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Thursday, December 09, 2004  
2004; A Song Odyssey


So 2004 has nearly ended. I hate end-of-year things that go on and on and on and on and on; who has the time, frankly? There are things to be said and done and drunk. There were some records released this year, and some of them were fucking wicked. Here is a list of 40 albums and 40 singles, to be followed at some stage next week by a list of 40 songs that were not singles. I shall write about the albums (but not much). I shall write about the songs (but not much). The singles I hope you’ve heard on the radio, and if you haven’t it’s much easier to download them and listen for yourself (or else find another blog that did write about them – there won't be many surprises and I’m sure lots of people will have covered them), so I wont write about them at all. How much longer can I keep on doing this? I dunno.

ALBUMS

1. Embrace – Out Of Nothing
I wouldn’t be writing this, probably, if it wasn’t for this band. Perhaps. You all know that now. But anyway. This is the record they should have made 7 years ago. They’re still not finished.

2. Bark Psychosis - ///Codename: Dustsucker
This runs it a very close second, and if it wasn’t for the mad emotional connections and the tears and the stuff that surrounds that one, this would have won. If you haven’t heard it yet, please do so soon.

3. The Necks – Drive By
This accompanied me all year. I may only sleep to it or fuck to it, but sleeping and fucking are two essential and wonderful activities.

4. Various – DFA Compilation #2
This is here just because it should be, because discopunk was never discopunk, because none of the albums it spawned were any good, and because, frankly, it makes me dance in my own room.

5. Fennesz – Venice
For me, more beautiful and evocative and accessible than that Beach Boys one from a couple of years ago. Like the sound of machines dying. “Circassian” may be my favourite song of the year, if “Out Of Nothing” didn’t exist.

6. Junior Boys – Last Exit
I’m not sure where the hype ends and my own opinion begins, but nevertheless, although this lacked some dynamism, is was beautiful and observational. Teach me how to…

7. The Beta Band – Heroes to Zeroes
… fight? They didn’t. They folded instead. I think this is their best record, their most fun (“Outside”) and their most beautiful (“Pure For”). You can’t ask them to do “Dry The Rain” forever, anymore than you can ask them to do 2-step again. No one paid them any mind though.

8. Delays – Faded Seaside Glamour
Crept up on me over the course of, what, nine months? Beautiful, detailed, melodic and more ambitious than it seems. Boys with guitars and hair make good record shocker.

9. Phoenix – Alphabetical
A New York summer filtered through Paris. Perfect at what it does. I wont be able to listen to it again until May, I suspect, unless we get an amazingly sunny March.

10. Girls Aloud – What Will The Neighbours Say
Some kind of mad tour de force, some kind of poppist victory, tune after tune after tune. I wish I was a girl and lived in a city. I wish it was 3am. I suspect you’re lying if you hate.

11. Can – Ege Bamyasi
A reissue, and hence banished from the top ten, but what a record this still is. Alien pop fans play at jazz. 30 years old! Amazing.

12. Brian Eno – Another Green World
Another reissue. Is this the best oddpop record ever? Eno and I share a birthday. I want those cards, man.

13. Orbital – Blue Album
Bye bye love, bye bye sweet carress, hello loneliness, I think I’m gonna cry.

14. The Blue Nile – High
It sounds like The Blue Nile, ergo it is beautiful and rained on and crystalline and urban and melancholic. If you like those things, listen to this.

15. Tonetraeger – This is Not Here
An unexpected slice of German postrock and electronica, from people who everyone says I would like but who I never investigate. Intensely listenable, which is always good. Pop music is, isn’t it?

16. Ghostface Killah – The Pretty Toney Album
I can’t understand the words! Is Ghostface gay? Who cares. This is the psychedelic soul review.

17. Brian Eno – Before and After Science
Reissue. Not as good as that other one, but not far behind. Had I bought all the remasters instead of just these two, I guess they’d all have ended up in here. But this and Green World are my favourites.

18. Howie B – Mayonnaise
Howie B + Crispin Hunt + some Irish guy I’ve never heard of = the most concise and enjoyable electrofunkpop album of the year. Better than Junior Boys? Less net-trendy, that’s for sure. Not released in the UK. Why not?

19. !!! – Louden Up Now
Not a bad try, all told. They got the sonics right, at least.

20. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
Faded as months passed, because the tunes simply didn’t fall apart and remain strong. But for those first two listens, beautiful.

21. Mouse On Mars – Radical Connector
Sentimentality decrees this must be here somewhere, and 21 is as good (and arbitrary) as any other number. This is almost deconstructionist discopunk.

22. Eminem – Encore
He knows what he’s doing. Let him do it. My heart lies in the coffin with Eminem.

23. Can – Monster Movie
SMOKED A HAIKU CIGARETTE, TURNED AROUND AND THEN WE LEFT…

24. Can – Tago Mago
Not as good as people say, but still… wow.

25. Kanye West – The College Dropout
I have a problem with his problem with education. Also, learn more tricks. But very good.

26. Lambchop – Aw C’mon / No You C’mon
Kurt sounds like he is dying. This makes me sad. Totally inferior to the last two, because it has no over-riding character. It is just Lambchop being Lambchop.

27. Wilco – A Ghost is Born
Too much guitar? HE DID A DRONE, THAT’S ALL. I still love his voice.

28. The Mountain Goats – We Shall All Be Healed
Not listened enough. I love John Darnielle. I hope one day to see him live and share beer and chat with him.

29. Tom Waits – Real Gone
Cranked. I do not have fanaticism on my side, but I still enjoyed this.

30. The Earlies – These Were The Earlies
It sounds like Yo La Tengo remixed by Plaid. Some people think that is the greatest thing ever. I think it is just very good. Possibly a concept album about death.

31. Various – Moaning, Groaning, Crying
Old soul. Lots of it. Concise, upbeat, lots of horns, amazing basslines. Fucking class.

32. JC Chasez – Schizophrenic
Ignore the final third, take out all the ballads bar “Build My World” – please, JC, do more sex-bangers. You’re good at them. Also more Jaxxxxxxxx.

33. Various – Kompakt 100
German techno. Lots of it. Drawn out, downbeat, lots of synths. Fucking class.

34. The Arcade Fire – Funeral
Some indie shit. I do not understand American indie boys. This was… like a really good busker who used to take acid and has lost his dog.

35. The Killers – Hot Fuss
Note to all and sundry; please mix your albums with more than just midrange. I am sick of lack of space and bass. Some good tunes though. Not enough like Pulp.

36. Dizzee Rascal – Showtime
Really, Dizzee, what the fuck are you gonna do? Nintendo hip hop? Grime? Urban? Kicked Wiley’s ass. Not hard. Lacked tunes, but done quick. Good man. Stay on top.

37. Bjork – Medulla
Bjork sings. No electronics. Some beatboxing. Very good. Not very moreish.

38. Adem – Homesongs
Guy from Fridge makes album of subdued futurist country. Very pleasant.

39. Felix Da Housecat – Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever
Guy from nightclub makes technodancefunkpunk futurist thingamabob. Very excitable.

40. Brian Wilson – Smile
Guy from Beach Boys makes Beach Boys album. Late and overrated.


SINGLES

1. LCD Soundsystem – “Yeah”
2. Britney – “Toxic”
3. Deep Dish – “Flashdance”
4. Girls Aloud – “Love Machine”
5. Eminem – “Just Lose It”
6. Robbie Williams – “Radio”
7. M.I.A. – “Galang”
8. Kelis – “Trick Me”
9. Kylie – “I Believe In You”
10. Embrace – “Ashes”
11. Scissor Sisters – “Laura”
12. Rachel Stevens – “Some Girls”
13. Blink 182 – “I Miss You”
14. Ghostface – “Run”
15. The Streets – “Dry Your Eyes”
16. Nas – “Bridging The Gap”
17. Natasha Beddingfield – “These Words”
18. Dizzee Rascal – “Stand Up Tall”
19. Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
20. Kanye West – “Jesus Walks”
21. Khia – “My Neck, My Back”
22. LCD Soundsystem – “Movement”
23. Girls Aloud – “The Show”
24. Embrace – “Gravity”
25. Snoop Dogg – “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
26. Delays – “Long Time Coming”
27. The Zutons – “Don’t Ever Think”
28. The Streets – “Blinded By The Lights”
29. Jamelia – “DJ” / “Stop”
30. Scissor Sisters – “Mary”
31. Snow Patrol – “Run”
32. Usher – “Yeah”
33. Goldie Lookin’ Chain – “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do”
34. Nelly – “Flap Your Wings” / “My Place”
35. Delays – “Lost In A Melody” / “Wanderlust”
36. Green Day – “American Idiot”
37. Destiny’s Child – “Lose My Breath”
38. Avril Lavigne – “My Happy Ending”
39. Shapeshifters – “Lola’s Theme”
40. The Killers – “Mr Brightside”



Thanks to Emma, J, Todd, Dom, Billy, Julie, M&K, DM, RM, MD, MH and SF (also TP and Y and AM, in a roundabout way), Steve, Pete, GS, Karim, Ben, Stylus, Grooves, everyone I’ve played football with, everyone I’ve played records with, everyone who’s got me drunk, everyone who passes through AV, everyone I’ve had an interesting conversation with and anyone who’s kept me engaged via that there internet for the last 12 months, and also anyone who’s read anything, anywhere, that I’ve written, and not thought I was a cunt.

NJS

12/09/2004 08:48:00 pm

16 Comments:

Blogger Ian - 2:46 am

What's with the thank-yous? They make it sound like you're leaving for somewhere (I realise this may be intentional).

Do you know, until I read this list some part of my mind had blocked out the fact that Orbital has called it quits.

Still don't get Bark Psychosis, guess I better go listen to "Shapeshifting" again.

Do you have the Necks on slsk? I wouldn't mind hearing it, but that's the only way I'm going to be able to, probably...

 
Blogger Nick - 10:10 am

I don't think i do, but I guess I could put it up again, although I'm not SLSK'ing much these days. It should be pretty easy to find - I'd gmail it to you, if it wasn't 60 minutes long!

 
Blogger Nick - 10:10 am

Also the BP album should be listened to all at once, alone, at night, quite loud.

 
Blogger Ian - 12:27 pm

Probably, but I can't/won't exactly buy it on spec, eh? I'll look for you next time I'm on slsk.

 
Anonymous Anonymous - 12:28 pm

We all know you're a cunt, Nick. But that doesn't stop anyone reading the shite you write...
And why wasn't Dylan on your list?

love Gregorius Van Halen

 
Anonymous Anonymous - 2:52 pm

A serious omission? 2 words - GRAHAM COXON

 
Anonymous Anonymous - 3:34 pm

Is that my Pete in the list?

 
Anonymous Anonymous - 7:27 pm

after your 'i am tiring of writing' stuff earlier this year. your 'thanks list' looks like a farewell, is it?

 
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Comments by snide cunts will be deleted with great pleasure.

 
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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com


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