Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2004

Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2004

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50. Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles

Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles
February 17, 2004
Critic Score
83
5 reviews

48. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose

Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
April 27, 2004
Critic Score
89
13 reviews

42. DJ /rupture - Special Gunpowder

DJ /rupture - Special Gunpowder
October 5, 2004
Critic Score
83
5 reviews

41. Les Savy Fav - Inches

Les Savy Fav - Inches
April 20, 2004
Critic Score
88
6 reviews

40. The Walkmen - Bows + Arrows

The Walkmen - Bows + Arrows
February 3, 2004
Critic Score
75
9 reviews

37. Jóhann Jóhannsson - Virðulegu Forsetar

Jóhann Jóhannsson - Virðulegu Forsetar
October 3, 2004
Critic Score
79
2 reviews

36. Excepter - KA

Excepter - KA
January 1, 2003
Critic Score
83
2 reviews

35. Mirah - C'mon Miracle

Mirah - C'mon Miracle
May 4, 2004
Critic Score
81
6 reviews

34. Espers - Espers

Espers - Espers
January 20, 2004
Critic Score
83
2 reviews

33. The Futureheads - The Futureheads

The Futureheads - The Futureheads
October 26, 2004
Critic Score
84
11 reviews

32. Califone - Heron King Blues

Califone - Heron King Blues
January 20, 2004
Critic Score
81
7 reviews

With Califone's penchant for extemporaneous creation finally being properly indulged, Heron King Blues is an appropriately loose and sprawling record, requiring a bit more patience than some of the band's previous projects.

31. De La Soul - The Grind Date

De La Soul - The Grind Date
October 5, 2004
Critic Score
75
7 reviews

28. Junior Boys - Last Exit

Junior Boys - Last Exit
September 21, 2004
Critic Score
87
10 reviews

27. Interpol - Antics

Interpol - Antics
September 28, 2004
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
Though Interpol couldn't be expected to surpass their previous heights, it's difficult to imagine a savvier or more satisfying second step.

26. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
March 9, 2004
Critic Score
85
13 reviews

Like all lasting records, Franz Ferdinand steps up to the plate and boldly bangs on the door to stardom. There's no consideration for what trends have just come and gone. There's no waffling or concessions for people who won't get it.

25. Various Artists - DFA Compilation, Vol. 2

Various Artists - DFA Compilation, Vol. 2
November 2, 2004
Critic Score
90
3 reviews

21. Fennesz - Venice

Fennesz - Venice
March 23, 2004
Critic Score
85
6 reviews

20. Air - Talkie Walkie

Air - Talkie Walkie
January 27, 2004
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
The album's chilling resonance is due in part to Godrich's anagogical recording of minimal instrumentation and digitally etiolated detail.

19. Björk - Medulla

Björk - Medulla
August 31, 2004
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

18. Kanye West - The College Dropout

Kanye West - The College Dropout
February 10, 2004
Critic Score
81
10 reviews
With the fat playlist trimmed, the album lays down a sky-high standard for hip-hop challengers in '04, featuring enough singles in reserve to fill out the calendar year.

17. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
March 16, 2004
Critic Score
82
9 reviews

16. Dizzee Rascal - Showtime

Dizzee Rascal - Showtime
September 14, 2004
Critic Score
83
10 reviews

15. Annie - Anniemal

Annie - Anniemal
September 28, 2004
Critic Score
84
9 reviews

14. Erlend Øye - DJ Kicks

Erlend Øye - DJ Kicks
April 19, 2004
Critic Score
79
3 reviews

13. Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt

Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt
June 21, 2004
Critic Score
91
7 reviews

12. M.I.A. and Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1

M.I.A. and Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1
December 1, 2004
Critic Score
86
2 reviews

10. Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender

Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
March 23, 2004
Critic Score
85
6 reviews

9. Ghostface Killah - The Pretty Toney Album

Ghostface Killah - The Pretty Toney Album
April 20, 2004
Critic Score
81
7 reviews

8. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike

The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
September 13, 2004
Critic Score
84
9 reviews

Their debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, is a hazy blend of nostalgia, evoking that period through a melange of action hero theme songs, early hip-hop (from 1979-82, in particular), and traces of 70s sunshine funk.

7. Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In The Hands

Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In The Hands
May 4, 2004
Critic Score
84
8 reviews

Rejoicing in the Hands establishes Banhart as a major voice in new folk music ... it doesn't seem like an album so much as a collection of road hymns and journals, and small tributes to smaller pleasures.

6. Madvillain - Madvillainy

Madvillain - Madvillainy
March 23, 2004
Critic Score
90
8 reviews
While Doom's entire career has been shadowed by consistently strong production efforts, never has such chemistry developed between him and another beatmaker.

5. Brian Wilson - SMiLE

Brian Wilson - SMiLE
September 28, 2004
Critic Score
94
10 reviews

It sounds pleasant and assured, lacking the vulnerable, shy wave of hope drenching the old Beach Boys records. Yet, Wilson's voice sounds great.

4. The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat

The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
July 13, 2004
Critic Score
76
10 reviews

The exuberant overload of Blueberry Boat will thrill and transport you with the ineluctable force of a great children's story, one whose execution matches its imagination.

3. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
May 18, 2004
Critic Score
87
11 reviews

That Skinner is able to coax so much from a cliché-heavy, 50-minute examination of solipsism and self-pity is a tribute to his ability to reflect and illuminate life's detail.

2. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs

Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
June 1, 2004
Critic Score
83
10 reviews

Unlike last year's impressive Here Comes the Indian, Sung Tongs opts for folky ambience and late-night, summer camp sing-alongs to carry the weight (or weightlessness) of its strains.

1. Arcade Fire - Funeral

Arcade Fire - Funeral
September 14, 2004
Critic Score
95
15 reviews

It's taken perhaps too long for us to reach this point where an album is at last capable of completely and successfully restoring the tainted phrase "emotional" to its true origin.

Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/5934-top-50-albums-of-2004/
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