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Our Writers' Picks of 2004

It was a pretty good year for entertainment. I have few complaints. -- 

1. Morrissey -- "You Are the Quarry"
2. Sparrows -- "Snowflakes"
3. Indigo Girls -- "All That We Let In"
4. The Church -- "Forget Yourself"
5. SweetHaven -- "SweetHaven"
6. Franz Ferdinand -- "Franz Ferdinand"
7. The Ocean Blue -- "Waterworks"
8. Loretta Lynn -- "Van Lear Rose"
9. Cross Canadian Ragweed -- "Soul Gravy"
10. Keane -- "Hopes and Fears"

Andrew Griffin

Album of the year, all genres: Over the Rhine, Changes Come

Album of the year, CCM genre: Derek Webb, I See Things Upside Down

Top Ten (after the top two):

1. The Jelly Jam - 2
2. Chris Thile - Deceiver
3. The Alarm - In the Poppyfields
4. Sara Groves - The Other Side of Something
5. Jonathan Rundman - Public Library
6. Mutual Admiration Society - s/t
7. Justin McRoberts - Intersections
8. King's X - Live All Over the Place
9. Jerry Gaskill - Come Somewhere
10. Beki Hemingway/Jonathan Rundman - Tennesota

Honorable mention:

Ping - The Eleventh Hour Songbook
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Andrewesley - Strength
dada - How to Be Found
Evergrey - The Inner Circle
Will Hoge - Live at Smith's Olde Bar

Brian A Smith

Top CD: Soundtrack to DeLovely

Ed Rock Crabtree

Oh, the painful indecision process......

Freddie's Favorite Albums of 2004:

1. Genius Loves Company- Ray Charles
2. Sonic Nurse- Sonic Youth
3. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb- U2
4. A Boot and a Shoe- Sam Phillips
5. A Diamond in the Rough: The Jennifer Knapp Collection
6. Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand
7. Chutes too Narrow- The Shins
8. With the Lights Out- Nirvana
9. Acoustic- John Lennon
10.Baptism- Lenny Kravitz

Honorable Mentions: 

REM- Around the Sun
12 Stones- Potter's Field
America's Sweetheart- Courtney Love

Top 5 Albums you told the Cashier were for a friend:

1. Greatest Hits: My Prerogative- Britney Spears
2. Damita Jo- Janet Jackson
3. Happy People- R Kelly
4. Bat Out of Hell Live...- Meat Loaf
5. My Honky Tonk History- Travis Tritt

Freddie Odom

Not necessarily in order:
1 Changes Come- OTR
2 Bigger- Annie Quick
3 Veil Of Gossamer- Dave Bainbridge
4 Fun With Sound- 7&7 is
5 Grace & Gratitude- Steve Lawson
6 The Katurran Odyssey- Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning
7 Before Became After- Proto-Kaw
8 Not Quite Me- Tess Wiley
9 One- Neal Morse
10 Love Pressure Exhibits Curiosity- Charlie Peacock

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock
88.1fm WCWP

Here's my top 10 list for 2004. .

1. Jason Harwell: Alive in the Fall
2. Delirious?: World Service
3. The Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus: The Listening EP
4. MewithoutYou: Catch for us the foxes
5. Pedro the Lion: Achilles Heel
6. U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
7. Starflyer 59: I am the Portuguese Blues
8. Home Again / Vols. 1 & 4 (Vineyard Acoustic Worship)
9. In the Name of Love: Artists United For Africa
10. Norman and Nancy Blake: The Morning Glory Ramblers

Honorable Mentions:

The Cure: Join the Dots box set
Michael Pritzl: Hollow Songs
Michael Knott: Comatose Soul
The Tremolo Cowboys: Free downloads EP (

Biggest let-downs:

 U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (though still worthy enough for my top 10, overall, still a little bit of a let-down)
 Squad Five-O: Late Breaking News

Greg Adams

1 - Universal United House of Prayer - Buddy Miller (buy this CD NOW!!!)
2 - Dear Life - Bill Mallonee
3 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2

Joel Kiekintveld 

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Leslie Bogar

Man its hard to do this

Top Albums

1. U2 "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb"
2. Wilco "A Ghost is Born"
3. Garden State Original Soundtrack
4. Mindy Smith "One Moment More"
5. Friday Night Lights Original Soundtrack
6. Derek Webb "I See Things Upside Down"
7. Drive By Truckers "The Dirty South"
8. Andrew Peterson "Behold The Lamb Of God"
9. Pedro the Lion "Achilles Heel"
10. Jimmy Eat World "Futures" 

Honorable Mention

Air "Talkie Walkie"
Brian Wilson "Smile"
Loretta Lynn "Van Lear Rose"
Relient K "Mmhmm"
Carbon Leaf "Indian Summer"

Biggest Disappointments
Denison Marrs "Denison Marrs" (although still good, just not great)
Caedmon's Call "Share The Well" (Not the album they should have made)

Zach Delph

Here's my top 10 albums for 2004:

U2 - “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” 
Bill Mallonee - “Dear Life”
Marillion - “Marbles”
Fish - “Field Of Crows” 
BoDeans - “Resolution”
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - “Americano” 
Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch - “You Can’t Save
Buddy Miller - "Universal United House Of Prayer"
Social Distortion - "Sex, Love and Rock 'N Roll"
King's X - "Live All Over The Place"

Chris Barlow

1.) Buddy Miller - Universal United House of Prayer
2.) Ollabelle - s/t
3.) Wovenhand - Consider the Birds
4.) Buddy & Julie Miller - Love Snuck UP
5.) U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
6.) Trans Siberian Orch -  The Lost Christmas
7.) Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama - There Will Be a Light 
8.) Andrew Peterson Presents: Behold the Lamb of God: the TRUE Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ
9.) Eric Clapton - Me & Mr. Johnson
10.) Sam Phillips - A Boot and a Shoe

Shari Lloyd

1. King's X - "Live All Over the Place"
2. Ayreon - "The Human Equation"
3. U2 - "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"
4. Neal Morse - "One"
5. Dream Theater - "Live at Budokan"
6. The Jelly Jam - "2"
7. Jerry Gaskill - "Come Somewhere"
8. Chevelle - "This Type of Thinking"
9. Traindodge - "The Truth"
10. Tiles - "Window Dressing"
11. Third Day - "Wire"

Album of the Year: Ayreon - "The Human Equation"
Record of the Year: Chevelle - "The Clincher"

Dan Singleton

1. Brian Wilson - SMiLE (Nonesuch)
2. The Get Up Kids - Guilt Show (Vagrant)
3. Green Day - American Idiot (Reprise)
4. The Heavy Blinkers - The Night and I Are Still So Young (Endearing)
5. timewellspent - s/t (Parasol)
6. Starflyer 59 - I am the Portuguese Blues (Tooth and Nail)
7. Avion - s/t (Console/Image)
8. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (Interscope)
9. Jeff Larson - Sepia (New Surf)
10. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abbattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus (Mute)


1. Blindside - About A Burning Fire
2. Story of the Year - Page Avenue
3. Kutless - Sea of Faces
4. Showbread - No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical
5. Bradley Hathaway - All the Hits so Far, But Expect too Much
6. The Redemption Song - Victims
7. Hootie and the Blowfish - The Best of 1993 Thru 2003
8. Further Seems Forever - Hide Nothing
9. Denison Marrs - Self-Titled
10. Storm - Self-Titled

Len Nash

1. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
2. Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
3. Lovedrug - Pretend You're Alive
4. The Good Life - Album of the Year
5. Michael Pritzl - Hollow Songs
6. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
7. The Album Leaf - In a Safe Place
8. The Innocence Mission - Now the Day Is Over
9. Over the Rhine - Changes Come (Live)
10. U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

Best Soundtrack: Garden State
Best Packaging: The Good Life - Album of the Year
Best EP: Copeland - Know Nothing Stays the Same
Best Vocalist: Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission)
Best Songwriter: Elliott Smith
Best Live Show: Damien Rice

Well, I still feel like my listening has been incomplete - not enough rock, electronica and rap. But here's a top 10 I can live with. The first four honorable mentions could make a claim at the 10th spot, but I had to give Thile props for an adventurous disc.

1. Buddy Miller - Universal United House of Prayer
He really made The Leap with this album. I love the spiritual themes, the gospel bgvs and, of course, the guitar.

2. Over the Rhine - Changes Come: Over the Rhine Live
I hesitated to put this on the list because "Ohio" was my top album of 2003 and so much of this is from there. But the arrangements are fresh and it holds together better than most live albums, Karin's really hitting new peaks.

3. Lori McKenna - Bittertown
The surprise disc of the year. I always appreciated her music in passing, but this album is amazing Americana in a sort of Lucinda Williams-meets-Patty Griffin way. Oh, and Buddy's on the standout first track.

4. Bad Religion - The Empire Strikes First
What can I say, while I disagree with their views on religion, I often really agree with their political/social views. And their use of Ph.D caliber words to the tune of punk rock.

5. Jem - Finally Woken
This is what would happen if Dido wasn't boring.

6. Peter Mulvey - Kitchen Radio
maybe I'm just not bothered by *two* curse words on an album, but this is a fine disc. Not quite his best overall, but several of his best, most literate songs to date.

7. Bill Mallonee - Dear Life,

8. REM - Around the Sun
At first this album disappointed me. It seemed slowand monochrome. But the more I listened, the more depth and texture I found. "Boy in the Well" is one of their most complex songs yet.

9. Dave Van Ronk - And the tin pan bended and the music ended 
The best "last concert before death" CD since Nirvana Unplugged. OK, so that's a small niche. But this legend leaves on a high note. His version of Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going" is devastating.

10. Chris Thile - Deceiver
A fellow DJ called this "pretentious" but I think it's adventurous. Instead of the bluegrass that made him famous, Thile tries different singer-songwriter and rockish tricks here. It works for me.

Honorable mentions:
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Rachael Yamagata - Happenstance
U2 - How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb
Greg Brown - Honey in the Lion's Head
Eliza Gilkyson - Land of Milk and Honey
The Wailin' Jennys - 40 Days
Keiran Kane and Kevin Welch - You Can't Save Everybody
Jeffrey Foucault - Stripping Cane

Thomas V Bona

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