December 31, 2005

Favorite Albums of 2005

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at December 31, 2005 10:34 AM

I'd better finish up my end-of-year lists before the year actually ends. I decided arbitrarily on a top 5 list of albums; this probably captures about 10% of full-length records I listened to this year. The top two are not going to be surprising to the regular readers; however, the fifth one was a tough decision.

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
When I first heard this I couldn't figure out what all the buzz was about. The first song was bizarre and annoying, and I couldn't decide whether the singing was weird, or just bad. But once I got used to the singer and started skipping Track 1, I realized I really liked this record.

4. Architecture in Helsinki, In Case We Die
Brilliant, frenetic indie pop, with a childlike sense of fun.

3. The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
This band quickly became one of my favorites when I started listening to them late last year. This release didn't surpass their previous album, but was still one of the best of the year. A couple of the songs are simply amazing, and the rest are just plain excellent.

2. Ladytron, Witching Hour
Previous Ladytron albums appropriated mundane objects of modern society as metaphors: hence songs about credit card numbers, digital watches, black plastic, alarm clocks. Witching Hour focuses on the people in this technological landscape, and brings an immediacy and energy to the experience. This record does surpass Ladytron's previous work: rather than a handful of great songs surrounded by filler, this one is awesome from beginning to end.

1. The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
Here we have an album in which the lead singer rants arrhythmically while the band plays power chords in the background. And yet... they do it so well. Part of the fun is following the twists and turns of the storyline across the different songs; part is listening to Craig Finn's snarling monologue, and the rest is the way the band just rocks. I can't quite recommend them for everyone—some fraction of the population just finds them weird—but this was far and away my favorite and most-played CD of the year.

I'm also going to steal one of Lemming's categories from the comments to my favorite songs post and list the:

Best Albums I Should Have Bought in 2004:
3. Snow Patrol, Final Straw
2. The Delgados, Universal Audio
1. The Arcade Fire, Funeral

Tags: Lists, Music

My favorite album of the year is also no surprise: Depeche Mode's Playing the Angel (with honorable mentions and details discussed elsewhere).

One new deal worth mentioning is the nice little warning I recently got from the management of my apartment complex about playing music too loud too late at night, which may have something to do with this album. (Apparently, I haven't lost my touch.) Ah well, it looks like I have to be careful now.

Posted by: Mason | December 31, 2005 11:47 AM

While I don't have any favorite albums over the last year that I can think of offhand, I did find on this, the last day of the year, my favorite MUSIC video, which is Hard 'N Phirm's "Pi", and can be viewed here:

Posted by: Josh | December 31, 2005 3:31 PM
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