Reviews > CD > Best of 2004
The Libertines19 Libertines, The Libertines
Is this their last effort?

A great article in Blender made us want to check out the latest release from London's The Libertines. A band so full of dysfunction could not be worth all the praise and hype they were getting. Co-frontmen Carl Barat and Pete Doherty trade lines and tackle their personal problems head on with the opening "Can't Stand Me Now" and get the ball rolling from their. No doubt the buzz is well deserved.

Best Songs: "Cant Stand Me," "Music When the Lights Go Out," & "What Katie Did"

Purchase:
The Libertines The Libertines
» Official Site


Encore18 Eminem, Encore
The king of rap is back

Shady is back with another terrific CD, proving to be just be getting better and better with every release. Here Eminem holds back the surprise factor and sticks to what he knows with the same beats that he and Dr. Dre seem to do better than anyone. Eminem also takes a political stance and is starting to show a more mature side to his music, that may end up alienating his fans who love to hear Eminem spew his hate.

Best Songs: "Mosh," "Like Toy Soldiers," & "Just Lose It"

Purchase:
Encore Encore
» Official Site


There Will Be A Light17 Ben Harper & Blind Boys of Alabama, There Will Be A Light
Rocking gospel like only Ben Harper can

The world of jam takes a step back as Ben Harper joins with the Blind Boys of Alabama to form a great disc full of original and gospel classics. Harper's sweet voice takes its place with the Blind Boys to form the nearest thing to a tent-revival. Though a "gospel" record might not be as "cool" as the usual Harper fare, it shows Harper not afraid to do what he believes and forms with the Blind Boys for a terrific team.

Best Songs: "Wicked man," "Well, Well, Well ," & "Pictures of Jesus"

Purchase:
There Will Be A Light There Will Be A Light
» Official Site


We are not Alone Here16 Breaking Benjamin, We are not Alone Here
New face of rock

It wouldn't be a year in music without an appearance by Billy Corgan. Though he only helped with Breaking Benjamin's second CD, you can hear his influence on the band of much tighter musicians. The songs have a clear path and the big riffs driving music just shoots them out of your speakers. an expanded range for vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Ben Burnley add new dimensions to the band and should see the band continuing their rise to the top.

Best Songs: "So Cold," "Simple Design," & "Firefly"

Purchase:
We are not Alone Here We are not Alone Here
» Official Site


Love Is Hell15 Ryan Adams, Love Is Hell
Moody set originally turned down by label

Originally scrapped instead of the more catchy Rock N Roll, Love is Hell was initially released as two EPS. Finally this year, it got the respect it deserved with a full release. Adams is more gentle and understated which bring so much to the more haunting songs. The Love is Hell series shows Adams where he is best and hearken back to Whiskeytown and prove that this Alt-legend can definitely have it both ways.

Best Songs: "Wonderwall," "Hotel Chelsea Nights," & "Political Scientist"

Purchase:
Love Is Hell Love Is Hell
» Official Site


June's Picture Show14 Ingram Hill, June's Picture Show
How debuts should sound

An unknown when we got it, June's Picture Show is full of rich harmonies and melodies wrapped in nice tight packages. These pop rock hooks bring the listener in to the soft voice of singer Justin Moore. The disc really shines in the instances where the tone of the music differs from the lyrics. The contrast is what makes Ingram Hill stand out from the rest. Add all that to the catchy hooks and you have a can not miss formula.

Best Songs: "Almost Perfect," "The Captain," & "Will I Ever Make it Home"

Purchase:
June's Picture Show June's Picture Show
» Official Site » 03/04/2004 - Photos » Exclusive Interview


John Frusciante13 John Frusciante
Solo Pepper releases his sound

The great guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers stepped out on his own in 2004, and brought a new CD a month for the final 6 or 7 months of 2004. All the discs showcase Frusciante as a dedicated songwriter and really how much influence he has had on the current Chili Peppers sound. Frusciante shows he is a rare musician that is able keep place in one of the biggest bands in the world but equally as strong on his own.

Best Songs: "Carvel," "Omission," & "Inside a Break"

Purchase:
John Frusciante John Frusciante
» Official Site » 09/12/03 - Photos » 09/12/03 - Review » CD Review: By The Way » 08/14/00 - Live @ Darien Lake » Photos from 8/14/2000


Prince12 Prince, Musicology
Real music from a real musician

Hailed as a comeback, Prince really never went anywhere. Musicology serves as is return to what he does best. The disc showcases real music made by real musicians in a world full of fake fluff. Prince showcases his ability throughout the disc as not only one of the greatest songwriters, but also as an underrated guitarist and musician, as well as bringing back the funk. Prince showcases all sides of his skill from the slow & seductive to the funky party.

Best Songs: "Musicology," "Cinnamon Girl," & "Life 'O' The Party"

Purchase:
Musicology Musicology
» Official Site


Modest Mouse11 Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Finally getting their due after all these years

They may have been around for 10 years, but in 2004 Modest Mouse brought together one of the big radio songs of the year. The relaxed (compared to their previously releases) mood brings the listener in while the vitality of the group remains strong. Whether it is big melodies or the horn feuled epics, Modest Mouse has crafted a well rounded disc well worth a listen from start to finish.

Best Songs: "Float On," "The Ocean Breathes Salty," & "The Devil's Work Day"

Purchase:
Good News for People Who Love Bad News Good News for People Who Love Bad News
» Official Site


Twentysomething10 Jamie Cullum, Twentysomething
Making jazz cool again

Jazz got a big boost this year thanks to English singer/pianist Jamie Cullum. His easy polished voice rolls through his originals as well as the standard covers, and the more adventurous covers of Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, and the ever-terrific Jeff Buckley. Its that blend of old and new that makes twentysomething such an enjoyable listen.

Best Songs: "High and Dry," "Wind Cries Mary," & "Lover, You Should Have Come Over"

Purchase:
Twentysomething Twentysomething
» Official Site

 

 

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» 50 Best Photos

» Live Moments of 2004

» 10 To Watch in 2005

1. Assembly of Dust - Honest Hour
Jam banders live set full of great jams.

2. Klear - Making Noise
Good 'ole boys "makin' noise."

3. Mardo - Mardo
Garage rock done right.

4. Last Conservative - On To The Next One
Hook filled tunes that can't get away from you..

5. Baby Boy H - The Later
Great new disc from Boston-area rockers.

 

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