Friday, November 30, 2007

Staff List!

Femme Fatale created a monster. Her idea to do a Top 10 Albums of 2006 post was such a hit, we've decided to do a few more Best of Lists before we hunker down and make one for 2007. Which brings us to, drumroll please...

Our Favorite Albums of 2005!

Ryan's Favorite Albums of 2005:

First, let me begin by saying that, in retrospect, 2005 was a pretty good year for new releases. Somehow, as the year reached its end, I found myself unimpressed with the titles I had surrounded myself with, but here I am two years later, and I often catch myself listening to many of the albums I'm about to list more than (most of) the albums that made my 2006 list. I suppose that's saying something, right?

10). Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Brit, you had me at "don't say a word" years ago, and your hooks keep me coming back.

9). Animal Collective - Feels
Not as warm and snuggly as Sung Tongs, nor as accessible as everyone made it out to be (myself included) at the time. It does, however, hold several of my favorite songs from 2005 in "The Purple Bottle"and "Did You See the Words," the latter also being one of the best side one/track one's in recent memory.

8). Sigur Rós - Takk...
No, no, thank you good sirs, for warming things up with this album. ( ), as good as it is, feels a bit impersonal at times. Takk..., on the other hand, not only sounds brighter, it also kinda rocks!

7). Akron/Family - Akron/Family
The biggest surprise of '05 for me. This album came out of nowhere and had to fight for attention among other solid releases, yet it managed came out ahead over many of those other albums. This album is such an underrated album, though I think, two years later, they're finally getting the attention they rightfully deserve.

6). My Morning Jacket - Z
I have to admit, I never got in to My Morning Jacket until Z, which makes it official: Z is MMJ's most accessible album. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

5). Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Fucking. Intense. The one-two punch of "Let's Call it Love" and "Night Light" to end the album, which became their last, is about as perfect as it gets.

4). The Decemberists - Picaresque
In my opinion, not only one of my favorites from 2005, but also my favorite Decemberists album. I'm a fan of the expansive production, as it works well for the polished pop songs like "The Sporting Life" and "We Both Go Down Together", and also makes a song like "The Bagman's Gambit" a headphone wonder.

3). Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The hype has died down, so why do I still like this album so much? It's the songs, I guess.

2). Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Had you asked me at the end of 2005 which album I thought was the best of the year, I would have begrudgingly said Illinois. I say begrudgingly because despite how incredibly amazing this album is - and it is absolutely stellar - it's not nearly as fun for me to listen to as my number one. Stevens' lyrics are quite captivating, you truly get to know the state of Illinois first hand and get familiar with a wide array of characters throughout the album's 22 tracks. He also gets creative with the music, exploring ballads and hard rock, pop, folk, even a hint or two at musical theater. You know, maybe this album is pretty fun, but it's still not as fun as...

1). Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
This album is fun. Lots of fun. I will always associate this album with either (a) the incredible, life altering Broken Social Scene concert at the Granada in Lawrence on Halloween night, or (b) the time I danced in my living room wearing only my underwear with a certain girlfriend as this album provided the soundtrack. Both of those nights were fun, more than fun. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys, monkeys that are having fun! As a result I can't help but have a good time when I'm listening to this album. You would, too, believe me. "7/4 Shoreline" has been one of my favorite songs, period, since I first heard it while washing dishes in my ant infested apartment, and the trio of "Windsurfing Nation," "Swimmers," and "Hotel" are perfect for scuffing up hardwood floors. Okay, I admit this might not technically be the best album of its year, but it's still easily the most enjoyable, and my favorite of 2005.


Jenna's Favorite Albums of 2005:

This year was an outstanding one for albums and I must say making this list was not easy. I have compiled of list of standouts, classics, and the often under appreciated hidden jewels. My list is confined to 10 but there are many other great albums of 2005. I only wish I had time to talk about them all. If you haven't heard some of these albums yet or have only listened to a few songs I strongly advise you to dedicate some time to each and every one of these jim-dandy albums. Here it goes folks! Enjoy the list.

10. Michael Jackson - The Essential CDs 1 and 2
This collection of songs truly consists of the "essential" tunes from the Jackson era. Great hits from the Jackson 5 like "I Want You Back" and "Blame It On The Boogie," are sprinkled in with some of Michael Jackson's better known classics. This album highlights some of Jackson's earlier solo days with the songs "Billie Jean" and "Beat It." Features of his later work include "Black or White," "Remember The Time," and "Man In The Mirror." If you don't have any Jackson albums in your collection this one is a must as it encompasses the wide spectrum of his career.

9. The Boy Least Likely To - The Best Party Ever
This album is one of my hidden jewels on the list. Not hidden in the sense that no one has heard of these guys, in fact they were on many top lists for 2005, but in the sense that I had no idea who they were. I found this album on my iTunes one day and was immediately hooked after the first song. It was exactly what I was in the mood for, upbeat, energetic, silly lyrics and just plain fun. "Warm Panda Cola," "I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon To Your Star" and "Hugging My Grudge" are a few of my favorite songs.

8. Animal Collective - Feels
Oh the joys of childrens' laughter, bees, ducks, flesh canoes and grass. Oh the joy that Animal Collective's Feels brings me. Feels makes me feel special inside. I love this album. Enough said.

7. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
"Hotel," need I say more? Okay, I'll say a wee bit more. I like to pretend I'm as cool as Kevin Drew is when he says, "Check it," at the beginning of "Hotel." I like to pretend I'm one of their long lost band members when I listen to this album and sing along to it in the car. I like to pretend I'm dating the Bandwitch. What? I can dream, can't I?

6. Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs
This multi-faceted musician has created a splendid album full of goodness gracious great balls of fire. This album is lovely for almost any occasion. Naps, car rides, lazy afternoons... You name it and Andrew Bird has a song to fit your mood. The overall mellow tone of the album may not be good for your 151 parties but for that kind of occassion I refer you to number 7 on my list.

5. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Spoon's Gimme Fiction says gimme some more of that rock n' roll baby! This album highlights Spoon's ability to be diverse when it comes to their overall sound. Each song has a different tone but the songs certainly don't lose their Spoon-ish flare. Listen to this album during a road trip and it will make time fly. I highly recommend this album! Now that is coming from a girl who almost touched Brit Daniel with her hotdog. (For more information on the near hotdogging incident you can email me.)

4. Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
My neighbors must hate me for belting this album at the top of my lungs. Oh well, at least I'm exposing them to good music, right? Sadly, I didn't see this album on many top lists for 2005. I suppose its understandable considering she had competition like M.I.A., Ladytron, and LCD Soundsystem. Imogen displays her wide vocal and musical ranges in this album. Standouts of the album are "Hide and Seek," "Goodnight and Go," and "Just For Now."

3. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
Are you wearing your dancing shoes? Well, you better get them strapped on and guzzle your energy drink so you can dance your ass off again and again with LCD Soundsystem's self titled album. Just when you think you're getting tired after shaking your grove thang to songs like "Tribulations" and "Thrills" you can start the second disc. Yep LCD Soundsystem is a two disc wonder romp.

2. Feist - Let It Die
If you've ever found yourself searching for that perfect study album, search no more! This album was a gift from my boyfriend before I spent a long gruelling two weeks studying for and taking finals. I listened to this album on average twice a day for those two weeks and never got sick of it. I'd say I was impressed with Feist. Feist's work kept me interested the entire time. This album has the hit "Mushaboom," a tribute to the BeeGees with "Inside and Out," and so much more.

1. My Morning Jacket - Z
This album is incredible. The magic begins with the opening chords as they draw you in with expectation. My Morning Jacket exceeded my expectations with this gem of an album. Although this album is spectacular musically it is at the top of my list purely for sentimental reasons. It reminds me of so many grand and not so grand events in 2005. Walking home from class, sitting at a friend's house conversing and listening to music, making love, breaking up with friends, the whole shebang of 2005. I recall my first time hearing this album. It was "Wordless Chorus" and "It Beats 4 U" that caught my attention as I asked a friend, "Who is this?" From that moment on My Morning Jacket's Z became part of my routine.


Chad's Favorite Albums of 2005:

2005 was a phenomenal year filled with great music from some of my favorite artists. This list represents how I feel at this point in time. I’m excited to see what my 2007 list (coming soon!) will look like compared to how it will look two years later. Some albums lose their luster after awhile and others creep up on you and hook you years later. It’s also cool to see the powerhouse bands on my list that will be high up there this year, proving their superiority.

In a very particular order…

10. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
-This would have been near the top of the list had I written it in ‘05

9. Spoon - Gimme Fiction

8. The Decemberists - Picaresque

7. Sigur Ros - Takk

6. Doves - Some Cities

5. The National - Alligator
-It took until this year before I got into this album.

4. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

3. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

2. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
-It’s sad to see them go. They sure went out with a bang!

1. Animal Collective - Feels
-These guys can do no wrong in my eyes!


Nicole's Favorite Albums of 2005:

Is anyone still reading this? I certainly hope so, because this, ladies and gentlemen, is the definitive list.

10. Clientele - Strange Geometry
This one still gets regular rotation time. Stunning.

9. Sigur Ros - Takk
A cheery Sigur Ros makes a cheery Femme Fatale.

8. Deerhoof - Runners Four
Still my fave from the band, as it's their most rocking. And rock it does.

7. The National - Alligator
This one is a cheat. Note that we saw these guys open for Clap Your Hands in 2005 and I had no idea who they were... now look who's on my list and who's not.

6. Sleater Kinney - The Woods
An absolute roundhouse to the head.

5. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
This one's also a cheat. I didn't discover this album until Sounds of Silver won me over, though in many ways I think the self-titled is superior.

4. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
I didn't get all the hype surrounding this album at first. If Mr. Stevens could get an editor, this one would be higher on my list. Call it the Modest Mouse syndrome...

3. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
I think BSS dubbed their sophomore album their namesake because they knew it was their best. I've recently called You Forgot It in People more of an "obvious" album; blasphemy, I know, but the band's second album takes so much more work, attention to detail, discovery. For this listener, that makes it that much more rewarding.

2. Animal Collective - Feels
This is by no means my favorite AC album, but it's the one that hooked me. "Grass" was one of the most amazing songs I'd ever heard before picking up this album, and I stand by that now.

1. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
I fell in love with this album, fast and hard. I can still remember my initial, jumbled emotions. "This is so poppy I can hardly stand it." "Who is this guy singing 'Jackie'? I don't know if I like it." "Those drums are pretty amazing." "Is she saying 'These Are the Fables on Mass Street'? I love Mass Street, too." "The chanting at the end of 'The Bleeding Heart Show' is kind of weird...intriguing...incredible." If you like your pop rockin and your rock poppin, then Twin Cinema is for you (Did I REALLY just write that? Oh well, it's true.)

That's all for now, folks! Stay tuned for more listmania.


Joshwa said...

10 - Roisin Murphy - Ruby Blue
09 - M.I.A. - Arular
08 - Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
07 - The Chap - Ham
06 - Laura Veirs - Year of Meteors
05 - Royksopp - The Understanding
04 - Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
03 - Sigur Ros - Takk..
02 - Goldfrapp - Supernature
01 - Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase

Most of these I adore for purely sentimental reasons, though 1-5 rank pretty highly on my album preference overall. Cheers.

Joshwa said...

upon reconsideration, i'd like to add tender buttons by broadcast in slot 8, bumping out the good miss murphy.

The Moon said...

2005 must have been a pretty good year... though you'd hardly see me admit it normally. But as I sit here staring at this list, I can hardly bring my self to strike anything else off... so I give you this, my list of dance parties, good days at work, crazy hair, past girlfiends, and change in general...

*the order still left on my page in reverse*

0. Feist - Let it Die
0. Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins
0. Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures
0. Sigur Ros - Takk
0. M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us
0. Spoon - Gimmie Fiction
0. My Morning Jacket - Z
0. Serena Maneesh
0. Love is All - 9 Times That Same Song
0. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah
0. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
0. Animal Collective - Feels
0. Deerhoof - The Runners Four
0. Antony & the Johnson's - I am a Bird Now
0. Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise

...It's good to remember every once in a while.

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