Ok, call it peer pressure. Everybody else is doing it, so why can't I? It's the end of the year, er, um, the beginning of a new one actually, so why can't I have my very own top 10 list.
Here are my top 10 favorite musical releases of 2004:
10. Alison Krauss and Union Station-I just love her voice. I don't know how she does it but, somehow, set gets all high and lilting and it just sounds too beautiful for words. I'm not really even a big country music fan (although, bluegrass is a different story. I love the pickers.) But, she could change me into one, with a voice like that.
9. Velvet Revolver-Forged from the ashes of Guns n Roses, surviving drug rehab, rumors of breakups, and various antics of Slash, this band emerged as a bright spot in 2004. What else can you say about that?
8. Keith Urban-Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking. "If I'm not much a fan of country music, why do I have two country artists in my top 10?" Well, Keith's just too cute for words and he's a great guitar player to boot. Hey, come on, you know I've always had a sweet spot for axe pickers. Especially good looking, foreign born, fair haired ones. In case you're wondering, yes, it's true, Keith does look a bit too much like HIM but I love him anyway.
7. Joss Stone-Girls got soul for a sixteen year old. Another very bright spot glistening already on some non-too-distant musical horizon. So happy to hear that she's writing some of her own songs too. You go girl!
6. Franz Ferdnand-Ok, so maybe I'm not into the name (naming a band after an archduke is a tad over the top for my tastes) but this was a great album. I loved the guitar work, I loved the catchy break out song, Take Me Out. The guys aren't too hard on the eyes, what's not to love about this one? Well, apart from that pesky name. Now they have to start a world war, they've named themselves that way.
5. Sara's Afterglow-Another beautiful collection of melody's from little Miss Lilith Fair. Checkout the song Time if you're so inclined. It didn't make anybody else's top 10 list, although I think it's a worthy track and could have stood alone as a single. At least, it's a highlight of the album for me, although this albums got more than one high note and enough depth to stay in the CD changer longer than most.
4. The Killers-Apart from being totally addicted to Mr. Brightside and Somebody Told Me, I love the retro synth pop, quasi-80's-ness of this group. "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." You and me both, bucky, you and me both.
3. Modest Mouse-Ugh. My guilty pleasure for 2004. Can't help but love them. They had two breakout hits this year (Float On and Ocean Breath's Salty) which, if you ask me, leads me to believe one thing about them. The plural of luck is skill. I've always said that. And you can quote me on it. Plus I really like their videos.
2. Los Lonely Boys-Austin's hometown heroes make a name for themselves. Woot! You just have to love their soul, attitude, technical mastery, with a touch of funk thrown in for good measure. The 'Boys can sleep under the same Texas sunshine as me for eternity and I'd be happy for it.
1. Ray Charles-His passing has brought a fresh interest in a career that's spanned decades and brought us the culminated Genius Loves Company. He will me missed but the world is a much better place for his having been here.
There are a lot of honorable mentions, just misses, and so on. I'm sure I've pissed more than a few people off with my musical taste but, so be it. You should all just be happy I didn't pick all classic rock but then, I can't live on Eric Clapton and Steely Dan all my life, can I?
Don't answer that. At least not until it's 2006.
Until next time...