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The Best CD's of 2004, 1-25

William A. Miller
 
Funeral
Funeral
"A beautiful disc, challenging, but laden with hooks, this is great, deeply emotional music."
10,000 Years
10,000 Years
"The best rock opera of the year...and that's actually saying something.  Amazing Beatlesque melodies, amazing lyrics, amazing concept."
Van Hunt
Van Hunt
"I was soooo sick of hearing about the next great "neo soul" disc,  and then this. Forget labels, this is great soul music, period."
A Boot and a Shoe
A Boot and a Shoe
"Sophisticated, subtle, and tuneful as hell.  One of my favorite songwriters delivers an ace."
Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand
"Great angular dance rock.  Reminiscent of a number of bands but not derivitave of any of them."
Van Lear Rose
Van Lear Rose
"I only thought I hated country music."
Maria Rita
Maria Rita
"Gorgeous Brazilian pop."
American Idiot
American Idiot
"OK, all is forgiven for spawning 8 million lame "punk" imitators.  This is great rock and roll, and the second great Rock Opera of the year!"
Liars
Liars
"One of the best songwriters of the 70's is back.  And he's pissed. And inspired."
Dios
Dios
"Beatlesque indie pop from California.  Great songwriting."
A Girl Called Eddy
A Girl Called Eddy
"What a voice.  "Heartache" is as beautiful as melancholy gets."
Trouble
Trouble
"Van Morrison comparisons are warranted.  Enough said."
Hot Fuss
Hot Fuss
"The first five songs are as good as it gets.  Incredibly hook laden glam pop.  Falters a bit at the end, but great production throughout."
Alphabetical
Alphabetical
"Deceptively simple synth-soul/pop."
Get Away From Me
Get Away From Me
"Sometimes too clever for her own good, but the future looks mighty bright."
Scissor Sisters
Scissor Sisters
"Easy to dismiss as camp novelty (e.g. Pink Floyd by way of Saturday Night Fever era Bee Gees), they are much better than that.  Elton John wishes he could still write a song like "Take Your Mama Out"."
Ta Det Lugnt
Ta Det Lugnt
"Wow.  A prog/psych rock assault on the senses, and in a good way."
Slow Wonder
Slow Wonder
"Really nice indie pop from the best songwriter of the New Pornographers."
Underdog Victorious
Underdog Victorious
"Criminally underrated singer-songwriter.  One of the few lyricists out there worth reading.  Visit her website, buy her discs, thank me later."
Revolution Starts Now
Revolution Starts Now
"Uneven and angry, the first three songs (especially "Home to Houston") are worth the price of admission."
Careless Love
Careless Love
"Long overdue sophomore disc from Billie Holliday channeling chanteuse."
The Delivery Man
The Delivery Man
"The return to form "When I Was Cruel" was supposed to be."
Thunder Lightning Strike
Thunder Lightning Strike
"OK, mix Blaxploitation soundtrack samples with lots of tinny drums and chearleader vocals, and whaddya get?"
Hopes and Fears
Hopes and Fears
"Piano based brit-pop with great tenor vocals and a wonderful melodic sense."
Happenstance
Happenstance
"Not the "next Fiona Apple" she's reputed to be, but a wonderful talent nonetheless."