29 July 2009

The Decade List: Albums/Singles (2004)

As I've threatened to change a few things up with The Decade List, I've begun by making some stylistic changes with the Music section. There are a few changes to the "Assorted Jams," which I'll mention below. So, 2004? In doing some research, I discovered that, unlike in the film world, 2004 was a pretty lame year for music. While I love everything I've listed below, they didn't seem like enough. Maybe it was that my darling PJ Harvey released what I consider to be her weakest album, Uh Huh Her (or at least the one I listen to the least). Despite that, Ms. Harvey had a busy year, writing (or co-writing) five songs off Marianne Faithfull's wonderful Before the Poison (which also features tracks from Nick Cave and Damon Albarn) and lending her voice to three tracks on Mark Lanegan's excellent Bubblegum. In all honesty, I started listening to most of the bands whose albums are listed below after 2004 (Grizzly Bear, Sufjan, Animal Collective, Blonde Redhead), but without them, I'd have a pretty shabby list. The albums are ranked in loose order of preference; there are 18 to be exact as I needed a round number (sorry Magnetic Fields).

Grizzly Bear - Horn of Plenty
Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
Marianne Faithfull - Before the Poison
Mark Lanegan Band - Bubblegum
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Feist - Let It Die
Blonde Redhead - Misery Is a Butterfly
Kanye West - The College Dropout
PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
Tom Waits - Real Gone
Bethany Curve - Flaxen
Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
Lanterna - Highways
Junior Boys - Last Exit
Jens Lekman - When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog
Arcade Fire - Funeral

Assorted Jams from the Year 2004

For a change of pace, I decided to shift things a bit. By mere chance, I came up with 75 songs, many of which by duplicate artists, and instead of suffering through the task of ranking them all, I singled out the 15 best and, like the albums, placed them in descending order based on vague preference. Numbers were omitted for reasons of uncertainty. I'm sure if I organized them next week, they'd change in some form. 13 of the 15 below are all-time stunners, while 2 of them (namely, "Float On" and "Rich Girl") were the hot tracks of their respective seasons (summer for Modest Mouse, winter for Gwen and Eve) and will always take me lovingly back to those fine days (even if they were only fine in retrospect). And, really, isn't "Rich Girl" such a baffling oddity? Ms. Stefani appears to still be auditioning for the role of Tank Girl in the video, where Eve, returning the favor after "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," joins her on the gayest pirate ship I've ever seen (which thankfully has a special golden harem room for Gwen's Japanese girl accessories). And what about the song itself? A reworking of a tune from Fiddler on the Roof, produced by Dr. Dre? I don't see how you can resist.

For the more rousing tunes ("Leaf House," "Hit the City," "Make It Rain," "Jesus Walks," "The Mystery of Love" and "Future") I would much rather you hear them for the first time in their highest quality (with headphones, preferably, though blaring them in your car would work as well), as I don't think one can get the full experience from the various streaming links I provided. The consecutive 60 are not in any special order. I'm moving the film music to another section for now.

The Top 15

Animal Collective - "Leaf House" [from Sung Tongs]
Grizzly Bear - "Don't Ask" [from Horn of Plenty]
Mark Lanegan Band featuring PJ Harvey - "Hit the City" [from Bubblegum]
Sufjan Stevens - "To Be Alone with You" [from Seven Swans]
Tom Waits - "Make It Rain" [from Real Gone]
Feist - "Let It Die" [from Let It Die]
Kanye West - "Jesus Walks" [from The College Dropout]
José González - "Hand on Your Heart" [from Stay in the Shade EP] (yes, it's a Kylie cover)
Blonde Redhead - "Misery Is a Butterfly" [from Misery Is a Butterfly]
Marianne Faithfull - "The Mystery of Love" [from Before the Poison]
Kylie Minogue - "I Believe in You" [from the I Believe in You single]
The Soft Pink Truth - "Confession (Nervous Gender)" [from Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth?"]
Gwen Stefani featuring Eve - "Rich Girl" [from Love. Angel. Music. Baby.]
Cut Copy - "Future" [from Bright Like Neon Love]
Modest Mouse - "Float On" [from Good News for People Who Love Bad News]

Les autres

PJ Harvey - "Shame" [from Uh Huh Her]
Françoise Hardy "Sur quel volcan?" [from Tant de belles choses]
Lanterna - "Canyons" [from Highways]
Auburn Lull - "Deterior" [from Cast from the Platform]
Bethany Curve - "The Automatic" [from Flaxen]
Jens Lekman - "If You Ever Need a Stranger (to Sing at Your Wedding)" [from When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog]
DeVotchKa - "You Love Me" [from How It Ends]
The Magnetic Fields - "I Don't Believe You" [from i]
Arcade Fire - "Rebellion (Lies)" [from Funeral]
Sonic Youth - "Unmade Bed" [from Sonic Nurse]

Junior Boys - "Bellona" [from Last Exit] (Couldn't find this one, sorry)
Elf Power - "The Cracks" [from Walking with the Beggar Boys]
Marianne Faithfull - "Desperanto" [from Before the Poison] (Unfortunately, I couldn't find this streaming either)
PJ Harvey - "The Darker Days of Me & Him" [from Uh Huh Her]
Sufjan Stevens - "The Dress Looks Nice on You" [from Seven Swans]
Franz Ferdinand - "Michael" [from Franz Ferdinand]
Ciara featuring Ludacris - "Oh" [from Goodies]
Björk featuring Kelis - "Oceania" [from the Oceania single]
Blonde Redhead - "Doll Is Mine" [from Misery Is a Butterfly] (I'd prefer you watch the entire 15 minutes of Betrand Bonello's short Cindy, the Doll Is Mine with Asia Argento as Cindy Sherman, instead of cutting out the segment where the song is used)
Animal Collective - "Kids on Holiday" [from Sung Tongs]

French Kicks - "One More Time" [from The Trial of the Century]
Rilo Kiley - "I Never" [from More Adventurous]
Cut Copy - "That Was Just a Dream" [from Bright Like Neon Love]
Grizzly Bear - "Deep Sea Diver" [from Horn of Plenty]
PJ Harvey - "You Come Through" [from Uh Huh Her]
George Michael - "Freeek!" [from Patience] (thanks, Mike!)
DeVotchKa - "How It Ends" [from How It Ends]
Moonbabies - "You Know How It Is" [from The Orange Billboard] (you can listen to it streaming here, but I can't directly link to it)
Sufjan Stevens - "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" [from Seven Swans]
Autolux - "Here Comes Everybody" [from Future Perfect]

Pinback - "Soaked" [from Summer in Abaddon]
Mark Lanegan Band - "Methamphetamine Blues" [from Bubblegum]
Annie - "Heartbeat" [from Anniemal]
Sonic Youth - "I Love You Golden Blue" [from Sonic Nurse]
90 Day Men - "Too Late or Too Dead" [from Panda Park]
Usher - "Confessions, Part II" [from Confessions]
Grizzly Bear - "La Duchess Anne" [from Horn of Plenty]
Crime Mob featuring Miss Aisha - "Stilletos (Pumps)" [from Crime Mob] (um, yes, we rockin' stilletos, ho!)
Efterklang - "Swarming" [from Tripper]
Destiny's Child featuring T.I. and Lil Wayne - "Soldier" [from Destiny Fulfilled]

The Walkmen - "The Rat" [from Bows + Arrows]
Sia - "Breathe Me" [from Colour the Small One] (for the obvious reason, right?)
Stereolab - "Margerine Melodie" [from Margerine Eclipse]
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out" [from Franz Ferdinand]
Ambulance LTD - "Heavy Lifting" [from LP]
Feist - "Inside and Out" [from Let It Die]
Ciara featuring Missy Elliott - "1, 2 Step" [from Goodies]
Elliott Smith - "Twilight" [from From a Basement on a Hill]
Björk - "Triumph of a Heart" [from Medúlla]
Trick Daddy featuring Ludacris and Cee-Lo - "Sugar" [from Thug Matrimony - Married to the Streets]

PJ Harvey - "Uh Huh Her" (this was never released the album it was named after, nor any of its singles, but you can find a good studio version of it on 'iTunes Originals - PJ Harvey')
Feist - "Mushaboom" [from Let It Die]
The Magnetic Fields - "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend" [from i]
Destiny's Child - "Girl" [from Destiny Fulfilled] (ignore the lame Sex & the City video, and think of it as an after-school special sung... and it's fantastic!)
Neko Case - "If You Knew" [from The Tigers Have Spoken]
Phoenix - "Holdin' On Together" [from Alphabetical]
Interpol - "Evil" [from Antics]
Iron and Wine - "Naked As We Came" [from Our Endless Numbered Days]
Ashanti - "Only U" [from Concrete Rose]
of Montreal - "Disconnect the Dots" [from Satanic Panic in the Attic]

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