The Ten Best CDs of 2004

My friend Cliff sent around an email last week to a group of his friends with his list of the best CDs of 2004.  It was a great list and I replied to him with my thoughts on his selections plus some of my own.  That inspired me to make this post.

The idea is to list my 10 favorite discs of this year.  I missed by one, and I have 11 on my list because I couldn’t pick only 10 that I loved.  This list appears with album covers which are Amazon links on the lower left column of this blog.  I’ve moved the "Top 50 All Time List" which is still a work in progress to the lower right column.

Here we go, from best to almost best.

American Idiot, Green Day - Maybe the best rock record put out this century.  There isn’t a bad song on the record.

Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse - This was number one for most of the year and would have been the winner if American Idiot hadn’t shown up late in the year.  I hadn’t heard of Modest Mouse until 2004 and now they are one of my favorite bands.

A Grand Don’t Come For Free, The Streets - I was obsessed with this record for most of the summer.  I love The Street’s music.  This, like American Idiot, is a concept record which is perfect for iPods and travelling when you can really listen.

Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn - This is a fantastic record.  Many people will put this record at the top of their lists this year.  The secret is Loretta’s incredible songs and voice, combined with Jack White’s production.

Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand - The best new band of the year.  Josh and I saw them live in September with Cliff and his kids.  That was a show to remember.  This record is great.  We’ll see if they can follow it up with something as good.

More Adventurous, Rilo Kiley - Another band that I didn’t know about before this year that has made it onto my favorite band list.  This was a breakthrough record for them and it’s going to be on a lot of top 10 lists.

Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie - Great band, great sound, great record.  It’s easy to listen to.  The songs stick with you.  Plus, my girls like them too.

Encore, Eminem - Cliff thinks Jay Z is the best hip hop artist working today.  I think Eminem is.  And I think Encore is great.

Final Straw, Snow Patrol - We attended a party this summer and met a guy who recommended Snow Patrol and Keane’s new records.  Both records are great and we listen to them a lot.  But I like Snow Patrol better so they make my top 10 list.

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, U2 - It’s softer than previous U2 records.  So what?  I love it.

Let Go, Nada SurfI couldn’t keep this record off my list because it was my favorite record for a good part of this spring.  I haven’t listened to it recently, but I am going to change that today.

Some notable records that didn’t make the list include Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born, Keane’s Hopes and Fears, Paul Westerberg’s Folker, Kings of Convenience’s Riot On An Empty Street, The Postal Service’s Give Up, and Damien Rice’s O.

I hope you all like this list.  If you are looking for a gift for a music lover this holiday season, any and all of these, including the ones that just missed, would be great choices.