So the year end is upon us, and since I am a music nerd, there's nothing better than displaying your "best of" lists to everyone so they can go "ah, yes" or "what? idiot." Of course if you are in the latter category, you are stupid because my choices are beyond cool. Anyways, here are my top 15 favorite records that had their debut this past year, and in order of significance. Perhaps you've heard of them, perhaps you haven't. Maybe it will inspire you to go out and buy something new. Happy New Year!
- The Arcade Fire - Funeral - From the opening notes, to the very last chord, this album is flawless. If they never release anything at this level again, I wouldn't care.
- Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News - I remember some kid at freshman orientation telling me that Modest Mouse was just too weird. Can we say surprise radio hit of the year? Not up to par with Moon and Antarctica, but head and shoulders above everything but the Arcade Fire.
- AC Newman - The Slow Wonder - Best power-pop record of the past five years, even better than his New Pornographer's output.
- TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes - Took some time to really digest, but when it clicked, it clicked.
- The Black Keys - Rubber Factory - This is the band I always wanted to be in. Enough said.
- Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days - Sam Beam tops his sub pop debut with this amazing record that is so intimate I didn't want to share him with anyone.
- Interpol - Antics - Faced with the unenviable position of trying to top their flawless debut, Interpol gets pretty darn close with this one.
- Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans - Sufjan Stevens made me start practicing banjo again. God bless him.
- Air - Talkie Walkie - Even though I just bought this a few days ago, it is a beautiful record, that, if given more time, would have certainly risen on this list.
- The Features - Exhibit A - Amazing Middle TN band, my favorite driving record of the year.
- The Killers - Hot Fuss - Say what you will, "Somebody Told Me" flat out rocks. The first five songs on this record are all worthy of #1 status.
- Q & Not U - Power - Funkiest DC area record of 2004.
- The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows - Another one that took some time to get into, but it is a stunning album.
- Jens Lekman - You Are The Light EP - Hindered only by being an EP, can't wait to get his full length.
- Tom Waits - Real Gone - Tom Waits can be hard for some people to take, but I love him.
Biggest Disapointment of the Year - The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat - Maybe I'm just dumb, but I really don't understand all the praise heaped on this album. It's like a kid with ADHD took the tape, cut it up, and threw it back together.
My Most Anticipated Release of 2005 - Bloc Party - I dunno when it comes out, but their song "banquet" was simply amazing, and I can only hope the full length matches its potential.
And there we go, my faves of 2004. Hope you enjoyed it.