Here's EW's picks for music in 2004. Our picks on everything from the best disco album to the best depeche mode impersonation
Here’s EW’s picks for music in 2004
BEST GARAGE-ROCK DISCO ALBUM Junior Senior, D-D-Don’t Stop the Beat (Atlantic) This Danish duo’s brilliantly stupid ”Move Your Feet” should’ve been 2002’s biggest single. The rest of the CD is almost as fun.
BEST BOXED SET Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan Remasters (Columbia/Legacy) Fifteen (mostly) great Dylan albums made even better with a spectacular sonic upgrade. Who says you can’t buy a thrill?
BEST INDIE HIP-HOP ALBUM Aesop Rock, Bazooka Tooth (Definitive Jux) The New York MC doubles as producer, backing his serpentine musings with murky funk. A masterpiece masquerading as a schizoid mess.
BEST SOUNDTRACK Various Artists, Lost in Translation (Emperor Norton) Sad songs are this fine film’s emotional heart. When was the last time you saw a truly moving karaoke scene?
BEST ALT-JAZZ ALBUM The Bad Plus, These Are the Vistas (Columbia) Jazz covers of ”Smells Like Teen Spirit” and ”Heart of Glass” augur for gimmickry, but this trio’s beautiful chaos is a novelty in all the right ways.
BEST JAZZ ALBUM Wayne Shorter Alegria (Verve) The saxophonist applies his masterly tone and sense of play to a centuries-spanning repertoire.
BEST INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM Prefuse 73, One Word Extinguisher (Warp) The Barcelona-based beat controller’s collage-podge of steady rhythms, stirring synths, and sonic glitch is moody enough without some vocalist mucking it up.
BEST WORLD-MUSIC ALBUM Juana Molina, Segundo (Domino) An Argentinean TV comic (seriously!) turns in one of the year’s loveliest records, a quiet folktronica outing that sounds like a sleepy Stereolab.
BEST DANCEHALL COMPILATION Ragga Ragga Ragga! 2003 (Greensleeves) If you can get past the un-PC patois and the punani obsession, this party starter packs more colorful characters than a Pokemon deck.
BEST DEPECHE MODE IMPERSONATION Kenna, New Sacred Cow (Arista) While solo CDs from DM’s Dave Gahan and Martin Gore disappointed, Kenna’s Chad Hugo-produced synth-pop debut stole their sound and glory.
— Written by Larry Blumenfeld, Rob Brunner, Neil Drumming, Kimberly Reyes, and Chris Willman