21 December 05 from Steve Grossberg 2
Hey, we'll disagree on Around the Sun, no problem. "Leaving New York", "The Outsiders", the last two tracks-beautiful. For the record, I didn't like Reveal but loved Up. After they became *big stuff*, nothing tops Automatic for the People, though. You can perhaps judge my R.E.M. tastes from there.
And that may well not convince you to try another recommendation of mine, but just consider putting on Mi Sangre in the background sometime, and bear in mind that in this amateur reviewer's opinion, it doesn't get really good until the third song, but then it's quite strong the rest of the way. "Damelo" should be a hit, even in the U.S. (where they ought to be able to sing the chorus, at only six unique syllables), and the closing track is a lovely lullaby written for his daughter.
Why do we compare years? Because it's fun. And I actually found it easier than trying to come up with a top ten for this year. Even if we accept your premise that it is our own efforts that determine the best years, it is still worthwhile to examine the paths our lives took (given only one time through, I suspect). And again, it's fun. What more justification does one need for making a list?
21 December 05 from Aaron 5
2. 2003 (Jon Brion version)
3. 1998 deluxe reissue
Also, does June-August of 2002 count? It was three separate months over here, but the UK got it as a single standalone season.
20 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 4
Given the amount and variety of music released in a year, it only gets more overwhelmingly true each year that if you can't find enough music to dumbfound you at human greatness, it's your effort that is lacking. And thus I can't see any point, save maybe the crudest internal diagnostic of your own inattention, to ranking whole years against each other. You could rank the fullness of five glasses of water you filled yourself, but why?
20 December 05 from Ian Mathers 3
Of the decade this year is easily the hardest time I've had at getting a top twenty, so it <b>feels</b> like the best year to me, but that could be a result of increased access to music.
Around The Sun, though? Really? I could barely stand to listen to it more than once.
Mi Sangre has been sitting in the CD drawer of our local student newspaper for over a year now. I'm not saying that proves anything, just that it's more than a little weird to hear from someone who has heard of it.
19 December 05 from Steve Grossberg 2
I will pipe in here and agree with those who put 2005 at the bottom of the list thus far. To be fair, I must note that many of the albums I recognize as the best of their year were not necessarily purchased in that year, so 2005 still has every chance of redemption. For the moment, however, my list goes like this:
It was a tough call between 1 and 2 (and 4 & 5), and I haven't any idea how much our preferences overlap, Bertson, but here are a few reasons why 2004 is so high on my list:
Exit Music -- Steven Lindsay (beautiful, mellow, nighttime music)
Around the Sun -- R.E.M. (definitely a crest, after the previous trough)
Virginia Creeper -- Grant-Lee Phillips (more soulful Americana from GLP)
Mi Sangre -- Juanes (If anyone wants to listen to great music by a one-named act from Colombia, forget Shakira and pick up Juanes. He won't sing in English for you, but he's number one in all sorts of places that aren't the United States. For example, this album was the first-ever Spanish language album to go to #1 in Germany. Why do you suppose he was the musical entertainment on the World Cup draw TV show?)
High -- The Blue Nile (Clearly I have a soft spot for mellow music with a little electronics. Not as good as Hats, but that's an awfully high bar to reach.)
Historias e Histeria -- La Ley (If you want to rock in Spanish a little harder than Juanes, who sits astride the pop/rock fence, this Chilean band's greatest hits is an excellent starting point. You can tell on the earlier tracks that they were fans of Talk Talk and Duran Duran in the 80s, but their music stretches and grows over the years. There is a special edition which includes a DVD with all their videos--seven tracks longer than the CD--except for those which were later made for the three new songs. And by the way, they also sing in French and English on occasion.)
17 December 05 from Bertson 1
I've been reading a lot of comments lately from people saying that they think 2005 has been the worst year for music so far this decade. I was wondering what other people's thoughts were on the subject.
Personally, I think this year's been great. There's been at least twenty albums I'd rank as really good, compared to probably less than 10 in 2004. I really don't think it's been the best year, but certainly not the worst. So far, I'd rank them as:
The sheer amount of really really great stuff released in 2000 & 2003 really knocks me backwards, as does the sheer amount of nothing I really liked at all that came out last year.