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Best of December 2004

DFA Compilation #2 - Various Artists (DFA)
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DFA Compilation #2 - Various Artists (DFA)
If you read the e-mails regularly you would have by now heard me frequently exalting the merits of New York's DFA imprint (The Rapture, Automato, etc)... More details...
The Fanatics - The Fanatics
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The Fanatics - The Fanatics
It's not that The Fanatics don't like drummers, they just don't need them (unless of course they're short of a beer or three…)... More details...
Up All Night - Razorlight
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Up All Night - Razorlight
Made up of a couple of Swedes, an Anglo-Peruvian drummer (who departed following the recording of this album) and "23-year-old stick thin" and natural born front man Johnny Borrell (imagine Mick Jagger meets Jarvis Cocker - with the ego to match), Razorlight delivered this stunning debut which has... More details...
Downtown Puff - Edmund Cake
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Downtown Puff - Edmund Cake
Once part of the delightful Bressa Creeting Cake (also featuring Geoff Maddock and Joel Wilton who went on to be part of Goldenhorse) who released a magnificent album through Flying Nun, Edmund Cake has been very quiet for the last five years - the result being it would appear - this delightful... More details...
The Indifferent Velvet Void - Alec Bathgate
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The Indifferent Velvet Void - Alec Bathgate
Considering how prolific his Tall Dwarfs' partner in crime (Chris Knox) is, it comes as a surprise that this is only Bathgate's second solo release (the first was 1996's 'Gold Lame' released through Flying Nun), especially given the quality of music on show here... More details...
Chutes Too Narrow - The Shins
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Chutes Too Narrow - The Shins
Released in 2004, this album from Albuquerque's (New Mexico) most famous pop band snuck into my listening stack late in the year with a steady yet subtle grace, until suddenly "pow!" I couldn't leave it alone... More details...
Bows & Arrows - The Walkmen
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Bows & Arrows - The Walkmen
With less cocksure strut and ego than The Strokes, this five-piece New York outfit known as The Walkmen (three fifths of the band come from the now defunct outfit Jonathan Fire*Eater) none-the-less deliver taunt angular brooding pop music of the highest quality, frequently sounding like a brash... More details...
Love Angel Music Baby - Gwen Stefani
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Love Angel Music Baby - Gwen Stefani
As front woman for the mega-successful ska-poppers No Doubt, Gwen Stefani has gradually assumed a greater presence within the band, cumulating in 2000's 'Return Of Saturn' where she allowed her songwiritng and personality to really come to the fore... More details...
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