It was a good year. But it's over now, and I think it's been far too long since I properly talked about my CD collection. I mean, it's a big part of my life, right?
Incidently, my CD rack is full, and there is only enough space for five more CDs on my shelf... I mean, this is getting a little out of hand.
At any rate, I thought I might take a look at the music scene from the last year. Not so much the weird obscure crap I listen to, but the mainstream stuff that my indie rock inner self screams "Have you no scene cred at all!" at me for listening to.
Twenty Aught Four was a year rich in the fruits of good music. And I don't mean I enjoyed it, but still called it pop - I mean I actually ran out to buy albums this year because the singles excited me so much. I could prattle on about Flickerstick's Tarantula or Wax Mannequin's The Price, but these CDs the average North American wouldn't bother getting their paws on.
I'm talkin' Modest Mouse, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand here. You see, I've been hearing all this talk about 'The best album of 2004' all over the place. I figure it's important to note that its really not fair just to say one album is better than another because the single got overplayed. I'll admit it - Float On, Mr. Brightside and Take Me Out were all over played. Thankfully, I lived in a town that was void of good music up until September, so these songs weren't burned out for me. In fact, when I bough Good News for People who Love Bad News, I had never even heard Float On before. Franz Ferdinand with their single Take Me Out I was aware of thanks to the efforts of my local Galaxy Theatre. I actually went to a movie with the express interest of finding out who sang that song once. Incidently, I think I saw a movie to...
The Killers I got into recently, and as mentioned, I bought their album the other day.
The thing about these three CDs, and why I'm talking about them instead of The Tea Party's Seven Circles or Thornley or even Dave Matthew's Some Devil (which may have come out at the end of aught three... I remember it was winter anyways) is that they brought something new into the mainstream. I'll admit that Modest Mouse was pretty popular before their latest album, but they really broke through into the limelight this year with such an original album. Float On was only just the surface of Godd News, though. If you listen to that song, the lyrics are "Good news is on the way". Despite being a wonderfully hopeful prophecy (And yes; this world needs happy songs, not just emo) it seems like a prediction of what's to come. Right after Float On, we're hit with Ocean Breaths Salty, a wonderful follow-up single. Also on the album are the chillin Bukowski, the near ridiculous Dance Hall and the peacful and somehow very hopeful The Good Times Are Killing Me. This album is so good that at times I didn't know if i was laughing at the words or the sheer joy of life it seemed to convey through them ("Got dirt, Got air Got water and I know you can carry on"). I'm happy that sucha good band with such an original sound could make it big after years of making good music and bring so much hapiness to people.
Franz Ferdinand did well to bring us a new sort of pop-rock that, if you'll forgive the trecherous pun, really takes us out. I'm going to say it - their songs sound the same. But you knwo what? I like The Franz Ferdinand sound... the driving rhythms of songs like This Fire are just too damn good to pass up. And who couldn't love a song like Micheal when the words can so easily be changed to "Come and dance with me [Pucknell]"? Franz Ferdinand sound is just different enough to rope in guys like me andcause chronic listening. Best of all, it's good. Genuine good music. And people were afraid that the Boy Band was going to take over.
Which brings me to The Killers. I happen to be listening to their album right now. When i first heard the Killers it was a sort of "Alright, you're Mr. Brightside, whatever, I get the point" reaction. Now, I'm saying "Damn! You're Mr. Brightside! Kickass!" This band really grew on me. I mean a lot. It's like the 80's crashed into the year 2000 and absorbed the best elements of alternative in their strange synthesis. The sound is so different than anything we're used to, but its infectious. It's a good sound, and I enjoy it. Some of the songs are a bit different, like All These Things That I've Done with the edge of soul, and Change Your Mind, that sounds a lot like The Smiths.
These three albums are what I call the best of 2004. They are all original enough to let me admit to listening to them without fear being ridiculed by my idie rock friends. And more than that - they are all made up of good music that is quite enjoyable and yet still accessabile to the masses. If this is what pop is, than damn, I'm not going to hate it anymore.
Just don't tell anyone I own Sum 41 and Billy Talent.