the essential cds of 2004

This was by far more difficult than last year’s list, since there were so many good
releases, as I alluded to in my last post. Considering that there are CDs that
I was late in getting – Pretty
Toney
, Jean
Grae
, and Modest
Mouse
just to name a few, I still feel like I’ve missed some things this
year. This list is in no particular order, since the genres, moods, and tunes
are all over the place, but in my mind, these are…..

The 12 Essential CDs of 2004.

Tortured SoulIntroducing
Tortured Soul
. Purpose Records, 03/04. Genres: House, Live Instrumentation.
Tortured Soul’s album is special because all of the instrumentation is live,
which makes their shows even more exciting. While J-Notes
favorite song from this CD is Might Do Something Wrong, Honey
For Oshun
and I have concluded that Why is the song that
we played repeatedly until our ears bled. They’re also very skilled with mellow
tunes, such as If You Want To Feel Alright.
See Also: Roy Davis, Jr’s Chicago
Forever
.

De
La Soul
The
Grind Date
, Sanctuary Records, 10/04. Genre: Hip Hop. De La Soul came back
with a punch and demonstrated that they haven’t lost their step. It’s definitely
JT’s
favorite CD
. Church and Much More are
highlights here.

Magic Number
That
Day
, StereoDeluxe, 07/04. Genres: Nu Jazz, Soul, Live Instrumentation, Electronica.
Ross Hillard takes music to brand new heights. Brilliant instrumentation is
the backdrop for most of the album. This album has been enhanced by many vocalists
(Clara Hill and Rachel Foster for starters), but the one most prevalent is Jane
Hamilton, with vocals on five of the tracks. While I literally could have placed
the entire album on this radio blog, I’ve constrained myself to two, Suddenly,
and a personal favorite of both Honey
for Oshun
and myself, Fly Away.
See also: Clara Hill’s Restless
Times
, Beanfield’s Seek,
Jazzanova’s …Mixing.

The
Unabombers
– Electric Soul 2, Pias, 09/04. Genres: Soul, Nu Jazz, Hip Hop,
Dance, Electronica. Manchester’s DJ partnership drops the most eclectic and
arguably the best compilation this year. While Prime
and Todd Kelley can get
down with This Thing, tracks on this compliation can be heard
everywhere, like Dedication by Beef Wellington which was featured
on The Wire.

Foreign Exchange
Connected,
BBE, 08/04. Genres: Rap, Hip Hop. I mentioned Foreign Exchange here,
but don’t take my word for it- Jason
and Todd are in agreement that this was one of the top releases
this year. Nic’s Groove and All That You Are
have been provided for your ears.
See also Little Brother’s Listening.

Gaelle
Transient,
Naked Music, 11/04. Genres: Electronica, Soul. She’s collaborated with Cee-lo
and Esthero, and along with Eric Stamile, she’s created a great album. Some
of the tracks are gems. Just ask Trader
Mike
. My two here are Falling and Repetition,
but if you were to ask Honey,
there are some people who are partial to Parkway. *wince*



Zap MamaAncestry
In Progress
, VM2, BMG, 09/04. Genres: International, Africa, Soul, Hip Hop.
With special guests like Talib, Bahamadia, and Erykah Badu mixed in, it’s pure
goodness. Bandy Bandy and Yelling Away are
here.

John LegendGet
Lifted
, Sony, 12/04. Genre: R&B. Technically this CD is being released
tomorrow. I’ve had it in rotation for at least 3 months, and it’s a CD that
managed to stay in heavy rotation ever since. It should have been released earlier. Get
Lifted
and Live it Up are featured.

Van HuntVan
Hunt
, Capitol, 02/04. Genres: soul, rock. What can I say? I liked him both
in my CD player AND live.
Down Here and Hell and Out of the Sky are
two of my favorites.

Amp Fiddler
Waltz
of a Ghetto Fly
, Pias America, 06/04. Genres: Soul, Rock. At the risk of
being repetitive, I also liked him in my CD player and
live
as well. Enigma would agree with me. Soul
Divine
and Unconditional Eyes are in the mix here.

Cee-LoCee-Lo
Green Is the Soul Machine
, Arista, 03/04. Genre: Hip Hop. I dig it, I
really dig it
. My Kind of People and the eclectic/strange/hilarious
Evening News are here.

Kanye WestCollege
Dropout
, Roc-A-Fella, 02/04. Genre: Hip Hop. I could tell you how good this
CD is, but I’d be taking words away from Trent.
Spaceship and The New Workout Plan, anyone?

Your take?

25 thoughts on “the essential cds of 2004

  1. I’m not as out of touch as I thought I was. I’ve heard about half of the CDs on your list. I’ll have to get my paws on the others, especially the electronica ones.

  2. I’ve been sleeping on that Magic Number joint all year. I’ve got to pick that up.
    And the Unabombers jawn. I’m getting my first listen of Tortured Soul on your radio blog right now and I’m digging it.
    I’ve been thinking about what my absolute favorite singles of the year were and I’m pretty sure Dust by Van Hunt is it. I get the distinct feeling that critics are sleeping on that album as ’04 ends since it came so early in the year but Dust, whoa, I remember when I first heard it, it completely blew my mind.

  3. when i saw amp fiddler live he was so good but i haven’t really been able to get into his cd per se, gaelle either. i’m going to have to check out some of this other stuff i haven’t heard.

  4. Great list of albums.
    I’m still working on my “Best Albums of 2004” list.
    I’m torn with John Legend’s CD Get Lifted. I may not add him on my list because the album was release so late within the year. It’s a great album, but I think I’m going to add him on my list next year and give him more shine throughout 2005. But you are right, they should have dropped John Legend’s CD a little earlier.
    I think Kanye West is a great producer. I overstated myself with the “genius” tag for Kanye. But love him or hate him, Kanye’s College Dropout was a great recording — “Jesus Walks” be damned.
    Van Hunt is the slept-on artist of the year and so was Amp Fiddler. Great CDs by both artists.
    Keep it poppin’. Big ups on the radio blog, as well.

  5. Damn you EJ for revealing my inner crazy biotch! LMAO. I’m not saying I can relate to Gaelle’s “Parkway”, I’m just sayin it’s an interesting song, lol. Great list, I’m gonna have to definitely check out The Unabomber and Magic Number. Thanks as always for the heads up 🙂

  6. Top 10 (+2) CD’s of 2004 (What A Difference A Month Makes)

    Last month, I did my Top 10 CD’s of 2004. Since then, I’ve been introduce to a slew of new music (thanks EJ and Honey!!!), which his slightly altered my list (damn). And since EJ decided to integrate the list…

  7. My Top Ten CD’s of 2004 (plus two)

    It’s that time again. Time for countdowns of the year’s most memorable, so I thought I would join my friends EJ and Todd in naming my favorite CD’s of the year. These are the CD’s that I can put on…

  8. “Top CD’s of 2004” Round-up

    The lists are adding up from around the Blogverse: Here my revised Dozen for 2004 EJ Flavors gives up his Essential CD’s of 2004 Honeysoul brings her Top Ten CD’s of 2004 (plus two) Jason Toney and his Big Post…

  9. happy merry crimma to you too! and happy early new year, i hope you have a great one. nice music choice for 2004 you have listed, can i get a copy of that on cd?

  10. Wow. I’m actually going back and forth between this post and iTunes. So far I’m not sure which ones I like best. This will definitely help me decide on my next new music purchase. Thanks EJ!

  11. Damn. Damn! DAMN! I had a free copy of Van Hunt’s CD in my hand and didn’t take it. Ah well, off to the Recka Sto’.

  12. Ain’t feelin’ Kanye West at all. I tried and it just doesn’t work. But I like Foreign Exchange. Heck, I love Foreign Exchange. 🙂

  13. The Essential CDs of 2004

    We run mics Let Sean run the marathon Yo raise that money, son We raising these kids… – Pos of De La Soul, “Verbal Clap” 2004 was not a great year in music. As I look back on my purchases,…

  14. “Top CD’s of 2004” Round-up

    The lists are adding up from around the Blogverse: Here my revised Dozen for 2004 EJ Flavors gives up his Essential CD’s of 2004 Honeysoul brings her Top Ten CD’s of 2004 (plus two) Jason Toney and his Big Post…

  15. Happy New Year!
    These Essentials lists are great. I probably own 0-2 of cd’s mentioned on each list but I love the concept and should have my own list up in the next week. I am trying very hard to limit myself to no more than 25 albums. This is going to be tough.

  16. The Big Small Post of the Indispensable Albums and Singles of 2004

    I didn’t have time to write a thorough review capsule for each album listed. In short, this post is long overdue and I had to get it out of the way. One more note: John Legend’s CD Get Lifted is not listed here because it was release officially near t…

  17. I have to give you mad props cause a lot of people slept on Cee Lo’s Soul Machine. That album has to be one of the most under-rated, but crazy thing is classic ish. One luv.

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