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Top 5 Albums and/or Artists of the Year

The Countdown

SF Station's music critics pick the best albums and/or Artists of 2004. Here is a look at the best in music the last twelve months had to offer (in their humble opinion):

Jeremy Sampson

Top 5 Albums
1. The Arcade Fire Funeral
Sobering, uplifting, altogether dramatic. A perfectly constructed debut from the Montreal indie rockers.

2. Iron and Wine Our Endless Numbered Days
From an era long past, Sam Beam delivers an album so beautiful it hurts.

3. The Libertines The Libertines
A perfect mess from a band in turmoil, featuring some of the year's best singles. Sadly, this might be their last hurrah.

4. Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Not their best work ever, but an album that grew on me so much it became a soundtrack to 2004.

5. Pidgeon From Gutter w/ Love
Go get this debut now and you'll see why. A local band with aggressive guitars and great female/male vocal exchanges.

Honorable Mention:
Air Talkie Walkie
Bebel Gilberto Bebel Gilberto
Camera Obscura Underachievers Please Try Harder
Call and Response Winds Take No Shape
Pinback Summer in Abaddon
Secret Machines Now Here is Nowhere
The Streets A Grand Don't Come for Free

Top 5 Artists
1. Modest Mouse for writing "Float On", the single of the year and maybe the century so far

2. Franz Ferdinand for being the breakthrough band of 2004 and writing infectious dance/rock tunes you don't tire of

3. TV on the Radio the 2004 Shortlist Award winners, for writing a truly unique album that defies description

4. Rogue Wave for the best year of any local band

5. The Pixies for coming the fuck back

Peter Arcuni

Top 5 Albums
1. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
A stunning debut from the Montreal indie rockers, Funeral is one of those albums that grabs you from the start and never lets go. The album is emotionally haunting, but comforts like a warm blanket on a chilly night.

2. Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
That this is the album Smith would have released if he were still alive is unlikely at best. Still Basement shines as the most intriguing record of the year with Smith's most heart wrenchingly beautiful songs to date.

3. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Take what Isaac Brock & Co. have been doing for nearly ten years and add a dose of optimism. Not to fear -- there are plenty of mediations on death and bendy guitar lines to satisfy the Mouse purist.

4. Air - Talkie Walkie
Their most cohesive-sounding release since the duo's 1998 debut Moon Safari, Air has made another brilliant album of sentimental mood electronica: Smooth and concise, Talkie Walkie is pure aural pleasure.

5. Green Day - American Idiot
A punk rock opera from Green Day. Need I say more? What other album this year boasts political anthems, suburban melodrama, and gets the award for longest pop-punk song ever?