TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2004
10. Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat
09. Ratatat, Ratatat
08. Animal Collective, Sung Tongs
07. Death From Above 1979, You're A Woman, I'm a Machine
06. Annie, Anniemal
THE CREAM OF THE CROP:
05. Bjork, Medulla
While Björk has never been known for having the most accessible of album catalogues, her newest release "Medulla", with it's almost total departure from the use of typical instrumentation, may have had her most die hard of fans scratching their respective, self-important heads. However, where "Medulla" is initially jarring it later becomes mistifying, and if taken on the richness of the albums aesthetic quality you can find few albums that compare in beauty or creative genius.
04. The Streets, A Grand Don't Come For Free
This year, Mike Skinner accomplished a rare feat: He not only completely dodged the "Sophomore Curse" by releasing a great second album, but he actually released a great second album that was, albeit arguably, BETTER than his debut. "A Grand Don't Come Come For Free" fairly easily establishes itsself as the freshest hip hop record of 2004, and one of the most compulsively listenable albums period.
03. Namelessnumberheadman, Your Voice Repeating
With their endless creativity, and expert craftsmanship Namelessnumberheadman, despite their seemingly pretentious moniker have become one of the most original, and exhilarating bands of the decade. Along with other indie acts like Broken Social Scene and , to a lesser extent, TV on the Radio NNHM seem to have no clear genre, and you'll find it no easy task to describe just what their sound is. However, while listening to "Your Voice Repeating" labels quickly become useless.
02. The Arcade Fire, Funeral
Canada's own The Arcade Fire played their part this year in reminding this old jaded heart of why he loved music in the first place. "Funeral"s uncanny ability to connect with the listener on a purely, but not wholly, emotional level remains a thing of beauty even months after the album's release. Believe the hype, folks.
01. Brian Wilson, SMiLE
In attempting to mask my anticipation for THE lost album of my young life, it occured to me just what a silly and pointless task that would be. I'm certainly no "SMiLE Geek." Sure, as soon as I got my hands on the bootlegs, I promptly began to annoy all of my friends with how much they frequented my stereo, and when all is said and done(simply for sentimental value) I just might listen to THEM more than the actual album. HOWEVER, I'm really only obsessed with PET SOUNDS as much as the next guy, and I've only dropped acid ONCE. Why should I hide my giddines for what was surely destined to be my favorite album of the year? Well, in any case, while Brian Wilson's SMilE really couldn't live up to my expectations, in total, he has still created the pop album of the god damned decade. "SMiLE", with it's brilliant structure(amazingly enough)seems to expand on PET SOUNDS' miraculous oddities and oddball eccentricities while remaining no less of a sun-soaked masterpiece itself. That Wilson re-recorded the album with The Wondermints does put a damper on the final product somewhat, but the most compelling factor here is hearing the record in its entirety, as Wilson himself planned it. Hyperbolic as it sounds, what we have here is one of one of the best albums of the new millenium, and a bonafide classic for years to come.