9. The Killers, 'Hot Fuss'
When the Killers dropped Hot Fuss in the summer of 2004, the best-selling stars in music were Usher, Hoobastank, OutKast and Beyoncé. Few people imagined that a quartet from Las Vegas obsessed with Duran Duran and New Order would release the most beloved album of the year. Their debut single, "Mr. Brightside," took off in England first, and soon connected with the rest of the world. It's a perfect three-and-a-half minute blast of jealously, lust, guitars and synths. It seemed impossible to top, until the follow-up single, "Somebody Told Me," hit radio a few months later. By then it was clear they weren't a one-hit wonder; frontman Brandon Flowers became a rock god almost overnight, and their concerts became massive dance parties. The world was ready for a new Depeche Mode, and the Killers were more than happy to fill that role.