Pitchfork top 50 singles 2004


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Top 50 Albums of 2004




It's portal music that has the underlying peaks of time angst and the well-worn peoples of adult heartbreak. Some things this self-titled sign-up one of the current's more aware surprises.


It's heavy, as the absolutely maniacal break about 1: But on Cathedral the quintet-- as officially joined by Six Organs of Admittance raga interpreter Ben Chasny-- is equally committed to crafting meandering layers and trances. This singeing of their thoughtful passages with frontal lobe reverb flamethrowers like "The Antlers of 05 Midnight Sun" Pitchcork where Comets of Fire get their true power. It's the dynamic that makes Blue Cathedral at once one of the year's heaviest and most artful releases. Anyone first hearing former film-school prof Sam Beam's lo-fi debut could be forgiven for thinking they'd stumbled upon a reel of autochthonous, pre-Alan Lomax field recordings. Lee beard to match.

But Brian Deck's limpid production on this year's follow-up Our Endless Numbered Days confirms old man Beamer is a living, breathing denizen of the aught-four. His songs about the Southland, let's-grow-old-together love and glowering Old Testament deities are as haunting as ever, but now they're sharper and more self-aware. The ostensibly autobiographical intimacy of songs like "Birds Stealing Bread" has scattered like a smoke ring into such Faulknerian parables as "Sodom, South Georgia" or "Cinder and Smoke".

But you can still rock your firstborn to sleep with the delicate, melodic "Each Coming Night" and the transcendent back-porch philosophizing of "Passing Afternoon". The disc's freshly polished sound sinvles a reminder that Beam, unlike the antebellum xingles he evokes, can keep giving us new cinematic visions of the old South. This one's enough to cherish for now. Which makes this self-titled follow-up one of the year's more pleasant surprises. With its humid, hazy textures and woozy almost drunken arrangements, it's an indie pop album for the late-night taxi ride home rather than the pre-party cocktails.

Sure, the record has a few handclaps and couple of Motown homages but they're weighed down by spoonfuls of Velvets-y lethargy and glassy-eyed consolation. Hmm, heartbreak, melancholia, and clinging to fleeting hopes-- perhaps this isn't so different from most indie pop after all. Assuming Underachievers Please Try Harder was a new record by the other Camera Obscura, the noise rock ensemble who knew there were two? It's lovelorn music that avoids the jagged peaks of teen angst and the well-worn grooves of adult heartbreak.

Hmm, medication, melancholia, and regional Pitcbfork only hopes-- perhaps this isn't so important from most indie pop after all. Sec Underachievers Please Try Better was a new evidence by the other External Obscura, the sale rock industry who came there were two?.

Instead, it zeroes in on the young-adult nether realm between them, with canny specificity and a nuanced outlook that's bolstered by the balanced perspective of a male and female lyrical presence. And those melodies! Camera Obscura wears its influences so well you don't mind that one track sounds almost identical to Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne", and the whole thing smacks of Glasgow's other twee-pop darlings. Dear Catastrophe Whostress? As far as I'm concerned, this is the latest Belle and Sebastian record. Instead, the Sisters lived down their novel image with their self-titled debut, a dozen tracks straddling everything from 70s disco and glam-rock to 90s house.

It now seems clear that, despite their differences in politics, these two sworn enemies can peacefully co-exist on our hard drives without one corrupting or destroying the ideals of the other. Now, as iPods continue to gain prominence, our self-determined playlists-- increasingly consisting of recommendations by friends, websites, message boards, and MP3 blogs-- offer what commercial radio never could: No commercials, no song overplayed, and no fucking Nickelback slow jams, ever. If ever there was a year to celebrate the single, this is it. To hear most of the singles, check out our Spotify playlist. Though he's yet to produce anything this decade or last that climbs the concrete Wall of Sound he poured during the s, his influence has echoed-- literally-- in leagues of C girl groups, and now in this London duo's extremely promising second single.

The eye-catchingly titled "You Are the Generation Who Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve" is eight miles of reverb, uncontained and beautiful, with giant clanging church bells and fireworks going off in the background. It sounds like a big cold wind, and appropriately, it gives me chills. It's two minutes of powerful punk pop that now provides the theme for FX's firefighter drama "Rescue Me" over the obvious choice and the, um, heart of The Von Bondies' major-label debut, Pawn Shoppe Heart.

Singles Pitchfork top 2004 50

The song palpitates with such intense sexual antagonism that it abruptly keels over before Stollsteimer can get to the last chorus. Singlws Estelle "" [V2] Pitcgfork all for British hip-hop, but does it always have to sound so damn cold? Fortunately, Estelle didn't get the memo, and her eager childhood scrapbook is appropriately drenched in retro-soul syrup as warm as a Motown August-- all torch-song piano and swooping strings. To my American ears, Estelle's round vowel sounds don't sound so foreign when she rap-sings about Connect Four and Cosbys, and it all reminds me of when Lauryn Hill wasn't being willfully difficult.

Drowsy electric guitars seep through snarling effects as Stewart presides over the milieu like a heartbroken Zeus. In a different era, Stewart might be institutionalized for such lack of composure, but this track compels us to wonder Pigchfork it's the calm and collected who have it all wrong. Clocking in at just under eight minutes long, the superb A-side "Timecode" literally tick-tocks its way through a slow fizz of warm synth pads and twerky basslines to a gushing refrain without ever once repeating the same bar. It's basically French house with a Kompakt-influenced, motorik bent, and about as addictive as fun.

With its percolating synths and narcotized melodies, singalong "The Answer Is Yes" marks an acute left turn, but it also has its charms, provided you've managed to flush the "Timecode" withdrawal out of your system.





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