2005: Top 20 Albums

  1. The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
  2. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
  3. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
  4. The Hold Steady - Seperation Sunday
  5. Iron and Wine - Woman King EP
  6. Animal Collective - Feels
  7. Deerhoof - The Runners Four
  8. The Decemberists - Picaresque
  9. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  10. Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow
  11. Antony and the Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now
  12. Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die
  13. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
  14. Love is All - Nine Times That Same Song
  15. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
  16. Akron/Family - Akron/Family
  17. My Morning Jacket - Z
  18. Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll
  19. Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy
  20. Caribou - The Milk of Human Kindness

Excuse me, AAA, but are you even allowed to start this list yet?

They'd throw a rope up here in Oklahoma...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Well, I figure, the early bird gets the worm. Truthfully, I wanted to write down my thoughts on the album as soon as possible.

I'm a very forward-moving person, I suppose.


What dictates what year an album is released in? I didn't realize there could even be 2005 albums yet. What are they, like car models, where they announce the 2005 Outback in something absurd, like September of '04?

Well, to be fair, I got a leaked copy of the finished album, which is set for a 2005 release.

I might have wanted to explain that, I suppose.

Once again, I'm green.

I like the Fiery Furnaces EP alot, though how 'good' it is I wouldn't bother to estimate. I leave that up to you :-)

You know, I was thinking about this the other day, and I've decided that all my lists are really cases of personal choices. I'm, afterall, no more qualified to judge music than anyone else here. I just happen to listen to a lot and love making lists.

I just got the EP tonight...so I'm gonna have to withhold comment, but I love 'em, so it'll probably be positive.

Your modesty in endearing, but I've also noticed that there seems to be more clickage when a list is entitled 'best' or 'greatest' instead of 'favorite'. That's my theory, anyway.

Truthfully, I've been around this site forever. I dunno what anniversary I'm coming up on now, but I've been making lists ever since I first started watching movies and listening to music. For some reason (perhaps influence from AFI or other self-important lists) I naturally put "Best" in the titles of my lists. It wasn't an attempt to get attention to the list, and I certainly wasn't trying to say that my word was in any way definitive (or even that informed!) when I was the youngest person on the sight.

So, my use of the words "best" and "greatest" isn't really a plea for attention or a proclamation of expertise in a certain field. It just seems natural for me to do that...I suppose that's what happens when you become addicted to lists at a young age...I'm probably scarred for life.

Well, if you can't tell from the list, I REALLY like the EP. I almost love it, and I'm pretty sure I like it more than Gallowsbird's Bark. But, then again, I pretty much buy into the hype around these guys. They're creative, smart, entertaining, and original, and this EP is a much better way to introduce people to them. After all, they can have the ten and a half minute "Quay Cur", or the four minute "Single Again".

This list is filling up fast. Would you mind somehow keeping those that get shoved out of the top 20 eventually on here, so those of us who are interested can still track them down. Like, an 'honorable mention' category or something?

BTW, 2005: So far, I'm loving the albums by Hood and Shivaree, and I'm looking forward to 'Guero' by Beck.

Are there some 2005 albums that are coming out that you haven't yet heard that you're panting for?

Oh yes, and I LOVE 'cassandra gemini' from 'frances the mute.'

I am begging for the Outkast album, as well as the new Hot Hot Heat, Shins, Broken Social Scene, and several others that I'm blanking on. I also can't wait to get those albums that come out of nowhere to rock my world.

I usually keep my honorable mentions in the comment section of all my yearly music lists. I will be sure to do the same this year.

'Young Liars EP' did that to me. Did it come out of nowhere and rock your world, as well?

I actually caught up with TV on the Radio with the release of their album, so Young Liars didn't really have a chance to rock my world.

But I can safely say that Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Mates of State, The Unicorns, Stars, and many others came out of nowhere to change my world FOREVER!

Perhaps that is slight hyperbole, but I love it when I either underestimate an artist or just get surprised by an unknown. It's such a rush to hear something new and wonderful.

Alright, sleep-deprived rant over.

I still remember back in 2002 when I heard my first Muse song, 'Sunburn'. I almost cramed my pants, and immediately grabbed their first two albums that were out. My rapture was immediate, whereas my buildup of extreme appreciation for Radiohead and Sigur Ros and others was more gradual.

The artist that really shocked me was Mates of State. After school one day last year, I hopped into the passenger's seat of my friend's car, and she pops in Team Boo. The second I heard "Ha Ha", I fell in love with the band.

Nowadays there's a very sentimental attachment between myself and the lovely married couple that is Mates of State.

LCD Soundsystem?

I finally got it today. I really like what I've heard so far.

Hehe! I've only heard 3 albums on your list, but have to say that I like 'Picaresque' more every day.

You heard the 'Kaiser Chiefs' album 'Employment'?

Picaresque is one of those albums that I can't quite digest...I can't decide if it's one of their better albums, or one of their weaker ones. Either way, I'm really glad you like it.

I have not heard The Kaiser Chiefs yet, but I'll keep my ears open.

Well, well, well... Picaresque's been sneakin' up on ya, eh?

Seriously, I blame my initial mistrust of the album on my emotional attachment to Her Majesty..., but I'm ashamed that I didn't go with my initial instinct and love the album at first. "The Bus Mall" is absolutely one of the best songs the band has ever done (if not the best), and "Sixteen Military Wives" is a brilliant single.

I have suddenly found myself advocating for the album, where on the same message boards a month ago I was making the opposite arguments.

I've seen the light!

Be sure to check out 'Pläns Pläns - Plays Herman Melville's Moby Dick' (download 3 tracks in mp3).

I just listened to LCD Soundsystem for the first couple of times over the weekend, and I like it so far. Sounds like the lead singer is channeling Black Francis on "Disco Infiltrator," and I also suspect the band has spun the first Suicide album a few times...

Johnny Waco (who thinks yr city's a sucker...)

Groovy. I thought you might dig that album.

And great call on the Black Francis possession...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I've listened both times in my car, and on the freeway too, none of this stop n' go nonsense, and let me tell you, I was moving. I wonder if I can send any speeding tickets to the band for reimbursement...

Johnny Waco (Daft Punk is playing at my house!)

I think you should try. Surely you can find one of the tunes urging you to speed with backmasking. :)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs (losing my edge...)

I've enjoyed the Andrew Bird tracks that have wandered across my Launch playlist.

Have you heard Brendan Benson's The Alternative to Love? What I have heard so far has really impressed me.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I have not heard it yet, but I'll give it a search.

I am enjoying Andrew Bird quite a bit.

I suspect you will like it if you find it.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Man, I'm dying to hear In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster. Say, Fiery Furnaces' EP seems to be falling awfully fast...

I was thinking that about EP, and I think I'll be boosting it up a bit in a little while.

Yeah, baby! Finally heard Kitsch and I'm with you: it's sweet. 'Goretex Weather Report' might be my favorite track of the year so far, along with Aphex Twin's 'Xmd5a'. Out of curiosity, do you have any favorite tracks so far this year?

I'm a big fan of "On the Bus Mall" from The Decemberists' Picaresque, I totally agree on "Gortex Weather Report", and I also like The Mountain Goats' "This Year" and "Here Comes the Summer" from EP. There are probably others that I just can't think of right now.

Doves should be higher, i think is a very underrated band.

I actually really like the album, and the ranking isn't meant to indicate that I don't. I like anything that's on my list...besides, I always shuffle the albums around until the end of the year...and even then, I edit a lot.

I had a feeling,

you would under rate Bloc Party.

I'm sorry, they're just so good to me.

I really, really, really like "Like Eating Glass", but other than that, I just don't love 'em. I respect that they're good (kinda exactly like The Game) but I just don't love it.

I just got a copy of M.I.A.'s Arular on Saturday, and I've already played it five or six times; it's pretty damn cool. Who would have thought a Sri Lankan rap album could be so agressive, seductive, and just all-around listenable?

Johnny Waco

I really, really like Arular a lot, but I can't help but feel that M.I.A. is overrated. She makes great dance music, and I will always put her on for a good time, but I don't think it's a modern masterpiece, which is an example of the hyperbolic praise she has recieved.

Is it just me or do all the songs on "Arular" sound like they could be the 5th best song off any Basement Jaxx album?

So the new Mercury Rev is a keeper, eh? As a fan, color me very interested...

I don't think it hits stores until mid-May, so I shall probably have to wait.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I'm not quite sure what I fully think of the album. It's very good pop, but the lyrics are actually a little distracting. They're simplistic verging on cliche. Maybe with more time, I'll change my mind, but I can't get the feeling of a little bit of cheesiness out of my head whenever I listen to the album.

Ah, thanks for the info. I think I will hold off until I hear this one first.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I think the Hot hot heat album, might be the best so far, with Spoon and Brendan Benson close behind.

The Raveonettes one was dissapointing.

Now Playing: Jimmy eats world: Scientific.

Mmm, Elevator is definitely a let down from make Up the Breakdown, which I love. Spoon's is already getting underrated.

Totally agree with you on how great The new Deceberists is

I'm glad to hear it. It's always nice to know that I'm not alone in my crazy worship.

gee...does someone read pitchfork?

I dunno, do you?

Mmm, I'm probably going to have to pick up Illinois sometime soon, as I've heard nothing but great things about it (unless I should wait and get the 50-album state box set). I'm really wondering why everyone is calling it Illinois though. From just seeing the album cover, I would think it was called "Come On Feel the Illinoise" or possibly "Illinoise", but cutting off the "E" just seems weird.

Everyone will shortly be calling Stevens' "state" albums simply by the state they represent, for ease and brevity. Who wants to say or write "Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State" when "Michigan" will do?

Yeah, but the long names are so much cooler. Why would you call it a boring "Illinois" when "Come on Feel the Illinoise" is a clever pun and better name?

The official name of the album (it's on the side of the case) is actually Illinois. I guess the cover is just artwork, and the title is part of the art...or something. Nevermind.

Anyways...that's why it's called Illinois.

what do you think of new franz? ?
i enjoy

I don't think that they are in any way a "bad" band (in fact, it makes me smile that they seem to have helped chime the death knell for nu metal), but what I've heard of their new one seems to be more of the same from the first album.

The new Franz is pretty much a continuation (sp?) of the last album. Not exactly a bad thing, but if they don't progress more on future releases I will be highly disappointed.

What is it about the Antony and the Johnsons album that I am missing, since I clearly don't like it as much as anyone else that has heard it?

I just think his voice is beautiful, and the change of pace is kind of refreshing...I haven't heard a good album of torch songs about transsexual yearnings in a while.

I don't get that album either. I've listened to it something like 3 times, and still don't like it. I would've given up long ago, if it weren't for the massive acclaim it got.