From The Archives: The Best of 2003 and 2004

Well, it’s that time of year again, that’s right, list time. I realized I didn’t have this stuff up on my blog, so I dug it up, and here it is for your commenting enjoyment.

The Best of 2004

1 (tie). Sufjan StevensSeven Swans – A real gem of a record, (but I actually didn’t hear it until after 2004 was over). [Incredibly, Sufjan would top himself in 2005, with his masterpiece, Illinois].
1 (tie). Modest MouseGood News for People… – My favorite album of the year from the minute I heard it.
2. Iron and WineOur Endless Numbered Days – Excellent. Another contender for the number 1 spot.
3. Franz FerdinandS/T – I played it out man.

The rest are in no particular order:
OzomatliStreet Signs – Another strong effort from the LA collective.
Razorlight Up All Night – It’s not original, but it is catchy.
Sarah HarmerAll of our Names – Very solid effort. Sarah always delivers.
Tegan and SaraSo Jealous – So catchy, you can’t help but like it. [The pop sensibility of this album still amazes me today].

Solid albums:
Richard BucknerDents and Shells – A return to form by Mr. Buckner
Joanna NewsomMilk Eyed Mender – [Upon present day reflection, this album should have been in the top ten.]

Other good albums (but not Top Ten material IMHO):
A.C. NewmanSlow Wonder – I really only like the first track, Miracle Drug.
Mutual Admiration Society – I’m a Nickel Creek fan.
WilcoA Ghost Is Born – Good album, but way overrated. Best track is Handshake Drugs (wish it didn’t have that annoying fade out).
Eleni MandellAfternoon – Good album.
Carolyn Mark – Solid album.

Albums I wanted to hear, but never did:
Devendra Banhart – NiƱo Rojo & Rejoicing in the Hands

Most overrated album of the year:
Arcade FireFuneral – It’s not bad, it’s good, but they didn’t reinvent the wheel. [As an aside, I still feel more or less the same way about this album today, but there is no denying they are a great live band. I am looking forward to their next release, whenever it finally comes out.]

Most overrated film of the year:

Best film of the year
Napoleon Dynamite – Most original hilarious comedy in ages.

The Best of 2003

My Top 12 (In no real order)
Be Good Tanyas – Chinatown – The best album I heard last year.
The White Stripes – Elephant – The best rock album of the year.
Josh Rouse1972 – A good effort, but not quite as accomplished as last 2 albums.
The WaifsUp All Night – A nice sophomore effort.
The ShinsChutes Too Narrow – Ditto.
The WrensMeadowlands
The WeakerthansReconstruction Site – A great pop record.
Broken Social SceneYou Forgot it in People – Sort of a one song record, but a great one.
Po’ GirlS/T
OzomatliComing Up EP – A standout EP.
Yes New YorkVarious Artists – A compilation, what is this world coming to!
Yo La TengoSummer Sun

Jeff BuckleyLive at Sine (Sony Legacy 2CD)
Elvis CostelloGet Happy (Rhino)

Bubbling under:
Emmylou HarrisStumble Into Grace
The JayhawksRainy Day Music
Manuel Galban & Ry CooderMambo Sinuendo

What I missed (but would like to hear):
CalexicoFeast of Wire
Songs: OhiaMagnolia Electric Co.
The DecemberistsHer Majesty the Decemberists

Biggest Disappointments:
Elvis CostelloNorth
RadioheadHail to the Thief