Ok, ok, keep it down. You can all stop clamoring for list of the best albums of 2004.
In first place we have a three-way tie:
1) U2 - How to dismantle an atomic bomb.
This album was on repeat on my iPod for about 2 weeks straight. I listened to this complete album about 25 times in a row, no exaggeration. I don't need to tell you why it's good, because you should already have it. More heartfelt, yet also more rockin', it far surpasses their milktoast 2000 offering "All that you can't leave behind". By far, unquestionably. And the special edition of this cd comes with a cool book and "Making Of" DVD. So check it out.
1) The Walkmen - Bows & Arrows
These guys are simply awesome. Good, moody, powerful, weird, spooky, funny. Really terrific new sounds in music.
1) The French Kicks - Trial of the Century
This pop/rock/new wave mix never gets old. Very nice harmonies, good drums, etc. I've listened to this album a whole lot this year, and it still sounds fresh every time.
2) Interpol - Antics
Good, simple, rhythmically appealing indie rock. Pretty tight in concert too. I've listened to this far more than their first album.
3) Elliott Smith - From the Basement on the Hill
Half of this is immediatly ear-friendly, the other half are "growers". But, my how they grow! A good investment for your ears. This disc rewards with repeated listening. God rest his soul, and all that.
4) Joseph Arthur - Our Shadows will Remain
Go buy this now, because you probably haven't. He's brilliant and has been compared to Peter Gabriel and Miles Davis, but he's truly in a class all his own. Sometimes acoustic and whispery, sometimes distorto-guitars and dozens of layered vocals. He's hard to classify, but harder to recommend highly enough.
5) Rufus Wainwright - Want Two
Well, even the worst Woody Allen movies are better than the best Tim Allen movies. Similary, even though I just got this album and found it doesn't measure up to the glorious heights of Want One, its still good, and I should listen to it instead of watching a Tim Allen movie.
5) Brian Wilson - Smile
Duh. No list would be complete without this, even though a lot of us have heard most of these songs in one form or another. It's fairly amazing to hear how these all weave in and out of each other, melodically.
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters: glam/dance/pop rock. Really good on SNL, too.
Bjork - Medulla - nice vox, ok?
Air - Talkie Walkie - Did this even come out this year? I don't even remember. It seems like it's been out forever. Whatever. It's good electro/euro-pop bla bla bla. Good for backgrounds and Sofia Coppolla films. According to my iTunes playcount, I've listened to this one a lot, so I guess it goes on the list.
Jay-Z, The Beatles & DJ Dangermouse - The Grey Album - I know it's risky putting a hip-hop album on my list, but I have to admit this has some really great beats and made me appreciate the White Album even more.
So, on a personal note, if anyone wants to "get" these albums, just let me know, and I can assure you that you will "acquire" this music some way or another, legally or otherwise.