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Jason Tate 02/09/12 01:59 PM

Thursday Discussion: My Favorite Albums From The 2004 Era
I'm having one of those "fight off your colds" kinda days. Stupid common cold has me pouring tea down my gullet and wishing I could inject DayQuil directly into my veins. However, that doesn't mean I'm not going to power through with our "Thursday Discussion" for the week. The last two weeks have been a lot of fun as we've focused on the early days; we talked about Drive-Thru Records and we looked at the ridiculously awesome albums in the 2001-2003 era. One of the things that continued to pop-up during our discussion last week was just how special this time period was for so many of you. Even those that weren't really into the music scene during those years were talking about the albums that came out in that era, and many were discovering greatness for the first time. Along with that, we had a lot of commentary about how last week's topic stopped just short of a year that contained a ridiculous amount of great music: 2004. So, for today's discussion - we're going to be looking at the albums from 2004 that I think made that year so special.

I highly recommend every single album on this list. Looking over it now, I can't believe this was all happening in just a 12 month period. Talk about hallowed-ground. Feel free to head to the replies and leave your own lists from 2004 (Wikipedia is a great source for finding original release dates). Also, over the past few years I've discovered a lot of other music that was released around this period; however, I'm not including albums I wasn't actively listening to when they came out. Have to put a few rules on myself - otherwise I'd lose my mind. Next week I'll be moving on to a different topic (otherwise we're just posting 'best of' retrospectives, and I've got a lot of other topics that I'd love to explore) -- but for right now ... let's take a time-warp back to 2004.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard these?

1) Jimmy Eat World - Futures (October 19th, 2004)
NoteThis album may have been released late in the year - but it has become an all-time classic for me. Hands down one of my favorite albums, ever, and a "that's how it should be done" staple when it comes to pop-music. Lush layers. Emotive lyrics. Front to back ... this is everything I could want in a Jimmy Eat World album. Every single time I play this record - thoughts come rushing back of my last year in college. A defining album if there ever was one.

Listen: Spotify - Rdio

2) Say Anything - Is a Real Boy (August 3rd, 2004)
NoteIt may be that Max Bemis chases this album in the minds of fans for the rest of his life. But even if that's the case: this is the kind of album you'll want your name on. The sound seemed to change the face of the music scene. The music seemed different, anthematic, and yet instantly sing-a-longable. I can't think of many albums that just scream: instant classic. But this is one of them. The way bands wanted to write lyrics: changed. The way bands were singing: changed. The concept album trend: started. It was a special album and a special time. I've been searching for years for a similar feeling I got the first time I heard this magnum opus ... and then I remember I just have to put this one back on.

Listen: Spotify - Rdio

3) Name Taken - Hold On (2004)
NoteI think Name Taken are one of the most criminally underrated bands to ever come from our little scene. This album stands up there with some of the greats as just how pop-rock music should be made. From the opening riff - to the closing line - it's filled with emotion and spark. They proved that music was more than a t-shirt. More than an image. No gimmicks. Just music. They left us with far too little ... but what we are left with is special. Very special.

Listen: Spotify

4) Northstar - Pollyanna (2004)
NoteAfter Deja Entendu, everyone was searching for that "next" album that would impact them in a similar way. I think one of the first candidates was Northstar's Pollyanna. Lyrically on a different level ... it just had an "it" factor that many related to. I remember laying in a hostel in Spain, this album playing on repeat, dreaming of what life after college would be like. Wondering just what the fuck I was going to do next. And yet the music coming from my headphones made it seem like it didn't matter, that I could get lost in the sonic waves and float on to better places.

Listen: Spotify - Rdio

5) Midtown - Forget What You Know (June 29th, 2004)
NoteAnton is going to hate me for putting this down so low; however, when Midtown went out: they went out in style. This album has gone down in lore as the final Midtown album. The final word the band put on the scene. And they've left all of us wanting to see more ever sense. Yet, if you're going to go out -- might as well go out with your best release. Might as well go out after saying everything you wanted to say. Might as well pull at John Elway and go out on top. It's so easy it is to forget about what happened next when this album starts playing ... it's just so easy for an hour to forget all of the middle fingers and neon sunglasses. To forget what I know ... and love what was.

Listen: Spotify - Rdio

6) Relient K - Mmhmm (November 2nd, 2004)
NoteRelient K have had an impressively consistent catalog. This was the album that took them further away from the "tongue in cheek" pop-punk, and solidified Matt Thiessen as one of the better songwriters in the genre. It's got big enough hooks to catch Jaws - and has stood the test of time quite well. This band will always hold a special place in my heart.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

7) Butch Walker - Letters (August 24th, 2004)
NoteThere is just something about the search for the perfect pop-song that excites me. And there's just something about Butch Walker's Letters that makes me think he captured lightening in a bottle, over and over again. The production is flawless and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more open portrayal of relationships captured on tape. Heart planted firmly on sleeve, this album kicked off my love affair with Butch's music. There's a damn good reason he's in such high-demand -- and his pop sensibilities are second to none.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

8) The Arcade Fire - Funeral (September 14th, 2004)
NoteWhile the band has continued to release some great music over the years (and the rest of the world finally, sort of, caught on with their last album), I wonder if they'll ever top Funeral. One helluva album. In some ways this release really broadened where I was looking for new music and the kinds of bands I was into. It was one of those albums I never saw coming - and it's only gotten better with time.

Listen: Spotify - Rdio

9) Rise Against - Siren Song for the Counter Culture (August 9th, 2004)
NoteThere was no better album during the summer of '04 in Southern California. The amount of In N Out consumed with this as the soundtrack is unreal. It was at the right place at the right time. The songs contained so much energy. The lyrics spoke in a political, yet smart, way. Even with my love of the band's later work ... this one stands tall. It's exactly what rock music should be.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

10) Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News (April 6th, 2004)
NoteNot many albums completely change how I'm thinking about music. This one did. It had a sound that left me floored. One of those "I remember exactly where I was the first time I got this band" albums. I think this album really spoke to where my music tastes were going ... it wasn't until the end of the year that everything clicked. But when it did, it clicked hard.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

What. A. Year. Whew, and with that - I'm going to go lay down. Head is pounding. I'll be back soon to read over all your lists, talk some in the forums, and hang out for a while. Just need a minor break from the computer screen!

hailthewarrior 02/09/12 02:05 PM

Underoath - They're Only Chasing Safety
Emery - The Weak's End

A couple others that immediately come to mind.

Jason Tate 02/09/12 02:06 PM


Originally Posted by hailthewarrior (Post 102736562)
Underoath - They're Only Chasing Safety
Emery - The Weak's End

A couple others that immediately come to mind.

I knew I'd forget an Underoath album.


Stupid me.

Spencer Control 02/09/12 02:06 PM

I'm terrible with dates, but here goes...

Alexisonfire - Watch Out!
Demon Hunter - Summer of Darkness
Emery - The Weak's End
Further Seems Forever - Hide Nothing
He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood
Showbread - No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical
Relient K - MMHMMM
Underoath - They're Only Chasing Safety

I honestly think 2006 was a better year for music, but.

xckid31 02/09/12 02:07 PM

Jimmy Eat World Futures....god I love that album so much

guitarguy211 02/09/12 02:07 PM

Relient K's mmhmm. That was the album that got me into music.

crf1895 02/09/12 02:07 PM

i smiled ear to ear when i saw futures on the top. my favorite album of all time. a fucking surreal masterpiece. although i would understand if IARB came on first.

other personal favorites were NFG's "Catalyst", My Chemical Romance's "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" (yes, that album was insanely good. too bad they picked the worst, poppier songs as singles) and Incubus' "A Crow Left of the Murder".

actually, 2004 may just be the best year in music for the 2000s.

guitarguy211 02/09/12 02:08 PM


Originally Posted by hailthewarrior (Post 102736562)
Underoath - They're Only Chasing Safety
Emery - The Weak's End

A couple others that immediately come to mind.

TOCS is the ultimate Underoath album. Probably my favorite metal/hardcore/screamo album of all time.

badkins23 02/09/12 02:09 PM

The Killers- Hot Fuss
Straylight Run- Self Titled

zacharydudeman 02/09/12 02:10 PM

Love this list but no Hawthorne Heights?! And this may be controversial, but...no Green Day? I love your list, but still, those two albums hold a place in my heart as well.

Anton Djamoos 02/09/12 02:12 PM

Midtown was #1 this year for me with Say Anything following close at #2 and then Jimmy taking a close #3. Don't forget about this gem, though:

highhatandsnare 02/09/12 02:12 PM

Def agree w/ Futures...that album changed my life.

randys950 02/09/12 02:12 PM

Green Day-American Idiot
Sum 41-Chuck
Hawthorne Heights-Silence in Black and White
Rise Against-counter culture(always fuck up album title)
MCR-three cheers

Lueda Alia 02/09/12 02:13 PM

Shearwater - Winged Life

And so many more. My list would be pretty ridiculous. 2004 was an amazing year.

Joe DeAndrea 02/09/12 02:13 PM

Mmhmm. Catalyst. American Idiot.