Best of 2004

Our second annual survey of the best music of the year is marked by a tie between Björk's Medulla and Kanye West's College Dropout in the top albums category. They couldn't be more different: Medulla is perplexing and occasionally beguiling avant pop, while College Dropout is classic, radio-friendly hip-hop. Other winners include Usher's "Yeah!", which has dominated the pop singles charts all year; Nirvana's new box set With The Lights Out cements the trio's reputation as a legendary rock band; and Trick Daddy's Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets is this year's biggest-selling Miami album. In parentheses is the number of votes each selection received.


Björk, Medulla (Elektra) (8)


Voting contributors:

John Anderson, Javier Andrade, Ernest Barteldes, Jean Carey, Kris Conesa, Roy Dank, Kevin Dean, Abel Folgar, Julienne Gage, Michael Alan Goldberg, Humberto Guida, Rich Juzwiak, Kevin Y. Kim, Pat Meschino, David Mittleman, Lily Moayeri, Hans Morgenstern, Tamara Palmer, Juan Carlos Perz-Duthie, J. Poet, Mosi Reeves, Angie Romero, Christopher Sanders, Makkada Selah, Terra Sullivan, Tony Ware, Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik, Lee Zimmerman

Kanye West, College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella) (8)

Madvillain, Madvillainy (Stones Throw) (6)

Jill Scott, Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2 (Sony) (5)

Usher, Confessions (Arista) (5)

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, The Delivery Man (Lost Highway) (4)

The Cure, The Cure (Geffen) (4)

Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose (Interscope) (4)

Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company (Concord Records) (3)

Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand (Domino) (3)

PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her (Island) (3)

Modest Mouse, Good News For People Who Love Bad News (Sony) (3)

Morrissey, You Are the Quarry (Sanctuary) (3)

Martina Topley-Bird, Anything (Palm Pictures) (3)

TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Touch and Go) (3)

U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope) (3)

!!!, Louden Up Now (Touch and Go) (2)

Air, Talkie Walkie (Astralwerks) (2)

Animal Collective, Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) (2)

Arcade Fire, Funeral (Merge) (2)

De La Soul, The Grind Date (Sanctuary) (2)

Dungen, Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sounds) (2)

Amp Fiddler, Waltz of a Ghetto Fly (Genuine) (2)

Ghostface, The Pretty Toney Album (Def Jam) (2)

Bebel Gilberto, Bebel Gilberto (Six Degrees) (2)

Green Day, American Idiot (Warner Brothers) (2)

The Hives, Tyrannosaurus Hives (Interscope) (2)

Norah Jones, Feels Like Home (Blue Note) (2)

Juanes, Mi Sangre (Universal Latino) (2)

Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute) (2)

Killers, Hot Fuss (Island) (2)

Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz, Crunk Juice (TVT) (2)

M83, Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts (Mute) (2)

Teedra Moses, Complex Simplicity (TVT) (2)

Mylo, Destroy Rock & Roll (Breastfed) (import) (2)

Ozomatli, Street Signs (Concord Records) (2)

R.E.M. , Around the Sun (Warner Brothers) (2)

Arthur Russell, World of Echo (Audika) (2)

Louie Vega, Elements of Life (Vega) (2)

Wilco, A Ghost Is Born (Nonesuch) (2)


Usher, "Yeah!" (Arista) (6)

Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out" (Domino) (5)

U2, "Vertigo" (Universal) (5)

Gwen Stefani, "What You Waiting For" (Interscope) (4)

Jay-Z, "99 Problems" (Roc-A-Fella) (3)

Ciara, "Goodies" (LaFace) (2)

Kelis, "Milkshake" (Arista) (2)

Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You" (J Records) (2)

Kevin Lyttle, "Turn Me On" (Atlantic) (2)

Modest Mouse, "Float On" (Sony) (2)

Nina Sky, "Move Ya Body" (Universal) (2)

Terror Squad, "Lean Back" (Atlantic) (2)

Kanye West, "Jesus Walks" (Roc-A-Fella) (2)

Kanye West, "Through the Wire" (Roc-A-Fella) (2)


Nirvana, With The Lights Out (Geffen) (5)

Various Artists, DFA Compilation #2 (DFA) (3)

Various Artists, Garden State soundtrack (Sony) (3)

Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company (Concord Records) (2)

Morgan Geist, Unclassics (Environ) (2)

Various Artists, Blue Note Revisited (Blue Note) (2)

Various Artists, De-Lovely soundtrack (Sony) (2)

Various Artists, Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon (Artemis) (2)

Various Artists, Kill Bill Vol. 2 soundtrack (Maverick) (2)

Miami Albums

Trick Daddy, Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets (Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic) (11)

Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop) (7)

Pitbull, M.I.A.M.I. (TVT) (6)

Spam Allstars, Contra Los Roboticos Mutantes (Spamusica) (6)

Bling Bling, Diary of A ... (Spy-Fi) (4)

Jacki-O, Poe Little Rich Girl (TVT) (self-released) (4)

Out of the Anonymous, Masked Media (3)

The Waterford Landing, The Waterford Landing (Applied Chaotics) (3)

Finesse and Runway, Finesse and Runway (Schematic) (2)

Nicole Henry, The Nearness of You (Banister) (2)

JD Natasha, Imperfecta-Imperfect (EMI Latin) (2)

Suenalo Sound System, Collage (self-released) (2)

Various Artists, Red Alert! (Greensleeves) (2)

Volumen Cero, Estelar (WEA International) (2)


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >