12.31.2004 | Review(s): Apostle of Hustle, Arcade Fire, Bjork

Apostle of Hustle - Apostle of Hustle: Too inconsistent, ranging from the terrible to the tolerable. Stream / Buy

Arcade Fire - Funeral: I have difficulty distinguishing the good from the bad when it comes to downtempo rock. This is no exception, but with so many people saying how good it is, I have no choice but to at least listen to it again. And again. Stream / Buy

Bjork - Medulla: My first ever Bjork album is decent, but not as revolutionary as Bjork-fanatics have led me to believe. Stream / Buy

News: I'm back

I'm back from skiing. Had the time of my life, can't wait to go again next year. Didn't get a chance to listen to as many albums as I had wanted to, but got a few done. Sick as a dog right now, so I won't be doing any listening today, but maybe tomorrow.

12.24.2004 | News: Vacation

Going skiing in Vermont. Site will not be updated until I get back around the first of the year. Hopefully, I will have finished listening to all the album released this year and will have a top 10 list for all of you.

Review(s): Plastic Constellations, Pleasant Grove, Andy Pratt

The Plastic Constellations - Mazatlan: It's good, but not nearly as good as the Futureheads or even the Unicorns. Stream / Download / Buy

Pleasant Grove - Auscultation of the Heart: It's good, just not something you're going to listen to repeatedly. Stream / Buy

Andy Pratt - Resolution: Too cheesy to take seriously. Stream

12.22.2004 | Review(s): Path Of Resistance, Piano Magic, Placebo

Path of Resistance - Who Dares Wins: Daring to sound like Hatebreed doesn't win. Stream / Download / Buy

Piano Magic - Low Birth Weight: Not as magical as advertised. Download / Buy

Placebo - Black Market Music: I tossed around a half dozen reviews in my head while listening to this (both strongly bad and good) only to come away more confused. It's good, I think, but you might hate it. Stream / Buy

12.21.2004 | Review(s): Palace Music, Panoply Academy Glee Club, Jaco Pastorius

Palace Music - Viva Last Blues: He's no Bob Dylan, but it's still awesome. Stream / Buy

Panoply Academy Glee Club - Rah!: Some people may use the word 'genius' for this band. Not me. Stream / Buy

Jaco Pastorius - PunkJazz: The Jaco Pastorius Anthology (2 Disc): Disc 1 has some under-developed songs, but Disc 2 is mind-blowingly amazing. Stream / Buy

12.20.2004 | Review(s): One Fifth, Outburst, Over My Dead Body

One Fifth - Demo/Evergreen Terrace Split Tracks: If I could understand the words, I'd love this band. I like this band. Buy

Outburst - Miles To Go: ...before they're any good. Download / Buy

Over My Dead Body - Sink Or Swim: It's no No Runners EP, but it's a lot better than Rusty Medals And Broken Badges. It's just sad they broke up. Download / Buy

12.18.2004 | Review(s): New Order, No Denial, No Warning

New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies: Boring without words. Awesome with words. Stream / Download / Buy

No Denial - Soundtrack Of Decline: Every word of every song sounds the same. Download / Buy

No Warning - Ill Blood: Layering a vocalist's own vocals on top of previously recorded vocals has got to be one of the worst ideas in music. Download / Buy

Review(s): Miltown, Molasses x2

Miltown - Miltown: A precursor to Audioslave (not good).

Molasses - Trilogie- Toil & Peaceful Life: S...o.... s....l...o...w.

Molasses - You'll Never Be Well No More: Just as slow as 'Trilogie' but what it gains is texture to the songs, making it far superior, if still slightly unlistenable.

Feature: mp3 Links

Every artist and CD on UponFirstListen will now come with a link to one of the following: a. Legal mp3 downloads b. streaming song clips. All future reviews will come with these links and the archive will be updated (though I anticipate that taking a great deal of time and effort). In the event that I cannot find samples or mp3s of the album in question, I will find a link for the artist. In the event that neither can be found, I'll link you to somwhere you can purchase it (not Amazon, though I may link to them for samples).

12.17.2004 | Review(s): Loretta Lynn, Mezzanine, Miles Between Us

Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose: A fabulous album, but at times can be bogged down by too much White influence.

Mezzanine - Zimbabwae Mousesmear/Transcending Dada: I didn't even make it through 3 songs before ejecting it.

Miles Between Us - When It Counts: Not as hard as some bands, but hard enough.

12.15.2004 | Feature: Top '04 Nominees

The following albums were albums that have been released this year and I have either reviewed them or plan to review them before the year is out. After I finish reviewing them, I will compile a Top 10 of '04 list. At the same time I will release the "Reader Top 10 of '04" list. Click here to vote. Please only include albums that have seen a review on this site. If you must choose something not this list, include it as an 11th or 12th option with a review of your own.

90 Day Men - Panda Park
Album Leaf - In A Safe Place
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Apostle Of Hustle - Folkloric Feel
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Bjork - Medulla
Bloc Party - Bloc Party EP
Blood For Blood - Serenity
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Califone - King Heron Blues
Charalambides - Joy Shapes
Circle Takes The Square - As The Roots Undo
Citizens - Are We There Yet?
Clapton, Eric - Me And Mr. Johnson
Cohen, Leonard - Dear Heather
Converge - You Fail Me
Danger Mouse - Grey Album
Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour
DJ Kno: Kno vs Hov - The White Albulum
Dylan, Bob - The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 Live 1964: Concert at Philharmonic Hall
Elbow - Cast of Thousands
Elected - Me First
Emperor X - Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip On An Edgeless Platform
Faithless - No Roots
FC Five - Final Countdown Five
Feist - Let It Die
Fly Pan Am - N'ecoutez Pas
Ben Folds - Super D
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Futureheads - The Futureheads
Garden State OST
Get Up Kids - Guilt Show
Ghost - Hypnotic Underworld
Green Day - American Idiot
Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
Hot Water Music - The New What Next
Interpol - Antics
Keane - Hopes And Fears
Killers - Hot Fuss
Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache
Kweli, Talib - Beautiful Struggle
Kweller, Ben - On My Way
Lekman, Jens - When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
Lerche, Sondre - Two Way Monologue
Liars - They Were Wrong So We Drowned
Lynn, Loretta - Van Lear Rose
Mare - Mare
MC Lars - Laptop EP
MC Lars - Radio Pet Fencing
Music - Welcome To The North
Nirvana - With The Lights Out
pAper chAse - god bless your blAck heArt
pAper chAse - whAt big teeth you hAve
pAper chAse/red worms split
Piebald - All Ears, All Eyes, All The Time
Pixies - Wave Of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies
Plastic Constellations - Mazatlan
R 'n' R - Infamous and Notorious
Ratatat - Ratatat
Redneck Manifesto - I Am Brazil
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar - A Manual Dexterity, Soundtrack Volume 1
Saves The Day - Ups and Downs: The Early Recordings
Secret Machines - New Here Is Nowhere
Sex Positions - Sex Positions
Slowdive - Catch The Breeze
Smith, Patti - Trampin'
Sparta - Porcelain
Stevens, Sufjan - Seven Swans
Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
Taking Back Sunday - Where You Want To Be
Thee Silver Mountain Reveries - Pretty Little Lightning Paw
TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Twelve Girls Band - Eastern Energy
Valley of the Giants - Valley of the Giants
Various - Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1
Walking Concert - Run To Be Born
Whole Nine - Take What You Get
Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
Williams, Saul - Saul Williams
Wovenhand - Consider The Birds
Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles

Click here to vote.

12.14.2004 | Review(s): Leadbelly, Logh x2

Leadbelly - King of the 12-String Guitar: He's no Robert Johnson, but he'll do.

Logh - Everytime A Bell Rings, An Angel Gets His Wings: Painting the picture of a sparse and barren landscape, this album still manages to fill you with hope.

Logh - The Raging Sun: A bit more of a traditional rock outing, but more of the same Lift To Experience meets Slint simplicity.

12.07.2004 | Review(s): DJ Kno, Lapsus Linguae, Lard

DJ Kno/Kno vs Hov - The White Albulum: Far better than Danger Mouse's fiasco and even better than the original.

Lapsus Linguae - You Got Me Fraiche/Parade! (And That's An Order): I have no idea what I just listened to. I think it sounded like the pAper chAse, but I'm wrong.

Lard - Pure Chewing Satisfaction/'70s Rock Must Die: It's no Dead Kennedy's but it'll suffice for a fix of Jello Biafra.

12.05.2004 | Review(s): Killswitch Engage, King Crimson, The Kinks

Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache: Now this can be a genre standard.

King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King: Just about everything I thought I knew about this album was wrong and I enjoyed it immensely, much to my chagrin.

The Kinks - Something Else By The Kinks: I just didn't expect the something to be mediocrity.

12.02.2004 | Review(s): Jack Kerouac, The Killers, Killswitch Engage

Jack Kerouac - Jack Kerouac Collection (3 Disc): Maybe it's because he doesn't rely on sophmoric humor and imagery, but Jack Kerouac will forever be my icon of the Beat Generation, sorry Allen Ginsberg.

The Killers - Hot Fuss: Killer single, shitty album.

Killswitch Engage - KillSwitch Engage/Alive Or Just Breathing: If either of these are genre standards, the whole genre is in trouble.

12.01.2004 | Review(s): Rickie Lee Jones, Janis Joplin, Keane

Rickie Lee Jones - Evening Of My Best Day: A wonderful mix of jazz, soul, r&b, blues, folk and rock 'n' roll.

Janis Joplin - 18 Essential Songs: I always heard that her emotion didn't carry over on recordings very well. If that's the case I probably would have cried at one of her performances.

Keane - Hopes And Fears: They sound like (insert modern-era Britpop act). In other words, they're good, but not great.

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