Best of 2004

Amy’s Picks for Best Albums of 2004
In no particular order of preference just alphabetically.

Top Independently released Albums of 2004

10,000 Stones by Adrianne
The music is pop with a bit of a folky flair. Good solid pop music. The songs are well written, lyrically as well as melodically interesting. The musicianship is fantastic and so is the production.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Driving North by Chris Pureka
I just lent this CD to a friend at work and by the time she had heard the second song she had already ordered herself a copy. Get yours NOW.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

EP by Coles Whalen
Whalen has a jazzy, smooth, sultry voice. Her songwriting style is rock, with a jazzy flair. She incorporates both guitar and piano prominently.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Facsimile Dream by Gypsy Cowgirls
This really is an exceptional record. The vocals are fantastic and the songs well written.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Give In by Anne Heaton
If you like good strong Indie pop ala Jennifer Marks or Sam Shaber you need to hear Anne Heaton.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Infomercial Gasmask By Alu
This is an incredibly beautiful atmospheric record. Think: a cross between Trespassers William and Portishead.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

More Stories for Dana by Meaghan McLaughlin
This recording is lush and full with lots of production and varied instruments. I would classify it as rock above anything else. Maybe with a touch of punk.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Mulligan by Anne Deming
Anne’s voice is still killer. It’s gusty, sultry, and sexy and it never fails to give me chills.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Mystical America by Laura Sullivan
Lush, warm beautiful music that just washed over you. Not only is the music gorgeous, but also the production is top notch.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Secrets by Allison Crowe
Though she doesn’t necessarily sound like either of these two: fans of Sarah McLachlan and Vienna Teng should take notice.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Nu by Edie
I liked this recording from the first listen. Now that I’ve heard it several times I can officially say I love it.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Someone for Everyone by the Capsules
Julie Shield’s voice is similar to Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) and Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespasser’s William). Sometimes childlike, sometimes a sexy purr.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Soviet Kitsch by Regina Spektor
These are all fabulous songs by an artist that deserved way more attention than she’s gotten previously. But perhaps her recent tour supporting The Strokes will help this cause.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

These Little Crimes by The Story of M
This is another one of those “headphone” CDs. Though the music is pretty amazing to the naked ear, with headphones it will blow you away.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Vigilante Arcade by Sonya Greta
Her guitar style at times reminds me of Dar Williams. Some finger picking as well as strumming. At times the songs recall Audra Kubat (Happiness) and Joan Baez (I Don’t See You).
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Honorable mention Male:
Pseudo-Rotary by Gregory Douglass
Ok I love this CD. Why is he not super famous?? Life is not fair…I mean if fame is what he wants, he should have it.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]


Top Label releases of 2004
Note: some of these are Indie Label and some are Major Label releases

All of Our Names by Sarah Harmer
Sarah Harmer’s second release. I didn’t think anything could ever be as good as her debut, “You Were Here” but it is. Great CD.
[Buy]

Back in the Circus by Jonatha Brooke
(OK I know she’s not really “signed” except by her own label, but I ran out of spots on the Indie list). It’s Jonatha Brooke, need I say more?
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Day One by Sarah Slean
Previously Slean got some flack from Sleansters saying she’d adopted the stylings of a “drunk cabaret singer”. Well, on this release she’s sobered up a little and has put out another incredible record.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Grand by Erin McKeown
I can’t stop playing this CD! In my car, in my stereo at home, in my computer…I just can’t get enough.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Jennifer Marks by Jennifer Marks
These songs are pure intelligent pop. The sound is melodic and catchy, the lyrics clever, touching, and at times very funny.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Little Things by Toby Lightman
Lightman’s sound is somewhere in the vein of rock/R&B/pop and sometimes a little funky. Her voice is strong and sexy.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Oh Susanna! By Oh Susanna!
Even if you don’t like country, this might strike a chord (pun intended) with you.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

On Your Shore by Charlotte Martin
A little Tori a little Kate plus Charlotte’s own dose of talent = fantastic.
[Buy]

The Disconnection by Carina Round
Heavy, edgy, Brit rock. Yummy. Good for driving. (was actually released in Europe in 2003)
[Read Full Review]/[Buy]

Trouble by Bonnie McKee
The songs are heavily rhythmic, catchy, well written and well performed. This is a classy recording.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Warm strangers by Vienna Teng
Vienna’s beautiful voice and skilled piano playing and songwriting are back…plus.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

White Turns Blue by Maria Mena
I like this CD, and have been listening to it a lot. Maria Mena has a good strong musical future.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Wreck of the Day by Anna Nalick
The songwriting is sheer fun pop, but with enough minor chords and unexpected twists to keep things interesting.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

Honorable mention Male:
Has Been by William Shatner
For this release he has surrounded himself with several very talented musicians and when you add Shatner’s distinctive vocal stylings, you’ve got something really…well…unique.
[Read Full Review]/ [Buy]

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