Some favorites of 2004

I’ve been seeing these lists around for a couple of days and thought I’d contribute my own .02 € to the fray. So here is my list of the most notable albums, books, movies and website designs I’ve come across this year.

Music

Nightwish: Once
I’ve listened to Nightwish of and off for several years now, but Once really got me. I’ve had it playing in all of my playlist variations since it came out, quite a feat in itself. My favorite songs of the album? I’d have to go with Ghost Love Score, Wish I Had an Angel, and Creek Mary’s Blood. I think. And we did go see the gig where they first played the new album songs (even before the album was out). (I know, the layout of the page breaks and it’s out of the navigation of the site. I’m working on it…)
Dream Theater: Train of Thought
I’ve been a DT fan ever since I heard the beginning riffs of Pull Me Under way back in 1994 (or was it 1993, I forget). Check out Endless Sacrifice.
Eppu Normaali: Sadan vuoden päästäkin
Don’t have the album yet, but what I’ve heard of it, it’s guaranteed Eppu Normaali quality. They are back after 11 years of silence (compilations are not new albums). A Finnish classic that means that we’ll finally get to see them live…

Worth a note are also the new albums from Within Temptation, Xandria (both in the same general musical niche as Nightwish), and Kilpi (exprienced rockers with 80s style metal, nostalgic and good). These have all been new acquaintances for me, so far so good.

Books

Neal Stephenson: The Confusion & The System of the World
While many have complained about the Baroque Cycle being slow, I’ve enjoyed it immensly. I like the rambling story-telling of Stephenson and keep hoping for more.
Tom Clancy: Teeth of the Tiger
Finally the Jack Ryan universe takes a step forward. While Ryan was getting too old (and powerful) for any new stories, I like seeing how the following generations keep up the flame.
Neil Gaiman: Neverwhere
I only wish I had the imagination and skills that Gaiman has. I wonder what kind of underground Joensuu has, especially considering that it’s old swampland and right next to a lake ;)
Jarkko Sipilä: Karu keikka
One of Finland’s most respected crime reporters is also an author. His third book that we only noticed once he had published his fourth. I wonder why we hadn’t noticed him earlier.
Mark Barrowcliffe: Lucky Dog
A very English lead character and a talking dog that reminded me of our own Flippe more than once. Strongly recommended to all dog lovers (dog haters may find it amusing as well ;).

Movies

We don’t go to the theater all that often (try hardly ever), so we wait for the DVD release (and are quite picky at that).

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition ?)
What can I say? Ever since I was twelve or so my friends and I have been speculating on how LOTR could be made into a movie. I was waiting for Jackson’s version with mixed feeling, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. Luckily they pulled it off.
The Pirates of the Caribbean
My favorite ride in Disneyworld when I was five and I’ve always been a fan of Pirates… ‘Nuff said!

Website designs

Jon Hicks
Sidesh0w, by Ethan Marcotte
Asterisk, by D. Keith Robinson

Once I get our photo gallery working, I’ll follow up with a post of some of my favorite shots of the year. Which reminds me, maybe next year I’ll collect links to some of my favorite photos by others and have it up about a year from now.

Leave a Reply