32. Warren Zevon, The Wind.
Best song: “Keep Me in Your Heart”
This album is held together by sadness not necessarily good songs.
31. Ben Lee, Hey You, Yes You.
Best song: “No Room to Bleed”
Ben has given up folk music for cold electronic pop. Once or twice he makes it work.
30. Guided By Voices, Earthquake Glue.
Best song: “The Best of Jill Hives”
Not their best of the year get their greatest hits instead.
29. Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers
Best song: “Hey Julie”
Working man’s rock for the masses, pay no attention to “Stacey’s Mom”
28. Richard Thompson, The Old Kit Bag.
Best song: “Gethsemane”
Former Fairport Convention’s frontman makes a great folk album.
27. Pretty Girls Make Graves, The New Romance.
Best song: “This Is Our Emergency”
Polished post punk? Yeah I guess it works.
26. Ben Cavanaugh, Demo 2003.
Best song: “So Beautiful”
Somewhere between Elton John and Schubert, Ben sits drinking a cosmo.
25. Matmos, The Civil War.
Best song: “Pelt and Holler”
An Electronic album using only samples of Civil War era instruments? Somehow it works.
24. Saturday Looks Good To Me, All Your Summer Songs.
Best song: “The Sun Doesn’t Want To Shine”
Really sweet and sad danceable album.
23. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow.
Best song: “Kissing the Lipless”
A really solid second outing. Even if I don’t like it a lot, I know it is really good.
22. Cex, Being Ridden.
Best song: “Not Working”
White boy raps and creates great electronic beats with tight witty lyrics.
21. Grandaddy, Sumday.
Best Song-“Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake”
Computer geeks never sounded so sweet, even better than Sophtware Slump
20. Cat Power, You Are Free.
Best song: “Good Women”
Beautifully fragile female singer songwriter creates beautifully fragile folk and pop songs.
19. Jay-Z, The Black Album.
Best song: “99 Problems”
I usually hate Jay-z, but this is a great farewell.
18. The Hidden Cameras, The Smell of Our Own.
Best song: “Ban Marriage”
A gay pop band creates great chamber pop.
17.Dave Matthews, Some Devil.
Best song: “Up and Away”
Best thing Dave has done since Before These Crowded Streets.
16. Mogwai, Happy Songs of Happy People.
Best song: “Golden Porsche”
Their best album ever. So many great melodies and crescendos.
15. Victoria Davitt, Still.
Best song: “For Me”
Great local folk artist, such an angelic voice.
14. Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress.
Best song: “Piazza, New York Catcher”
A new sound for these indie pop darlings. Guess what? It works.
13. Crooked Fingers, Red Devil Dawn.
Best song: “You Threw A Spark”
Indie Rock’s Neil Diamond.
12. Lyrics Born, Later That Day…
Best song: “Stop Complaining”
Intelligent rap from a man who knows what he’s talking about.
11. The Twilight Singers, Blackberry Belle.
Best song: “Number Nine”
Afghan Whigs’ lead singer shows what a grunge god can do when he grows up (unlike Grohl’s lukewarm top 40’s rock)
10. The Postal Service, Give Up.
Best song: “Such Great Heights”
DCFC and Dntel create indie dance perfection.
9. Radiohead, Hail to The Thief.
Best song: “A Wolf at the Door”
Sounds more OK Computer than Kid A, thank god.
8. Cursive, The Ugly Organ.
Best song: “Butcher the Song”
Concept album about making an album, genius! Second best use of cello on an indie album.
7. Steve Burns, Songs for Dust Mites.
Best song: “Troposphere”
Forget his TV show. He can write amazing songs. Think TMBG + Flaming Lips.
6. The Decemberists, Her Majesty…
Best song: “I Was Meant For the Stage”
They are going to be the biggest indie band someday, quote me on that.
5. The Wrens, The Meadowlands.
Best song: “Everyone Choose Sides”
Take an amazing pop rock album, put it in a blender and you have this sonic masterpiece. Some minor faults.
4. Outkast, Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below.
Best song: “Hey Ya!”
Big Boi and Dre are creating their own rap, come along for the ride.
3. Damien Rice, 0.
Best song: “Eskimo”
Best use of cello on indie album. Best use of Irish accent.
2. Matthew Ryan, Regret Over Wires.
Best song: “I Can’t Steal You”
Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits must be proud of their love child.
1. EELS, Shootenanny!
Best song: “Dirty Girl”
They put the saddest events into the happiest songs ever.
32. Warren Zevon, The Wind.