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Rock Critic Ken Tucker: Best Pop of 2004

Detail from the cover of Brian Wilson's Smile.
Detail from the cover of Brian Wilson's Smile.

Music critic Ken Tucker gives us his top picks in pop for 2004. He runs down his 10 best albums, and then talks about some trends of 2004, such as the return of punk, the year of the hip-hop producer, crunk music, and the potential end of an era as iPods and single song downloads replace album purchases. Ken Tucker is also a film critic for New York magazine.

His 2004 list in full:

1. Eagles of Death Metal, Peace Love Death Metal (AntAcidAudio)

2. Brian Wilson Presents: Smile (Nonesuch)

3. The Black Keys, Rubber Factory (Epitaph)

4. Green Day American Idiot (Reprise)

5. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets (Lookout!)

6. Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me (Columbia)

7. Ludacris, Red Light District (Def Jam South)

8. Tegan and Sara, So Jealous (Sanctuary/Vapor)

9. Aberfeldy, Young Forever (Rough Trade)

10. Jolie Holland, Escondida (Anti)

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Ken Tucker reviews rock, country, hip-hop and pop music for Fresh Air. He is a cultural critic who has been the editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, and a film critic for New York Magazine. His work has won two National Magazine Awards and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards. He has written book reviews for The New York Times Book Review and other publications.
Ken Tucker reviews rock, country, hip-hop and pop music for Fresh Air. He is a cultural critic who has been the editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, and a film critic for New York Magazine. His work has won two National Magazine Awards and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards. He has written book reviews for The New York Times Book Review and other publications.