Sunday, June 8, 2008

Top 5 Albums Originally Released in 2004

You guys got a big jump on me, so now I'm getting my revenge.

1. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand – Man, they really need to put out a third album and start to burn out so I can stop singing their praises. The only weak song on the album is “Cheating On You”.

2. The Killers - Hot Fuss – This is the kind of album I can really get behind, because my favorite song from it has changed a half dozen times. It has Mr. Brightside, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, All These Things That I’ve Done, Change Your Mind, On Top…great stuff.

3. Elliott Smith – From A Basement On A Hill – It doesn’t sound anything like Elliott’s other work, but it has some of the best songs he would ever record (one of which appears on #5 as well). Coast to Coast, A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity to Be Free, (Ugly Before) Pretty, Twlight, Let's Get Lost -- it's haunting from start to finish because of what seems to be a number of references to suicide, but it's a great album regardless of the aura of desperation around it.

4. Kanye West – The College Dropout – It’s faded in its greatness because his last two albums have been disappointments, but it is from start to finish a must-listen. The weakest points of the album are the skits, obviously, but the weakest actual song…I guess it’s Get ‘Em High, which I don’t like. But that’s it. Smart, slick album.

5. Various artists - Future Soundtrack For America – OK Go’s cover of The Zombies “This Will Be Our Year” is a masterpiece; R.E.M., The Old 97’s, Elliott Smith, David Byrne, Jimmy Eat World (covering GbV, no less), Fountains of Wayne, and a powerhouse song from Tom Waits – it’s one of the best compilations I’ve ever come across, and it was intended to dethrone Bush.

Honorable mention: Chris White – Forbidden Style – It’s honestly one of the best comedy albums I’ve ever heard, even if he’s refined his audience interaction immensely in the last few years, but it’s also the kind of stuff targeted specifically at me; David Cross – It’s Not Funny – vastly superior to his debut comedy CD, which was really more politics than comedy; Badly Drawn Boy – One Plus One Is One – Ok, I’m not Ryan, I don’t love everything Damon Gough’s done. But oh lord, this CD is amazing. I’d include it in the top 5, but since it’s certain to be on his and I’ve only listened to it once, I’m going to leave it here; Jimmy Eat World – Futures.

Dan's Top 5:

Thank God Muse's Absolution is disqualified because of its 2003 UK release, or else I'd be throwing fits as to where to put it. Anyway, this was probably the best year for releases in the decade, so good choice of year, Tim. Getting on with it...

1. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike - Originally released in the UK in 2004, so I'm safe. For me, this is probably the best example of inventive indie music ever, and I'm sure I've sung its praises enough before so that I needn't say them again. I never find myself not in the mood for this album.

2. The Killers - Hot Fuss - The fact that this album became popular and went multi-platinum has pretty much restored my faith in the musical taste of the rest of the world.

3. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand - I remember first seeing an ad for this album at Crossroads, the local Blacksburg record store. It wasn't until later that I discovered how cool the album was after seeing the "Take Me Out" video. To me, it always seemed to be the counterpoint to Hot Fuss.

4. Keane - Hopes and Fears - I only truly know a few songs from it, but the single "Everybody's Changing" captured my heart that summer. Their follow-up in 2006 originally disappointed due to the awesomeness of this album, but I have since come to accept it.

5. Ambulance LTD - LP - This album contains one of the best songs ever, "Swim." All the other songs are fairly good as well, but that song in particular makes me want to write others that are like it. I also don't talk about this album enough, so what better opportunity?

Air - Talkie Walkie, Duran Duran - Astronaut, Green Day - American Idiot, Interpol - Antics, Patton Oswalt - Feelin' Kinda Patton (only left out because I felt like Ambulance LTD needed some cred), U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Zero 7 - The Space Between

Ryan's Top Five

More praise for The Killers, and some thieving from both of you guys.

1. Badly Drawn Boy - "One Plus One Is One" - Yes, this is one of my all-time favorite albums. Yes, this is a solid album start to finish. This has some excellent tracks but functions better as a solid whole. That being said, "Four Leaf Clover" is one of my favorite songs of all-time. Period.

2. The Killers - "Hot Fuss" - No argument here, I listen to any song from this album and I am immediately transported to 2004, when I listened to this constantly.

3. Kanye West - "College Dropout" - I initially ranked this lower because I for some reason was thinking this was the second album (which is actually Late Registration, of course). This is thus Kanye's best album and has some of the best hip hop (says DJ Fox-A-Mil', hip hop expert) of our time: "We Don't Care," "Jesus Walks," and "All Falls Down" are all three better than any other song on any other Kanye album (I do be tweakin' 'bout "Good Life" though).

4. Air - "Talkie Walkie" - I feel safe saying this is the best ambient French pop of the last 100 years. (I feel safe in that no one who is French reads this blog.)

5. David Cross - "It's Not Funny" - Tory got me fairly obsessed with this CD for a good period of time. I don't own too many comedy albums, but this and "These are Jokes" by Demetri Martin are probably my two favorites. "Oh, David, being a parent is so hard, it's so hard David... "Come on man, that's not hard, I'll tell you what hard is. Try talking your girlfriend into her third consecutive abortion. That's hard. That takes finesse."

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