Back in January 2005, I listed my favorite albums of 2004:
1. Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat.
2. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born.
3. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs.
4. Mike Watt – The Secondman’s Middle Stand.
5. Liars – They Were Wrong, So We Drowned.
6. Mission of Burma – ONoffON.
7. Deerhoof - Milk Man.
8. Will Johnson – Vultures Await.
9. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free.
10. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youths, Bloodthirsty Babes.
Best album of 1967 that I never expected to hear in my lifetime: Brian Wilson - SMiLE.
Other albums I considered: Mekons - Punk Rock, Iron and Wine - Endless Numbered Days, Madvillain - Madvillainy, Shearwater – Winged Life.
Bought too recently to review: Oneida, Comets on Fire, Panda Bear, and Cul de Sac/Damo Suzuki.Would I still rank 2004 albums the same way? Not a chance! Last year I gave myself a report card for my 2003 picks, a practice I will continue. For one thing, it promotes humility. For another, shame. And, as an added bonus, it gives me a chance to revisit favorite albums that may have dropped from my regular playlist. Everybody wins! Here's my picks for 2004 with five years of time to let them percolate:
Mike Watt - The Secondman's Middle Stand (down from #4). Watt's song-cycle held a lot of interest for me back in 2004, but it's become the Watt album I reach for the least in the intervening years. Sorry, man. I still like it, but I don't love it quite as much.
The Hold Steady - Almost Killed Me (not on radar). Not the best Hold Steady, but still a great album.
Dosh - Pure Trash (radar-less). Martin Dosh's song-cycle loosely about the terrors of parenthood would have resonated with me quite a bit in 2004, when my wife and I were expecting our first child.
Brian Wilson - SMiLE (left off list intentionally). At the time I thought including it would be an automatic #1, but I hear more of its faults now. Not that there's many, but the album is more of a re-creation than a creation for 2004.
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album (unheard at the time). Everybody was raving about this at the time, but I held off. Probably shouldn't have, though, because it's fascinating.
Mission of Burma - ONoffON (down from #6). Still awesome.
The New Year - The End Is Near (not on radar). Also great.
The Dexateens - The Dexateens (unbought). Killer debut from killer band.
Danielson - Brother Is To Son (unheard).
Of the others, I've sort of lost interest in the Liars album, although I still think it's a significant work of art. I've really lost interest in Will Johnson and Centro-Matic in general. The Streets don't move me like he used to, and the TV On The Radio is the only album of theirs that I hardly ever listen to. I like Madvillain, but not as much as other DOOM albums, and I only picked up his other one from 04, Venomous Villain, recently. So there you go.
That's only 4/10 that stayed on my list, but two of my top three were pretty consistent, and all of my top three stayed on the list. Not so good overall, but not so bad with the high-profile ones. I'm going to give myself a B for the year. I probably deserve a B-, but goshdarnit, I feel I deserve the bump.