See ourselves for the first time the way we really are: Best of 2004

Another Pazz and Jop reproduction, with changes. I still stand behind Sonic Nurse as the best of Sonic Youth’s song albums, surpassing the 1990-1994 trilogy in ambition and precision. Still learning about R&B, I omitted Confessions; now I’m close to calling Usher’s biggest seller, among the last diamond-certified album we’ll see in our lifetimes, the perfect marriage of commerce and intentions. I still dislike “Yeah!” but fortunately there’s my favorite Jadakiss appearance, “Burn,” “Caught Up,” and a half dozen slow burners on the second half like “That’s What It’s Made For,” “Simple Things,” “Do It To Me,” and “Bad Girl.” I’m still wedded to We Shall All Be Healed, which in my ignorance I had no idea was a concept album about tweakers.

Sonic Youth – Sonic Nurse
Usher – Confessions
Mountain Goats – We Shall All Be Healed
Kanye West – The College Dropout
Dizzee Rascal – Showtime
Ghostface – The Pretty Toney Album
The Libertines – The Libertines
Big & Rich – Horse of a Different Color
Drive-by Truckers – The Dirty South
Air – Talkie Walkie
Jon Langford – All the Fame of Lofty Deed
Prince – Musicology
Alan Jackson – What I Do
Arcade Fire – Funeral
Youssou N’Dour – Egypt
Low – The Great Destroyer
Erlend Øye – DJ-Kicks
Nellie McKay – Get Away From Me
Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
PJ Harvey – Uh Huh Her
Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News

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