Creep from the cradle
A few folks on the new IRC channel asked me why I still haven't posted my ten favourite albums of 2004. I didn't mean to break the promise I made back in July. But while there were plenty of good albums last year, none of them really, you know, changed my life. Nothing realigned the planets. Nothing jumped out to me as "Best of the Year."
So, while I have picked out favourite albums of the year, I won't be ranking them. I tried, but it just seemed silly. They're all great in their own ways, and they all made my year more awesome and pleasant sounding.
Medeski, Martin and Wood - End of the World Party (Just in Case):
Over a decade into their careers, this keyboard driven trio has fused so many different styles of music into their original jazz trio core that I don't even know what to call it anymore. Rock, funk, hip hop, fusion, electronica, trance, jazz... all deftly executed with rock solid musical chops and 8 million different kinds of keyboards.
Highlights: Sasa, New Planet, Mami Gato.
William Shatner - Has Been:
How the heck does an album like this even work, let alone work so well? Is it Shatner's surprisingly reigned-in, subtle delivery? His sometimes clever, sometimes compelling lyrics? Maybe it's producer Ben Folds' ability to craft those lyrics into pop gems that get full milleage out of Shatner's unique sound. The bevy of contributing musicians are all in top form, as well. It all comes together into something great... uh... somehow.
Highlights: That's Me Trying, Ideal Woman, I Can't Get Behind That.
Cake - Pressure Chief:
On this album, Cake takes a second stab at mixing their lo-fi guitar rock style with layers of synths, and the results are miles ahead of the disasterous Comfort Eagle. These guys are masters at crafting simple, catchy pop-rock songs, and this disc contains some of the best they have ever recorded.
Highlights: Wheels, No Phone, Take it All Away.
More on Wednesday. See you then!