Best of 2004: Music

12.29.2004

By Matthew Breen

1. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
This NYC-bred queer band made a huge splash in the U.K. with their platinum self-titled debut, and it's been selling like gangbusters back on the home turf, too, gaining momentum all year as their '70s-tinged glam/disco/funk hybrid rocked gay and straight dance floors alike. (Universal)

2. Le Tigre, This Island
This Island is the fifth release (and the first on a major label) by the feminist, queer, electro-punk band and offers plenty of their signature politically motivated music that you can dance to. (Strummer/Universal)

3. Morel, Lucky Strike
Fusing house and punk, openly gay Washington, D.C.'based producer Richard Morel and his band have put out a second critically acclaimed disc mixing poignant lyricism with hypnotic, club-friendly grooves. (Yoshitoshi)

4. The Hidden Cameras, Mississauga, Goddam
As the brainchild of Toronto queer boy Joel Gibb, the Hidden Cameras don't shy away from lusty man-on-man lyrics mixed with the mirthfully poppy sounds of tambourines and harps. We called it 'music for prancing.' Prance on! (Rough Trade)

5. Tegan & Sara, So Jealous
These Canadian lesbian twins are really, really, really cute. But there's nothing pre-fab about them. These sisters cranked out some serious power-pop tunes on their third album. And they wrote the whole damn thing themselves. (Vapor/Sanctuary)

6. George Michael, Patience
Though it was his first album of new material in eight years, Patience includes some of George Michael's best songwriting on delicate ballads like 'My Mother Had a Brother,' about a gay uncle who killed himself, and 'American Angel,' a sweet paean to his longtime Texan boyfriend, Kenny Goss. (Sony)

7. Tori Fixx, Black.Out
The gay rapper who was once Prince's personal DJ is now a producer and emcee in his own right, and he's got the verbal skills to outclass most of his peers. Our reviewer said this disc 'does what gay hip-hop should do: make it bump like the nastiest, funkiest club you've ever been to.' (Us2Records)

8. Magnetic Fields, i
The bite-size songs on i by gay songwriting whiz Stephin Merritt all begin with the titular letter and are arranged alphabetically in the track listing'but the gimmick ain't all he's got: he's also got his dry, deadpan voice and wry double-entendre take on musical styles from the '80s New Romantic phase to Gilbert and Sullivan, and all tracks feature lyrics honed to razor sharpness. (Nonesuch)

9. Melissa Etheridge, Lucky
Etheridge has found love and happiness, and it shows on her playful album. 'Kiss Me' is a libidinous plea to let off some steam, and 'Giant' is a pride rallying cry. 'Tuesday Morning' is the real heartbreaker, about the injustice of being gay in the U.S.A., with Mark Bingham, the 9/11 gay hero of United Flight 93, at its core. (Island)

10. Deep Dickollective, The Famous Outlaw League of Proto-Negroes
Using clever rhymes and an elaborate blend of spoken word samples (from Bayard Rustin, Bill Cosby, Utah Phillips, and others) and break beats, this group of gay hip-hop MCs examines what it means to be black and gay'especially where issues of identity are most unstable. (Sugar Truck)

READER COMMENTS ()

AddThis