Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Top CDs of 2004

Here is my attempt at a top 10 list. Just like last year the same rules apply, these are from the list of cds I bought in 2004, and may not have necessarily been released in 2004. Once again not in any particular order.

  • The Thrills - So Much For The City - released in 2003 but I had not heard of them until an instore at Tower. Jacki, Darian and I got to see a small acoustic set and got the cd signed afterwards. Neil Young meets the Beach Boys with a knack for pop melodies against folk songs. Also this album is much better than their second release that did come out in 2004. Highlights Big Sur, and One Horse Town
  • Damageplan - New Found Power - RIP Dimebag. This cd was one of the ones I listened to most in the first half of 2004. And with the tragedy in early December the disc as well as other Pantera music has been in strong rotation. The cd is good, not as great as Vulgar or Far Beyond but definitely one of the better metal releases of the year. Standout tracks Breathing New Life, and Pride.
  • Norah Jones - Feels Like Home - What can I say. Although I don't like the production on this release as much as on her first disc, I do really enjoy the music. This one has been in heavy rotation in my car since its release. The Deluxe Edition has some nice extras, but is probably not worth the extra cost. Standout tracks Toes, and Creepin' In.
  • Ryan Adams - Rock N Roll - Great disc. Much more rockin' than his previously released material. Some of the songs have the production values of U2 circa 1982. There are some standout tracks on this disc, highlights include This Is It, Wish You Were Here, The Drugs Not Working
  • Bob Schneider - I'm Good Now - The best artist no one has ever heard of, at least outside of Austin. Bob continues to amaze and his song writing seems to get more creative and polished over time. One of Darian's favorites on this disc is Piggyback. Favorites of mine include Come With Me Tonight, I'm Good Now and God Is My Friend.
  • Killswitch Engage - End Of Heartache - By far the best metal release of 2004. The band caught my attention last year but they brought it home with this release. Rose of Sharyn, and the title track, The End Of Heartache are worth the purchase alone.
  • Dave Matthews Band - Live At the Gorge Box Set - This set gave me renewed interest in live DMB material. 6 discs is quite a bit to absorb but these performances from 2002 have some great moments. The 2nd of the 3 nights has the best performance with Loving Wings -> Where Are You Going and Two Step back to back. Carter plays some great drums on Loving Wings which is included on the 2cd/1dvd set available in stores. The dvd and box set also include my all time favorite DMB tune Seek Up. The box set is only available at
  • Green Day - American Idiot - This may get the vote for best cd of 2004. I think when the grammys come around in February they will bring home multiple awards. Buy this disc for Jesus Of Suburbia. It calls back to some old school riffs including the Crue, The Who, Sex Pistols all with Green Day's stamp on it. This song is one of those mini-epics in a similar vein to The Who's A Quick One.
  • Frank Zappa - Quadiophiliac (DVD Audio) - This is disc Dweezil put together with the help of the Vaultmeister Joe Travers. These are the quad mixes FZ put together through the years and now with the advent of surround sound the Zappa Family Trust has been able to put this disc out in DTS and the high-res DVD Audio format. I've only heard the PCM stereo mixes and the DTS mixes and I've got no complaints. Chunga Basement is a rehearsal recorded in Frank's Basement and Rollo, as Dweezil states, is bitchin.
  • Kings Of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood - After seeing them at Bonnaroo I was hooked. I had never heard of these guys and came away a believer. This was another release from 2003, and much better than their 2nd release which did come out in 2004, although as import only. Tracks to check out Happy Alone, Red Morning Light, and Wasted Time.
I'm now out of my top 10 but I'll go ahead and make a few honorable mentions.
  • Mike Keneally in some shape or form released 3 cds and a dvd this year. The DVD that accompanied Dog is some of the most inspirational playing I've seen in some time. Seeing him jam with the Mike Keneally Band in a living room with minimal set up and taped with standard home video cameras makes you wonder why can't anyone put out products like this. Check out the following from
    • Dog w/DVD (The dvd is better than the cd)
    • The Universe Will Provide (classical music with solo electric guitar)
    • Steve Vai's - Piano Reductions Volume 1, performed by Mike Keneally (Mike arranged and performed some great Vai tunes for solo piano)
  • Bon Jovi - 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong - Much like the DMB 6 disc set, this 4 disc set with dvd is quite a bit to digest. The remarkable thing is 38 of the tracks nearly 3/4ths of the material is previously unreleased. These songs represent some of the rarities and outtakes through the years. The clincher is many of these songs are better than those on actual Bon Jovi releases. Yes there are a couple of duds (sorry Tico), but overrall you'll discover some great Bon Jovi tunes from the Slippery Days all the way up to their latest release. Jacki and Darian have accused me of being gay going through a Bon Jovi phase, but thankfully I think I'm out of it.
  • Primus - live releases from - between the Bonnaroo show, the Atlanta show I attended, the Roseland show I bought from last year's tour and the DVD release of the final US show in Chicago Primus shows that it has the chops live. Maybe even more so than their studio releases. Check out
  • Umphrey's Mcgee - Anchor Drops - Another Bonnaroo discover although indirectly. There was a huge buzz about these guys but I ended up watching Primus the night they were on stage so I missed their set. Nothing like a listening station at Tower Records to hook me.
And a few that require some type of comment.
  • Velvet Revolver - Contraband - It's good but it should have been better given the talent. Check out Big Machine
  • Col Claypools Bucket Of Bernie Brains - Another Tower Records listening station purchase. Check out Junior (Yee Haw!)
  • U2 - How To Dismantle A Bomb - Vertigo is up with American Idiot for best rock song of 2004.
  • Marc Broussard - Carencro - Once again listening stations really do work! Check out Home.
And the most overrated disc of 2004.
  • Deathcab For Cutie - Transatlanticsim - Numerous people at work couldn't stop raving about this disc. I just don't get it. And as I've always believed my friend's music sucks :-)
So all in all you get 20 recommendations from me and one advisory!

And there it is for 2004...

If you have read this far please provide comments or suggestions of your favorites for 2004. I'm always looking for an excuse to check out new music.


Anonymous said...

Your top 10 list reaffirm's your quote:

>And as I've always believed my friend's music >sucks :-)

David said...

Yeah the quote is harsh. But really let me know what you'd recommend and I'll at least check it out.

Ron said...

You should enjoy this site: They just launched a category for "Best rock song ever". I voted for Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

(C) 2003- 2008 ytsanyd | |