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WHEN MUSIC POPS, WE TURN IT UP

popbytes top 2004 albums!

popbytes top 2004 albums!
December 30, 2004 MICHAEL KNUDSEN

oh my gosh! i did it! please enjoy what popbytes thinks to be the cat’s meow of the musical landscape of what was 2004 – so here is to another great year – and im sure 2005 will stir some treasures up – but dont count on that lady ms. lopez to break ground when she releases her latest album stupidly titled rebirth – ok jenny yr all grown up and ‘reborn’ with yr troll hubby – show us what you got (bitch!) – that is if you still have it some where deep down inside of you – only time will tell! so enjoy and tune into what i think to be the best – and please forgive me for any oversights – this was quite a difficult and challenging post! and tomorrow let’s see if i can give you my top ten for films this year – for sure sideways is a strong numero uno…popbytes drained and needing 2005! so in no real particular order except my sub-conscious im sure was working and was semi-sneaky and partial!




































#1 Scissor Sisters {Scissor Sisters} Released May 18th

whats to say? this band just rocks – hailing from ireland (correction: NEW YORK – my bad!!!) – they have put out the retro dance fun
filled album we have been all waiting for – its like an odd mix of the bee-gees and something new
and fresh – and lead singer hottie jake shear’s antics sure keeps us on our tippy-toes – and popbytes is due
to see them at the end of january (at the wiltern) when they come to l.a. – so shimmy yr ass to this smokin’ band! and much love to my amazing buddy ms. gillian! xxoo! come to l.a. soon!

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#2 Love Angel Music Baby {Gwen Stefani} Released Nov 23rd

oh her style just rules the roost! i mean i would just love to be a girl to accessorize and dress
like this diva does – altho sometimes i question her music talent (check her live) all is forgiven
to her overwhelming grace – pizazz – and that style she does so well – that only really gwen can
pull off – and her solo debut (without no doubt bandmates) japanese/harajuku girl influenced album is just pure ‘girly’ pop bliss – that’s the
one word people have kept using to describe this album – ‘girly’ – and you know what? that’s ok – and
gwen keep on being the fashion diva you were born to be!

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#3 America’s Sweetheart {Courtney Love} Released Feb 9th

what’s to say – the ups the (many) downs – the legalities of it all – oh that courtney – but ms.
love still rose to the occasion and put out a truly kick-ass solo ‘rock & rolling’ effort after the disbanding of
hole – let’s just say it this way – if popbytes were to ever do drag (and mom no worries i
haven’t!) – i would so be courtney – hands down – love her or hate her – we are all simply fascinated –
so if you haven’t given a listen – i suggest you do – although the lady doth protest – the lady does
not disappoint! long live courtney!

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#4 Medúlla {Björk} Released Aug 31st

oh that crazy eccentric lady did it again – this is one smart cookie – a pure original like no other –
her stripped down album utilized the human voice like no album before (or even attempted) – although she is not
everyone’s cup of tea – for sure the lady is an acquired taste (ask me how i acquired it – it’s too wild of a
story to post here! – not bad just wild! wink wink to missy carrie – long live the thought of wolf baby!) – but for
sure you must (simply must) appreciate her originality – and her mind – i can’t say it enough – a pure living genius & artist
– who’s musical work and approach will for sure carry on – can’t wait to see what magic she is cooking up next…

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#5 Around the Sun {REM} Released Oct 5th

oh michael stipe and band have been doing it well for so long – i was so obsessed with mr stipe when
i was first realizing i was queer – losing my religion was oh too powerful – so the boys came
back with an excellent striped down album that is enjoyable and sentimental all at the same – and
their single leaving new york really got to me – i still struggle sometimes with my thoughts
of nyc – but as much as i love and worship the city – things have changed – the city isnt what it
was when i was there – so im safe and secure in my choice to live and love los angeles – and shit
without moving to los angeles popbytes may have never existed…so REM keep on bringing it – and i
so love you mr. stipe – thank you!

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#6 All That We Let In {Indigo Girls} Released Feb 17th

this harmonic duo gal group is hands down one of my all time faves – true musicians – both amy and
emily (dear friends with each other since the 6th grade) are songwriters and ladies of and from the heart & mind –
and for those of you who don’t know – these gals never write together – which is quite amazing – and
when combined, the styles and philosophic differences of each lady take on a harmonious life of
the song’s own – popbytes has seen them about 18 times live (all over the country) – and everytime has
been the rare treat and experience music can be – blessed i am for having had these ladies with me
for quite some time – always providing the perfect answer & reflection to what may be bugging you at
present – these gals are tops – and the title track all that we let in speaks volumes for
where we are all at the moment – quite scary sometimes – and my beloved indigo girls nail it all
down – bringing it all into keen perspective and bring it closer to fine – i love you amy and emily!
much respect and thanks!

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#7 American Idiot {Green Day} Released Sept 21st

good for these guys i say – all grown up now – these boys have produced a stirring album that has
garnered mucho critical acclaim and recognition – the album plays as a full and complete journey
from beginning to end – and what a great title that i think captures 2004 best – american
idiot
– shit we could do a whole ‘academic’ symposium on that term – the plus and minuses – so check out
what i think to be a highly enjoyable album with a healthy dose of social commentary – and lead
singer billy joe is as cute as ever! who knew these boys had it in them – rock on!

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#8 Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned { The Prodigy} Released Sept 14th

this band came back this year and re-invented themselves – and scrapped the ‘strict’ techno set-up
that defined them some few years ago – and came up with eclectic mix of dance and rock – with guests
such as actress turned rock mistress juliette ‘a little kooky’ lewis (now in the band the
licks
) who turns in a kicking version of ‘up up and away’ (in her beautiful albeit fucked up
balloon) – i was pleasantly surprised by this effort from a band i thought long gone – proving they
too can adapt to the times and give us something to rock and dance out too!

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#9 Welcome to Haiti Creole 101 {Wyclef Jean} Released Sept 21st

a mix of french creole – and english – this album is like a good bowl of jambalaya – altho it does
grow a bit tired – i love how wyclef combined multiple traditional and modern styles – and provides
a grand slam when he re-interprets the spanish ritchie valens classic la bamba (not
my ritchie…not my ritchie
…sorry i just had too – no disrespect intended) infusing it with a
wealth of the sounds o’ the islands – a true hip-hop pioneer – wyclef continues to deliver – but in
the end i still question where is lauryn hill – last i heard a bit crazy – i tell you if you
have accelerated acclaim and adoration for something done – it so sets one up to be scared to move
an inch – i always say winning a grammy or an oscar can be thrilling but is also a huge set-up for
fear of failure and disappointment (on a super random note – thank heavens hillary swank
oscar winner – is back with what appears to be another dynamite performance in clint eastwood’s
latest directorial outing boxing drama million dollar baby…) anyways i digressed way too far – just give a
listen to the sounds wyclef be stirring/mixing up for all of us!

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#10 Auf Der Maur {Melissa Auf Der Maur} Released Jun 1st

this chick is rock & roll hot and oh sexy – and quite talented (who doesnt love a girl that can rock
her heart out!) – she has been bouncing around from being part of the now defunct group hole
with that crazy ‘but you gotta love’ courtney love – to taking part in the tail end of the often
stellar and sparkling 90’s hot band the smashing pumpkins (speaking of them – whatever
happened? mucho potential and nada these days) and now has branched out on her own into an excursion
that rocks and haunts at the same time – im sure many of you may not know who this red haired siren
is but take note – ms. melissa auf der maur is one to keep your ears tuned into!

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Honorable Mentions


Gold Medal {The Donnas}

Palookaville {Fatboy Slim}

Uh Huh Her {PJ Harvey}

Stone Love {Angie Stone}

Unwritten {Natasha Bedingfield}

Under My Skin {Avril Lavigne}