FAVORITE MUSIC OF
An Annual Report By Dave Ratzlow
When I was growing up in the 80s, I often expressed a nostalgia for the
music of eras past. Besides Prince, at 14 my favorite music makers
were Beethoven and The Beatles. Then a little later, I considered
the early 70s, with the emergence of Funk and Prog Rock, music’s
Now I know that music’s best era is right now. There is so
much good shit out there now, I’m drunk with aural pleasure. Here
is a list of my favorite music released this year:
****ALBUMS OF THE YEAR****
10. THE CONCRETES – The Concretes
(60s influence melancholy pop)
09. THE FIERY FURNACES – Blueberry Boat
(imagine if The Who were sibling Williamsburg hipsters)
08. NELLIE McKAY – Get Away From Me
(an apt description from the cover: Doris Day meets Eminem)
07. REGINA SPECTOR – Soviet Kitsch
(the quirky, melodramatic, witty queen of the East Village music scene)
06. JOHNNY CASH – Unearthed
(released late last year, but at 5 disks, it takes awhile to absorb)
05. LORETTA LYNN – Van Lear Rose
(produced by Jack White, rocking and surprisingly touching)
04. JUANA MOLINA – Tres Cosas
(Argentine folktronica released in the USA two years late)
03. FEIST – Let It Die
(mellow cabaret-pop including the second best song of the year, "Mushaboom,"
and the best cover ever of a Bee Gees song)
02. THE ARCADE FIRE – Funeral
(also gets the award for best album cover art)
01. WHITE MAGIC – Through the Sun Door
(ethereal, haunting, tragic, beautiful)
****MORE OF THE BEST OF 2004****
TILLY AND THE WALL – Wild Like Children
(Beach Boys inspired pop, would be number 11 on my list)
KIMYA DAWSON – Hidden Vegenda
(including the song of the year, "I Will Never Forget")
TEGAN AND SARA – So Jealous
(catchy tunes with a tight production that rivals Phil Spector)
LHASA DE SELA – The Living
(not as good as her debut, but still pretty smoking Spanish torch songs)
LANGHORNE SLIM – The
Electric Love Letter
(catch him live in the Village if you can, a power performer; imagine
Dylan with more lung power)
COCOROSIE – La Maison
de Mon Reve
(toy instruments and out of sync samples, these sisters prove strange
music can also be good)
JOANNA NEWSOM – The Milk-Eyed
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – Sung
(even more proof)
BLONDE REDHEAD – Misery
is a Butterfly
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS – The Lyre of Orpheus & Abattoir
DONNY HATHAWAY – These Songs For You, Live!
JOHN LENNON – Acoustic
NEKO CASE – The Tigers Have Spoken
TV ON THE RADIO – Young Liars & Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty
THE SHINS – Chutes Too Narrow
RILO KILEY – More Adventurous
JEM – Finally Woken
MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD – Anything
SAM PHILLIPS – A Boot and a Shoe
RACHAEL YAMAGATA – Happenstance & Rachael Yamagata EP
ANGELA McCLUSKEY – The Things We Do
A.C. NEWMAN – The Slow Wonder
SONDRE LERCHE – Two Way Monologue
JOLIE HOLLAND – Escondida
VARIOUS – Folk And Pop Sounds Of Sumatra Vol. 1
THE HAZZARDS – So Pretty
JEFF BUCKLEY – Grace (Legacy Edition)
IMANI COPPOLA – Afrodite
ELIZABETH HARPER –
MATT POND PA – Emblems
DEERHOOF – Giga Dance
KEREN ANN – Not Going Anywhere
****HONORABLE MENTIONS FOR SEVERAL SINGLES****
NIKKA COSTA – "I Don’t Think We’ve Met"
RATATAT – "17 Years"
M.I.A. – "Sunshowers"
SCISSOR SISTERS – "Laura" & "Take Your Mama"
THE BAD PLUS – "1979 Semi-Finalist"
DUDLEY PERKINS – "Flowers"
WILL FERRELL – "Afternoon Delight"
(the a cappella version from the movie "Anchorman")
BRITNEY SPEARS – "Toxic"
THE SLEEPY JACKSON – "Morning Bird" & "Fill Me
ERYKAH BADU – "I Want You"
ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI – "The Owls Go"
Please let me know if I missed
anything and need to be educated some more.