We decided to do something a little different this year for our 'Best of' roundup. Instead of a master list compiled of submissions from our contributors and writers, we wanted to give our writers a chance to pick their own Top 5 list of the best of the year in music. Over the next three weeks we will be unveiling our writers' picks for the best of 2004.

Every day we will be posting a new Top 5 list from one of our writers, selected at random. At the conclusion we will reveal the master list. We also want to let you take part and will be accepting nominations for a readers' choice list.

antiGUY's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Skindred – Babylon: Skindred really took me by surprise; this band has the potential to do for the popularizing of the mix of metal and reggae that Led Zeppelin did for the mix of hard rock and blues.
(samples / buy cd | review)

2. Brian Wilson – Smile: An album that was 30 years ahead of its time. Simply brilliant and well worth the wait. I was never a big fan of the Beach Boys but you can't help but appreciate Wilson's rare talent and vision shown on this album. (samples / buy cd | review)

3. Ike Reilly Assignation – Sparkle in the Finish: About 70% of the quality of Ike's solo debut, but still heads and tails against most other bands this year.
(samples / buy cd | review)

4. Megadeth – The System Has Failed: A nice mix between early and latter-day Megadeth styles. Not quite "Peace Sells…" but a lot better than "St Anger". (samples / buy cd | review)

5. William Shatner – Has Been: Don't ask me why, I just loved this CD. Maybe it's my sarcastic nature but Bill really delivered with a real mix of emotions on this one from fun tongue and cheek songs (including a duet with Henry Rollins) to the heartfelt with the songs about his wife and daughter. A lot better than most "serious" pop albums this year. (samples / buy cd | review)

Runners Up

Sparta – Porcelain: In round two of the battle of the post At The Drive-In bands, Sparta has a slight lead with this brilliant performance. (samples / buy cd | review)

Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine: Just when you thought you had heard it all before. An exceptional album that probably won't get the exposure it deserves. I can only imagine what this band could do to the music scene if they had a real label behind them. (samples / buy cd | review)

Coheed And Cambria - In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3: So much more than a simple "emo" band. (samples / buy cd | review)

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