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Torontoist Albums of the Year 2004

2004_12_31arcadefire.gifThere were few surprises in the Torontoist Single of the Year list, and there are even fewer surprises in our album list. The record of the year spot, even before its release date of Sept. 14, is on lock down with those post-baroque screamo Montrealers, The Arcade Fire. Surprises abound in other lists, but here at Torontoist, we are strictly meat and potatoes, best of the best. Peace on Earth, ba-rump-abump-abump-bump.
(P.S. Witness how Torontoist subverts the Top Ten hegemony with a Top Eleven. Boo-yah.)
1. The Arcade FireFuneral
No duh! Or, as my more eloquent comrades at 10:51 say, “obviously!” Here’s a *SUPERB* interview with Win Butler of the Fire.
2. MadvillainMadvillainy
Sometimes the name of the game in rap is to have a bunch of pseudonyms: Viktor Vaughn, MF Doom, Zeb Love X, the Bald-Headed Villain, the Metal-Faced Doom. And sometimes it just helps to have an unbelievable album of rap vignettes, all laid out with the humour, intelligence and soul to warrant six months worth of listens. Dueling Kool Keith, De La Soul, and MadLib all while sporting three great releases makes MF Doom the artist of the year.
3. FeistLet it Die
Named as the National Post’s album of the year – but don’t let that deter you. Ha ha. Ha. That was a joke of course. The fact that Ms. Feist gets respect across the board for her addictive album is enough reason for a number three placing.
4. The StreetsA Grand Don’t Come For Free
Oh Skinner. You know, it’s funny because it’s true. Here’s “It Was Supposed to Be So Easy”.
2004_12_31kanye.gif5. Brian WilsonSMiLE
Just for living up to the hype.
6. Kanye WestCollege Dropout
He can’t pronounce nothing, “pass that Ver-sacey!” If the year in music was defined by artists having mainstream success with independent credibility, Kanyewizzle certainly wins out.

7. A.C. NewmanSlow Wonder
Torontoist might apply for a job as Mssr. Newman’s sassy spokesperson. Okay, no more mention of this guy until his next album, we promise.2004_12_31theorgan.gif
8. The OrganGrab that Gun
Chad Kroeger’s girlfriends have the Smiths w/ organ market cornered. If that seems like a negative, Torontoist assures you it’s not. An album worth the purchase just for “Know One Has Ever Looked So Dead”.
9. Foreign ExchangeConnected
It’s the lack of skits that gets me. And great cover art (definitely gives the urge for a snog at midnight tonight). Best underground/independent (UNDIE) rap album of the year.
2004_12_31foreignexchange.gif10. The WalkmenBows + Arrows
These guys have upper management written all over them.
11. controller.controllerHistory/Magneta LaneConstant Lover
This one’s a natural split decision. Both local bands put out excellent CDs off the same label, though neither is long enough to place by itself. In order to avoid an illegitmate number ten choice, Torontoist is proud to award it as a twosome.