Top 20 Albums Of 2004
#20. Madvillain - Madvillainy
The hyped-up collaboration of MF Doom and Madlib turned out to be a huge underground success, even though it had leaked to over a year early. Their hilarious rhymes and twenty-two
#19. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - Shake The Sheets
Ted Leo rocks harder than he ever did on this album, which many would deem his most complete album to date. He's still every bit as catchy, as well.
#18. Les Savy Fav - Inches
Even though Inches is an album of rare, live, and b-side tracks, it's still better than most dance-punk around. The live videos are just icing on the cake.
#17. Sex Positions - Sex Positions
Creative hardcore seems to be an oxymoron these days. Luckily, Sex Positions brought one of the most interesting hardcore albums of the last few years. Note that interesting does not equal tame: these guys will still kill you.
#16. The Roots - The Tipping Point
Even though The Tipping Point may be considered weak by typical Roots standards, it still holds the band's status as one of the most creative and tightest hip-hop groups around. "Star/Pointro" is one of the top five hip-hop songs of the year.
#15. Cee-Lo Green - Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine
One of the most underrated rappers around, Cee-Lo Green is on cool-ass motherfucker. With an awkward delivery and creative beats, he could very well be the happy medium between Outkast's stellar Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
#14. The Blood Brothers - Crimes
Somewhat of a let down, but The Blood Brothers, led by Johnny Whitney's insane lead vocals, can still make some crazy tunes. I'm beating a dead horse here, I know, but it's no Burn Piano Island, Burn.
#13. Jimmy Eat World - Futures
This was way higher on my list two months ago, but has since dropped. It starts out absolutely wonderfully for a handful of listens, but after that, you find it hard to get into again. Still, the band has written their best music in years, and Jim Atkins' voice is still excellent.
#12. Hot Water Music - The New What Next
This one was a grower; I'm sure it was for everyone. It took a while to get into, but this is still our beloved Hot Water Music, and they're still writing solid tunes. Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard have never sounded better.
#11. TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
Touch and Go
A challenging record if there ever was one, TV On The Radio have created some of the most chilling, yet beautiful music of 2004. Tunde Adebimpe's voice glides in and out of each song with ease, and the backup vocals make TV On The Radio really scream "a capella rock."
#10. Planes Mistaken For Stars - Up In Them Guts
Do not fuck with Planes Mistaken For Stars. That is all.
#9. The Icarus Line - Penance Soiree
Ahh, the band you love to hate. Buddyhead favorites The Icarus Line have attitude oozing out of their pores, and they don't care if you think they're scenesters or elitists. The truth is, they probably hate you‚?¶me.
#8. !!! - Louden Up Now
Touch and Go
Absolutely electrifying dance music. If this doesn't make you want to sing and dance, check your pulse.
#7. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Yes, Modest Mouse achieved incredible amounts of success this year with "Float On," and the album has since gone gold (a hell of an accomplishment), but the band has also released its tightest effort to date. "Bukowski" is absolutely chilling.
#6. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
Who cares if Greg Puciato sounds a bit like Mike Patton? Who cares if the band was influenced by their last EP, Irony Is A Dead Scene? Is it for the worse? I sure as hell don't think so. This is fucking bone-shattering.
#5. With Honor - Heart Means Everything
Agreeing with the album's title, this is packet with heart. From the insane gang-vocals to the machine-gun drumming, this is a hardcore fan's paradise.
#4. A Wilhelm Scream - Mute Print
An extremely pleasant surprise! This band came out of nowhere to release some of the best melodic punk and hardcore music put to CD in a very long time. They've exploded onto the scene this year, and with good reason. Imagine Strung Out, if they were still any good.
#3. Kanye West - The College Dropout
Hands down, the year's best new artist. This guy deserves all the praise he gets. His beats are absolutely sick, his lyrics have substance, and his flow is great to boot. This was by and large my most listened to album of 2004.
#2. Owen - I Do Perceive
Mike Kinsella is a sad man, and he wants to share his sadness with the world, doing so with the best music of his career. It's moving, brilliant, and upbeat all at the same time. This man is an absolute musical genius if there ever was one.
#1. Circle Takes The Square - As The Roots Undo
Mind-boggling. Awe-inspiring. Intense. Beautiful. These are all terms that should describe the best album of the year, and As The Roots Undo is all of this and then some. The intricacy and utter chaos that each song displays is out of this world, and the band can go from a rampage to a soft, almost religious-sounding chant at the drop of a hat. And to put this over the top, the lyrics are stellar, and the passion in which they are screamed and sung is unreal. This album has got it all. This is what the best album of the year should be.
Well, there you have it. Some would say 2004 wasn't the best year for music. I wouldn't disagree, even though there were many albums that blew my mind over the course of the last year. 2004 was also a big year for my personal life: I went off to college at Rutgers University, had the girlfriend of my dreams for the entire year who I love to death, and it was overall just a great year. I'm hoping 2005 will be just as good: many bands will be releasing some long-awaiting albums...I won't go all absolutepunk on you guys and list every band and title listed at TBA, but you guys get what I mean. Hope you enjoy the list - it's been great being a part of punknews.org.