Thursday, January 13, 2005

Top 10 albums of '04

So I've been meaning to do this since last month, but I'm just FINALLY getting around to it. Here I present you my picks for my favorite albums of 2004. Enjoy:

  1. Elan, Street Child: If anyone knows me I have been going on and on about this broad ever since I've heard her. Technically this came out in '03 but I didn't discover it til early '04 (so it counts!!!). I have not been this moved by one artist in years. The passion and emotion that come out of her mouth are so raw and addictive. I can not get enough of her. A brilliant, moody album that should not be ignored. So simple yet so complex. It's a crime she's not a household name. I honestly listen to this album everyday on my ipod. It's my most played album. My favorite song changes on a daily basis. Yes people it's that good. Can not wait for album #2.
  2. Ely Guerra, Sweet & Sour, Hot y Spicy: Probably one of my top 5 vocalists of all time, and by far the best live. Ely has recorded yet another winner. This is probably the fist time she lets go in the studio and you hear the intensity that she eludes live. You can not leave this planet w/out seeing this woman in concert. Stunning!
  3. Fangoria, Arquitectura efimera: Alaska! Diosa! Fangoria consistently produce the best electronic music en español. They never fail to dissapoint me and this album is no exception. Long live the Mexican Acid Queen!
  4. La 5a Estación, Flores de alquiler: I first heard them while in Mexico City last May. Hailing from Spain via Mexico they are garnering quite a following. The vocalist sounds like so much like Edith Márquez it's not even funny! Their music is fresh and this, their second effort, will not dissapoint fans of good pop/rock music.
  5. Alicia Machado, Alicia Machado: Just because she's a former Miss Universe you shouldn't knock her. Alica Machado has proven to me at least that she is a great singer (her voice reminds me a lot of María Conchita Alonso) and is off to a good start. This album is great mix of pop/rock music that works well with her voice. Don't even ask me how many times I listen to El paía de las maravillas a day. Take a chance you may be pleasently surprised.
  6. Sasha Sökol, Por un amor: Former Timbiriche member and one of my all-time faves returned to the music scene in 04 with a surprising new album. After the masterpiece that was 11:11 Sasha left her pop roots behind and shocked us all by doing an album of rancheras. Of course in her own style. I know she doesn't have the greatest of voices but there is just something bout the texture and delivery that I can not get enough of. If you like Chavela Vargas and the likes, this album is for you as Sasha interprets rancheras stripped down to their basic elements fusing jazz, flamenco (influenced by her new residence in Madrid where this album is developing a life of it's own). I paid an obscene amount of money for the Spanish import (it was just barely released in Mexico) and it was worth every cent.
  7. Gloria Trevi, Come nace el universo: I never thought I'd see the day Gloria Trevi released a new album (at least not in this decade). Forget all the scandal, the jail sentence, etc. Gloria is back! Back w/ that crazy and beautiful voice doing what she does best. Writing and singing from her heart. Te extrañé Gloria
  8. Miguel Islas, Solo: Former singer of the bands Ragazzi & El Círculo, Islas has finally flown solo. Produced by Loris Ceroni (Natalia Lafourcade) he has done a wonderful job in creating some amazing pop/rock material. Now being the fag I am, I very rarely listen to male singers (as if this list wasn't any indication) but I've always loved his voice dating back to Ragazzi. Entre tus piernas is such a sensual song. Not sure if this will ever see the light of day in the US (I picked up the import when I was in Mexico City in May as well).
  9. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters: First of all, their name has to be one of the coolest ever! They are overtly gay sounding (think Elton John does disco glam rock). My favorite hip band of 04!
  10. Minnie Driver, Everything I've Got in My Pocket: I am a sucker for actresses who sing (hello I own every Jennifer Love Hewitt album & I love them). I had no idea what to expect but Minnie's got something. Vocally she reminds me a lot of Natalie Merchant and her folk/pop is to die for. Here's hoping she'll continue to record and not be a one-album-wonder (I'm still waiting for another album from Jasmine Guy & Tia Carrere)!

Honorable mentions go to : Emma Bunton, Angel City, Chenoa, Paulina Rubio, Robi Draco Rosa & Zayra Alvarez.

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