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January 27, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Musical Favorites of 2004


-In all, 2004 wasn’t the greatest year for new music. Even a lot of the records I had really been looking forward to hearing kinda turned out to be disappointments… HOWEVER! There were some great releases this past year. They almost make the rest of the drought bearable, they’re so good… Here are my favorites, in no particular order…

Further Seems Forever – Hide Nothing

Jon Bunch really takes Further Seems Forever to new heights on the new record. So much emotion and impact on this record, without being overly “emo” or “heavy.” Maybe I put this one at the top of the list for a reason…

MUSE – Absolution

Quite possibly the perfect rock and roll album. To say that MUSE take virtuosity and intensity to the next level would be an understatement. Heavy as hell in parts, pretty as daisies in others… And all from a 3-piece. Bastards. They’re so good I hate them…

Keane – Hopes and Fears

Few bands can incorporate piano this well into their sound without sounding like Billy Joel. Keane rocks. With piano. Awesome melodies and powerful songs.

The Used – In Love and Death

Say what you want about radio sellout… Blah blah blah. The Used got to where they are with their success because they write great songs. There are some off-beat moments on this record, which I actually appreciated as refreshing texture. Not as much screaming on this one compared to their debut, either. Which I also appreciated. Hooks and melodies in a nice, energetic package.

Mellowdrone – Go Get ‘Em, Tiger!

My labelmates (yes, still) made a great record, and released a few of the songs on this EP. It’s great to hear Jon with a full band behind him. Some of my favorite lyrics are on this CD, as well…

U.N.K.L.E. – Never, Never Land

Psyence Fiction is one of my favorite albums of all time. No DJ Shadow on this release, but the record is a great collection of beats, electronic textures, and some really great guest stars yet again.

Velvet Revolver – Contraband

These guys were all rock stars before this band. This record just serves to reinforce WHY they were already rock stars. Just in case you forgot. This is ROCK AND ROLL at its purest.

Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill

All the more melancholy in light of his early demise.

Reeve Oliver – Reeve Oliver

I saw these guys back when they were a side project of a bunch of San Diego punk bands. Thank God they left that phase behind. This is a really solid indie rock record. Catchy songs without being too sugar-poppish.

Twilight Singers – She Loves You

Greg Dulli and company cover all sorts of classics and favorites on this record. So it’s kind of like cheating. Taking songs that already stand on their own and releasing your own record of them… But it’s also a lot HARDER to pull off, as well. People already have attachments to these songs. So it’s easy to offend those who are already fans of these songs. But I love the touch the Twilight Singers added. Especially to their cover of Bjork’s “Hyperballad.”

==Honorable Mention==

Jeff Buckley – Grace (Legacy Edition Reissue)

It’s a reissue, so I can’t say it was a new release, but this 3 disc set had some awesome outtakes and previously unreleased tracks that make the purchase SO worthwhile. Even if you already have the original version of “Grace.”

Love and recommendations,

January 7, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment