Reviews > CD > Best of 2004
Bob Schneider50Bob Schneider, I'm Good Now
Singer/Songwriter from Austin

Bob Schneider has been around the Austin, TX music scene for years now and a solo artist since 1999. I'm Good Now is Schneider at his finest. With styles all over the place, Schneider brings the listener in with lyrics that go deeper than the usual singer/songwriter with lyrics delving into lost romance, alienation & drug addiction. Schneider's music and lyrics have that rare ability to make the listener feel something with every thing on record.

Best Songs: "Come With Me Tonight," "The Way Life Is Supposed To Be," & "Cap'n Kirk"

Purchase:
I'm Good Now I'm Good Now
»Official Site


Lost Trailors49 Lost Trailors, Welcome to the Woods
Rootsy rock done right

Atlanta based rockers have pretty much been on the road for three years straight now and their efforts prove worthy, with a great major label debut CD. Welcome to the Woods is full of songs that harken back to the days of early Springsteen with lavish songs full of story telling and harmony. These quasi-country based songs take you back to a much simpler time, a time when good songwriting was all that mattered.

Best Songs: "Longfall," "Down in the Valley," & "Averly Jane"

Purchase:
Welcome to the Woods Welcome to the Woods
»Official Site


Flickerstick48 Flickerstick, Tarantula
Texas rockers first new disc since 2000

A long time favorite of the EmpyreLounge.com, the Texas based rockers are finally back with a disc full of new material, granted it will probably be followed with a remix album knowing the guy's history and luck. Tarantula finds them hitting some old themes, but really revamping their sound and bringing in new elements. The songs really jump off the record and really kick into high gear when lead singer Brandon Lea sits down and adds the piano to the mix.

Best Songs: "When You Were Young," "Teenage Dope Fiend," & "The Ones"

Purchase:
Tarantula Tarantula
»Official Site »10/12/04 Interview »10/12/04 Photos »11/20/03 Interview »11/20/03 Photos »11/02 Interview »07/01 Interview »07/01 Review »CD Welcoming Home The Astronaut


Ben Arnold47 Ben Arnold, Calico
The pride of Philadelphia

Philadelphia always will have a special place in our heart as the first true home to the EmpyreLounge.com, but boy are we sorry we didn't discover Ben Arnold until after we left. This Philly boy sure knows good. With his unique lyrics and offbeat delivery, Arnold's Calico is such a good listen. Arnold brings a very human quality to his music and brings the listener in very quickly. It is that quality that makes Calico such a good CD.

Best Songs: "Zig Zag," "Calico Kid ," & "House of Cards"

Purchase:
Calico Calico
»Official Site


Letter Kills46 Letter Kills, The Bridge
Rockers with a message

Finally music is getting back to a time where artists have something to say. Letter Kills has toured relentlessly through the last couple of years and first jumped out at us with an opening slot for Story of the Year. Not only does Letter Kills' music jump out at you but their lyrics don't hit the usual rock low points. With songs with an actual message to them, Letter Kills give hopes that not only can the average kid be like them, but also better than them.

Best Songs: "Don't Believe," "Time Marches On," & "Shot To The Chest"

Purchase:
The Bridge The Bridge
»Official Site »Purchase»10/27/2004 - Photos »Artist on the Horizon »4/27/2004 - Photos »4/27/2004 - Concert Review


Into the Now45 Tesla, Into the Now
Rockers return with a purpose

These rock legends seemingly disappeared after their breakthrough "Signs" but that is not so. After a short hiatus, the band is back and more important back with a vengeance. Into the Now has big guitars, that take you back to the future, but also have the hooks that made them stars. Lightning has struck again for these guys from the Bay Area.

Best Songs: "Into the Now," "Caught in a Dream," & "Miles Away"

Purchase:
Into the Now Into the Now
»Official Site »Into the Now E-Card »05/10/2004 - Photos »05/10/2004 - Review


Ari Hest44 Ari Hest, Someone to Tell
How debuts should sound

On his major label debut, Ari Hest shows all he has to offer. Someone to Tell is how the singer/songwriter genre has been built. This 24 year old Bronx native has it all with a disc full of great songwriting, musicianship, and one of the best new voices in the game. Most of all, Hest has the determination and confidence that just pops out of his songs. A great first step for someone who will be around a long time.

Best Songs: "They're On To Me," "A Fond Farewell," & "Fascinate You"

Purchase:
Someone to Tell Someone to Tell
»Official Site


Lost Trailors43 Eric Clapton, Me And Mr. Johnson
Slowhands covers a legend

It is not very often you find one legend crafting a CD fully paying homage to one of his idols and main influences. Here the legendary Robert Johnson is paid tribute by someone who has studied at his alter for years. Eric Clapton brings life to the songs and is able to bring the great Robert Johnson's music to a whole new generation of blues lovers. It's one to wonder if Clapton too go down to the crossroads & sell his soul to the devil to record this great disc.

Best Songs: "Me And The Devil Blues," "Kind Hearted Woman Blues," & "Love In Vain"

Purchase:
Me and Mr. Johnson Me And Mr. Johnson
»Official Site


R.E.M.42 R.E.M., Around the Sun
Legends return

R.E.M. was once the biggest band in the world and then seemed to take a step back. Lucky for us they have, as they ignored the bombast of where their career might have went and have gone back to what got them to the limelight in the first place. Around the Sun is full of beautifully crafted songs that showcases the songs instead of overshadowing them. Make no bones about it, R.E.M. is as good as ever.

Best Songs: "Leaving New York," "I Wanted To Be Wrong," & "The Ascent Of Man"

Purchase:
Around the Sun Around the Sun
»Official Site


Pedro the Lion41Pedro the Lion, Achilles Heel
Honest music done right

Achilles Hell definitely is a disc that took some time to grow on us. With every listen, the disc exposed something new and something else jumped off of it. Songwriter Dave Bazan's emotionally charged narratives really paint a wonderful picture of what is going on in the lyrics though imagery and the sheer confidence of the words.

Best Songs: "Discretion ," "Keep Swinging," & "A Simple Plan"

Purchase:
Achilles Heel Achilles Heel
»Official Site


Trouble40 Ray LaMontagne, Trouble
New Hampshire singer/songwriter's debut

This cd was recommended to us by Jason Mraz and we rushed to get it and needless to say we were not disappointed. This New Hampshire former shoe factory worker has put together an impressive debut of songs, mostly recorded live. LaMontagne wears his heart on his sleeves as the simplicity of his words and feelings really do more to jump off and give LaMontagne quite an endearing quality. Without a doubt we have not yet heard his best.

Best Songs: "Trouble," "Hold You In My Arms," & "All The Wild Horses"

Purchase:
Trouble Trouble
»Official Site

 

 

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» 50 Best Photos

» Live Moments of 2004

» 10 To Watch in 2005

» 51. Jim Donovan, Revelation #9
Rusted Root drummer steps out with percussive gem.

» 52. Beastie Boys, To The 5 Boroughs
Rap legends return to what they know best.

» 53. Usher, Confessions
Soulful gem by the new king of pop..

» 54. Eagles Of Death Metal, Peace Love Death Metal
What can go wrong with QOTSA's Josh Hommes on one of the two drum kits?

» 55. Rod Stewart, Stardust...The Great American Songbook: Volume III
Stewart furthers his move to crooner with gem full of old standards.

» 56. Bowling for Soup, A Hangover You Don't Deserve
Texas rockers back with hook filled disc, taking you back to the 80s..

» 57. Elvis Costello, The Delivery Man
Costello returns to roots for this gem.

» 58. Interpol, Antics
Dark, moody follow up to Turn On the Bright Lights.

» 59. Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous
Alt-country rockers making a statement.

» 60. Van Hunt, Van Hunt
Sultry & smooth debut record

 

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» 39 - 30
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