Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2005 Sunless Shortlist

Top 15 Albums of 2005

15. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

I fell into the hype surrounding this album. All the comparisons to Modest Mouse, or basically anything currently Seattle, are correct. Good stuff for just a debut. Can't wait to hear where it goes from here.

14. White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

Jack White's a sellout prick....whatever. Still can't go wrong with anything White Stripes. I didn't like this one as much as Elephant, but still great nonetheless.

13. Gorillaz - Demon Days

I love anything Damon Albarn. I can't help it.

12. John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolt

Vanderslice is easily one of the best talents in the industry right now. Be it in front or behind the microphone, he's brilliant. Pixel Revolt may not be quite as good as Cellar Door musically (too many bleeps and bloops), but it is an incredible step forward in his songwriting.

11. Smog - A River Ain't Too Much to Love

Great year for Drag City. Great stuff from Smog, Silver Jews, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. I didn't even get Joanna Newson's album, but I've heard it and love it. To me, and I know nobody else will agree, the new Smog is the best of the batch.

10. Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir

Fuck Pitchfork. They don't know what they're talking about. Get this album, it's great.

9. Stars - Set Yourself on Fire

This year is the birth of Arts & Crafts for me. So much great stuff released this year. Canada kicks ass!! Forget pop/punk. This band is straight pop music with a punk attitude. I love it.

8. Feist - Let it Die

Broken Social Scene sounds horny. Feist sounds sexy. I forced myself to like this album by pounding it into my head all through my vacation, and it worked.

7. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

Conor did plenty to piss me off this year, but I can't deny his talents. Just lay off John Peel, you asshole.

6. Decemberists - Picaresque

Okay, so I've never been huge on the Decemberists. I liked them, but not too crazy about them. I picked this one up recently, however, and it's barely left my car since. It gets my blood flowing at 3:30am on the way to work to yell out pirate songs.

5. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

More Canadians! A pop masterpiece.

4. Broken Social Scene - S/T

Okay, the last of the Canadians on this list. I don't know what's going on up there, but they are putting out some kick ass shit! Broken Social Scene's newest sounds like a jumbled mess at first, but the fun is in the challenge of figuring out the melodies buried in noise.

3. Spoon - Gimme Fiction

Britt Daniel is my hero. He can do no wrong...and only keeps getting better. It took a looong time for this one to grow on me compared to their earlier stuff, but I get it now and it's their best yet.

2. Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree

John Darnielle's first attempt at non-fiction is a masterpiece. This albums hits me on so many levels, it's scary.....even though I can't relate to anything on it. That's a hell of a writer.

1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

I just cannot burn myself out on this album. I've listened to it so much that I should be ambivalant to it, but that still hasn't happened yet. It's all things beautiful and bizzare. So much has been written about this album that I can't add anything. All the praise that Sufjan has received this year is well worthwhile.


Most Disappointing Album of 2005

Death Cab for Cutie - Plans

No brainer here. I love Death Cab, but they really lost me on this one. Just because you are now signed to a major label doesn't mean you have to sound like any other major label band. Get over it. I could've put the new Weezer here, but I didn't expect it to be good at all.


Looking ahead to 2006, I expect good things....and quickly. New Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, and Bob Pollard's double album are all here within a month. Plus I'm looking forward to some new Wilco, with some possible new Loose Fur and Golden Smog being teased. I keep hearing about some new Flaming Lips, but I've been a fan long enough to know to wait and see. Should be a great year!!