A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

Since our Albums Of The Decade feature caused such a stir, we thought we'd revisit our 50 best albums of each individual year. We're up to 2004 and at Number 50 it's the 22-20s self-titled debut. At the time we said: "This debut captured their most monomaniacally brutal yet totally beautiful moments."

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

49. Selfish Cunt, ‘No Wicked Heart Shall Prosper'. NME said: “Just forgive his rip-off John Lydon lyrics and panto-villain art posturing and you’ve got dynamite entertainment.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

48. Joanna Newsom, ‘The Milk-Eyed Mender'. NME said: “You’d be hard pushed to find a better, odder album.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

47. The Shins, ‘Chutes Too Narrow'. NME said: “Another pop classic which over the course of the year has threatened to lift the band from cult status into a full-blown phenomenon.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

46. Sufjan Stevens, ‘Seven Swans'. NME said: “Sounded like it was beamed from another world.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

45. Green Day, ‘American Idiot'. NME said: “Re-established its authors as the voice of disaffected youth. Result.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

44. Wilco, ‘A Ghost Is Born'. NME said: “A much more human and organic affair.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

43. The Music, ‘Welcome To The North'. NME said: “A record massive enough to pull the moon out of its orbit.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

42. Regina Spektor, ‘Soviet Kitsch'. NME said: "The album Tori Amos would’ve made if she’d let the suckling pig go all the way.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

41. Mos Def, ‘The New Danger'. NME said: “A fuck-you classic.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

40. The Bees, ‘Free The Bees'. NME said: “A shroomadelic seam of retro riffs.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

39. Eminem, ‘Encore'. NME said: “One half is a bunch of crap…the other is made up of some of Em’s finest.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

38. Goldie Lookin’ Chain, ‘Greatest Hits'. NME said: “A genuinely authentic sound of the streets circa 1983.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

37. The Zutons, ‘Who Killed The Zutons'. NME said: “It may sound like party music but this was a party where you were liable to end up dancing with the devil.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

36. The Go! Team, ‘Thunder, Lightning, Strike'. NME said: “The year's most magnificent dance-pop album.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

35. Graham Coxon, ‘Happiness In Magazines'. NME said: “Peerless garage pop masterpiece.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

34. Amplifier, ‘Amplifier'. NME said: “A fierce and proud journey into the heart of chemical darkness that won them a devoted following and a host of celebrity fans.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

33. Brian Wilson, ‘Smile'. NME said: “Lush orchestration, brain-boggling wordplay and amazing tunes.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

32. Kelis, ‘Tasty'. NME said: “Down-and-dirty future-soul results.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

31. Devendra Banhart, ‘Rejoicing In The Hands'. NME said: “Devendra warbled his way through two stunning LPs this year.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

30. Dios, ‘Dios'. NME said: “A treat warmer than chestnuts.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

29. Hope Of The States, ‘The Lost Riots'. NME said: “Ambitious, epic, sprawling… grabbing, vital, conscientious and vulnerable.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

28. The Ordinary Boys, ‘Over The Counter Culture'. NME said: “A declamatory, call-to-arms fervour, Motown brass, the social commentary of The Jam and the melodic invention of The Smiths.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

27. Mylo, ‘Destroy Rock & Roll'. NME said: “An album that sounded like Prince getting jacked by Daft Punk on crazy love drugs. Yes, that good.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

26. Secret Machines, ‘Now Here Is Nowhere'. NME said: “The last time prog-rock and pop collided as supremely as they do on this debut, large inflatable pigs started flying over London.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

25. Kings Of Leon, ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak'. NME said: “Truly regal.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

24. Elliott Smith, ‘From A Basement On The Hill'. NME said: “The most powerful Elliott Smith moments aren’t when you feel like you’re listening, they’re when it seems as if you’re eavesdropping. Smith’s posthumously released final album is full of moments like these.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

23. Ryan Adams, ‘Love Is Hell (Pt 1 & 2) '. NME said: “Endlessly dark and impossibly passionate.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

22. Gwen Stefani, ‘Love Angel Music Baby'. NME said: “What with Christina going all scary and Britney losing the plot, it looked for a moment this year as if the platinum age of lipgloss starlets might have run aground.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

21. Keane, ‘Hopes And Fears'. NME said: “‘Hopes And Fears’ rocked – albeit very, very gently.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

20. Kasabian, ‘Kasabian'. NME said: “Propelled by baggy beats and lysergic lyrics.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

19. The Concretes, ‘The Concretes'. NME said: “A debut of such grace and hazy delicacy…that it could only have been made by totally insane Swedish nutters.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

18. U2, ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'. NME said: “U2 returned to show exactly how it’s done.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

17. TV On The Radio, ‘Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babies'. NME said: “The ultimate 2004 album: a smooth blend of space-age doo-wop, soul, avant-hip-hop, shoegazing and barbershop.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

16. Beastie Boys, ‘To The 5 Boroughs'. NME said: “Some choice crate-digging, intentionally moronic rapping…a moving tribute to New York.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

15. Dizzee Rascal, ‘Showtime'. NME said: “Neither his ideas nor his ambition show any sign of slowing down yet.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

14. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, ‘Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus'. NME said: “Righteous.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

13. The Killers, ‘Hot Fuss'. NME said: “They brought us murderous disco-thunder, righteous gospel euphoria and a debut album that united Generation Indie like no-one since ‘Is This It’.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

12. Morrissey, ‘You Are The Quarry'. NME said: “The Mozfather’s unique voice had never been more mellifluous, sharp-tongued or relevant.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

11. Interpol, ‘Antics'. NME said: “Long may their black celebration continue.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

10. The Dears, ‘No Cities Left'. NME said: “Smart arrangements and a skittish disdain for convention.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

9. The Radio Dept, ‘Lesser Matters'. NME said: “Everyone’s best kept secret, wrapping their sumptuous melodies in gentle fuzz and breezing their way onto our list virtually unnoticed.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

8. Razorlight, ‘Razorlight'. NME said: “Few, if any, bands have churned up the same amount of emotion as Razorlight have this year.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

7. Kanye West, ‘The College Dropout'. NME said: “Jay-Z’s sideman finally went out on his own and made the album that everyone knew he was capable of.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

6. Danger Mouse, ‘The Grey Album'. NME said: “2004’s ultimate punk statement.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

5. The Futureheads, ‘The Futureheads'. NME said: “Baffling, bonkers and brilliant.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

4. Scissor Sisters, ‘Scissor Sisters'. NME said: “Scissor Sisters brought the personality back into pop and the glam back to rock.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

3. The Streets, ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free'. NME said: “The Streets’ second album puts the opera back into soap opera.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

2. The Libertines, ‘The Libertines'. NME said: “Older, more emotional and scarred from the road, the beloved boys in the band raptured our hearts, and then left us.”

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A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2004

1. Franz Ferdinand, ‘Franz Ferdinand'. NME said: “2004 has been the year of Franz Ferdinand, no question.”

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