Best of 2004, Part 1: Music

Sitting awake past 2:00 a.m.–so naturally, it’s the perfect time to start my year-end review of things that R0xx0r3d my B0xx0rz over the past 12 months.

Best Music
This was a hard one to come up with, since I spent a huge amount of my listening time in 2004 on scads of obscure New Wave releases from roughly 1978-1987 or so. I’ve currently amassed about 13 hours of the stuff, sitting on my harddrive.

That said, here are what I considered to be my faves from music actually produced in this century:

Zero 7 — When It Falls: The follow-up album to 2001’s platinum-selling Simple Things, and every bit as amazing. Mixing jazz, electronic, orchestral, old-school R&B and more into a style that can only be described as CHILL.

Crystal Method — Legion of Boom: The third album from these guys. Big Beat semi-industrial electronica…GREAT driving music. Lots of guest musicians on this one as well, ranging from human beatbox phenom Rahzel to “I was too good, so I quit Limp Bizkit” guitarist Wes Borland, to actress Milla Jovovich, who provides some drifty eastern-sounding vocals on a track called “I Know It’s You”

Kill Bill: Volume 2 Soundtrack: Hell, I’d have put Volume 1 on this list if it had actually been released in 2004. Both albums are filled with what can only be described as an eclectic mix: Morricone spaghetti-western scores, Latin rhythms, Japanese ballads and odd little pop tunes (like Malcolm McLaren’s sample-based reworking of “She’s Not There”). Tarantino always expands my horizons with his musical selections, and this film continued that tradition.

Well, that’s it for music. Over the next few days, I’ll cover books, games and film/TV as well. Stay tuned.

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