Best album of 2005?

There are some prominent albums I have have not heard this year, so take this with that caveat. Nevertheless, my current top 3 for this year are

  1. Sufjan Stephens - Illinois
  2. Sleater Kinney - The Woods
  3. Low - The Great Destroyer

And the award for the album I just can’t decide what to think of goes to The Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir.

Anybody else?

My top 3:

  1. Spoon - Gimme Fiction. I think Spoon is the best rock band putting out music right now. This is a solid album filled with intriguing twists.
  2. Sons and Daughters - The Repulsion Box. A mixture of American country, Scottish folk and new wave revivalism. Every song on this album is perfect. I have no idea why they haven’t caught on in the US, even in indie circles.
  3. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike. I realize this actually came out in the UK last year, but it was just released in the US a few months ago (and with bonus tracks). The Go! Team don’t sound like much else out there right now. It’s just a fun album.

Putting it up against Surfjan Stevens et al. is very near the proverbial apples vs. oranges, but Ulver’s Blood Inside isn’t even comparable to anything else I heard this year. If you truly love music, you must hear this.

You can download “Christmas” here. It doesn’t really sound like anything else on the album (just like every other track), but it should give you an idea of the quality of work.

My vote: The Decemberists - Picaresque

I have to hear that Go Team thing.

More Deep Cuts by Thee More Shallows
Picaresque by The Decemberists
Funeral by The Arcade Fire (though I’m no longer sure if this came out in '05 or '04 in the US)

Coil: The Ape of Naples

The final Coil album is especially beautiful-- a powerful and touching performance from the late Jhonn Balance.

Ladytron - Witching Hour

Songs for Silverman by Ben Folds.

Er…it’s the only album I bought this year, but I think it’s the only album I needed.

Zipper you should have also picked up Has Been by William Shatner - it’s a very Folds-heavy. It gets my vote.

“Be” by Common gets my vote.

In addition to Ladytron, my own favourite, and The Go! Team, here are some more nominations:

Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic
Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
Vitalic - OK Cowboy
Koushik - Be With
Annie - Anniemal (for countries where it wasn’t released in 2004)
Tegan & Sara - So Jealous

That came out in '04. They released an EP this year, though.

I’d have to go with Illinois for my number 1.

At the risk of being redundant, Illinois was definitely the best album I heard this past year.

My favorite was Z by My Morning Jacket. Nothing but excellent songs on that one.

Another good one no one has mentioned is Love As Laughter - Laughter’s Fifth.

The National- Alligator was my hands-down favorite. Lush, pretty, intense, honest, and phenomenal live.

Sleater-Kinney’s- Entertainment gets my second vote.


I thought the Sufjan “Michigan” album was better than Illinois…different year, certainly, but I didn’t think Illinois was his best work.

My list:

  1. the Mountain Goats - the sunset tree
  2. Anna Ranger - *Above and Underground *
  3. Mike Jones - *who is mike jones? *
  4. Josh Rouse - *Nashville *
  5. Mount Eerie - Singers and *11 Old Songs of Mount Eerie *
  6. Starflyer 59 - talking voice vs. singing voice
  7. Robyn - s/t
  8. His Name Is Alive - Summer Bird EP and Summer Bird CDR
  9. Black Mountain - s/t
  10. the Decemberists - Picaresque
  11. Xiu Xiu - La Foret
  12. Jamie Lidell - Multiply
  13. Antony - I am a bird now
  14. Ariel Pink - *Worn Copy *
  15. Gang Gang Dance - God’s money
  16. Crooked Fingers - dignity and shame
  17. Bunky - Born to be a motorcycle
  18. David Banner - Certified
  19. Konono no 1 - Congotronics
  20. Brian Eno - Another day on earth

Honorable mentions:
Gorillaz - “Demon days”
My Morning Jacket - “Z”
Art Brut

I had a whole Year-End Music Spectacular at my blog (The J Train). (Scroll down a few entries.)

My top 5:

  1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (much as I hate to be unoriginal)
  2. The Duhks (self-titled)
  3. Kanye West - Late Registration
  4. Fruit Bats - Spelled in Bones
  5. Beck - Guero

The next ten (in no order)
DangerDoom - The Mouse and the Mask
The Clientele - Strange Geometry
LCD Soundsystem (self-titled)
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
The Greencards - Weather and Water
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Ryan Adams - Cold Roses
Sons and Daughters - The Repulsion Box

Dude, I love Mountain Goats, Josh Rouse, and Antony. Hard to find them mentioned much of anywhere. I’m still wavering on the Gorillaz. I couldn’t pry the first one outta my CD player for like 6 months, but this one is not as ineluctable. To me. So far. But the second Portishead took me a long to get under, and now it’s my favorite. So we’ll see . . .

I have to say, I can’t ‘get’ Sufjan Stephens. I’ve listened to Illinoise several times, but it just doesn’t sink in. Nothing about it grabs me. Can someone give me some pointers for appreciating this disk.

Other nominations:

Beck - Guero
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan