Wednesday, December 15, 2004

2004 music recap

So, in keeping with the rather dismal year-end theme I began yesterday relating to the Christmas season and its surrounding Christmas spirit I have decided to take a peek into this year's music scene. Yea, I know it's something that has been done over and over at the end of every year by some jackass with fingers and keys to place them on. I promise, though, that this one will have a different take on things. I'm gonna keep things local. I listen to a fair share of local radio which, despite what the majority of disgruntled and jaded Americans think, can still have some variety to it.

In 2004, hip-hop seemed to rule. 'My Boo' was, by some accounts, a good song but for my ears which do like SOME hip-hop, it was simply overplayed, pre-fabricated and weak. It may have very well propelled Usher and collaborator Alicia Keys further towards being multi-millionaires but it will be looked back on as a flash in the pan. It will be merely a blip in the record books in a decade when Usher's tunes are being pushed on the latest K-Tel compilation CD.

Blip seems to fit many of today's artists on the pop scene. After all, who can forget Ashlee Simpson? Jessica's little sis brought shame to an already dismal season of Saturday Night Live when it was found out during the live broadcast that she was lip syncing her songs. It is common among performers who have a significant amount of dancing in their routines but all she does is to stand there with her black, oil slicked rat mullet swaying in the breeze as she sings songs she had no part in creating.

There were some bright spots in 2004's music. Modest Mouse hit big this year. They built on the success of 'Float On' which gained alot of radio airplay locally and even nationally but then they did the unthinkable, they released a second hit from the same CD. 'The Ocean Breathes Salty' was and still is a catchy tune with a quirky video that, after seeing it, will make you forget the Ashlee Simpsons of the world in a heartbeat. Mouse's CD, 'Good News for People Who Love Bad News', has at least one more hit on it with 'The World at Large'. Another quirky tune with an indie flavor that, with any luck, will begin a change in America's music scene.

Other bright spots included the release of a new U2 album, 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb'. The lenghty and odd name of the album in no way takes away from the genius of their music. I have written before that I have yet to hear the entire CD but after hearing the first three songs getting radio play, it is the best of the year by far. Another which is sure to stock the band's display cases with more Grammys.

2004 also marked the release of a new Green Day CD. 'American Idiot' wins the title for political album of the year. It is pure genius and works as their experiment of creating a rock opera. If you have the CD, don't skip around - just let it play through uninterrupted. It will be better than sparking a fat one and listening to 4 hours of Pink Floyd.

Unfortunately, though, 2004 also marked the release of another Eminem CD. By all means he should be taking up residence with O-Town, The Backstreet Boys, N-Sync and 98 Degrees by now but for some reason radio continues to play his schlock and teens continue to throw away $17.98 for his CD. I was a fan of his first two or three efforts but this one is just too much. His novelty has definitely wore off after 5 or 6 years. Time to throw in the towel before he ends up releasing a flop. Better to be like Jay-Z and quit while you are at the top of your game. Jay-Z is wise. He's now got the job as the president of Def-Jam recordings. Oh yea, and he's got Beyonce and her ample ghetto booty. What will Eminem have when he hits Jay's age?

So there you have it. The miniature, brief recap of 2004's music. I hope that it was at least somewhat tolerable and held your interest. Feel free to add your faves in the comments.

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