Thursday, December 15

Top 20 Albums Of 2005 - Part 3 Of 4.

No way! Part three? Sweeet!

We're into the top 10 now. The meat of the order. The pickle in the Big Mac and so forth.

The common link between these five albums is that they all struck me for one reason or another. None of these albums are jaw-dropping from beginning to end, yet they all contain a specific charm that puts them leaps and bounds ahead of any other band doing what they are doing this year. Rock, prog-rock, indie-folk and dance all share the stage here, unique yet strangely united.

Let's go.

Image hosted by #10 - Mando Diao - Hurricane Bar

Beautiful and raw, straight-ahead rock and roll from across the pond. Hurricane Bar was purchased by me on a whim, and stayed in my stereo for weeks as I picked apart and deciphered how a band could write so many catchy songs in a row. The harmonies, the chords, the lyrics and the hooks are almost a little too perfect to be ignored. Mando Diao has been doing this for a few years now, and Hurricane Bar is a testament to the art of the perfect 3 minute rock song.

Image hosted by #9 - My Morning Jacket - Z

A lot of people are comparing My Morning Jacket's Z to Radiohead's Kid A, billing them as an "American Radiohead." I'm not too into Radiohead, so I consider that sort of an insult for MMJ. Z is a huge step forward in the southern prog-rock group's production and songwriting talents. Gateway single "Off The Record" is a perfect welcome mat into the strange and beautiful world of Z. With an album like this, you're always left to wonder where a band can go from here. With My Morning Jacket, it matters not, for Z stands well enough alone.

Image hosted by #8 - Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Certainly one of the most talked-about albums of the year, Illinois is the second album in Stevens' 50 states project (or so he says). Here we see a young songwriter in full-speed ahead mode, conducting intricate and beautiful tracks, spanning dozens of instruments and multiple harmonies in honor of the great state south of Wisconsin. Illinois lends itself to several listens from start to finish, so indulge yourself one afternoon with one of the most bold and adventurous albums of the year.

Image hosted by #7 - Feist - Let It Die

Read my official review of Let It Die HERE. This album is way out of my wheelhouse, yet it calmed and quieted me enough to really appreciate and enjoy it. The surprise album of the year for me.

Image hosted by #6 - LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem

Read my official review of LCD Soundsystem HERE. James Murphy is my new hero, bringing forth the dance album of the year (or the last few years, really).

Illinois is only number 8? Blasphemy! Sound off in the comments section.



Illinoise was only #8?!!! Kidding, I was pleased to see it in your top 10. I listened to this more than anything else this year, incredible album. I think Michigan is still my favorite of his, a little more understated or something.

Be sure to check out the three Christmas EPs that Sufjan originally recorded for friends and family from 2000-2003. The best ones are the songs with the worst song titles, i.e. That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!

You've got a lot of stuff in your top 20 that I've never heard of that I need to check out. Mando Diao for instance, this is the first I've heard of them and it sounds like I'd like them.
You know, the only reason Illinois was a little lower than most critic's lists was that I simply couldn't find a good time to really sit down and understand the album. The blame lies totally with me; it's a really wonderful album.

You might like Mando Diao, although there's not a whole lot of depth to it. They do their thing remarkably well, though. Really good, catchy stuff.

If I could recommend an album that you might really dig, I would say Let It Die by Feist. It's developing a primal following by yours truly. Each time I listen to it, I like it more, which is a really difficult thing for an album to do.
I like stuff you don't have to think about. You know, Beethoven is great most of the time, but sometimes you just have to watch Turner and Hooch.

I think I have my top ten list finalized, though I haven't fleshed it out with any descriptions or whatever. Should I still email it to you, are you doing a collective CDP regulars favorites thing?
I still am planning on posting a collective year-end list based on those who sent me back responses (about 5-6 people, I think), so yeah, that would be great if you wanted to shoot the top 10 my way. In less you wanted to make your own post of it, then by all means do so.

Beethoven is to Turner and Hooch as Cujo is to K-9. They're both good albums, but in different ways.

I just read a story about a Waffle House getting robbed. What is this world coming to?
I don't even think I bought enough albums this year to comprise a top 10.
I bought close to 100 albums this year. Sad, considering that 70 of them are trash.
I used to do that, till I got laid off last year and had to adjust my buying patterns to only include CD's that I'm pretty sure I want. I'm sure I'm missing out on some good music because of it.
You might be missing out on some good music, but you are certainly missing out on some awful music. Consider it a wash.

A few of the CD's on my list would have never been heard by me had I not reviewed them for the paper. On the other hand, I was forced to listen to some rubbish as well.
I was listening to a sampler CD from Uncut magazine this morning, and I heard a wonderful track by an artist I couldn't quite recognize. The song was breezy, haunting and memorable. I did an exhaustive search to find the musician in question.

The track turned out to be "Winter In The Hamptons" by Josh Rouse. Crap. I really like that song. Really, I do.
100 albums this year alone and you complain if you have to pay to fix your car? Priorities my son!
The new Josh Rouse isn't bad. "It's the Nighttime" is reason enough to give it a listen. I know you're not a big fan of the guy personally, but he makes some good music.
Music is my number one priority. The CDP-Mobile always plays second fiddle. Besides, getting my car fixed cost me about 90 CDs. (I measure all my expense equations in CD Units from now on).

I'll listen to the Missus' album and see if I want to look into the guy further, but he really is an ass.
Why is Josh Rouse an ass? (I don't not believe you, I just haven't read any interviews or anything with him.) I didn't watch the dvd extra thing that came with one of his more recent albums, but a friend watched it and said it was pretty self-important. Does he think he's all that but he's not? I bet he's from Kalamazoo.
I've never heard anything about him being a jerk, and I know people who have met him. But those "people" think extremely highly of him anyway, so maybe that has something to do with it.

All I know is the music, and I like it. Ryan, sometimes you have to let stuff like that slide and just enjoy the music for what it's worth. It's not like you have to deal with the asshole personally on a day-to-day basis.
He is pretty self-important, and I've read interviews with him where it's clear that he's someone I would get in a fistfight with. He thinks he's all that, but he's not. He wears a shirt.

That being said, a lot of people think that TMBG are the same way, but I like them, so I defend them. Perhaps the blame lies more with me than previously thought. I'll give him a chance, because that song is amazing and his album is already in my collection.

I agree with you Aaron, to a certain extent. I like lots of music made by people that I absolutely cannot stand (Bright Eyes, for one). It's just that when the attitude overshadows the music, the artist shoots himself (or herself) in the foot.

Has Mr. Rouse done that? Not at all. Has Ryan Adams? You betcha'.
I find Ryan Adams' asshole antics extremely amusing though. But if I went to a show and he pulled that crap, I'd be pissed.

I guess Josh Rouse is really short. FYI.
Exactly. If I saw Arcade Fire and they walked of stage after 20 seconds because people wouldn't stop talking, I'd be furious.
People think that about TMBG? Weird. Seems like they've always been pretty self-depricating when I've seen interviews and whatnot. Most complaints I hear are that they are too jokey or their voices are nasally.

I'm going to avoid reading any interviews with Josh Rouse so that I might continue to enjoy his albums several times annually.
Owen did that when some of my friends went to see him a few months ago. I'm glad I didn't end up going, because I probably wouldn't be able to listen to his music anymore. Joe was listening to Owen constantly at the time, and he almost completely boycotted him. But I guess Joe sent him an e-mail and he apologized, so now Joe's back on the Owen wagon.
There's two complaints I've heard about TMBG:

1. The vocals/lyrics. I can understand that, though. It's certainly an acquired taste, but that's what gives them their originality and uniqueness.

2. Others have said that they have a sort of pompous arrogance to them, as if they think everything they do is brilliant. I don't understand this, as I have never seen anything from them that leads me to belive they're nothing but smart and clever musicians.

Yup, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Just enjoy the finished product, and try not to dwell on the process. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't.

For example, when I see a musician or actor that OD'd or went to jail or something, it always looms over the body of work like an acid raid cloud. It's not my fault, but the image ultimately damages the work. Double for a musician that's a jerk to me or my friends (we saw this a lot in the MAB days).
Yeah, we were arrogant jerks to everyone. It's no wonder nobody liked us.
Exactly. Some people thought we were jerks, but in our case, we were. Fair is fair.
Have you seen this? It's from a while ago, but it seems like "blam" is spreading and you're credited for coining the term.

Josh Rouse song on sampler=good

Josh Rouse album I have=poop

Possibility I will purchase more of his stuff anyway=likely

Opinion I have on Josh Rouse being short=pleased
I saw that BLAM! thing a while ago, and it sort of threw me for a loop. Mark Cuban's term of "Splog" is catching on, even though my "BLAM!" is catchier and means the same thing. Just because he's a famous billionaire, his term gets to become a word. Jerk.

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