First off let me just say that 2004 was an amazing year in music. The Killers debuted with Hot Fuss and new-wave throw back to bands like Duran Duran and Depeche Mode. Arcade Fire came out of nowhere (Canada actually) with an eclectic sound that was totally original and inspired. Hey, they even made violins cool, sorry Yellowcard, you guys are still not there. Franz Ferdinand had the catchiest guitar lick in the song Take Me Out that made even British people want to dance. And speaking of dancing, Kanye West changed Hip-Hop in College Dropout, infusing spiritual lyrics, playful pop elements in Rap as well as brightly color polo's with popped collas.
Even the 90's had a revival of sorts with Green Day's American Idiot, an epic punk-rock opera ala The Who. Gwen Stephani of No Doubt debuted her solo effort with a music fusion of pop, hip-hop, and reggie sounds in Love, Angel, Music, Baby.
Gwen is cool, Lady Gaga notsomuch.
And we can't forget the supergroup mash-up of Scott Weiland, Slash and the boys of GNR in Velvet Revolver. Oh yeah, not to mention little known band called U2. Who had a dizzing hot album in How To Dismantle an Atomic with slick songs like Vertigo and City of Blinding Lights, and not to mention the heart-felt Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your own.
What a year for great music, it reminds me of the year 1991, with such creativity and diversity.
It was really was an unforgettable year, especially since that was the year that I married my friend and beautiful soul-mate Marisa.
For me personally, a gem of an album that might have fallen thru the cracks on the billboard charts was Hopes and Fears by Keane. A piano-pop band from Sussex England that fancies vintage instruments like the Yamaha CP-70 piano. A traveling piano with electric pick-ups that had a run in the 70's and 80's before companies could perfect the sounds in the modern keyboard. Many bands now use this type of piano since Keane brought it out the musical closet.
My wife loves the music of Keane and the unique sound of the CP-70 piano, as we traveled from York to Kansas City and back to purchase this vintage piece; 2000 miles in 1 1/2 days. Yeah, I'm not joking either, you should've seen the Avis attendant's face when we brought back the car. (Unlimited milage indeed.)
We have seen Keane numerous times throughout the years and even got to meet them this past year in DC. They are humble down to earth group of musicians who love music and don't take their fans for granted. They even had a contest this year for fans to create a music video from the album Hopes & Fears. The winners received a signed copy of the special edition of the CD as well as other exclusive goodies from the band.
Check out this cool fan-made video that features everyone's favorite avatar game The Sims.