Wednesday, December 14

Top 20 Albums Of 2005 - Part 2 Of 4.

Hey, look! It's part two! That's wonderful!

Today, we look at #15-#11 on the CDP's list of the Top 20 Albums of 2005. All five of these albums (well, actually six) have severe ups and downs. The thing that sets these albums apart from others that do the same is that their ups are way up, and their downs are merely creative experimentation gone wrong. You don't have to listen to those tracks, but you can respect them.

Let's go.

Image hosted by #15 - Minus The Bear - Menos El Oso

Read my official review of Menos El Oso HERE. I don't get paid to write the same review twice.

Image hosted by #14 - Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary

Wolf Parade has been billed as the indie rock saviors of 2005, second to Arcade Fire in terms of importance. While I don't necessarily buy into all of the hype, Wolf Parade does a lot of things well. Their weaving of atmospheric guitar and synth work into the background of solid songwriting is a serious departure from the non-emotional and apathetic lyrics of the current indie landscape. I saw them open for Arcade Fire this year, and I couldn't think of any other band that would have held their own so well.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by #13 - Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning/Digital Ash In A Digital Urn

Conor Oberst is the new Dylan. Of course he is. Oberst is a mediocre prodigal songwriter with a voice that sounds like a dental drill. His false-revolutionary lyrics speak to those who don't care to listen, and his production consistently sounds like it was recorded in an underwater aluminum factory. However, Wide Awake and Digital Ash are Bright Eyes' best albums yet, with terrific production, splendid leaps and bounds in songwriting talent and impressive risk-taking. 'First Day of my Life' is easily the prettiest song I've heard all year. Screw Dylan, Oberst is better, but that isn't saying much. I freaking hate Bob Dylan.

Image hosted by #12 - Supersystem - Always Never Again

Always Never Again came absolutely out of nowhere for skinny hipsters the nation over. The new moniker for DC's El Guapo, Supersystem takes Q and Not U's dance-funk-meets Dischord sound and sends it right off the cliff with thumping bass and insane out-and-out dance beats. 'Defcon' is one of the best dance tracks of the year, hands down. Always Never Again would have been the top beat-driven album of the year, had LCD Soundsystem not dropped in and spoiled the fun for everyone.

Image hosted by #11 - Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better...

After the huge success of their self-titled debut, Franz Ferdinand went back into the studio and emerged with an almost carbon copy of their previous work. No complaints here. You Could Have it so Much Better is laden with snarky lyrics and stomping rhythms, proving that too much of a good thing isn't always a shot in the foot. From start to finish, this is a catchy and exciting party album for almost any occasion

Sound off in the comments section.


I bought both of those Bright Eyes albums after I heard tracks from each on a Paste magazine sampler cd, and at around the same time I saw him on Austin City Limits, which is probably what made me decide to buy them. I like Wide Awake quite a bit, Digital Urn is sort of meh. What's funny is I was talking to a friend shortly after that mentioning that I was liking the new Bright Eyes, and he said, "You must not have seen them on ACL, it was unlistenable" (or something to that effect).

As an Omaha native, I'd rather have people associate Omaha with Bright Eyes than 311.

That live Ben Folds dvd is pretty cool, it's him with the West Australian Sympony Orchestra. I was kind of hoping for at least some regular piano/bass/drums but there's none of that. I guess it'd be hard to beat that Sessions at the West 54th anyway. Some of the songs sound amazing with the orchestra, some feel a little weighted down by it.
Some more good picks here. The only one I don't have is the Wolf Parade one; I haven't even heard them or any hype. I'm quite out of the loop some times.

'Defcon' might be my choice for song of the year. But I'm a sucker for indie dance beats, so what would I know.
Bright Eyes' ACL performance was decent enough, but I hear that he's traditionally not good live. I think it's because he's an alcoholic or something.

I keep giving Mr. Oberst multiple chances to impress me, and it almost worked with these two albums. In this case, it was the "next Dylan" hype that turned me off a bit.

They're really good albums, but I can't help but thinking that he's a bit mediocre in the singer/songwriter department compared to some of the other heavy hitters. He's still young, though.

Ben Folds, on the other hand, does his thing better than pretty much anyone. When I saw that the new DVD was him with the WASO, I put it on my Christmas list. The West 54th DVD is super.

Changed a lot and then some, some. Know that we have always been down, down.

Aaron, I enjoy Wolf Parade mainly because they wowed me when I saw them live. Nothing went right, instruments broke and the sound was messed up, but they still pulled off something great.

Norad is where we go to get away.

Yup, that's pretty much the CDP's dance track of the year. LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" is the only other one that comes close.
The Bright eyes albums are really good, but they were over-rated, for sure. I'd recommend Rocky Votolato or Owen over him any day.

I think it's funny that Ryan Adams is putting out three albums this year because Bright Eyes put out two. Like it's a contest or something. That guy is such an asshole...haha.
Conor and Ryan are two of the biggest jerks in music, so no matter who wins, we all lose, or something to that effect.
Yeah, Because so many people watch SHOWTIME.

Yes, I know that's not how you make a link.
Finally, a good reason to watch Showtime; besides the blockbusters of 1989 and their commitment to exquisite soft-core.

Even if they do rescue the show, I won't be getting premium TV. I'll have to wait for the DVD's.

Ben'll pirate them anyway. Regardless, it's good that other networks are showing interest in the show.
I'll be pirating those and then purchasing DVDs when available, or else watching it in squiggly vision like your average 14 year old boy would.

I'm gonna be disappointed if they stop editing the swearing.
You got that right. Moving a show to premium TV that prides its punchlines on censorship; and then removing that restriction... would be just putrid.

Watching scrambled Arrested is a sure sign of growing up.
It should be noted that I did a rad rebuttal battle rap, then lost it just as I was going to put it up here.

It's probably for the best. It was sort of silly.
You're from Kalamazoo.

That should help get you going.
It was sort of like:

"You call yourself Raindrop, but you flow like a belly flop,

Step to the CDP and get yo' ass whooped by Mutton Chop."

Tony Little, Mr. T, the gang was all there.
Arrested Development would be just plain retarded if they put it on premium TV and added non-bleeped swears. That's what's FUNNY about it is the fact that it's all implied....
That's exactly what I said. Only time will tell.

%*$% FOX.

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