Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Final Top Ten Albums

Okay okay as promised here's my list of top albums. This was a great year for albums, so of course very difficult to choose a top ten. Well here it goes.

10. Spoon-Gimme Fiction
Britt Daniel and co. returned to the scene to follow up their criticially acclaimed Kill the Moonlight. They had a lot of pressure on them to follow up after such a great album and did a great job. Songs like "The Two Sides of Monsier Valentine" and "I Turn My Camera On" were my faves. And of course, "I Summon You."

9. LCD Soundsystem-LCD Soundsystem
DFA Records' James Murphy and his band's first album did not disappoint. The new material on disc one was filled with songs bound to become dance party faves for years to come ("Daft Punk..." and "Disco Infiltrator" for sure). Disc two collected all of Murphy's past singles, all pretty great, if not a little long each. I listen to disc one more often and, since that's the new stuff, that's how I'll judge it.

8. Boy Least Likely To-The Best Party Ever
UK indi act BLLT came out of nowhere to create the year's cutest and heartbreakingly endearing album. Songs like "Be Gentle With Me" and "Monsters" had me comin' back for repeated listening. Hopefully the album will be released in the US and they'll do a tour here to get more followers.

7. Okkervil River-Black Sheep Boy
One of Austin's greatest exports made this album 2005's dark horse. The album is dark and poetic, filled with angst and longing. The concept is beautiful and songs like "A Stone" and "King and a Queen" are achingly sweet with sorrow. Then rockers "For l" and "Black" keep it all balanced. I wasn't too impressed by the follow-up EP Black Sheep Boy Appendix. Don't know why, just didn't have the oomph.

6. M.I.A.-Arular
Again, a relative newcomer making one of the year's best. Maya Arulpragasm's beats and vocals truly made this album pop out. More than rap, hip-hop and all that, MIA created her own style here and that really impressed me. Favorite songs: "Bucky Done Gun" and "Sunshowers."

5. Bloc Party-Silent Alarm
After seeing these guys twice, I couldn't deny them a spot on my top ten. Loathed by many, this album is chock full of great songs. Mind, many of them were on singles and EPs before the album's release, but still. The entire album is solid, and only starts to get worn by the time I get to "Compliments."

4. The Decemberists-Picaresque
Having been one of the Decemberists' biggest fans for quite a while, I was really excited for this album. I heard the leak and knew of the great things that were gonna be on it. A much more solid album than Her Majesty..., Picaresque has several songs on it that are really great, and I thought for sure it'd be the album to rocket them into stardom. Doesn't look like it has yet. Favorite songs: "The Bagman's Gambit" and "On the Bus Mall."

3. Wolf Parade-Apologies to the Queen Mary
One of the year's most hyped bands didn't disappoint. Again, like Bloc Party, many of the songs had already been released (there were actually only two new songs, "Fancy Claps" and "This Heart's on Fire," which are a couple of the album's best). The band was supposed to be this year's Arcade Fire and I guess people sort of made them be. Oh well, Funeral was great, and Queen Mary is great too, but different. You see??

2. Sufjan Stevens-Illinois
I loved Seven Swans but really didn't like Michigan so much. I know, blasphemer. But Illinois really made me a Sufjan believer. I think I sort've OD'ed on the album by the end of summer, but it as my summer disc. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to "John Wayne Gacy Jr." and "Chicago" over and over some nights. Pure pop genius.

1. Sleater-Kinney-The Woods
Girl rockers Sleater-Kinney's 2003 album One Beat was a really great album, but sounded a bit like all the other ones. Not wholly, but you could hear the band itching for something different. This year's Sub Pop debut The Woods blew many people away. The sound was different and so much more. Singers Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein don't lose their rocking steam until "Modern Girl," an eerily cheery follow-up to the year's anthem for disgust towards mainstream culture, "Entertain." The album blew me off my feet, and I've been listening to the album on repeat since it came out in the spring. Amazing piece of work and the trio's hard work really paid off.

5 comments:

... said...

Once again, nice picks - however, I would put Picaresque as #1, and put the Andrew Bird album somewhere up there.

Adam said...

Nice list, your blog has been my most visits over the past few weeks. Particularly liked the shout for the Sunshine Underground. I've just put up some posts about some other new UK bands at http://tommyshots.blogspot.com which I think some of the readers would like. Sorry to advertise, just trying to get some readers

coxon le woof said...

Hey!

Some cool choices there.

Despite having had it for an age, I've still not really listened to 'The Woods' that much.

Though, 'jumpers' has made its way onto just about every mix cd I've made.

I should dig it out again.

dallow said...

I had Boy Least Likely To and LCD Soundsystem as well.
Oh, and Twin Cinema once I gave it a chance.

Didn't like much else.

Anonymous said...

aw come on now sufjan should be way higher.