Reviews > CD > Best of 2004
Donovan Frankenreiter29 Donovan Frankenreiter, Donovan Frankenreiter
Sounds from the beach

Longtime friend of Jack Johnson decides to step away from the beach and bring forth on of the best crafted discs of the year. The great summer beach record is found here but Frankenreiter's honest lyrics truly shine when he takes an introspective look. The simple style and swaying vocals really make Donovan stand out from the barrage of singer/songwriters.

Best Songs: "Free," "Butterfly," & "Call Me Papa"

Purchase:
Donovan Frankenreiter Donovan Frankenreiter
» Official Site » 09/15/04 Interview » 09/15/04 Photos


This Dirty South28 Drive By Truckers, This Dirty South
The South is rising again

One of the discs that just kept shooting up the list with every listen. Each song telling a story of how certain choices affect their character, the Truckers are the modern day Southern storytellers. The songs do not hold punches with tales of illiteracy, cancer, unemployment, and crime and consequences fashioned by a band who is set to make their mark as some of the best writers in music today.

Best Songs: "Tornadoes," "Danko / Manuel," & "The Sands of Iwo Jima"

Purchase:
This Dirty South This Dirty South
» Official Site


The Hustle27 G Love, The Hustle
The pride of Philadelphia returns

A Philadelphia favorite returns to what he knows best, that front-porch lounging style that brought him fans all over the country. G Love's unique delivery and sound stand him out amongst the crowded musical market and The Hustle brings G taking more of an introspective look than on previous CDs letting the listener see the real G for the first time on record. But when it comes full circle, G Love still knows how to party.

Best Songs: "Don't Drop It," "Astronuat," & "Booty Call"

Purchase:
The Hustle The Hustle
» Official Site » 09/01/04 Interview » 09/15/04 Photos » Artist Essentials » 08/10/03 Photos » 08/10/03 Live in Philadelphia, PA » 08/03 Interview


Shinedown26 Shinedown, Leave a Whisper
Rockers fly on to the scene

If you turned on Modern Rock Radio at any point in 2004, you heard Shinedown in the matter of minutes. These melodic hard rockers from Florida burst onto the scene with their hard hitting sounds and catchy hooks. Leave a Whisper has everything that we love in rock music, the big music and the catchy hooks, all brought together with the solid melodies and harmonies.

Best Songs: "Fly From The Inside," "Left Out ," & "All I Ever Wanted"

Purchase:
Leave a Whisper Leave a Whisper
» Official Site


Tipping Point 25 The Roots, Tipping Point
The best rap group in the world

How do you follow up one of the biggest records of your career? If you are Philadelphia's own, The Roots, you go back to basics and focus on what you know best. Rapper Black Thought shines throughout the disc and his raps really shine and bring together the music by THE rap band in music.

Best Songs: "Star," "Don't Say Nuthin," & "Somebody's Gotta Do It"

Purchase:
Tipping Point Tipping Point
» Official Site » 09/04/2004 - Concert Review » 09/04/2004 - Concert Photos


Crossfade24 Crossfade, Crossfade
How debuts should sound

South Carolina rockers Crossfade burst onto the scene with their debut single "Cold" and just had us itching to hear more. Needless to say we were not disappointed once we did. Their self-titled debut is shining with the intensity of their live show and showcases the stellar songwriting. While bands are out trying to be something they are not, Crossfade is very true to their self and show a very genuine side in their songs.

Best Songs: "Cold," "So Far Away," & "Dead Skin"

Purchase:
Crossfade Crossfade
» Official Site


New Danger23 Mos Def, New Danger
A return to the mic for the Def poet

Finally Mos Def steps away from all his other projects (acting, Def Poets, and more) and gets back where he belongs behind the mic. This 18-track opus combines hip-hop, blues, soul, and rock in a terrific package. Mos Def's charisma stands above everything with his killer words and The New Danger is by far the most well-rounded release of 2004.

Best Songs: "The Boogie Man Song," "Ghetto Rock," & "The Panties"

Purchase:
New Danger New Danger
» Official Site


Smile22 Brian Wilson, Smile
Legend returns with a masterpiece

The album that was about 25 years in the making. Originally conceived as the follow up to the Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson finally finished Smile. A definite must for those who want to relive one of rock's legendary figures at his highest. Smile truly shows Brian Wilson for the genius that he is.

Best Songs: "Roll Plymouth Rock," "Vega-Tables," & "Surf's Up"

Purchase:
Smile Smile
» Official Site


From a Basement on the Hill21 Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill
Last CD from one of the most underrated

One of indie rocks legends, the late Elliot Smith leaves us a beautiful swan song. This posthumous release shows Smith returning to an earlier/edgy guitar driven sound that was missing from his terrific ballads, and finds Smith in a somewhat of an upbeat emotion. Smith's powerful songwriting and production skills are shown in their full breath.

Best Songs: "Pretty (Ugly Before)," "Last Hour," & "A Fond Farewell"

Purchase:
From a Basement on the Hill From a Basement on the Hill
» Official Site


Franz Ferdinand20 Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Scottish rockers who ruled the radio

"Take Me Out" was all over the place in 2004. Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand was definitely one of the breakout stars because of it. Their debut is full of guitar-heavy post-pop that makes you want to dance around the room while playing air guitar. Franz Ferdinand is an smart and fun debut from Scotland that ruled the airways and should keep the band around for years to come.

Best Songs: "Take Me Out," "This Fire," & "Michael"

Purchase:
Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
» Official Site

 

 

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» 50 Best Photos

» Live Moments of 2004

» 10 To Watch in 2005

1. "Purple Rain" - Prince
A ten-plus minute opus that had people still singing on the way to the T.

2. "Love Song" - Tesla
Lighters sparked up to dangerous levels in a sold out, acid-wash filled TLA.

3. "All These Things That I've Done" - The Killers
The crowd chanting mid-song leading to an extended jam and chorus.

4. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" - Nathanson & OAR
Dueling vocals at the Electric Factory on the U2 classic.

5. Jason Mraz Curbside Prophet Tour
The first show in Boston made memorable by a handful of great performances.

 

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