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Most Spun 2004: It's revolution, baby.
[ cMusicWeb.com's end of the year feature | compiled by ben forrest ]

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MARKLOCKETT Guitarist, (formerly of) The Normals
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack - Various
Various - The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack
This record is just as good as the movie. Simple reoccurring themes... very passionate. Especially after seeing the movie.
Want One - Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright - Want One and Want Two
This guy is one of the best songwriter's I've heard in a long time. Want One in particular is a very powerful record.
The Last Drag - The Samples
The Samples - The Last Drag
Here is a timeless record I've been listening to since touring with The Normals. In mid-2004 I rediscovered them again.
Faust - Randy Newman
Randy Newman - Faust
Either you love or hate Randy Newman's records. The guy is an extraordinary soundtrack writer, and the stuff that never made it on movies is even more ballad-driven and weird. Faust features a whole bunch of guest artists like James Taylor, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley and Linda Rondstadt.
Souvenirs and Postcards - Andrew Osenga
Andrew Osenga - Souvenirs & Postcards
This is completely not biased, but Andy (from The Normals) is an incredible songwriter. This record is powerful and I love it.

BECCATUTTLE Staff Writer, cMusicWeb.com
Who We Are Instead - Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay - Who We Are Instead
Falling in love is never intentional—it just happens, unexpected and unbidden. I bought this CD prompted out of vague curiosity to learn more about Jars of Clay, and, after a few unassuming spins, I found myself head over heels. Who We Are Instead is mellow enough that I can write to it, energetic enough that I can drive to it, and meaningful enough that I can just sit and absorb the lyrics when the mood strikes me. Its quiet folk feel offers a nice compliment to the other, more rock-based CDs in my collection, and I have the sensation that I hear something new in its music each time I pause to listen.
Go - Vertical Horizon
Vertical Horizon - Go
I was lucky enough to catch a live performance from Vertical Horizon this summer. Maybe it was the added bonus of it being free, or maybe the outdoor twilight atmosphere was particularly perfect, but whatever the case, it was one of the best concerts I attended all year. I had listened to Go several times before that night, but the exhilaration of the live experience persuaded me to explore it more thoroughly. Although the album shows little growth from the previous Everything You Want, its overall quality and new, rock edge carved it a comfortable niche in my year's top five.
Wire - Third Day
Third Day - Wire
After two rather mediocre worship albums, Third Day has kicked their charming Southern sound up a notch to make a triumphant return to the rock scene (and to my CD collection). Wire's diverse tracks supply lyrical and musical variety, from the title track's familiar tale of insecurity set to ¾ time, to the wild fun in "Rockstar," to the calmer affirmation of "Innocent." I pop in this CD to celebrate a good day, and "Blind" has topped the list of songs that I love to shout along with as I cruise down the highway.
Intermission - dc Talk
dc Talk - Intermission: The Greatest Hits
While others, when stressed, might turn to a pint of Ben and Jerry's or a steaming bowl of Mac 'n' Cheese, I turn faithfully to dc Talk. This corny '90s trio is my musical "comfort food," providing solace in moments of both mental and spiritual distress, and a joyous release in moments of elation. Although I grant all of their CDs pretty equal playtime, Intermission provides convenient access to my favorite songs (and the addition of "Wish We'd All Been Ready," never fails to touch me). Somehow, the knowledge that dc Talk has all but disintegrated doesn't phase my devotion to them. I'll pop in one of the guys' solo discs from time to time, but nothing does it for me like memories of their glory days.
Songs About Jane - Maroon5
Maroon5 - Songs About Jane
This was a late edition to my lineup, but I've hardly been able to stop spinning this disk since I bought it two months ago. Combining rock, pop, and even subtle traces of jazz with the lead singer's highly unique voice, (think along the lines of Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik) Songs About Jane is one of the few CDs that I can enjoy without lunging for the skip button. Although energetic electric guitar (and some choice solos) drive the album, the occasional slower songs offer a slight change of pace to provide an enjoyable balance. The final product is undeniably catchy, and delightfully original for a mainstream radio band.

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