Annal: 2004 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2004.

Album:A Ghost Is Born

A Ghost Is Born

Wilco

The infectious twang and pop hooks of Wilco’s former efforts may be fading fast, but A Ghost Is Born is still a rewarding effort that demands repeated listening. The group’s fifth album extends upon the experimentalism of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with angular, blues-soaked guitar riffs (“At Least That’s What You Said,” “Hell Is Chrome”), a handful of sparse, yet catchy tunes (smack dab in the middle of the disc) that will surely keep college radio stations smiling, and a lengthy track that descends into mere static (“Less Than You Think”). Frontman Jeff…

Album:Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand is an unrelentingly smart, fluffy, and fun debut. This Scottish four-piece plays vaguely angular, guitar-heavy post-pop that makes you want to dance around the room while playing air guitar. It’s the ideal hipster guilty-pleasure music. This is what the Rapture and Interpol would sound like if they wrote songs half as good as those they rip off, or the Strokes if their parents had sent them to art school instead of the fashion academy. Every song on here is so blatantly derivative it sounds almost original, like a Blur without the gloomy…

Album:Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Modest Mouse

It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment Modest Mouse started sounding like a real band. For the longest time, singer-songwriter Isaac Brock seemed to exist solely to defy the established rules, forging forward on sheer momentum and ingenuity. Even Pavement looked relatively ordinary in comparison to the band's early releases like 1996's This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About and 1997's The Lonesome Crowded West. But on Good News for People Who Love Bad News, the frontman sounds like he's finally touching the earth, and the band--minus founding member and drummer Jeremiah Green--follows suit. A relaxed mood prevails, not so much in volume but in attitude. On the follow-up to the group's 2000 major label debut, The Moon & Antarctica, big sloppy melodies battle it out with brass on punky epics like "Float On" and "The Ocean Breathes Salty." The lyrics are simpler, the arrangements tamer, but the vitality remains. The prevailing mood is that Modest Mouse has pulled off something extraordinary here: a well-rounded, lovable record that doesn't sound anything like David Gray. --Aidin Vaziri

Album:Medúlla

Medúlla

Björk

Normally, an artist such as Bjork with a mass audience across the globe steadily eases off as the back-catalog starts to grow. However, Medulla, the fifth proper studio album from Bjork is without a doubt the most challenging collection of music she has ever released.

For the most part, the album is made up of layers upon layers of processed vocal parts arranged in either harmony or dissonance such as “Vokuro” and “Oll Birtan,” respectively. Some, such as “Show Me Forgiveness” are simple acapella, the aforementioned sounding like a vocal cut from…

Album:Uh Huh Her

Uh Huh Her

P.J. Harvey

How can someone so unpredictable behave so predictably? Every time PJ Harvey releases something sophisticated and clean like 2000’s Mercury Music Prize tipped Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, it just about guarantees a contradictory follow-up album is around the bend. Her ambitious 1992 debut, Dry, inspired the bitter death rattle of Rid of Me. Her third offering, 1995’s elegant To Bring You My Love, gave way to the stormy Is This Desire?. Harvey’s sixth solo album, Uh Huh Her, doesn’t disappoint. It’s a nasty…

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