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Old 12-25-2004, 05:14 PM   #1
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HTDAAB is the NY Times' Album of the Year

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/26/ar...tml?oref=login

I just saw this pop up on the New York Times web site.

New York Times--Dec. 26 edition
Jon Pareles list his top 10 album's of 2004:


1. U2, 'How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' (Interscope) Sure, it's an old-fashioned idea: an album that's ready to take on the world, with big tunes and benevolent thoughts that add up to unironic anthems. Yet that ambition is fulfilled, triumphantly, by songs with durable melodies and genuine dramatic sweep, by the Edge's most aggressive and layered guitars, and by lyrics and vocals from Bono that never get so high-minded they forget to be human.

2. Youssou N'Dour, 'Egypt' (Nonesuch) Senegal's greatest singer, and West Africa's self-made cultural ambassador to the world, set aside the band style he perfected to work with an Egyptian string orchestra on an album of new devotional songs. The album is a statement of trans-Saharan African unity, a profession of Islamic faith and, most of all, a collection of humble, loving affirmations, with strings shadowing and fluttering around Mr. N'Dour's exquisite vocals.

3. Brian Wilson, 'Smile' (Nonesuch) If Brian Wilson had finished "Smile" 37 years ago, it would have been the milestone he intended it to be: an album-length pop symphony about America as myth and history. Even now, remade from scratch with new performances (and Mr. Wilson's more weathered voice), it's less risky but still a magnificent folly. Its musical and verbal free-associations hold together, full of whimsy and melancholy, with harmony to solve every dilemma.

4. Bjork, 'Medulla' (Elektra) Bjork wasn't the only one to make an album almost entirely of vocals in 2004; so did Tom Waits. But only Bjork could mingle Icelandic choirs, human beat boxes, eccentric male rockers and her own dynamic voice into songs that can be complex and otherworldly or devastatingly intimate.

5. Green Day, 'American Idiot' (Reprise) While most punk-poppers were whining in 2004, Green Day came up with a latter-day upgrade for the Who's "Quadrophenia," in which another guy named Jimmy tries to survive a 21st-century world of trauma, drugs and media brainwashing. In songs that stay terse and tuneful, even when they extend to nine-minute suites, Green Day helps resurrect the rock opera with punk's own passionate impatience.

6. Juana Molina, 'Tres Cosas' (Domino) This whispery album is the latest invitation into the reveries of the Argentine songwriter Juana Molina. It's built from her acoustic guitar picking, her hushed voice, melodies with the simplicity of lullabies and rustling, rippling, melting synthesizer backdrops that fill the songs with mystery.

7. Kanye West, 'The College Dropout' (Roc-a-Fella/Island Def Jam) What Kanye West isn't - a thug or a crunk party guy - is nearly as important as what he is on his debut album. Shunning the pop-rap stereotypes, he's a thoughtful guy with a sense of responsibility, a sense of humor and enough genuine sympathy for underdogs to excuse his obsession with his own career. And he keeps the touch that made him a hit-making producer, brilliantly exploiting samples to make tracks burst with exuberance.

8. TV On The Radio, 'Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes' (Touch and Go) Sheer density defines this New York band: tracks overloaded with guitars and electronics and a tangle of references from electro to doo-wop, early Eno to Public Enemy. Amid the tremolo-strummed guitar drones and looped drumbeats, the voices hold on to yearning despite every grim portent.

9. Juliana Hatfield, 'In Exile Deo' (Zoe) There's nothing structurally radical about Juliana Hatfield's latest batch of rock songs about lust, addiction, loneliness and betrayal. It's just that each one is so precisely realized: from melody to aphoristic lyrics, from her clear but wary voice to arrangements that support and claw just where they should.

10. Animal Collective, 'Sung Tongs' (Fat Cat) Avey Tare and Panda Bear, the songwriters behind Animal Collective, have come up with an album as psychedelic as anything from the 1960's. There are moments of nutty overdubbed playfulness and stretches of sublime delicacy that simply revel in the ways guitars can reverberate, not to mention Brazilian beats, Beach Boys harmonies and selected random clatter. They make silliness profound, and vice versa.
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Old 12-25-2004, 05:27 PM   #2
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I think this should be in the U2 News forum or the Where The Album Has A Name forum.

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Old 12-25-2004, 06:49 PM   #3
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That's good to see. I happen to agree! (with the original post that is!)
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Old 12-25-2004, 08:15 PM   #4
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Re: HTDAAB is the NY Times' Album of the Year

Quote:
Originally posted by caragriff
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/26/ar...tml?oref=login

New York Times--Dec. 26 edition
Jon Pareles list his top 10 album's of 2004:

1. U2, 'How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' (Interscope) Sure, it's an old-fashioned idea: an album that's ready to take on the world, with big tunes and benevolent thoughts that add up to unironic anthems. Yet that ambition is fulfilled, triumphantly, by songs with durable melodies and genuine dramatic sweep, by the Edge's most aggressive and layered guitars, and by lyrics and vocals from Bono that never get so high-minded they forget to be human.
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Old 12-25-2004, 08:46 PM   #5
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Old 12-25-2004, 09:49 PM   #6
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Old 12-26-2004, 01:47 AM   #7
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The New York Times is utter tripe, of course.
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Old 12-26-2004, 01:50 AM   #8
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Well, that Top4 looks good to me, but Green Day?? WTF?
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Old 12-26-2004, 01:58 AM   #9
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NY Times knows good music.
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by jendzi
Well, that Top4 looks good to me, but Green Day?? WTF?
That's what I was thinking. I've even seen Green Day ranked above U2 on some lists, which I think is totally bizarre.
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:17 AM   #11
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:47 AM   #12
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Old 12-26-2004, 06:09 AM   #13
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I admit to not having heard the entire Green Day album, but what I have heard sounds *exactly* like all the other Green Day albums. It boggles my mind. People are declaring Green Day's "American Idiot" as the best album of the year even though it sounds like any other Green Day album (especially "Dookie"), yet they slam U2 for not being "different enough". I give.

The one comment I like most in the mini-review is this:
Quote:
and by lyrics and vocals from Bono that never get so high-minded they forget to be human.
I think this is one reason JT never ranked super high on my own personal U2 list. Bono's singing was great, but often too distant. His lyrics weren't personal enough and often too preachy. And while JT was great stuff in '87, it never really ranked amongst my favorites for these reasons. In contrast, more recent works, especially HTDAAB, has songs about events and war, but everything is on a far more personal level. I think this makes it infinitely more powerful.

Well, at least U2 is #1 on one list.
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Old 12-26-2004, 06:16 AM   #14
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Cool

And cool to see good old Brian Wilson upthere as well
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Old 12-26-2004, 07:25 AM   #15
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Wilson's "Smile" reduces every other album released the last 40 odd years to 'nice try'




though HTDAAB is not my favourite U2 album
I agree 100% with the review here
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Old 12-26-2004, 07:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
I admit to not having heard the entire Green Day album, but what I have heard sounds *exactly* like all the other Green Day albums. It boggles my mind. People are declaring Green Day's "American Idiot" as the best album of the year even though it sounds like any other Green Day album (especially "Dookie"), yet they slam U2 for not being "different enough". I give.


you couldn't be more wrong.

I'm not a green day fan, never have been, but I've heard the whole album, and it's light years removed from their other stuff, and most of the songs are good.
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Old 12-26-2004, 08:40 AM   #17
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The Paper of Record lists U2 as #1. That proves it. That proves that HTDAAB IS the best album of '04!!!!

Seriously, it's good to see that someone had the good taste to recognize this Best Album of The Millenium (so far).
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Old 12-26-2004, 08:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
I admit to not having heard the entire Green Day album, but what I have heard sounds *exactly* like all the other Green Day albums. It boggles my mind. People are declaring Green Day's "American Idiot" as the best album of the year even though it sounds like any other Green Day album (especially "Dookie"), yet they slam U2 for not being "different enough". I give.
I have "American Idiot" and I have to say that you could not be more mistaken. Your assesment is based on preconceived notions of the Green Day of the past. The song "American Idiot" is to that album what Vertigo is to HTDAAB. The rest of the album is a complete departure from their old stuff. Its very melodic and semi-anthemic. Very U2-fan friendly!
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Old 12-26-2004, 09:08 AM   #19
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I haven't heard the whole Green Day album yet but I thought American Idiot was a good first single. Not a huge song, but enough to get people's attention (much like Vertigo). Now Boulevard of Broken Dreams is released and I think it's awesome!
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Old 12-26-2004, 09:08 AM   #20
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Yes, I think the new Green Day album is great, better than anything they have done in the past and quite different from any of their past work. Sorry if I am getting off-topic.

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