Thursday, December 22, 2005

Top Albums of 2005

Every year I like to compile my top 10 records. These are the albums that kept sneaking their way back onto my stereo over and over again at different intervals throughout the year because there was something more to them, then one cheesy single and a bunch of filler.
(in no particular order)

Mike Doughty - Haughty Melodic
I can't say enough great things about this album. Just a really well written indie rock/pop record. Take Soul Coughing, polish it up a little, and add some stronger songwriting and pop sensibilities.

The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
The only white stripes album that I can truly say I've enjoyed from start to finish and actually have wanted to listen to multiple times. This is Jack White taking risks, mellowing out a bit, and in the process writing some classic folk tunes.

Kanye West - Late Registration
Sure he has a affinity for using the "N" word, makes ridiculous sweeping pseudo-political comments that are more idiotic than revolutionary throughout the set, and hell he's not even that great of a rapper, but this guy is an amazing producer. Throw in Jon Brion of Fiona Apple infamy for some knob twisting and you have the most ambitious and interesting rap record in a long time.

Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
I didn't like this record at first because I thought it was too generic and boring. But keep listening to it over a period of time and you'll realize why this guy sells millions of records every time out. There was no better album to sit back and relax to this year than "In Between Dreams."

Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
A great folk rock/indie record from Conor Oberst. The most accessible of anything Bright Eyes has ever done, and a huge step forward. Definitely check this one out.

Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
This is a well crafted rock record that gets better every time you listen to it. Their first major label outing and they really brought all the cards to the table on it. Ben Gibbard continues to be a reliable artist who puts out quality records.

Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Two versions of this record and alot of publicity later, this one became one of the bigger releases this year. With help from one of Dr. Dre's producers she has managed to create another near flawless set of songs released with a great backstory with Sony threatening not to release to original incarnation, which some may argue is actually better than the final product. blah.. blah..blah..

OK GO - Oh No
I know what you are thinking, but this record is really really good. I didn't think I could ever get into this whole dance rock bullshit that we've had to put up with, but OK GO has managed to completely reinvent their sound, and actually appear authentic in the process.

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
This is eclectic ridiculousness with a tinge of folk. Its about a good state, that much I know, and there is alot of material to take in here. I am still trying to decide what I think about it. That usally means its good.

Fall Out Boy - From Under the Cork Tree
I hate to say it, but I love this album. This is a band who really has their shit together and understands to how to play great punk rock. Great songwriting, solid musicianship, and they even came from the same local music scene that I came through back in the day. Good for them.