Madvillainy American Idiot The Futureheads A Grand Don't Come for Free
Blueberry Boat Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes Talkie Walkie Scissor Sisters

Once again, we take a short break from covering current releases by looking back at a year from this nearly-complete decade and compiling lists of our personal favorites. Five years on from 2004, it's easy to forget what a good year it was for almost every kind of music. Some of the decade's biggest indie-rock acts, including TV on the Radio, the Fiery Furnaces, the Arcade Fire and Deerhoof, asserted themselves with definitive albums. Madvillain, MF Doom, Diplo and Dizzee Rascal kept rap's cutting edge sharp. The year's finest electronic music spanned Annie, Junior Boys, Fennesz and Mouse on Mars, while pop ranged from Kelly Clarkson to the Scissor Sisters, and country ran the gamut from Big & Rich to Loretta Lynn. Last but not least, Green Day's American Idiot summed up the year's political tenor. There aren't many overlapping picks on our lists, which only goes to show how strong and eclectic the year's music was. If you're posting a list of your own in the comments, try limiting yourself to 20 picks for albums and singles (like we had to) for an extra challenge!

John Bush
Electrelane - The Power Out
Nellie McKay - Get Away from Me
Madvillain - Madvillainy
Green Day - American Idiot
Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt
The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
Big & Rich - Horse of a Different Color
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing in the Hands
Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue
Laura Veirs - Carbon Glacier
Madeleine Peyroux - Careless Love
A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Kanye West - The College Dropout
!!! - Louden Up Now
MF Doom - MM..Food?
Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell
Devendra Banhart - Niño Rojo
Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose

Kanye West - "Jesus Walks"
Annie - "Chewing Gum"
Scissor Sisters - "Laura"
MF Doom - "Kookies"
Green Day - "Jesus of Suburbia"
Laura Veirs - "Ether Sings"
Devendra Banhart - "The Body Breaks"
Animal Collective - "Leaf House"
Madeleine Peyroux - "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go"
Nellie McKay - "Baby Watch Your Back"
Tim McGraw - "Do You Want Fries with That"
The Hives - "Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones"
Loretta Lynn - "Van Lear Rose"
Diplo - "Diplo Rhythm"
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
A.C. Newman - "Drink to Me, Babe, Then"
Big & Rich - "Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich)"
Susanna & the Magical Orchestra - "Jolene"
Madvillain - "Money Folder"
Ryan Adams - "Anybody Wanna Take Me Home"
Dungen - "Festival"

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Black Keys - Rubber Factory
Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
Green Day - American Idiot
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
The Libertines - The Libertines
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters

Art Brut - "Formed a Band"
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
Britney Spears - "Toxic"
Annie - "Chewing Gum"
Jay-Z - "99 Problems"
Black Keys - "10 AM Automatic"
Kaiser Chiefs - "I Predict a Riot"
Toby Keith - "I Love This"
BarScissor Sisters - "Take Your Mama"
Jet - "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?"
Modest Mouse - "Float On"
Prince - "Cinnamon Girl"

Greg Heaney
The Hold Steady - Almost Killed Me
Floor - Floor
Cee-Lo - Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine
Madvillain - Madvillainy
Cult Of Luna - Salvation
Grizzly Bear - Horn Of Plenty
Hot Snakes - Audit In Progress
Isis - Panopticon
Jens Lekman - When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog
The Foreign Exchange - Connected
The Von Bondies - Pawn Shoppe Heart
Saturday Looks Good to Me - Every Night
Jonathan Richman - Not So Much to Be Loved As To Love
Mastodon - Leviathan
Pas/Cal - Oh Honey, We're Ridiculous
NOMO - NOMO
Prince - Musicology
Pinback - Summer In Abbadon
Oneida - Secret Wars
Neurosis - The Eye Of Every Storm

Andy Kellman
Moodymann - Black Mahogani
Teedra Moses - Complex Simplicity
Triola - Triola im Fünftonraum
James T. Cotton - The Dancing Box
DKD - Future Rage
Rahsaan Patterson - After Hours
Annie - Anniemal
Junior Boys - Last Exit
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Ricardo Villalobos - Thé au Harem d'Archimède
The Rotating Assembly - Natural Aspirations
Carl Craig - Just Another Day
T.I. - Urban Legend
Madvillain - Madvillainy
Van Hunt - Van Hunt
154 - Strike
Michael Mayer - Speicher CD2
Thomas Fehlmann - Lowflow
Fennesz - Venice
Pantha du Prince - Diamond Daze

Sa-Ra - "Glorious"
DJ Koze - "Brutalga Square"
Fabolous - "Breathe"
DKD - "Future Rage"
Rahsaan Patterson - "So Hot"
Jay-Z - "Dirt Off Your Shoulder"
Ashanti - "Only U"
M.I.A. - "Galang"
Ciara - "Goodies"
Usher - "Yeah!"
Justus Köhncke - "Timecode"
Moonstarr - "Detriot"
Crime Mob - "Knuck if You Buck"
Snoop Dogg - "Drop It Like It's Hot"
Teedra Moses - "Be Your Girl"
Wighnomy Bros. - "Wurz + Blosse"
Dwele - "Hold On"
Platinum Pied Pipers - "Stay with Me"
I:Cube - "Vacuum Jackers [Maurice Fulton Remix]"
Hieroglyphic Being - "The Strenuous Life"

Andrew Leahey
Ryan Adams - Love is Hell
Neko Case - The Tigers Have Spoken
Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers - Americano
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
Ambulance LTD - LP
The Shore - The Shore
Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
The Concretes - The Concretes
Jimmy Eat World - Futures
Air - Talkie Walkie
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway

Jason Lymangrover
Air - Talkie Walkie
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Arial Pink - The Doldrums
Blonde Redhead - Misery is a Butterfly
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album
Deerhoof - Milk Man
Elbow - Cast of Thousands
Felix da Housecat - Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever
The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
Floor - Floor
The Futureheads - The Futureheads
The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
The Hold Steady - Almost Killed Me
Junior Boys - Last Exit
Madvillain - Madvillainy
MF Doom - MM..Food?
Mission of Burma - Onoffon
Oneida - Secret Wars
Ratatat - Ratatat
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free

Art Brut - "Formed a Band"
Bjork - "Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)"
Chromeo - "Needy Girl"
Dungen - "Panda"
The Knife - "Heartbeats"
LCD Soundstystem - "Yeah"
M.I.A. - "Galang"
Murs - "Bad Man"
Pinback - "AFK"
Secret Machines - "First Wave Intact"

James Christopher Monger
The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends
Therion - Lemuria/Sirius B
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Shearwater - Winged Life
Tears For Fears - Everybody Loves A Happy Ending
Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Bohren & der Club of Gore - Black Earth
Destroyer - Your Blues
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Faun Fables - Family Album
Hidden Cameras - Mississauga Goddam
Timothy Monger - Summer Cherry Ghosts
Espers - Espers
The Delgados - Universal Audio
Robyn Hitchcock - Spooked
Lansing-Dreiden - The Incomplete Triangle
Frog Eyes - The Folded Palm
Gor Mkhitarian - Godfather Tom

Brazilian Girls - "Pussy"
The Real Tuesday Weld - "Bathtime In Clerkenwell"
Secret Machines - "Nowhere Again"
Dogs Die In Hot Cars - "Godhopping"
Papercuts - "Mockingbird"
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
David Byrne - "Tiny Apocalypse"
Band of Bees - "Chicken Payback"
The Polyphonic Spree - "Two Thousand Places"
Sufjan Stevens - "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands"
The Delays - "Wanderlust"
Joanna Newsom - "Sprout and the Bean"
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "There She Goes My Beautiful World"
Man Inc. - "Blue Law Sunday"
The Gourds - "Turn In My Pocket"
The Futureheads - "Robot"
Papercuts - "Mockingbird"
Brother Danielson - "Things Against Stuff"
The 90 Day Men - "Even Time Ghost Can’t Stop Wagner"
Camper Van Beethoven - "51-7"

Heather Phares
Air - Talkie Walkie
Bjork - Medúlla
Blonde Redhead - Misery Is a Butterfly
Deerhoof - Milk Man
Dizzee Rascal - Boy in da Corner
Electrelane - The Power Out
The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
The Futureheads - The Futureheads
The Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
Liars - They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
Mouse on Mars - Radical Connector
A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
The Organ - Grab That Gun
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
The Walkmen - Bows + Arrows
Wolf Eyes - Burned Mind

Tim Sendra
Architecture in Helsinki - Fingers Crossed
The Brunettes - Mars Loves Venus
The Concretes - The Concretes
Jason Forrest - The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash
The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Heavy Blinkers - The Night and I Are Still So Young
Hercules - In the Alleyway
The Legends - Up Against the Legends
Jens Lekman - When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog
Madvillian - Madvillany
MF Doom - MM..Food?
Saturday Looks Good to Me - Every Night
The Trash Can Sinatras - Weightlifting
Walker Kong - Transparent Life
Walking Concert - Run to Be Born

Jason Thurston
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Arcade Fire - Funeral
American Music Club - Love Songs for Patriots
Mission of Burma - OnOffOn
Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Ted Leo + the Pharmacists - Shake the Sheets
Dolorean - Violence in the Snowy Fields
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Between Here and Gone
Nas - Street's Disciple
The Futureheads - The Futureheads
Talib Kweli - The Beautiful Struggle
Snoop Dogg - R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece
Kings of Convenience - Riot on an Empty Street
Atom and His Package - Hair: Debatable
Green Day - American Idiot
The Reputation - To Force a Fate
Earlimart - Treble & Tremble
William Shatner - Has Been
Arto Lindsay - Salt

Scissor Sisters - "Take Your Mama"
Modest Mouse - "Float On"
Eminem - "Mosh"
Trick Daddy - "Let's Go"
Fabolous - "Breathe"
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
The Streets - "Dry Your Eyes"
Loretta Lynn - "Portland Oregon"
Secret Machines - "Nowhere Again"
Dilated Peoples - "This Way"
Trash Can Sinatras - "Freetime"
Mos Def - "Sunshine"
The Roots - "I Don't Care"
The Mountain Goats - "Mole"
Ludacris - "Child of the Night"
Jill Scott - "Golden"
Jimmy Eat World - "Pain"
De La Soul - "Shopping Bags (She Got from You)"
The Go! Team - "Junior Kickstart"
Interpol - "Narc"

Previously
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