Sunday, January 08, 2006

My Top Albums of 2005

I need to say that many of my favorite cds that came out in 2005 I have yet to discover. Some of the joy in being a music fan is finding out about the things you missed and going back to pick up some back catalog. This list is simply a list of things that I did discover and liked.

The Sights - The Sights
This Detroit group has a funky rock sound driven by a Hammond organ. Not very common today. Individually I like many of the songs, but the album itself may just be too intense to enjoy as a comprehensive unit. Favorite tracks include Scratch My Name in Sin and I'm Gonna Live the Life I Sing About.

Low - The Great Destroyer
One of the most brilliant albums I've heard in a very long time. It was a huge departure for them and I hope they don't go back. In the past they've had such a muted sound that the brilliance seems to have been tuned down as well. This album includes beautiful harmonic crescendos and lyrically scary depths (the lead singer has suffered with depression his whole life). I'm curious to see what they do as a follow up. Favorite tracks include When I Go Deaf and anything on the cd really.

the White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
While I don't think that this is the best the White Stripes have to offer I have enjoyed it quite a bit. I am honestly shocked that Jack and Meg are as widely accepted as they are. I guess that's because I love stripped down music but rarely find that others do too. I am curious to see what kind of music Jack makes 10, 20 and 30 years from now and how many marriages he has over the years. Favorite tracks include Denial Twist and Instinct Blues.

Calexico/Iron and Wine - In the Reins
Match made in heaven! Sam Beam is a lovely songwriter, but is probably the quietest "pop" musician ever. Calexico punches up his music a little and adds some interesting instrumentation. The resulting tracks are perfection. Favorite Tracks are A History of Lovers, Red Dust, oh and Sixteen, Maybe Less and...

Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Spoon has a really great sound on this recording. It's a mature indie rock sound. It appeals to me as a guy in my 30's without trying to appeal to me. Favorite tracks include My Mathematical Mind and I Turn My Camera On

Love as Laughter - Laughter's Fifth
I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with Love as Laughter before this album. I saw it on a listening post in Vintage Vinyl and was certain I would hate it based on the cover art. The first track, In Amber, reminded me of the best the Jayhawks had to offer. Favorite tracks include Every Midnight Song and Makeshift Heart.

Beck - Guero
Can this guy be a more unlikely musical genius? Seriously? He's probably making music closer to Soul than anyone else. I love the fact that it has a completely contemporary and classic sound all at once. You would be very hard pressed to find anyone who would have predicted his career in the music industry would have been this long and fruitful. Favorite tracks include Black Tambourine and Earthquake Weather

Other favorite recordings released in 2005 include:
Fruit Bats, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Tilly and the Wall (thanks Lisa), the Mountain Goats, Bright Eyes, Andrew Bird, Brendan Benson, Lucero and Weezer

In 2006 I'm looking forward to listening to Sun Kil Moon (out), Broken Social Scene (out), Athlete (out), Smoosh (recording), Brendan Benson/Jack White (yet to be released), Kings of Leon (hopefully).

The most exciting thing is that my favorite recording of 2006 may be by someone I've never heard of or something that hasn't yet been recorded. I can't wait.

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