Instead of a political rant, I thought I’d give my views on the albums I’ve bought this year (only counting those which were released this year, not stuff on special offer), and try to come up with some sort of ranking:
Arcade Fire – Funeral (ltd. ed)
Dramatic, noisy, quiet, Canadian. What else needs to be said?
Best track: Neighborhood (damn Yank-lish) #3 (Power Out)
Autolux – Future Perfect (ltd. ed)
Shoegazing! Because of this it automatically gets a good rating!
Best track: Turnstile Blues.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl (ltd. ed)
They’ve stopping being a Jesus & Mary Chain rip-off (not that that’s a bad thing) and decided to become a blues band. They still sound like they’re on the smack though…
Best track: Weight of the World.
Beck – Guero (ltd. ed)
Linking up again with the Dust Brothers to make Odelay II (minus the commercial success) – yay!
Best track: Girl.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm (non-ltd ed)
I was a bit disappointed with this album, especially after seeing how great they are live – the singles are top, but there’s a bit too much filler material. Hopefully, they’ll get into the swing of things next time round.
Best track: Helicopter (it would be She’s Hearing Voices, but they re-recorded it, instead of using the original version which came out in February 2004)
British Sea Power – Open Season (ltd. ed)
I’d actually forgotten how good this album is – they should play it more on the radio. Are you listening XFM and 6 Music?
Saying that, it needs an obvious radio-friendly (unit-shifting) track, like their debut The Decline of BSP that had Remember Me.
Best track: Oh Larsen B
The Chemical Brothers – Push the Button
After the letdown of Come With Us, comes this, which is possibly their best work, or at the very least equal to Dig Your Own Hole, even if it doesn’t quite reach the level of Surrender.
Best track: Galvanize – what a way to mark your comeback!
DJ Format – If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em
Old-skool daisy-age hip-hop (mo’fo!).
Best track: Ugly Brothers – true to life…
Doves – Some Cities (ltd. ed)
I was really looking forward to this one, as their first two (Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast) are fantastic. Unfortunately, like with Bloc Party, I felt a bit let down – they didn’t seem to push on like they have done before. It’s a bit more laid back, but lacks the shoe-gazing aspects of their previous work. Just hope it’s a temporary blip.
Best track: Black and White Town: living in a satellite-town it rings true.
Editors – The Back Room
Part-Joy Division, part-Doves – yay!
Best track: Munich.
Elbow – Leaders of the Free World (non-ltd ed)
More misery from the only good thing to come out of Bury (No, the Neville brothers DO NOT count)!
Best track: Leaders of the Free World.
The Fiery Furnaces – Rehearsing my Choir
Typically weird stuff from the Furnaces: a concept album about their grandma!
It takes a few listens to get into (even more than their previous one: Blueberry Boat), but, like Blueberry Boat, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Best track: it’s hard to pick one stand-out track, as they all link together so you really need to listen to the whole album.
Franz Ferdinand – You Could have it so much Better (non-ltd ed)
Expanding on their debut – I think I prefer this. I guess we do have it so much better…
Best track: You’re the Reason I’m Leaving.
Goldfrapp – Supernature (non-ltd ed)
More electro from Ms. Goldfrapp & t’other guy. Not as in your face as Black Cherry – it’s more sensual (?) – but still worth listening to.
Best track: Fly me Away.
Gorillaz – Demon Days (non-ltd ed)
Ten years ago, who would have thought that mockney-stereotype Damon Albarn would be able to successfully re-invent himself as a B-boy, not once, but twice?
Best track: Dare – it’s got Shaun Ryder sounding even more rambling than normal, which is always a good sign!
I am Kloot – Gods and Monsters
Pity they’ve been dropped – shame on you Echo.
Best track: Over my Shoulder.
Joy Zipper – The Heartlight Set
Part-shoegazing, part-Beach Boys-esque sunny-ness.
Best track: 1.
The Kills – No Wow (non-ltd ed)
Part-dance, part-smack-filled rock. Similar to their debut, but slightly more dance-y.
Best track: Good Ones.
LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (ltd. ed)
NYC punk-dance. Leaning more to the dancier-side, unlike Supersystem.
Best track: Daft Punk is Playing in my House (despite the poor grammar: it should be Daft Punk are Playing in my House)
M. I. A. – Arular (ltd. ed)
A mixture of hip-hop, bhangra and dance.
Best track: Amazon – more of a laid-back track, but somehow it appears more dramatic in context.
Maxïmo Park – A Certain Trigger (non-ltd ed)
Mates of the Futureheads (even though MP are Geordies, not Mackems) and sound similar to ‘em. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Best track: Apply Some Pressure – spiky stop-start guitars and easy to sign along (but not to dance) to.
Out Hud – Let us Never Speak of it Again
More NYC punk-dance, this time sounding like !!! (possibly because it’s their spin-off band).
Best track: One Life to Lead.
Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous
Like the British Sea Power LP, I’d actually forgotten how good this album is. Indie-folky-country stuff.
Best track: Portions for Foxes.
Sigur Rós – Takk… (ltd. ed)
Glacial, Icelandic, weird (possibly a repetition).
Best track: As with the Fiery Furnaces, it’s hard to pick out a stand-out track, as they’re as good as ach other and mostly sung in Icelandic (I think).
Supersystem – Always Never Again
(Even) more NYC punk-dance. Leaning more to the (fast-paced) rockier-side, unlike LCD Soundsystem.
Best track: Born into the World.
The Warlocks – Surgery
Sounding like BRMC did on their first album, i.e. they sound like the Jesus & Mary Chain!
Best track: Just like Surgery.
26 albums (excluding stuff that I bought on special offer) – I buy too much music!
My Top 10 Albums of 2005:
- Arcade Fire – Funeral
- Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger
- LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem
- M. I. A. – Arular
- Fiery Furnaces – Rehearsing my Choir
- Sigur Rós – Takk…
- Chemical Brothers – Push the Button
- Gorillaz – Demon Days
- Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have it so Much Better
- Autolux – Future Perfect
UPDATE 2011: Here's a Spotify playlist of my selections. Tweet