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Here are SPIN’s 40 Best Albums of the Year for 2004.
1. Kanye West, THE COLLEGE DROPOUT
2. Green Day, AMERICAN IDIOT
3. FRANZ FERDINAND
4. Modest Mouse, GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS
5. Danger Mouse, THE GREY ALBUM
6. Elliott Smith, FROM A BASEMENT ON THE HILL
7. The Streets, A GRAND DON’T COME FOR FREE
8. Loretta Lynn, VAN LEAR ROSE
9. Interpol, ANTICS
10. Brian Wilson, SMiLE
11. Dizzee Rascal, SHOWTIME
12. TV on the Radio, DESPERATE YOUTH, BLOOD THIRSTY BABES
13. TYRANNOSAURUS HIVES
14. Various artists, DFA COMPILATION #2
15. Courtney Love, AMERICA’S SWEETHEART
16. The Killers, HOT FUSS
17. Madvillain, MADVILLAINY
18. Prince, MUSICOLOGY
19. Bjork, MEDULLA
20. Ted Leo/Pharmacists, SHAKE THE SHEETS
21. Jimmy Eat World, FUTURES
22. Le Tigre, THIS ISLAND
23. Snow Patrol, FINAL STRAW
24. Morrissey, YOU ARE THE QUARRY
25. Secret Machines, NOW HERE IS NOWHERE
26. Eminem, ENCORE
27. Tom Waits, REAL GONE
28. Various artists, KOMPAKT 100
29. U2, HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB
30. THE LIBERTINES
31. PJ Harvey, UH HUH HER
32. The Faint, WET FROM BIRTH
33. Comets on Fire, BLUE CATHEDRAL
34. My Chemical Romance, THREE CHEERS FOR SWEET REVENGE
35. Air, TALKIE WALKIE
36. Rilo Kiley, MORE ADVENTUROUS
37. RJD2, SINCE WE LAST SPOKE
38. Wilco, A GHOST IS BORN
39. Ghostface, THE PRETTY TONEY ALBUM
40. Joanna Newsom, THE MILK-EYED MENDER
Singles to follow. Henrik, are you going to include Danger Mouse’s THE GREY ALBUM -- an album that is not legally available -- on the Top 2000 if it makes enough lists? Just curious.
Yeah for Green Day being #1!! I'd love to seem them overtake the overrated Franz Ferdinand (not that it will happen).
Boo at Eminem's inclusion. He's another artist critics apparently think they have to include.
Am I the only one who hates Green Day? They and the bands they have inspired are such drivel.
P.S. Franz Ferdinand deserves the number 1 slot!
Many thanks, Harold!
The Courtney Love record sucked and there's a few others that should not be ranked so high but this year's list seems a little better that years past. Their 90 best Alubms of the 90s was a joke. They named Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque as best album of 1991 beating out Nirvan but they're not even on the list. Not to mention them leaving out Primal Scream, Belle and Sebastian, Spiritualized, the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev (etc.)
Grand Prix > Bandwagonesque imo
Does anyone else think Primal Scream's album Screamadelica is over-rated? I own a copy and I very rarely listen to it, I quite enjoy it when I do play it but it gets a bit boring if you play it frequently.
I also think Nevermind is over-rated.
I think SCREAMADELICA is a bit overrated too (although I love "Come Together", and did long before it was a US phone ad), but then again I wasn't living in Britain in 1991 so maybe I missed the boat because of that. There are any number of albums whose classic status is (or seems to be) highly culture-dependent. For example, I don't "get" that first Stone Roses album. To my ears, it's a perfectly serviceable slice of late '80s British guitar pop (with an admittedly amazing guitarist and one work-of-genius track in "I Am the Resurrection"), nothing more. Why did it hit English critics and fans with such apparently titanic force that fifteen years later it's still always at the top of Brit-compiled "greatest of all time" lists?
I think the Primal Scream record is pretty good. I guess it just opened a lot of doors for dance music and is was so different from that synth crap that got thrown in our faces in the 80s. The Stone Roses record I think is very good. Solid with no bad tracks whatsoever but I think it may also get a little boring with repeated listens. My Bloody Valentines "Loveless" is overrated. I can't even hear the singing that great. It's all wispering and overtly arty. The Boo Radley's "Giant Steps" outshines "Loveless" in every sense of the word. I feel Green Day has finally reached their full potential and hope they climb higher than they are at the moment. I always new they had a classic record in them and I'm glad they're one of the few punk bands of the 90s not "selling out."
I'm a huge Primal Scream fan and my favorite PS album is "Vanishing point". "XTRMNTR" is very strong too. Maybe "Screamadelica" is a bit overrated, but I think it's because of the musical context in 1991. The eighties were finished and this has been a difficult era for music lovers (excuse me Moonbeam ;-)). Some albums in the early 90's have succeeded in freeing us from this crap. "Screamadelica" is one of these albums, with others like "Blue lines", "Nevermind" or "Loveless". That's why these 4 albums are always overloved by music critics. So, even if "Screamadelica" is not in my opinion the best PS albums, I think "loaded" and "higher than the sun" are stunningly beautiful songs and definitive classics of the 90's.
I initially bought LOVELESS on cassette, and the first time I listened to it I thought there was something wrong with either my tape or my machine. It grew on me, though (particularly after I bought it on CD), and now I can honestly call it one of my favorites, even though as Tim says you can't hear the lyrics. I've read the lyrics, and you're not missing anything -- it's about the sound and the mood, not what the words may be saying. One minute there's a wall of noise assaulting your ears, the next it sounds like the music is literally melting into shimmering liquid inside your brain.
In a way, LOVELESS didn't completely make sense to me until I finally picked up its predecessor ISN'T ANYTHING. IA is to LOVELESS essentially as THE BENDS is to OK COMPUTER; a band pushing at the creative limits but still feeling the necessity of remaining somewhat accessible and "listener-friendly", then gaining the confidence on the next album to trust the audience to meet it 100% on its own terms. (Not that ISN'T ANYTHING is anything resembling a pop album, but compared to LOVELESS it's FAITH.)
Loveless is very good.
I agree that Vanishing Point and XTRMNTR are better than Screamadelica too.
I am so tired of the Franz Ferdinand love. They're such fluff. I can't stand how everyone creams themselves whenever there's a catchy rock band.
Agree with Nathaliel, why is Franz Ferdinand so overrated ? Ok they made some good catchy songs (the first four of the album) but is it really the "best album of 2004" ??? I don't understand the music-critics, it seems that everyone has the same taste in music, so almost every year the albums voted as top of the year (n°1, 2 or 3) are often overrated. Why does nobody air his difference instead of all agreing about the best albums ?
I think the main problem is there hasnt actually been a truely excellent album this year. I dont expect any of them to break into the overall top 100. The Franz Ferdinand album is very consistant, I think that's why it's done so well this year.
I'm glad to see Franz Ferdinand get such acclaim. They're nice people and they've recorded a great album. It isn't the best album I've heard, but it IS the best I've heard from 2004.
About Franz Ferdinand:
I think the reason they've received such acclaim is the fact that they are a good band that have had lots of success on both sides of the Atlantic. This means that more people (critics included) have heard they're material and will most likely vote for it on their albums list. I doubt that get very many #1 votes when the publications pole their writers, but more than likely because essentially everyone of their staff lists them someone on their list they receive enough points to take the #1 spot. Franz Ferdinand are the consensus vote.
Personally, I think they are overrated. But they're not really annoying and like Moonbeam (i think) said, they appear to be nice guys who make good music so their ranking at #1 doesn't really upset me that much. Unlike say, The White Stripes in 2003.
I agree that Franz Ferdinand's success is explained at least partly by the fact that there hasn't been a great album out this year - one that everybody in the music world agrees on. But then again, I reckon the last such album was OK Computer, almost eight years ago, or maybe Is This It. And looking at diverse year-end lists, Franz Ferdinand comes preety close to those albums in terms of acclaim.
Modest Mouse should be #1 place or even first as Wilco didn't deserve the "Best Alternative Album" at the Grammys and Franz Ferdinand is a very good band but compared to Modest Mouse they are #2 compared to them. i mean the album starts and ends great as it has a very different step from the whole rock genre and focusing on what is their maint point... how music is an art and how it can be used to express their feelings both the physical and political and emotionally ideas of the world. And for that they should have been nominated "Best Alternative Album", "Best Rock Song", and even "Best Album of the Year" and "Best Music Video". I mean, yeah, Green Day's album was a very political one but its maninly about how teenagers ideas are towards the world and only about 4 or 5 songs are mainly political but the rest is about the lives of teens. As Good News for People who love bad news had a very strange but understanding message in the album when you finished it you start to think...
i have no idea how this thread got bumped (perhaps someone deleted their post?) but the fact that there is no mention of the arcade fire in this thread is really interesting.
Yeah, someone posted some spam in here for some reason.
That certainly seems odd Michael, considering Arcade Fire's enormous acclaim these days. But going back to that period, although Funeral was released in september 2004, I don't recall seeing it for sale as early as 2005. Don't know when this SPIN list was compiled, but I guess it dates from late 04/early '05. At that moment very few people had actually heard Funeral. Maybe it was initially only released in Canada or something...