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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Blubox Top Ten Albums Of 2004: Reloaded

The idea of writing Blubox's Top Ten Albums of 2004 causes me to alternate between a feeling of joy and frustration.

The joy comes from ordering bits of pop culture into a hierarchal list. Deeply satisfying. I enjoy things in this world that have winners. I enjoy finding out who the winner is. But the best feeling, very possibly, is being the one who gets to name the winner. Finally a chance to set the world right after helplessly watching as the world gets it wrong. Earning the top spot on my list is a huge honor -- that the artist who earns this distinction will probably never learn of his impressive achievement doesn't matter as much as you'd think. It's enough to bestow.

Now the frustration part. It kills me and I mean KILLS ME that there are countless albums I haven't heard this year and thus have no way to judge. In fact, I could probably come up with a top ten list of albums I never got a chance to hear in 2004. In fact, here it is:

1. Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand

For most of the year I had no choice but to actively avoid buying this critic's darling of an album. Do you know what I do to critic's darlings? I'd show you but I'd hate for this blog to lose its PG-13 rating. By November, Franz had become immersed in the mainstream. Once co-opted by the soulless, ridiculous Machine, once embraced by every last teeny-bopper in the land, once in heavy rotation on MTV, an odd thing happened: they became kind of charming. In the last month or so, a few friends who I respect (enough) unabashedly sang the Gospels of Franz; friends who I was sure held the same principled anti-Franz stance that I myself had taken, but more and more couldn't maintain without feeling silly. I realized a subconscious change in perspective was occurring in Self-Aware Downtown Male Nation. How Franz went from enemy to friend or how Steve Earle went from friend to acquaintance I'm not sure -- but this shit happens all the time.

2. Go! Team: Thunder Lightening Strike

Not to be confused with the Go Betweens. Or the Go Fuck A Mountain Goat (can you say up-and-comer?) I told music bloggers and clueless in the know hipsters about Go! Team from one song I heard and then they put them on their top list. At least I could swear this is the case. Maybe I need another subconscious change in perspective?

3. Joanna Newsome, Milk-Eyed Mender

Bloggers heart this chick big time. For all I know she could sound like a cross between Diana Degarmo and an electric can-opener.

4. Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans

If only I hadn't missed those 225 shows he played at Mercury Lounge... It is a him, right?

5. The Faint: Wet From Birth

Somehow I knew I'd only be proving a million hipsters wrong. And yet somebody has to do it. Sadly, in this case, never did. And by the way, Arcade Fire... good, not as good as you think.

6. Les Savy Fav: Inches

I don't know. I bought that IMA Robot album. It was good. But that money could have been better spent. Felt that way a lot this year. I'd read about it. Take a chance and buy it. Listen to it for a few weeks. Like it enough. Still, should have put that money towards strippers. Better use of funds I think.

7. Wilco: A Ghost Is Born

Still pissed about not buying the last album... excuse me, masterpiece. Can someone hook a brother up already?

8. The Futureheads: Futureheads

Dude, do I look like Coolfer?

9. Rilo Kiley: More Adventerous

Dude, do I look like Stereogum?

10. TV On The Radio: Desperate Youth, Blood thirsty Babes

This one hurts. I get the feeling I would like them. Tough titties, I guess.






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