The Best of 2005


Dez 12 2005, 5h01

This entry is still under construction.

Best Albums of 2005:

01 Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise

02 Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Andrew Bird was clearly ready to break out of the Squirrel Nut Zippers' genre-confining shell. Since going solo, he's explored multiple styles and moods in fine fasion. But with The Mysterious Production of Eggs he manages to strike gold with nearly every track. Using his violin, voice and extraordinary whistling powers he tackles emotions ranging from exalted joy to melancholy. There are moments when the orchestration is so lush and the chords strike so deep, you're not sure whether you're listening to songwriter rock or a film score.

03 of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins
After seeing them live, I've gained new appreciation for this record. It's up 6 spots.
I've never been able to describe Of Montreal's sound to anyone outside those who have heard the bands of Elephant 6. But now, well, I don't think it's describable to anyone. The Sunlandic Twins is like a second volume to last year's playful Satanic Panic, flitting from psychedelic sixties pop to funky bass disco to eighties electro anthems to latin brass(!) — often within the same song. This is the sort of record you play at a party populated by your weirdest friends. But only if they're willing to dance around the room like carefree fairies and play make believe. "Let's pretend we don't exist./ Let's pretend we're in Antarctica."

04 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

05 Dianne Reeves - Good Night, and Good Luck

06 M. Ward - Transistor Radio
M. Ward's dusty, gravelly folk has always sounded like it came from an earlier era, but those roots were often partially obscured by modern lyrics and transitions. The title of this effort doesn't leave anything up to the imagination: this album sounds old and beat up (despite the ill-advised reverbby effects on "Sweethearts on Parade"). While Transistor is not as cohesive as 2003's Transfiguration, M. Ward still sounds great, especially on the second half. There is nothing better than tracks 9-16 for a late summer evening on the front porch. Transistor radio, sure — his voice and writing is so strong, it wouldn't matter if you played this stuff through tin can and yarn. Actually, that's not a bad idea for album #4, Matt.

07 Eels - Blinking Lights And Other Revelations

08 Kate Bush - Aerial

09 Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary

10 Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die
Starts slow, but once the needle hits Wishbone it's a wonderful quirky fun journey to the end. It's not always easy fun, tho. This music is never predictable, and sometimes that comes at a cost. There are a few tracks that could be perfect if these Aussies would just let them be, rather than trying to invent something entirely new mid-song. I feel that way about Of Montreal sometimes too. Nevertheless, this is one of those albums that truly rewards with each listen.

11 Archer Prewitt - Wilderness
12 The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors
13 The Shortwave Set - The Debt Collection
14 Electrelane - Axes
15 Sigur Rós - Takk
16 Yann Tiersen - Les Retrouvailles
17 The American Analog Set - Set Free
18 CocoRosie - Noah's Ark
19 The Headphones - The Headphones
20 Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (Jon Brion produced internet floater)

21 Neil Young - Prairie Wind
22 Sun Kil Moon - Tiny Cities
23 Built Like Alaska - Autumnland
24 Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
25 Clem Snide - End of Love
26 The Robocop Kraus - They Think They Are The Robocop Kraus
27 The Decemberists - Picaresque
28 Iron & Wine/Calexico - In The Reins
29 Spoon - Gimme Fiction
30 Bell Orchestre - Recording A Tape the Colour of the Light

Didn't get to hear but very well could have made the list if I had:
Castanets - First Light's Freeze
The Books - Lost And Safe
Deerhoof - The Runners Four
Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures
Sleater Kinney - The Woods
Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm

Most Disappointing Albums:
I love these bands but they didn't live up to their potential this year
Prefuse 73 Reads the Books
Two amazing splicers, one so-so album. Incompatible perhaps?
Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence
Yawn. All the hype went to his head and he took a nap on this one.
Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic
Is this the same guy who churned out two of the greatest electronic albums (Rounds and Pause) of all time? WTH&F happened?
The Decemberists - Picaresque
The music of Meloy and Co. is always poignant and beautiful and this made my top 30, but it's just not as consistently great as the previous two LPs.
Clem Snide - End of Love
It's like once they made Your Favorite Music they could never match its greatness or the title would be a lie.
Iron & Wine/Calexico - In the Reins
Nice idea, but definitely a case of two many geniuses in the kitchen. Together they whipped up some good stuff, but separately they are master chefs of Americana. (You like that overcooked analogy? Mmmm yum.)
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
I long for the days of Girls Can Tell

Best Tracks of the Year:
01 Way of the Sun
02 Sovay
03 Over and Over Again
04 Bertie
05 The Party's Crashing Us
06 Come on! Feel the Illinoise!
07 I'll Believe in Anything
08 saeglopur
09 Blue Bird
10 Bells
11 Is It Any Wonder

Other Observations:
Clor - Funny that the only song that is any good (Goodbye) is the one that sounds just like Pinback.


  • gaelers

    i am disappointed that you haven't heard lost and safe yet. poor you. i have to agree with stewf on picaresque and in the reins. maybe a better showing next time around.

    Dez 12 2005, 5h41
  • stewf

    I am only disappointed because I was hoping for so much more out of those albums. They are certainly not the [i]worst[/i] of the year - just those that didn't live up to the potential of the bands in question. But I am ashamed to have lost all credibility.

    Dez 12 2005, 5h48
  • DsuDorion

    i agree on the Iron & Wine/Calexico - In the Reins album. I bought it cos everybody was telling me how GOOD the album is. But you really should listen to The Books - Lost And Safe...just suggesting. the books are fantastic

    Dez 12 2005, 9h25
  • stewf

    Once again, [i]disappointing[/i] does not mean [i]horrid[/i]. As a contrast, [album=The Decemberists]Her Majesty[/album] was probably my favorite album in the year it was released. I had had high hopes this year for Picaresque but it just wasn't as solid.

    Dez 14 2005, 7h10
  • stewf

    I expected greatness. They did not deliver.

    Dez 16 2005, 6h39
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