Killers - Hot Fuss (Island)
4. Tears for Fears - Everybody Loves A Happy Ending (Universal)
5. Ambulance LTD - Ambulance LTD (TVT Records)
6. Angela McCluskey - The Things We Do (Manhattan Records)
7. Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour (Rough Trade)
8. Keane - Hopes And Fears (Island UK)
9. The Bees - Free The Bees (Virgin UK)

I was very dissapointed by The Arcade Fire after all the buildup... Found it nice but not amazing

Possible #10s:
The Stands - All Years Leaving (WEA International)
The Finn Brothers - Everyone Is Here (Nettwerk)
VHS Or Beta - Night on Fire (Astralwerks)
DJ Tiesto - Just Be (Nettwerk)
Your suggestions based on the first 9 more than welcome

Would almost certainly make the list if they'd released an album this year:
Ascii Disko
Daniel Bedingfield
Audio Bullys

Pop remix of the year: Sarah Mclachlah - World on Fire (Junkie XL mix)
posted by softlord at 6:49 AM on December 6, 2004

DJ Danger Mouse's Gray Album. It's really held up well over the course of the year. I'm surprised.
posted by waldo at 6:57 AM on December 6, 2004

Having never thought the DJ Dangermouse or copycat remixes were remotely interesting, I'd have to say that the studio CD of Linkin Park / Jay Z's Collision Course is the best I've ever liked either.

I dig say half the tracks on Rilo Kiley's new album and The Postal Service.

I'd say Rachel Yamagata's Happenstance is a solid album.
posted by Stan Chin at 6:58 AM on December 6, 2004

Wilco's A Ghost Is Born was disappointing at first, but has grown on me quite a big over the months. Now I think it's great, although I still hit skip at the ten minutes of amp noise.
posted by COBRA! at 7:01 AM on December 6, 2004

Oh, and according to my iTunes, Josh Kelley's For the Ride Home is the album I listened to the most this year. Go figure. If you're into the whole male singer/songwriter thing, I'd heartily suggest you give a listen.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:04 AM on December 6, 2004

1. Rheostatics - 2067
2. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Like Bad News
3. Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
4. Lambchop - Aw C'mon / No, You C'mon
5. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
6. Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
7. William Shatner - Has Been
8. Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue
9. Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
10. Athlete - Vehicles and Animals
11. Magnetic Fields - I

Honourable mentions:
- Arcade Fire - Funeral
- Hayden - Elk Lake Serenade
- Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One is One
- Wilco - A Ghost is Born
- Graham Coxon - Happiness in Magazines
- TMBG - The Spinr
- Ratatat - Ratatat
- Two-Minute Miracles - The Silence of Animals
- The Go! Team - The Power is On!
- Team America World Police Soundtrack
posted by Robot Johnny at 7:06 AM on December 6, 2004

It was a slim year, or maybe the best releases were just delayed to now. But here is what I've heard so far ...

Saul Williams (s/t)
George Michael - Patience
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Garden State OST
The Killers - Hot Fuss

I just picked it up on Saturday, but only 2/3 through ... I'll say that Rufus Wainwright's Want Two is deserving as well.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:06 AM on December 6, 2004

Alphabetical, not preferential, order:

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come Free
The Kleptones - A Night At The Hip-Hopera
The Prodigy - Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
m-flo - Astromantic and the remixed Astromantic Charm School
Katamari Damacy OST
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists- Shake The Sheets
65daysofstatic - The Fall Of Math
They Might Be Giants - The Spine
The Kleptones - Yoshimi Battles The Hip Hop Robots

I'd say it's been a pretty damn good year for music. Besides the above, there were also great releases from They Might Be Giants, Utada Hikaru, Orbital, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Bjork, and Green Day. Certainly one of the more memorable years for music.
posted by Remy at 7:18 AM on December 6, 2004

Here is my much thought out top 10

1. SMiLE
2. Funeral
3. Anniemal
4. Joanna Newsom - Milk Eyed Mender
5. Devendra Banhart - Both albums + the Golden Apples Comp
6. Morrissey's
7. Madvillianny
8. The College Dropout
9. GBV's Halfsmiles of the Decomposed
10. DFA 1979
posted by Quartermass at 7:19 AM on December 6, 2004

Rainer Maria - Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows)
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Dollar Canon - Good Morning Detective (they offer the entire album for free here)
La Pieta - Unreleased EP (Two Free MP3s)

these are all quality acts. as usual, support independent music...
posted by lotsofno at 7:19 AM on December 6, 2004

The Fiery Furnaces-Blueberry Boat
And another vote for Smile.

Mostly been listening to older stuff this year, so that's about all I know. RTX's Transmaniacon gets my "I'm disappointed but not surprised" award, but it certainly wouldn't make my best list.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:20 AM on December 6, 2004

The new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds double album Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus is incredible. INCREDIBLE! My favorite album of 2004, for sure. They've more than redeemed themselves for the crappiness of their last album.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:20 AM on December 6, 2004

My Top Five:

1. The Drive By Truckers - The Dirty South
2. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
3. Arcade Fire - Funeral
4. Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Like Bad News
5. The Killers - Hot Fuss
posted by trox at 7:20 AM on December 6, 2004

A lot of my picks are already up here, but here are two that haven't been mentioned yet:

1. Dogs Die in Hot Cars - Please Describe Yourself
2. The Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour
posted by fricative at 7:30 AM on December 6, 2004

Mine, alphabetically:

01 The Hang Ups (s/t)
02 Matt Pond PA / Emblems
03 Carl Newman / The slow wonder
04 Pedro the Lion / Achilles heel
05 Elliott Smith / From a basement on the hill
06 Tahiti 80 / A piece of sunshine
07 Trembling Blue Stars / Southern skies appear brighter EP
08 Wilco / A ghost is born I just set iTunes to stop about 3:00 into "Less than you think".
09 Brian Wilson / Smile
10 James Yorkston & the Athletes / Just beyond the river
posted by Utilitaritron at 7:33 AM on December 6, 2004

My Morning Jacket's "It Still Moves."
posted by tizzie at 7:38 AM on December 6, 2004

No order:

Arcade Fire (both their EP and Funeral)
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Lali Puna - Faking the Books
The Numero Group's releases
Thalia Zedek - Trust not those....
The Dead Texan
McLusky - The Difference between you and me is that I'm not on fire
Joel RL Phelps - Customs (double)
posted by dobbs at 7:44 AM on December 6, 2004

Tony Allen--Live
Antibalas--Who is this America?
DJ Spinna and Bobbito--The Wonder of Stevie (and its sequel, Melody Man)
DJ Spooky/Twilight Circus Dub Sound System--Riddim Clash
Gift of Gab--Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
Platurn--So This is De La Heaven
RJD2--Since We Last Spoke
Secret Frequency Crew--Forest of the Echo Downs
Yesterday's New Quintet--Stevie

Beach Boys--Pet Sounds (DVD-A version)
Bob Dylan--Bootleg Series vol. 6 (first legitimate release)
Lee Perry--Blackboard Jungle Dub (restored)

Video games with good soundtracks:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
XIII (not a good game, though)

Already mentioned:
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Saul Williams
Katamari Damacy
posted by box at 7:46 AM on December 6, 2004

I haven't compiled a list yet, but I can say that Magnetic Fields - i will be at the top.
posted by schustafa at 7:52 AM on December 6, 2004

Madvillain - Madvillainy
Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free

Uh... that's it.
posted by selfnoise at 7:55 AM on December 6, 2004

Blackfield - Blackfield
Marillion - Marbles
posted by salmacis at 8:04 AM on December 6, 2004

Tom Waits - Real Gone
posted by transient at 8:06 AM on December 6, 2004

Here's mine, compiled in early november. It looks different now, but what the hey.

1. Animal Collective: »Sung Tongs«
2. Khonnor: »Handwriting«
3. Hans Appelqvist: »Bremort«
4. Mats Gustafsson / Sonic Youth w/ Friends »Hidros 3«
5. The Loop Orchestra: »Not Overtly Orchestral«
6. Patrik Torsson: »Kolväteserenader«
7. Donna Summer/Jason Forrest: »The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash«
8. Zeena Parkins & Ikue Mori: »Phantom Orchard«
9. Anne Laplantine/Momus: »Summerisle«
10. Black Dice: »Creature Comforts«
11. Pan American: »Quiet City«
12. Beans: »Shock City Maverick«
13. Testbild!: »The Inexplicable Feeling of September«
14. Wolf Eyes: »Burned Mind«
15. Otto von Schirach: »Global Speaker Fisting«
16. David Sandström: »The Dominant Need…«
17. Brent Gutzeit: »Drug Money«
18. Comb & Prosperous: »Two of a Kind«
19. The Dead Texan: »The Dead Texan«
20. Sagor & Swing: »Orgelplaneten«
posted by soundofsuburbia at 8:09 AM on December 6, 2004

Tom Waits, Real Gone
Preacher Boy, Demanding to be Next
Various, The Late Great Daniel Johnston
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:40 AM on December 6, 2004

Nick Cave - 'Abbatoir Blues/the Lyre of Orpheus'
Wilco - 'A Ghost is Born'
Franz Ferdinand - 'Franz Ferdinand'
Half Cousin - 'The Function Room'
McLusky - 'The Difference Between You and Me is That I'm Not On Fire'
The Zutons - 'Who Killed.. The Zutons'
Adem - 'Homesongs'
Mylo - 'Destroy Rock and Roll'
Hope of the States - 'The Lost Riots'
The Futureheads - 'The Futureheads'
The Frames - 'Burn the Maps'
Air - 'Talkie Walkie'

Someone above said it had been a slim year, I totally disagree. There hasn't been much of interest since October, but that just gives me a chance to catch up with all the cool stuff I didn't get around to.
posted by ascullion at 8:46 AM on December 6, 2004

Two albums have stood out for me this year;

Mark Lanegan-Bubblegum
Dimmer-You've got to hear the music
posted by isthisthingon at 8:54 AM on December 6, 2004

In alphabetical order:

Cake: Pressure Chief
Diana Krall: The Girl In The Other Room
Finley Quaye: Much More Than Much Love
Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
Gwen Stefani: Love Angel Music Baby
John Lennon: Acoustic
Lenny Kravitz: Baptism
Lou Reed: Animal Serenade
NERD: Fly Or Die
Outkast: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
The Divine Comedy: Absent Friend
U2: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Zero 7: When It Falls
posted by rubin421 at 8:55 AM on December 6, 2004

Suprised this didn't com up until the last post: Franz Ferdinand - 'Franz Ferdinand'
Also another vote for the Delays and the Streets, stick in a dash of The Libertines and wash it all down with The Mull Historical Society.
posted by brettski at 8:58 AM on December 6, 2004

Johnny A. - Get Inside
Boyskout - School Of Etiquette
Dorkweed - Sometimes Animals Die
The Fall - The Real New Fall LP, Formerly Country on the Click
Reverend Horton Heat - Revival
Jazz on the Latin Side All-stars - The Last Bullfighter
Joe Lovano - I'm All For You
Andy Narrell - The Passage
Rhythm of Black Lines - Human Hand, Animal Band
Transference - Twelve Bands from NYC to Albany
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:02 AM on December 6, 2004

Luomo-The Present Lover
Skeletons-I'm At The Top Of The World/Life And The Afterbirth
Basement Jaxx-Kish Kash
Aurthur Russell-various reissues
Blonde Redhead-Misery Is A Butterfly
DJ Rupture-Special Gunpowder/The Bidoun Session
Kings Of Convenience-Riot On An Empty Street
Tobias Thomas-Smallville
Fabric 17: Akufen
posted by anathema at 9:05 AM on December 6, 2004

best seventeen:
aphilas - instrumentally ill
arcade fire - funeral
devendra banhart - rejoicing in the hands
ghostface - pretty toney album
gonzales - solo piano
iron & wine - our endless numbered days
junior boys - last exit
kerrier district - s/t
fiery furnaces - blueberry boat
the futureheads - s/t
madvillain - madvillainny
mirah - cmon miracle
ac newman - slow wonder
of montreal - satanic panic in the attic
kanye west - the college dropout
wolf parade - s/t (6 song ep)
various - gooom tracks v. 2.5

honourable eight:
william basinski - disintegration tapes v. iii
dungen - ta det lugnt
franz ferdinand - s/t
the go! team - thunder, lightning, strike
mouse on mars - radical connector
erlend oye - dj kicks
rjd2 - since we last spoke
sufjan stevens - seven swans

and last year's neglected three:
hymies basement - s/t
menomena - i am the fun blame monster
rhythm and sound - with the artists
which was massive oversight.

best reissue:
united states of america - s/t
posted by too many notes at 9:08 AM on December 6, 2004

I second (third? fourth? etc) Wilco and Air.

I nominate "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" from Tears for Fears.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:29 AM on December 6, 2004

Mastodon: Leviathan
Clutch: Blast Tyrant

That's all I can think of right now. I'm tired.
posted by punkrockrat at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2004

Count me in on the Banhart record.
posted by anathema at 10:07 AM on December 6, 2004

In no particular order:

1. Adem - Homesongs
2. Windsor for the Derby - We Fight Till Death
3. The French Kicks - The Trial of the Century
4. Pan Sonic - Kesto
5. Paul Brill - New Pagan Love Song
6. Arcade Fire - Funeral
7. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows
8. Saturday Looks Good To Me - Every Night
9. Singapore Sling - Life Is Killing My Rock N Roll
10. New Radiant Storm King - Leftover Blues: 1991-2003
posted by mds35 at 10:15 AM on December 6, 2004

Did New Radiant Storm King release a compilation this year?!?! Man, I'm out of touch.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:18 AM on December 6, 2004

Feel free to check out my top 25 albums of 2004 with comments, but here's the text version:

25 - califone - heron king blues
24 - fiery furnaces - the blueberry boat
23 - deerhoof - milk man
22 - xiu xiu - fabulous muscles
21 - john vanderslice - cellar door
20 - sufjan stevens - seven swans
19 - the go! team - thunder, lightning, strike
18 - 65 days of static - the fall of math
17 - of montreal - satanic panic in the attic
16 - madvillain - madvillainy
15 - mirah - c'mon miracle
14 - the elected - me first
13 - tilly & the wall - wild like children
12 - dungen - ta det lugnt
11 - moonbabies - the orange billboard
10 - franz ferdinand - franz ferdinand
09 - iron & wine - our endless numbered days
08 - rilo kiley - more adventurous
07 - animal collective - sung tongs
06 - joanna newsom - the milk-eyed mender
05 - lali puna - faking the books
04 - the arcade fire - funeral
03 - a.c. newman - the slow wonder
02 - ted leo & the pharmacists - shake the sheets
01 - modest mouse - good news for people who love bad news
posted by themadjuggler at 10:20 AM on December 6, 2004

Am I the only person who thinks that the Modest Mouse record tails off a lot in the back half? I'd put the first six songs on my list as an honourable mention.
posted by ascullion at 10:24 AM on December 6, 2004

soundofsuburbia: Yes, NRSK released a retrospective, B-side kinda thing last April on Contraphonic. Also, they have a new one in the can. I've been privileged to hear the rough mix and I must say it is quite good. Probably will be out early next year. I was never really a fan until Leftover Blues made me re-evaluate them (which was kind of embarrassing because we have many friends in common and I think they are great guys). Now I'm hooked.
posted by mds35 at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2004

ascullion: You're not alone. The My Morning Jacket record tails off, too.
posted by mds35 at 10:48 AM on December 6, 2004

My current list, still being revised as I catch up on this year's releases:

Dogs Die In Hot Cars - Please Describe Yourself
Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
The Kleptones - A Night at the Hip-Hopera
Mates of State - Team Boo
Mirah - C'mon Miracle
Nellie McKay - Get Away from Me
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
posted by waxpancake at 10:57 AM on December 6, 2004

I don't *think* I saw these yet:

--John Eddie, Who the Hell is John Eddie
--Steve Earle, The Revolution Starts Now
--Lyle Lovett, My Baby Don't Tolerate
posted by handful of rain at 11:17 AM on December 6, 2004

01 artimus pyle - fucked from birth
02 iron lung - life, iron lung, death
03 clorox girls - s/t
04 tom waits - real gone
05 high on crime - till no flags fly
06 paintbox - singing shouring crying
07 jello biafra w/ melvins - dont breathe what you cant see
08 fucked up - epics in minutes
09 dead prez - rbg
10 poison idea - feel the darkness (ok so this is a reissue)
posted by arbitrary.slogan at 11:30 AM on December 6, 2004

I published my list a couple of days ago, here it is:

Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender (far and away my favorite release of the year)

Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed
Feist - Let It Die
Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour
Bearsuit - Cat Spectacular
Madvillain - Madvillainy
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Nellie McKay - Get Away From Me
Comets on Fire - Blue Cathedral
posted by kickerofelves at 11:32 AM on December 6, 2004

I'm going to have to add a strong vote for Green Day's American Idiot.

I'm also on the Franz, Killers, Ted Leo, and Modest Mouse boats.
posted by Jako at 11:51 AM on December 6, 2004

Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus
U2 - How to dismantle an atomic bomb
Morrissey - You are the quarry
Tim Booth - Bone
Robi Draco Rosa - Mad Love
Laibach - Anthems
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
Virgin Prunes - 5 re-issued albums
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

... and looking forward to Bloc Party's upcoming album in 2005.
posted by prolific at 11:56 AM on December 6, 2004

#1 The Streets.
#2 Kno of the Cunnylinguists remix of Jay-Z's Black Album.
#3 Ted Leo.
#4 Kanye West.
#5 I am so dissapointed with a lot of the other music I heard this year, and will check out some of the top's listed here to hopefully redeem 2004.
posted by VulcanMike at 12:06 PM on December 6, 2004

Am I the only person who thinks that the Modest Mouse record tails off a lot in the back half? I'd put the first six songs on my list as an honourable mention.

I agree.

My favorites:

Brian Wilson - SMiLE
John Vanderslice - Cellar Door
The Decemberists - The Tain
Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
posted by ludwig_van at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2004

I strongly second Califone's Heron King Blues. Also yes to Tom Waits, Franz Ferdinand, Finn Brothers, The French Kicks, Divine Comedy, and Wilco.
posted by scody at 12:33 PM on December 6, 2004

my favorites:

the hold steady, the hold steady killed me -- intelligent bar rock, and that's not an oxymoron. former lifter puller frontman craig finn ditches the wankiness of his previous band, and draws upon AC/DC instead. his verbal tics and wordplay and speak-sing vocals may delight you or annoy you, but there's no denying that he's the poet laureate of PBR. he's been to places you've never even dreamed of and wants you to know all about the bar brawls, manic pill popping, sniveling indie kids, and a motley cast of freaks. this album shreds. no kidding.

augie march, strange bird -- finally released stateside on spinart (they're from austalia), this is probably the most conventional pop album i've loved in a long time. some of the finest songwriting you'll find anywhere, aided by gorgeous harmonies and instrumentation, and the occasional flare of jazz. the more i listen, the more of its charms are revealed. simply beautiful.

the mountain goats, we shall all be healed -- john darnielle paints a portrait of tweakers in portland with surprising humanity and gentleness. the schtick of the mountain goats has always been a guy, a guitar, and some harrowing tales to tell, but the utter catchiness of gems like "palmcorder yajna" and "pigs that ran straightaway into the water, triumph of" and heartbreaking stories make this album a standout.

ted leo/pharmacists, shake the sheets -- while not as nuanced as tyranny of distance and lacking a galvanizing anthem like "ballad of the sin eater" on hearts of oak, once again our dear mr. leo channels billy bragg and the clash. he lays it down like he sees it. shake the sheets damns the current administration six ways to sunday, and you only love him more for it. its perfectly polished rock songs make a perfect soundtrack to the november 2nd that was, and the november 3rd that wasn't.

the arcade fire, funeral -- not much more to be said about this band that seemed to appear out of nowhere and capture the indie elite's hearts. for an album named funeral, this layered and often-confusing album is shines full of life and the joy of living. the sometimes incomprehensible merry trickster win bulter ties together his merry band of misfits with jittery vocals, orchestral flourishes, propelling basslines, insistent keyboards, and a chorus of voices you are unlikely to forget any time soon. the arcade fire don't sound like anyone else in indie rock and funeral is a "grower" of an album. dig deep, and hold on tight, because this sparkles like nothing else.

there's probably more that i'm leaving out, but those are the ones that stand out most strongly. still undecided about shearwater's winged life as a "best of" rather than "very good."

and in 2005, i am looking forward to new john vanderslice, okkervil river, mountain goats, decemberists, ....
posted by kathryn at 1:04 PM on December 6, 2004

1. Isis - Panopticon (indie/art metal)

The rest:

Blockhead - Music by Cavelight (instrumental hip-hop)
Buck 65 - Talking Honky Blues (hip-hop filtered through Johnny Cash and Ennio Morricone, sort of)
Faust vs. Dalek - Derbe Respect, Alder (krautrock+hip-hop)
Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse (good old indie rock)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (more of that)
M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Souls (electronic indie rock)
Black Dice - Creature Comforts (experimental/noise)
posted by The Michael The at 1:17 PM on December 6, 2004

I haven't compiled my list yet, but off the top of my head...

Patti Scialfa - 23rd Street Lullaby
Tift Merritt - Tambourine
Patty Griffin - Impossible Dream
posted by whatideserve at 1:45 PM on December 6, 2004

RTX - Transmaniacon
Black Dice - Creature Comforts
Brian Wilson - Smile
Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues
Nick Cave - The Lyre of Orpheus
R. Kelly - U Saved Me
William Shatner - Has Been
Zeena Parkins & Ikue Mori - Phantom Orchard
Divine Comedy - Absent Friends
The Kleptones - A Night At The Hip-Hopera
posted by shotsy at 1:55 PM on December 6, 2004

I love how the madvillain album (actually, most of Doom's recent stuff) is 2004's Hip-Hop Album That It Is OK/Compulsory For Indie Kids To Buy. wonderfully bizarre. though honestly, I think that the king geedorah one and the vic vaughn are better, but I guess I'm already mouthing off too much. anyway

gary wilson- mary had brown hair
animal collective-sung tongs
domenico +2 - sincerely hot
ghostface- pretty toney
devin the dude -to the x-treme
nimbus coleman- various online mp3s

I'm having a hard time thinking of stuff. wasn't a great year, I guess. If reissues count, then the goodbye, babylon set, the "third unheard" comp on stones throw, and the arthur russell stuff is on there too (the "world of echo" DVD is really beautiful). Actually, I think for 2004 my #1 would be "mp3 blogs".

a lot more indie rockers on here than I would have expected. would be interesting to cross-check this list w/the recent pitchfork thread.
posted by Swampjazz! at 2:17 PM on December 6, 2004

i've heard very little this year that i would recommend to anyone; in fact, there are a lot of things in this thread that i thought were okay but nothing to write home about. the only thing i did recommend to friends this year is nouvelle vague's silly little album of largely bossa nova versions of things like "guns of brixton", "this is not a love song" and "making plans for nigel".
posted by crush-onastick at 2:56 PM on December 6, 2004

Eveningland, by Hem and More Adventurous, by Rilo Kiley are the two 2004 albums for me.
posted by Guy Smiley at 3:20 PM on December 6, 2004

mds35: Thank you for the info! I have to pick up that album asap!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:24 PM on December 6, 2004

An impromptu list:
Little Brother-The Listening
Architecture in Helsinki-Fingers Crossed
Sodastream-A Minor Revival
Kings Of Convenience -Riot on an Empty Street
Masta Killa-No Said Date
Sufjan Stevens-Seven Swans
Arcade Fire-Funeral
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists-Shake the Sheets
AC Newman-The Slow Wonder
Pinback-Summer in Abandon
Honorable Mention: Head Automatica-Decadence, Brother Danielson-Brother to Son, The Walkmen-Bows and Arrows

Yeah that's about all I can think of, but there's a lot here I need to check out.
posted by philcliff at 4:38 PM on December 6, 2004

Yes to Franz Ferdinand, and yes also to The Libertines. Both magnificent albums.

And some that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

Secret Machines - Now Here Is Nowhere
The Hidden Cameras - Mississauga Goddam
Electrelane - The Power Out
Dizzee Rascal - Showtime
Skinnyman - Council Estate of Mind

Howevere, recently I have mostly been getting into North American indie bands of the Garden State/O.C. soundtrack persuasion, but haven't actually been able to check out the full albums yet. But another vote for the Arcade Fire, Decemberists, Postal Service, and (best of all, but not mentioned yet, I think) The Unicorns. Well done them. Modest Mouse are a little overrrated, I think.
posted by flashboy at 5:35 PM on December 6, 2004

it's so pleasing to see my man john vanderslice get his propers.

philcliff, pinback's album is "summer in abbadon" and it deserves top 10 honors. but your (typo) begs an interesting question: does the proliferation of music result in an inability to keep up on the part of the music fan?

case in point: i know every noise backward and forward on purple rain. but newer albums, even ones i enjoy tremendously, are never as thoroughly scrutinized or listened-to, by an order of magnitude. there simply isn't time to take it all in.

presumably, philcliff knows it's called "summer in abbadon" and just mistyped it. or does it suggest that he's not really all that familiar with the album? for the record, IYPTP, the use of the term "abbadon" is all-important in sussing out the context in which this album was made. which would only be important, of course, if you were going to, say, place it on your top 10 list.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:03 PM on December 6, 2004

Sigh, I would love to try all these out. But I went to the one way up at the top that has the whole album available for free, and they hadn't even bothered to put the song titles in the mp3s' tags...

What's the new mp3.com? I don't mean, what's new at mp3.com now that it's part of ... whatever it's a part of... I mean, where are new artists posting their MP3s in a community?
posted by socratic at 6:05 PM on December 6, 2004

also, i suspect softlord of soft marketing. check out his blog -- he shills for every album on his list.

it's instructive to note that he, unlike most other posters, included mention of every group's record label; that all the labels in question are part of the big 5 behemoth; that all of the albums in question enjoyed heavy promotional support (the killers "hot fuss" being the classic example of an Album To Ignore simply because of how hard Island was peddling it).
posted by Hat Maui at 6:11 PM on December 6, 2004

2004 = Year of the boot. Why listen to a new original artist when you can experience 'em mashed with your old favs?

5) Anything by McSleazy.
4) DJ Matt Hite's 60 minute Bootmixed set [mp3 avail].
3) Dangermouse. Nuff said.
2) DJ Riko's Latter Day Taints [mp3 avail]
1) Party Ben's weekly 30 minute SixxMixx's [mp3 avail]. Mid-Nov's RIP ODB EDITION is of a particular genius, and his Boulevard of Broken Songs single is the mash-track of the year.
posted by mediamelt at 7:39 PM on December 6, 2004

i'll add my support to:

franz ferdinand
modest mouse
killers - hot fuss

u2 - how to dismantle.... (their best in years, imo... mercy should have been on the cd though)

incubus - a crow left of the murder (i still think they have the most promise of any band getting play on the alternative/modern rock stations these days)

ides of space - sleeping fractures (really like this one, haven't picked it up yet but borrowed a friend's copy... think it has to be ordered from australia probably)

the snake the cross the crown - mander sails (at times they sound like radiohead, othertimes not so much but the cd is growing on me more and more...check it out kiddies)

keri noble - fearless (just picked up, kinda undecided but i think it gets the thumbs up)

i'm kinda late to the thread but i'll probably add more later anyway. too tired to think right now.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 9:13 PM on December 6, 2004

ack! i have inadvertently proven my own point: the pinback album is 'summer in abaddon'.

i realize that no one cares, but for posterity, i'd like it noted that i caught my own mistake.
posted by Hat Maui at 9:53 PM on December 6, 2004

christ, I am so unhip.

Venetian Snares - Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding
Squarepusher - Ultravisitor/Squarewindow CD3"

Most of the stuff I've been listening to wasn't released this year. Not anything I can think of beyond these two, off the top of my head.

I thought there would be more fans of this music out there. I feel so alone!
posted by symbioid at 10:16 PM on December 6, 2004

The Kleptones - A Night At The Hip-Hopera
Snow Patrol - Final Straw
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

Hmm... can't think of any more offhand. Not much this year I really liked.

I am looking forward to the new Garbage album that I hear is in production.
posted by karlshea at 1:23 AM on December 7, 2004

symbioid: know how you feel, though wasn't so keen on Ultravisitor -- Venus No. 17 was much more my style.

Otherwise I second:
The Libertines
The Streets

And have to add:
Cee-Lo Green / Cee-Lo Green is the Soul Machine
Murcof / Utopia
posted by flimjam at 5:33 AM on December 7, 2004

Jens Leckman - When I said I Wanted to be Your Dog
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Elizabeth Cotton - Shake Sugaree
Junior Boys - Last Exit
Her Space Holiday - The Young Machines
Rogue Wave - Out of the Shadow
Coco Rosie - La Maison De Mon Rêve
Skywave - Synthstatic
Octet - Cash and Carry Songs
I Am the World Trade Center - The Cover Up

honorable mention:
Bloc Party, Dirty on Purpose, Delays, Quinn, Sufjan Stevens, Saturday Looks Good to Me, Murder by Death, Khonner, Styrofoam, TV on the Radio, Norfolk & Western, Iron & Wine...

I'm sure I am forgetting a bunch of great records!
posted by shoepal at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2004

5 top albums from 2004:
black moth super rainbow - start a people
keith fullerton whitman - schoner flussengel
o9 - church of the ghetto p.c.
secret frequency crew - forest of the echo downs
sixtoo - chewing on glass and other miracle cures

& some still-great ones from 2003:
galerie stratique - horizzzons
proem - livemd
posted by timb at 9:33 AM on December 7, 2004

A very Good Year for my ears in music ...

still whittling down to ten

A.C. Newman,
AMC - Love Songs for Patriots
Amimal Collective: Sung Thongs
Arthur Russell - Calling Out of Congtext
Bjork - Mandulla
Black Dice – Creature Comforts
Blood Brothers - Crimes
Blue Nile – HiGH
Darden Smith - Circo
Hidden Cameras- Mississauga Goddam
Jill Scott - Beautifully Human
Jim E. Sparkle : Jim E Sparkle Pants (best sex record)
Kayne West College Drop Out
King of France
Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose
Lori McKenna - Bittertown ...
Magnetic Fields - I
Mark Lanegam: Bubblegum
mirah - cmon miracle
Morel - Lucky Strike
Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
Nico Muhly - The book of Hammers
Postal Service
Scissor Sister
the Dears - No City Left
Thalia Zedek - Trust not those....
The Killers - Hot Fuss (Island)
the libertines,
The Mooney Suzuki Alive and Amplified (the best 70's album
The Streets - , A Grand Don't Come for Free
Xix Xiu : Fabulous Muscels
Youssou N/Dour - Allah, Egypte
posted by JohnyRay at 2:27 AM on December 8, 2004

I haven't come up with a "Top 10" yet - but there were several great albums this year. Many mentioned here already, but I'll add my vote for a few I didn't see:

Interpol - Antics (better than the first album, IMHO)
Elf Power - Walking with the Beggar Boys
Calexico - Convict Pool
Destroyer - Your Blues
The Crimea - Tragedy Rocks
Robyn Hitchcoick - Spooked
Luna - Rendezvous
Manic Street Preachers - Lifeblood
Anthony - Neu York
The Beta Band - Heroes to Zeros
Scarling - Sweet Heart Dealer
Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
The Twilight Singers - She Loves You

I won't add the two Bright Eyes releases . . . since, er, they are not *officially* released until January.
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:02 PM on December 8, 2004

I've mostly been buying singles from the iTunes music store this year (Iron & Wine, Frou Frou), but far and away my favorite album of the year is The Incredibles soundtrack. Michael Giacchino is totally on point from start to finish on this, with none of the focus-grouped dreck that marred the Shrek soundtracks. Two favorites are "Life's Incredible Again", the breeziest thing I've heard in ages, and "Kronos Unveiled", a spine tingling expanse of dread and horror. This album could have played the retro card for laughs, but instead approaches the material with respect and a love of craft that is inspiring.
posted by Scoo at 8:48 PM on December 8, 2004

If you skipped to the bottom to find the lists above aggregated, you're in luck.

Top 20-ish albums of 2004 according to http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/12545:

  The Arcade Fire - Funeral (13)
  Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand (11)
  Madvillain - Madvillainy (8)
  Brian Wilson - SMiLE (7)
  The Killers - Hot Fuss (7)
  Wilco - A Ghost is Born (7)
  Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus (6)
  Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans (6)
  Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Shake the Sheets (6)
  Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days (5)
  Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Like Bad News (5)
  Morrissey - You Are the Quarry (5)
  The Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour (5)
  The Kleptones - A Night at the Hip-Hopera (5)
  The Libertines - Libertines (5)
  The Streets - A Grand Don't Come Free (5)
  Animal Collective - Sung Tongs (4)
  Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat (4)
  Joanna Newsom - Milk-Eyed Mender (4)
  Kanye West - College Dropout (4)
  Mirah - C'mon Miracle (4)
  Tom Waits - Real Gone (4)

Bittorrent is your friend.
posted by deshead at 12:11 PM on December 9, 2004

For give the indulgence of this post, but I swear by all of these bands.

Sea Ray - Stars At Noon

Technically, this came out at the very end of 2003 but it's lifespan as a record has been this year. Unbelivable arrangements, and they have an incredibly talented cello player in the band. What more do you want?

The National - Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers/Cherry Tree EP

Sad Songs came out also at the end of last year and the EP came out this summer I think. Incredibly literate music, with a strong lyrical feel. The band also know how and when to rock out despite a knack for knowing how to mope and brood in a way that is introspective rather than off-putting.

The Standard - Wire Post to Wire

AMAZING live act. I saw them in Baltimore earlier this year where they played to about 12 people on a brutally cold Monday night. Not remarkable. What was truly remarkable was that when I saw them a week later in DC (where the crowd was much better) I saw about six people who had made the 50 mile drive to see them again just a week later. They are that good live.

As for the record, it's equally good. No way to describe them - long, dense and dynamic songs. Don't sound like Radiohead, but they certainly have that level of ambition and largely succeed. They've toured or played with The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, Wire the list goes on. They just hooked up with The White Stripes manager and their next album comes out on V2. They're poised to blow-up; get on the bandwagon now.

Dolorean - Not Exotic/Violence in the Snowy Fields

Not Exotic came out end of last year, Snowy Fields just dropped. Somewhere between Elliott Smith and Springsteen's "Nebraska," Al James may be the most promising songwriter out there. No wonder the NYT is spilling man-juice over his records. Of course the fates are tone-deaf as well as cruel, so I think he's managed to sell about two records. Check him out already.

Elbow - Cast of Thousands

Good God, is this band underrated. They didn't even tour stateside after they were scheduled to be at Lollapalooza and it got cancelled. Loosely I guess they're brit-pop, but for more adventurous than that implies. Atmospheric in all the right ways.

Anway, I heartily second the vast majority of suggestions above. I also recommend The Onion's Best of 2004 feature.
posted by Heminator at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2004

thanks Heminator. i always like reading people's descriptions of bands on their top 10 lists, and why they like them.

here's an expanded, edited version of my list
, complete with sample mp3s. offer expires 01/01/2005.
posted by kathryn at 9:09 PM on December 9, 2004

Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic
Brian Wilson - Smile
Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
Ben Kweller - On My Way
The Advantage - The Advantage
Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
Snow Patrol - The Final Straw
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
Phantom Planet - Phantom Planet
Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Like Bad News
posted by Frankieist at 11:02 PM on December 12, 2004

1 John Vanderslice - Cellar Door
2 Arcade Fire - Funeral
3 A.C Newman - The Slow Wonder
4 Apostle of Hustle - Folkloric Feel
5 Interpol - Antics
6 Hidden Cameras, The - Missisauga Goddam
7 Vetiver - Vetiver
8 Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing in the Hands
9 Destroyer - Your Blues
10 Call and Response - Winds Take No Shape

More here: http://travelersdiagram.com/archive/2004_11_28_archive.html.
posted by timnyc at 10:50 AM on December 13, 2004

In no particular order:

Electrelane - The Power Out
The Pink Mountaintops - ST
Comets on Fire - Blue Cathedral
Shearwater - Winged Life
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Oneida - Secret Wars
The Mendoza Line - Fortune
posted by joe_murphy at 7:45 PM on December 14, 2004

In no particular order:

Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn
The Tigers Have Spoken, Neko Case
The Slow Wonder, A.C. Newman
More Adventurous, Rilo Kiley
Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse
Impossible Dream, Patty Griffin
Abattoir Blues / Lyre of Orpheus, Nick Cave & The Bad Seads
A Ghost is Born, Wilco
i, The Magnetic Fields
Let It Die, Feist
Underachievers Please Try Harder, Camera Obscura

You can find MP3s here.
posted by kirby1 at 10:40 AM on December 15, 2004

behold the power of musicfilter...
I'll add a hearty endorsement to the mashup.

But you all seem to have overlooked The Delgados- Universal Audio. They're Scottish, so it ain't Krrrrropp.
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:55 PM on December 15, 2004

It's been a bad year for me, musically. Not much of interest... I spent most of the year playing stuff from last year. In approximate order of favoriteness, according to the amount of time I spent listening to them:

1. The Dead Texan - self-titled (Kranky)
2. Helios - "Unomia" (Merck)
3. The Arcade Fire - "Funeral" (Merge) [I only bought this a few days ago but it's been in CONSTANT rotation]
4. Loscil - "First Narrows" (Kranky)
5. Wilco - "A Ghost is Born" (Nonesuch)
6. The Kleptones - "A Night at the Hip Hopera"
7. Todd Snider - "East Nashville Skyline" (Oh Boy)
8. Redbird - Self-titled (Signature Sounds)
9. Kanye West - "College Dropout" (Roc-a-fella)
10. Thomas Fehlmann - "Lowflow" (Plug Research)

Honorable mention:

Wagon Christ - "Sorry I Make You Lush" (Ninja Tune)
Hexstatic - "Master-View" (Ninja Tune)
Holger Flinsch - "The Watcher and the Tower" (Thinner)
Bola - "Gnayse" (Skam) Not quite as good as the previous album "Fyuti", unfortunately...
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous"
M83 - "Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts" (Gooom) This came out in 2003, but I played the holy hell out of this one for much of the year.
Pixies - "Live in Chicago 11/15/04" ....heh.


I really wanted to like the new Mos Def album, but....ehhhhh. Same with the new album by ambient artist Biosphere, which was possibly the worst album I bought this year. A HUGE disappointment.
posted by 40 Watt at 1:46 PM on December 17, 2004

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