Top Ten Discs Of 2004

Ultimate Guitar

Following the prevalent tradition to sum up the most essential events of the leaving year, we've decided not to fall behind from the rest of the world and composed The Most Significant Records Of The 2004 Year list. No doubt, there were a lot of worthy releases in 2004, but for the obvious reason we can't pay our attention to all of them. It might seem that our final round up of '04 doesn't reflect the situation on the general music arena, hence we don't care about pop music and rap. Essential rock records of 2004 -- that it's all about. So, let's get it started!

Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand

Release date: March 9, 2004

One of the long-awaited releases of '04 was the full-leight debute self-titled album of the new band Franz Ferdinand. Their previous records -- "Darts Of Pleasure" EP and single "Take Me Out" -- made public suspended while waiting for the band's next turn. And guys didn't disappoint with this album. Their music became more candid, interesting and emotional. Along with the best tradition punk rock sounding they introduced some other features such as a melodiousness, disco and keyboard licks. While listening to Franz Ferdinand you can call them "neo-romantics," but still there is something little frantic and incomplete to do this. We hope that these guys won't stop at this enough but fleeting result and release more and more outstanding albums -- read full review.

Modest Mouse: Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Release date: April 6, 2004

Less than a month later the world wide discography was increased by another good album "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" of Modest Mouse. For the connoisseurs of their creative work this record become a surprise. In comparison with their last release "The Moon And Antarctica" with its epic statements about life, death, and afterlife, this record had more action and brutality with its undisguised themes about mortality and spirituality. The music of "Good News" was improved with more sounds and instruments. In one way, this variety of sounding impart some charm and interest to the music, but in another way, this record is a dustbin of the creative experiments. Also the influenses of other musicians should be noted -- for example Talking Heads' tones on "The View" or Tom Waits-inspired "Devil's Workday." And the opening track "Horn Intro" was directly provided by the band Dirty Dozen Brass Band. In a word, "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" was Modest Mouse's big step forward -- read full review.

Avril Lavigne: Under My Skin

Release date: May 25, 2004

As a matter of fact, any changes in a work of the artist are entail the appearance of the new admirers or tearing away the old and devoted fans. While the new Modest Mouse's album was under the rapt discuss, one of the youngest representative of the rock scene Avril Lavigne released her sophomore "Under My Skin." And it'd excited absolutely multiple-valued reactions right away. One part of critics and Avril's fans declared this album as a new side of her creative work, as something unattainable and utter. The other part said that Lavigne became less interesting, less energetic, untalented and dull at all. She matured since her debute major record "Let Go" with more serious and thoughtful songs. For most musicians Avril always was a little infant with the huge ambitions -- having released "Under My Skin," she broke this stereotype. Probably, this is an accomplishments of Lavigne's collaborators -- Chantal Kreviazuk and Evan Taubenfeld -- to some extent, because they leaded and helped her along the whole recording period. Avril isn't seventeen years old brat anymore with nonsense protests but she's enough professional musician with deeper rock songs -- read full review.

Slipknot: Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses

Release date: May 25, 2004

An absolutely different situation arised with Slipknot and their "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses" album. It was unambiguously announced as the band's triumph. The critics all over the world gave "Vol. 3" top marks. The world was excited to learn what's so special about it -- the guys really show the example of creativity, experience and groove. The album is attractive with its frankness and unlikeness to the other pop (in a good sense) acts mainly playing mainstream music -- even in the alt-metal hierarchy Slipknot occupy their own detached niche. Naturally, the coolness of this album is a consequence of perfect team-work of Slipknot. There are 9 praiseworthy musicians in line-up -- and all of them are groovy and skillful with their screaming voices, mad rhythm tunes and brilliant drum beat. Besides, there are 4 guitarists among them who provide crazy and racy riffs and solos. Although "Vol. 3" was beautiful the one thing should be said -- it doesn't feel like Slipknot's final statement -- even if their music is interesting and actual right (or just) now, it will be demanded forever -- read full review.

Velvet Revolver: Contraband

Release date: June 8, 2004

Just two weeks after "Under My Skin" and "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses" was released, the world saw not less awaited debute album of "up-and-coming" band Velvet Revolver -- "Contraband." To tell you the truth, this is probably the most awaited album in the history of rock -- being GN'R for most part (original line-up with exception of Axl Rose), the fans expected to see another classic GN'R's record -- the first in 10 years. Lyricaly and vocaly it's Scott Weiland with his merits and demerits -- and the record was about to turn into another "Chinese Democracy" because of continious problems with Scott.

Thanks God, it was finally released on June 8th... though I don't know, probably they shouldn't release it. Don't get me wrong, it's the same powerfull candid hard rock with the same catchness and energy, but it disappoints at the same time! GN'R musicaly and STP vocaly and nothing new?! Besides, as for me -- the huge fan of Slash -- I was upset with the amount and quality of solos. Definitely, I was hoping to see a better work of Slash here. All in all, this album would never get into the list if it wasn't the product of "Slash & Co" brand -- read full review.

Alter Bridge: One Day Remains

Release date: August 10, 2004

You can observe the same situation with Alter Bridge and their debute "One Day Remains." Creed's line-up without Scott Stapp and a new vocalist Myles Kennedy repeated the destiny of Velvet Revolver. The guys tried to introduce more heavyness and some new ideas to their music, though they stand at the same position for the most part. Vocals and lyrics became more aggressive -- it's a merit of joined Myles Kennedy. And -- what I hear! -- there are lots of Tremonti's solos! Careless, timid, lifeless but fast -- definitely, Creed's music was better in terms of solos, simply because it has no solos, haha. Nevertheless, it's great that Tremonti still faithful to his own way and we hope that Alter Bridge will make a move from Creed sounding to find their own style -- read full review.

Used: In Love And Death

Release date: September 12, 2004

Although year 2004 was fruitful for all sorts of punk/emo releases, it lacked a leader or some kind of outstanding record... untill the day "In Love And Death" was released. My Chemical Romance, Thrice, AFI mixe up the raw energy of emotioanal punk with screaming vocals and solid guitar work, though The Used had an ace in the hole prepared to give out at the right moment. Being imbued to the backbone with pure energy, "In Love And Death" is devilishly solid and racy album. There are no similar tracks on the record, unless you will listen to the first and last track only. Having released "In Love And Death", The Used demonstrated their right to occupy the winner's place at the punk rock scene. Unlike the most of the recent releases "In Love And Death" stands out from the whole mess with its strong and actual content. Perfectly done! -- read full review.

Green Day: American Idiot

Release date: September 21, 2004

Just after a week after The Used's "In Love And Death" release, old-timers of the punk division Green Day released their brilliant seventh album "American Idiot." It's not a secret that the conception of this record is imbued with political and war themes, made in fun and happy key though. To some extent it's a rock (punk) opera where Green Day tried to step aside from their regular creativity, to make sound more mature and epic. But it's still a few powerchords with catchy melody -- the fadeless Green Day's success formula works! Arrangements feature uncommon for classic punk rock instruments -- such as pipes and piano, while the common side of the music was extended with a lot of solos and sweet melodies. All the songs from "Idiot" form a story the main character of which is Jesus Of Suburbia, also his blighter St. Jimmy, and his rescuer Whatshername. That's why "American Idiot" considering the "opera"... and their best effort to date since breakthrough debut "Dookie" -- read full review.

Nirvana: With The Lights Out

Release date: November 23, 2004

Hmm... and who might think that the already dead act will present completely new material? But it's happened -- we have CD/DVD box-set with Nirvana's demos, stray songs, alternate takes, rarities and radio-presented tracks. Ofcourse mostly it was done for the fans of Nirvana to dip into that atmosphere once again, but it should be interesting to increase your own conception of their works with some other views. We should thank Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and the whole team which gave us another chance to meet alive Kurt Cobain and delight in Nirvana's music -- read full review.

Linkin Park And Jay-Z: Collision Course

Release date: November 30, 2004

Perhaps the most essential releases was in the end of this year. For example "Collision Course" by Linkin Park and Jay-Z. The first question which can emerge in your heads -- how can it be possible for absolutely different musicians with absolutely different styles -- alt-metal and hip-hop -- play together? It's just a mash-ups -- a harmless amusement of computer-savvy "composers." No doubt, this album can't be compared with the previous works of Linkin Park or Jay-Z, but its energetic, racy and uncommon sounding can get the better of something else. Through the listening to this album even "rap-hater" or thoroughbred metal fan would decide to reconsider his views. It's really active, catchy and powerful music that no one could sit or stand straight and still. The harsh and heavy LP's tunes harmonize with the rhythmic and calm Jay-Z's vocal just perfectly. And in addition to all of this "Collision Course" proved awesomely fun -- read full review.

That was the Ten Most Essential Releases of 2004. With no doubt, there are a lot more albums that are good enough to be listed here - Chili Peppers, Godsmack, U2, Sum 41... We hope that the next year will be not less interesting in terms of good records and we'll get more and more excellent and interesting stuff. We wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you next year!

401 comments sorted by best / new / date

    wtf is mastodon - leviathan this album not only adds to metals superior talents, the guitarists quite frankly are some of the most talented metal guitarists since the 80's, they managed to get the SLAYER crowd going(and that takes doing) and yet they are missed off this is very disapointing
    Shane S.
    insane_clown: "WHERE THE HELL IS INSANE CLOWN POSSE?" "Their new CD sucked big. That's where." did you even by the new cd? ^Who really gives a shit they suck. Avril?Franz?Modest Mouse?What the ***...Thoughs were the best?...Oh my ***in god how pathetic.
    punkrockdude2: this list sucks Nirvana wins something every year dont they? damn i wish people would just let them go they sucked when they came out and now the suck even more cuz there so overplayed and overrated.
    Wow, you should be banned from this site for your stupidity. Nirvana is was the main band that started the whole "punk" movement. They were also amazingly creative and original which are two things that most artists in the 90's definatly werent. Maybe if you kept your senceless comments to yourself, you wouldnt look like an 10 year old dumbass. But ya, the list wasnt good. But hey, the music industry is dominated by rich little teenagers so what can ya expect....
    javier69: oh and Biffy CLyro, Dogs DIe In Hot Cars, Ordinary Boys, Maroon 5, The Libertines, Kasabian, i could go on you know... Maroon 5 sucks. "she will be loved" oh please... don't come to me with this bullshit and call yourselves rockers
    rubbish.....this list is pure in 04 sucked.....plain and simple.....rubbish
    where's papa roach's cd, Getting away with murder? that was an awesome cd. P.S. Jay-z ***ed up linkin park.
    People need to stop insulting artists and look at it from their perspective. Most groups and artists are just trying their best and doing something they love. If you don't agree with who is on the list, then make some music and try becoming mainstream. The artists all appeal to different audiences, and they have made a name for themselves through hard work and commitment. The only time you can really dis a group is if they released something just to make a quit load of cash. If you know they have no soul then let the verbal lynchings begin. HURRAY. Hey sorry for the longness.
    Hey. Anybody that knocks the Nirvana Box needs to be put down. It is what a box set is supposed to be. And who is saying that Nirvana changed music for the worse? I'm angered not by the list but these comments. Mooo...
    what the hell they said it not about pop and rap but avril and jay-z? think the guys who made this list need too cut down on whatever there smoking
    Shane S.
    futomara-san: Jesus Christ! What the hell are these people thinking?! Th Used?! Screamo is not music! "Oh my girlfriend dumped me, my parents are divorced, Skittles are my favourite candy and blacks my favourite colour. I'll write an album about my issues with pathetic lyrics and instruments that don't follow music in anyway." The Used suck! ^ Dude i hear ya.Cant get more right than that.
    wow nirvana suck what they ever do for the music inderstry?
    Hmm.. Dave Grohl is funny and Cobain shot himself
    You can also check out the Incubus top 10's and other bands charts at
    Jesus Christ! What the hell are these people thinking?! Th Used?! Screamo is not music! "Oh my girlfriend dumped me, my parents are divorced, Skittles are my favourite candy and blacks my favourite colour. I'll write an album about my issues with pathetic lyrics and instruments that don't follow music in anyway." The Used suck!
    2004 was fruitful for all sorts of punk/emo releases.
    That's a bad thing!
    those cd's suck! what about lamb of god? or anything heavy? there are plenty of better albums out there than this crap
    I'm not going to whine about the list. It's not set in stone and is forcing you to like pray to it or something. I'm just going to add 2 more cds that I think deserved recognition. Incubus (A Crow Left Of The Murder) ---.. This cd turned off a lot of hardcore fans from the earlier years, and attracted more mainstream fans. Hell, it even got hooked onto me. But if you listen to it, truthfully, without criticizing them for everything, you'll see that they're doing what they have been ever since Fungus Amongus--redefining/altering their sound. With Fungus Amongus, came a funky, jazzy rock/alt sound. S.C.I.E.N.C.E. leaned more towards the hardcore/metal/hard rock edgier side of Incubus. Make Yourself was more of an experimental rock with a dash of progressiveness. Morning View was more of a mellow, rock cd. The latest, A Crow Left of the Murder, brought together styles like jazz, metal, rock, some hip-hop, and fused them altogether to make, what I think, one hell of an album. I own every cd of Incubus, and all of them are respected musicians. Boyd has a phenomenal vocal range, incredible tone, and very insightful lyrics that just rock. Einzinger has a jazzy metal/rock kind of sound, and is an underrated yet truly spectacular guitarist, who is brought down by the fact that he is in a somewhat mainstream band. Pasilllas makes you wonder how someone can compose that kind of music on drums. He's awesome! Dirk Lance was a really really great bassist, and the new guy, Ben Kenney is the perfect one to fill in his shoes. Also awesome. Even DJ Kilmore throws in his effects like crazy just to top off the sound. ACLOTM is not a letdown. Just a change, and obviously, after listening to more tracks on the cd, you can see that it wasn't a change to attract fans, since some are more harder. Straylight Run (Straylight Run) ---.. Also an awesome cd. I don't have much to say, but to make a long story short-Former rhythm guitarist/2nd vocalist (John Nolan) of Taking Back Sunday and former bassist of Taking Back Sunday (Shaun Cooper), plus the drummer from Breaking Pangea (Will Noon), and throw in John's sister, Michelle, to create Straylight Run. The cd is like something from Ben Folds Five, with less pop, more emo. Imagine Taking Back Sunday with a strings and piano track. And that's the Straylight Run cd. They bring in a new idea to emo, and its just great. Many people overlook it because its former TBS, and its emo, but-give it a chance! ^..all my opinion, not a fact, just opinion!^..
    slipknot sucks...A crow left of the murder should be on there. wheres Welcome to the North by The Music? to me thats the best album of the year.
    discipleofrock your an idiot it says best rock albums of 2004 not lame repetitive rap albums of 2004 like snoop dog
    hmm, not the best selection, but there were some good ones in their. Yes, godsmack and sum 41 would be a hell of a lot better choices than some.
    ^ Sorry to burst your bubble, but the "punk" movement you speak of was started well before nirvana...get educated son.
    Can't spell CRAP w/o RAP R.A.P.= Retards Attempting Poetry
    Wow, a little narrow minded there aren't we?? Ever listen to 2Pac, Biggie, Dr. Dre, NWA, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Bone Thugs' lyrics just to name a few??? Oh wait, obviously not with that retarded comment you just made. Mainstream rap/hiphop nowadays does suck, but older rap and even these artists music today are ***ing awesome. I notice 90% of the people on here flame the entire genre, which is stupid if you ask me...but what do I know by having a more diverse musical selection and appreciation for a different genre of music and its' artists??? Go in a studio, make a beat, and try and rap...I highly doubt you can.
    2004 was fruitful for all sorts of punk/emo releases. That's a bad thing!
    I couldn't agree the words of Killswitch Engage: "Emo?? That shit is for homo's!!!"
    Franz Ferdinand isnt my style they should be killed just like the guy they named the band after. . .just kidding I must say that modest mouse does deserve to be on the list althoug i dont like then that much. They have ben around a while and got their big break Avril is hot and thanks to all the 12 year olde poser girls she will be aound a while Slipknot, good band not into screaming stuff i dont like their new single that i heard on the radio and they need to firesome people from the band, who needs two drumers. VR, ehh, what happened to STP now thats a band Altarbridge, Great guitarist thats about it The Used, 1st album is better Green Day, cant dis them they're still rockin at their age, no Dookie but not bad Nirvana is overrated and Kurt was never a good guitar player LP&JZ, whatever, didn't JayZ retire. Oh thats right it was just publicity to sell an album. I predict Next Year #1 will be The New TooL album . . . if it ever gets released.
    Ok, first off Muse Absolution should be in there, In my opinion one of the most significant albums of 04. Also Alter bridge? Sounds like Creed to me, the singer has almost the same voice. Avril, matured but still shouldn't be here. Jay-Z? The rest of the list I can live with.
    Hey! What about the new megadeth cd?? You all gotta agree that that was pretty tight. And you know its better than frelling avril lavigne. And Alter Bridge, i mean come on, you dont need to cut them slack just because they broke up from there former gay group. Yea thats right! What now?!
    First what the hell happened to...? The Dillinger Escape Plan: Miss Machine Lamb Of God: Ashes of The Wake Chevelle: This Type of Thinking (will do us in) Godsmack: The Other Side Ect. Secondly who in the blue FUCK put Avril Lavigne and Jay-Z. This is ULTIMATE GUITAR. Since I last knew Jay-z and A.L cpuldnt play a guitar worth a damn. I've said my peace. ..Happy New Year Everyone!
    2004 had too many greatest hits albums. gnr, manson, korn, placebo sort of an lots more
    nirvana where the biggest thing to hit the 90's saving rock from being taken over by the likes over guns n roses and bon jovi(never the less they were/are good bands but was using music the wrong way), kurt was a true music lover and spread his words to millions of people, you ***in idiots listen to the song and think " oh another shit record" try listenin to the songs and think "thats the most meaningful stuff ive ever heard" there's more to a song then guitar, drums bass and vocals, unlike the one side of a critic, just one complete wanker!
    tool46n2 how did green day look like "fags" thats a very ignorant thing to above post is my oppinion on the album
    Americanmovie23 it is a bands job to play music..and as a musician you are supposed to express your oppinions...and when so much stuff has been going on in the "land of the free" with Bush and all the mistakes he is making it is good that the kids who arent too into politics have greenday to sing about the gets them more into politics and they can start to understand what is going on...people are aloud to express there views about things..and its good that there reaching out to the younger people so that when they are old enough they can be smart enough to vote so we dont make another mistake like this one
    Another CD I would recommend is Taking Back Sunday's "Where You Want To Be". Good CD+tracks.
    EMO IS FOR HOMO'S! IN CASE YOU DIDN'T GET THE MESSAGE, READ ABOVE POST!! Emo/screamo, whatever you wanna call it, take the gay right out of liberaces' anus....and eats it with a spoon. By far the worst music in the history of music. Oh, and to whoever made the comment that axl rose was a better singer than Scott Weiland i will disagree. Axl WAS a good singer, but it's just me, i think scott has a more powerful voice. Plus, axl character is comparable to that of douchebag residue.
    Let me just say that no music SUCKS. It may not appeal to you but it doesn't suck. I'm giving my personal opinion on each album: 1.Franz Ferdinand: I didn't like the album to laid back for me 2.Modest Mouse: I'm not a fan of his voice 3.Avril Lavigne: My sister listens to her chronically so i have had enough. 4.Slipknot: Way to many people in the band. Corey Taylor has a wonderful voice when he isnt screaming I liked Stone Sour way better. 5. I'm pretty impressed. Although I think they will probably become overrated I'm liking the first album. 6.Alter Bridge: Mark Tramonti at his best. Allthough the opening riff to one last breath was quite amazing. 7.The Used: Screamo, in my opinion, is the worst music on the face of the planet. There is nothing good about screaming. They can go talk about committing suicide in a bathroom along with that chemical romance group. 8.Green Day: Wasn't impressed at all. I think this was their worst album. They look like fags in the American Idiot video. I like the Boulavard of Broken Dreams tune though. 9.Nirvana: All those people who are clueless on how they came out with a new album, its all tracks that werent on albums, greatest hits, and demos. Nothing new. I do agree with everyone that nirvana is a little over rated and people get way to obsessed but they were a great band. If kobain didn't kill himself i bet a lot of you would actually listen to nirvana. 10.Lp/Jz: I really don't think it deserved number one. A few songs were ok but it shouldn't even have been on the list because it features rap and the author of the list made it 100 percent clear that there were no rap or pop, but the list featured this and avril..So, I do agree with everyone they were smokin or drinkin to much.
    yeah LP is now on the (N)list they can expect a darker crowd to be rolling in.never much cared for them anyway they always seemed like a go with the flow ,played on every hits station kind of band.but people who look deeper into music have already lost interest in them. Rap is useless degrading and talentless but what else can u expect
    Rune Playaz
    DiscipleOfRock: What kind of list has Avril Lavigne, and not Snoop Dogg...*tsk tsk*
    get ur fagget wigger ass out of the forus... rap has nothing musically interesting about it... all synthesizers(SP),,, anyway... i agree with the "R.A.P." thing,,, (above)... and once again... ICP is FUCKING GAY
    oh and Biffy CLyro, Dogs DIe In Hot Cars, Ordinary Boys, Maroon 5, The Libertines, Kasabian, i could go on you know...
    wtf are u on? Franz-***ing ferdinand??? they suck ass. more thsn insane clown possie. best albums have got to be The Killers , Razorlight, I agree TOTALLY with Green Day's inclusion but ur misiing The Dears. If anyone has heard of the mcheck out there new album it kicks. Like the Smiths, but with a bit of Oasis and polyphonic Spree in there 2.