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flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 101 - 12/26/04

My Ten Favourite Albums of 2004
(in alphabetical order)

Animal Collective - Sung Tongs (Fat Cat)
As well as being top of the list alphabetically, this probably scrapes number one as my overall album of the year. Delirious, deranged, sensitive, sinister and just plain beautiful, everyone's favourite regressive acid-folk harmony troupe may well have pulled off their masterpiece.

Arcade Fire - Funeral (Merge)
Emotionally wrought, driven by a brilliant melodic sensibility and a winning indie-rock sound. See this month's review.

Bark Psychosis - Codename: Dustsucker (Fire)
It's been such a long wait since Hex so it had to be good. The best sounding record I've heard all year, dripping with atmosphere: dark and brooding yet balanced by a breathtaking delicacy in the arrangements and song structures. And it's great to hear Lee Harris behind a drum kit again.

Comets on Fire - Blue Cathedral (Sub Pop)
It fucking rocks, and it's got tunes. I mean CHOONS. Choons put through a blender - with some acid. Sounds like Hawkwind or Black Sabbath updated for the 21st century. Listen loud and freak out.

Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat (Rough Trade)
Long, long, long and extremely uneven in terms of quality, there are enough brilliant moments on this wonky opus to make the journey worth taking. A huge childish collage of song snippets that keeps you listening as you never know where they're going to take you next.

Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop)
This album has been on constant rotation in my stereo by virtue of the fact it's one of the few albums I'm repeatedly drawn to that my wife also likes. Beautiful folk-pop, and Sam Beam is such a nice bloke.

kmotiv - the abstraction agenda (kmotiv)
Instrumental hip-hop crossed with electronica that's good that no one has heard of?! Pleasant surprise of the year - see this month's review.

A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder (Matador)
Although not quite as wonderful as his stuff with The New Pornographers, there are still plenty of poptastic moments here to make the wait for the next Shins album bearable.

Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic (Polyvinyl)
Is it me or is Kevin Barnes becoming normal? Maybe it's because he's married, who knows. Either way, he's stopped writing about hyena cicadas and is now writing about love. "Lysergic Bliss" is up there as one of my favourite songs of the year.

Brian Wilson - SMiLE (Nonesuch)
So much beauty to bask in that the 37-year wait is forgivable. A long and poignant pop fairytale finally has a happy ending.

Copyright © 2004 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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