Best of 2004: #3 -- John Vanderslice Cellar Door
Unlike America's favorite two-ton trollop, Anna Nicole Smith, I don't have to go on a Trimspa and Smirnoff bender to determine whether a musician is a freakin' genius. My declaration of such toward John Vanderslice is based solely on his unblemished track record. Cellar Door, JV's fourth post-MK Ultra solo record, further solidifies his position as the single most relevant singer-songwriter of the 21st century.
Once again, JV doesn't shy away from the weighty topics dominating today's socio-political landscape. Nowhere is this more evident than on "Heated Pool and Bar," which tackles the barbaric nature of America's current military conflict: "I’m a guard in Guantanamo / I bring the prisoners in / The hoods come off and torture slowly begins / The screams I’ve overheard / It’d fuck up a weaker man / But I’m cold, I’m so untouchable." Lyrics that soul-piercing coupled with flawless musicianship make Cellar Door 2004's most important album.