2005 mid-year best album list

Never too early to start ranking the best albums of the year. I’ve bought a ton of music in the past 6 months, so I’m going to rank my current 5 favorite albums with 2005 release dates. Disclaimer: haven’t bought Coldplay or the Foo Fighters yet.

  1. Bloc Party Silent Alarm
  2. The White Stripes Get Behind Me, Satan
  3. Beck Guero
  4. The Shout Out Louds Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
  5. The Decemberists Picaresque

Honorable mention: M83 Before the Dawn Heals Us, Stephen Malkmus Face the Truth, The National Alligator.

Disappointments so far: Gorillaz, Aimee Mann. And this year’s Electrelane, Axes, isn’t nearly as great as last year’s awesome The Power Out. Also The Mars Volta Frances The Mute.

Trend – I seem to be buying tons of these somewhat interchangeable British 80s resurgence bands (Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Dead Sixties, Futureheads, British Sea Power, The Doves) that are all pretty good. Even New Order’s new one is supposedly pretty good… Interstingly, The Doves and British Sea Power have seemed to get there on their second albums after being more straight-up indie on their first. Also with the European indie – M83, The Shout Out Louds, and last year’s Phoenix and The Concretes.

How’s about y’all?

I sort of agree with your top 5. Well, thats a qualified agreement. I can’t stand the new White Stripes Album. I really want to like it, because I think it is Jacks best writing so far, but I have had it with Megs Drum work. It was fine all the way through White Blood Cells but this new one and Elephant just leave me frustrated that she can only play 2 beats. The other 4 are all great, though I am not sure that the Block Party and Beck Albums won’t get edged out by the end of the year. I find myself not going back to them as often as I do other things.

I would like to nominate The Fiery Furnaces album EP to replace the White Stripes on the list, and make the early prediction that The Decemberists will be the Album of the Year. Its such a good album it hurts.

I haven’t bought a lot of music lately, but that’s because most modern music pisses me off. I’m an old crank like that.

The only ones I’ve found to be worth repeated listenings are the new foo fighters double album and the new Shakira album.

I’m a huge foo fan, so on that I am horribly biased. It’s not as good as their last disk, but there are a lot of albums that aren’t that good. Even the accoustic cd rocks. 9/10

The new Shakira album, while entirely in spanish, still manages to kick much ass. Very good music. She can sing, and she’s just about the sexiest anything on the planet these days. 10/10

Tough to make a list right now, because I don’t tend to pay attention to when stuff actually comes out and I’m not at the computer with iTunes right now, but I’ll give it a shot.

[li]Beck, Guero[/li][li]Sufjan Stevens, Illionois (not technically out yet)[/li][li]Ben Folds, Songs for Silverman[/li][li]White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan[/li][li]Gwen Stefani, L.A.M.B. (guilty pleasure)[/li][/ol]
Caveat: I haven’t listened to some things enough to rank them, like the Decemberists or Bloc Party.

I Am A Bird Now by Antony And The Johnsons
Silent Alarm by Bloc Party
Humming By The Flowered Vine by Laura Cantrell
Oceans Apart by The Go-Betweens
Chavez Ravine by Ry Cooder

I was just thinking about starting this thread today.

For me, this has been a pretty weak year so far. There are only three albums that I feel are worth mentioning on a best-of list:

  1. Buried Inside, Chronoclast
  2. Swallow the Sun, The Morning Never Came
  3. Mindless Self Indulgence, You’ll Rebel to Anything

There have been a couple of big disappointments. Nile’s Annihilation of the Wicked is really just showing off what a stylistic corner they’ve painted themselves into, and Dream Theater’s Octavarium completely discards the direction they’ve been moving so far this millennium for the sound of their earlier, better-selling stuff.

Granted, there are a couple releases I haven’t heard yet that have high praise (Red Sparowes’ At the Soundless Dawn and Carnival in Coal’s Collection Prestige), and there are new albums coming from Arcturus, Opeth and Ulver, so maybe this year will end strong. We’ll see.

In no order

The Duhks (self-titled)
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Beck - Guero
Robbie Fulks - Georgia Hard
The Decemberists - Picaresque

Honorable mentions go to Cold Roses by Ryan Adams, In Case We Die by Architecture in Helsinki, Face the Truth by Stephen Malkmus, and EP by the Fiery Furnaces.

Special awards go to Lucinda Williams Live at the Fillmore, the Prisoners of Love collection from Yo La Tengo, and the deluxe reissue of Endtroducing… by DJ Shadow.

Was Keane’s Hopes and Fears released in 2005? I don’t think I picked it up until March or April, but I’m not usually cutting edge like that.

Anyway, this is my nomination.

So far I’ve only picked up two albums from this year.

Judas Priest’s Angel of Retribution and
Europe’s Start from the Dark

Are both very good. I don’t know if they will be the best or not because the year isn’t over, but I know they will both be up there.

:eek: How dare you! :mad:


My favs so far (the Cardies based on being released in the US this year):

  1. The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight
  2. Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm
  3. Tori Amos - The Beekeeper
  4. Better Than Ezra - Before The Robots
  5. The Decemberists - Picaresque (if only for The Engine Driver)

MAJOR disappointment of the year: Weezer. What a steamer that one was. >_<

Whoops - my brain is lapsing (a 4 month old at home will do that to ya). Leave The Cardigans off there and bump everyone else up. :wink:

I loved that song when I heard it on the radio. I’ve also heard a real pirate-sounding song with an accordion and “The Sporting Life,” which reminded me a lot of Belle and Sebastian, who I like. Is the rest of the album that good? How about their other stuff?

Nope, that’s been out in Europe for a couple of years and in America for at least a year. They’re working on their follow-up right now.

The pirate-sounding song was probably “The Mariner’s Revenge.” The whole album is solid, though there are several different styles. The lead-off track, “The Infanta” sounds like it could be in a Broadway musical, “From My Own True Love” is more like a tone-poem, “16 Military Wives” is a political song in which the music is much more upbeat than the lyrics, and “On the Bus Mall” is a rather soft song about teenage male prostitutes. I’ve got their Castaways and Cutouts album and their 5 Song EP and like those, too.

My top 5 (in no particular order):

  1. Crooked Fingers - Dignity and Shame
  2. Clem Snide - End of Love
  3. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
  4. The Decemberists - Picaresque
  5. Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs

Others that I either like or have heard are good but haven’t listened to enough are the aforementioned Bloc Party and White Stripes, but also Okkervil River’s Black Sheep Boy.

My top 5 so far:

  1. Pagan’s Mind enigmatic : calling
  2. Moonsorrow Verisäkeet
  3. Dream Theater Octavarium
  4. Dark Tranquillity Character
  5. Midnattsol Where Twilight Dwells

Those first two (whose previous albums topped my lists for 2002 and 2003, respectively) I don’t believe will be easily outdone. Then again, neither album was better than the previous effort, so who knows?

I don’t disagree with ultrafilter about Dream Theater, and I would say almost exactly the same about Dark Tranquillity, but even an mediocre effort by either of these bands is better than most of the crap out there.

So far, Midnattsol is my best discovery of the year so far. (Well, actually I hadn’t heard any Moonsorrow before this year either, with Kivenkantaja retroactively making best of '03, but since they have the same keyboardist as Finntroll, it was as if I had always known about them.)

Spoon’s Gimme Fiction is definitely my favorite album of the year. I also like The Decemberists’ Picaresque, which is easily my favorite album of theirs. As with all Decemberists albums, though, it seems weaker than it should be. The White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan is pretty good, but I don’t like it nearly as much as Elephant, The White Stripes or White Blood Cells (I like it about the same as De Stijl).

I haven’t bought much new music this year, but NIN’s With Teeth is absolutely fantastic.

Upon looking at the records I’ve bought recently, nearly all were 2004. Shame.

This thread is going to be a great reference of stuff for me to ask for for my birthday.

I can confirm that the new New Order album is indeed excellent.

  1. Harris Newman - Accidents with Nature and Each Other

  2. Lorna - Static Patterns and Souvenirs

  3. Herman Dune - Not on Top

  4. Spoon - Gimme Fiction

  5. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
    The Belle and Sebastian EP collection is essential but not truly 2005 material. It is better than any of their albums.

Huh… you are the only other person I’ve seen (other than myself) that actually liked that albums :D.