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2005 Best Music nominations  Preview
19 December 05 from edward 12
I went on a bit of a binge after reading eoy lists from all over the place and i thought i'd add a couple albums to my favourites. One is Devin Davis' Lonely People of the World Unite and the other is David Pajo's Pajo. The Davis is power pop from someone who spends too much time in his basement (by his own admission). It's much more novel and refreshing than i make it sound though. Like a new pornographers that doesn't leave me cold? The Pajo i don't think i can explain very well. I like it even more than Whatever mortal in any case and i had been quite satisfied with that one. I also have been interested in Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney's Superwolf but there's a bunch of weak tracks there imo. Even so, 'Beast For Thee' might be my favourite track this year alongside Pajo's 'Baby please come home'.
17 December 05 from Ian Mathers 21
Jose Gonzales' cover of the Knife's "Heartbeats" (itself a pretty damn awesome song) is incredible. I haven't heard anything else by him, but I'd like to.
13 December 05 from jer 20
1. Over The Rhine - Drunkard's Prayer  

They have a new album out? How'd I miss that? I'm not a massive fan, really, but I generally like their stuff and will have to add this to my list of last minute considerations.  

The new Mendoza Line album, Full of Light and Full of Fire, by the way, is good but lacks, for me, the rush of hearing them for the first time that I think, now knowing that they basically make the same album over and over again once a year, made Fortune such a revelation to me.  

My good friend James (who has posted below) has a really good round up of the Best of '05 (with MP3s!) currently in progress over at his blog at the moment, by the way. Well worth checking out.  

Wondering how glenn is making out with Avec and Final Fantasy...  

Jer
14 December 05 from Karl Boman 19
Well, it warms my Swedish heart to see Jens Lekman be championed outside our borders! I saw him open for José González in late '02 (he was great, and did the first number a capella) but have not yet been convinced enough to buy something. I strongly recommend JG for anyone who likes slightly latino-flavoured pop done with voice and classical guitar (and you know you do).  

I've bought too few records this year, but I really enjoyed these:
Nine Horses - Snow Borne Sorrow
Anna Ternheim - Shoreline EP
David Sylvian - The Good Son vs. The Only Daughter
King Crimson - Neal And Jack And Me (DVD)  

I've yet to hear but think I'll like the new records by Kate Bush, Wilco, the Nits, Junip and Neil Young.
14 December 05 from NEH 18
While I really liked a few CDs that haven't been mentioned here (Ry Cooder's "Chavez Ravine" and Dengue Fever's "Escape From the Dragon House"), I'll limit my Best of the Year to one box set.  

Rhino's girl group collection "One Kiss Can Lead to Another" is absolutely superb.  

If you're a fan of the genre the collection has enough obscurities to thrill you. If you're new to girl groups this is a great introduction. It's so good that the absence of Phil Spector's stuff is not a problem. Plus the packaging is wonderful.
13 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 14
I'm with you on the unfathomably undistinguished Every Kind of Light, but for me it was narrowly bettered (that is, worsed) by Rick Springfield's god-awful covers album, though I admit that to be "disappointed" by a Rick Springfield covers album you have to have done some serious emotional prep-work.
13 December 05 from Dolph Chaney 17
1. Over The Rhine - Drunkard's Prayer
2. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
3. Sage Francis - A Healthy Distrust
4. Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel The Illinoise
5. Antony & the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
6. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
7. The Decemberists - Picaresque
8. Portastatic - Bright Ideas
9. Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask
10. Chris Whitley – Soft Dangerous Shores
11. Mark Eitzel - Candy Ass
12. Juliana Hatfield – Made In China
13. M. Ward - Transistor Radio
14. The Clientele - Strange Geometry
15. The Fall - Fall Heads Roll
16. Xiu Xiu – La Foret
17. The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
18. The Bats - At The National Grid
19. The Heartless Bastards - Stairs and Elevators
20. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
21. Bobby Bare, Jr. - From The End Of Your Leash
22. Bob Mould - Body Of Song
23. Iron And Wine / Calexico - In The Reins
24. LCD Soundsystem
25. eels – Blinking Lights & Other Revelations  

Disappointment of the Year:
1. The Posies - Every Kind Of Light
11 December 05 from my few picks 16
I have been disappointed by what has been readily available here this year... We can't use the iStore in New Zealand, and the few digital music services that are available are pitiful in their lack of breadth, so the ability to test the waters before I shell out $35 or more for an interesting album that I may or may not like is sorely limited.  

I mayt be refelcting a little too mcuh populist taste here, but I have enjoyed
1. The Killers Hot Fuss
2. The Foo Fighters In Your Honour
3. Captain Tractor North of the Yellowhead
4. End of Fashion End of Fashion.  

There is a New Zeland Band called Elemeno P who rate an honourable mention for their song 11:57. The rest of the album was okay, not thrilling, but 11:57 was just fantastic.
7 December 05 from Ian Mathers 9
Ah the internet and text-only communication, home of so many misunderstandings.  

The first sentence of my last post was intended as tongue-in-cheek. Reading it now, I can see that's not clear, so sorry about that.  

Given that the Department didn't start with all those songs and should have more at some point (he was updating them one at a time for a while there), I'm not sure it fits with your criteria in any case, but in an effort to stick within glenn's stricture I'd argue for the songs on those EPs over the Dept. songs any day. It's nearly the equal of his actual album, to my mind - the website offerings feel much more scrappy.  

glenn, have you heard Jens? I'm wondering what you'd think of him.
6 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 14
OK, no squabbling over format semantics here. Fights in this topic must be about music.
6 December 05 from Aaron 15
Hm. I prefer to consider any group of recordings released together under a collective name to be an 'album'. If this really bothers you, I promise not to come to your house and force you to obey my guidelines-- sound fair?  

I already had the EPs compiled on You're So Silent Jens last year, so I wasn't too inclined to consider it for a 2005 list. Even so, I prefer the songs from Department Of Forgotten Songs overall (though "Black Cab" is amazing).
6 December 05 from Ian Mathers 9
Man, picking non-albums for your list is just cheating. if you're really starved for some Lekman (and you should be, he's awesome), why not go for You're So Silent Jens?  

And while I haven't even tried listening to any of his recent albums or EPs, Ben Folds hit one out of the park with "Landed".  

I lent my brother The Sunset Tree, and now he plays it so much I'm actually in danger of getting sick of it.
5 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 14
That Bloc Party album is this year's record that all rational analyses lead me to conclude I'd like, yet I can't seem to form any bond with it. And although The Sunset Tree is overall pretty much the record I would have wanted Darnielle to make, I can't find the two or three personal attachment points that would make it a favorite for me.  

The is the first year of my music-buying life in which I actually had the detachment to demote some people en masse from my buy-everything level because what I heard of their new stuff wasn't exciting me enough. Notable victims include American Music Club, Berlin, Dan Bern, the Clientele, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kathleen Edwards, eels, Ben Folds, David Gray, Aimee Mann, New Pornographers, Michael Penn, Simple Minds, Sleater-Kinney, Sonata Arctica, Son Volt, Threshold, Chris Whitley and Wilco. And Beth Nielsen Chapman and the Posies ought to have been taken off the list one album sooner. Yeesh, that's a lot. I'm sure there are at least a couple of those whose new stuff I'd have really liked if I'd given it more attention, but I didn't. It was time to place bets differently, and since I still found plenty of music to buy, and plenty of that that I loved, it still feels like the right thing to have done, even if it reminds me how much I resent finiteness.
5 December 05 from Aaron 13
I continue to be mystified by Wilderness. I loved Robyn's "Be Mine", but thought the album was pretty inconsistent; when I got the Rachel Stevens album, I kind of forgot about Robyn.  

My list has no formal existence yet, but some things that will be on it:  

- Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die (quite possibly #1; just so, so nice)
- Brooks - Red Tape (late 2004, technically; 'out' song-based techno)
- Why? - Elephant Eyelash (much more like Pavement now than like hip-hop)
- Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
- Nothing Painted Blue - Taste The Flavor (finally!)
- Electric Six - Senor Smoke (subtle-- for post-ironic hard-rock degeneracy)
- Ad Frank - Is The World's Best Ex-Boyfriend
- Gang Of Four - Return The Gift
- Portastatic - Bright Ideas (not that this was a prerequisite for me liking it, but it sounds much more like Superchunk than like Portastatic)
- Trollin Withdrawal - Bootleg Rege (free at rcarchives.com/sounds.htm)
- Jens Lekman - The Department Of Forgotten Songs (free at secretlycanadian.com/jenslekman/dept.htm)  

Plus Mountain Goats, Bob Drake, Roisin Murphy, Ben Folds, Fiery Furnaces (only with grandmother), side B of the New Pornographers...  

Also, on first pass the rest of the record didn't live up to it, but Billy Corgan's "M.O.H. (Mina Loy)" makes me very, very happy.
4 December 05 from 5
glenn,  

Wilderness is great. They're one of the bands Pitchfork was really talking up this year, but I like them a lot more than some of the other stuff those guys champion.  

I never really thought of the Chameleons comparison, but it's really apt. Personally, I thought they sounded like Explosions In The Sky doing Echo and The Bunnymen covers.
4 December 05 from Brian Block 10
glenn - a month back I gave my friend Liz a mix cd containing (among other things) "When You Left with the Ocean". Last week she asked me "Does glenn have any other music?". I pointed her to your downloads, she downloaded them all, listened to them a few times, and she asked me to tell you that you're wonderful. So: Liz says you're wonderful.  

Since I didn't feel quite right opening a new thread for that, here's her favorite albums of 2005, which I think adds an overlooked suggestion or three, although not mostly:  

Tori Amos, the Beekeeper
Beck, Guero
Mike Doughty, Haughty Melodic
Dream Theater, Octavarium
Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike
Head of Femur, Hysterical Stars
Kasabian, Kasabian
Kent, Du & Jag Doden
L'Arc-en-Ciel, Awake
Michael Penn, Mr. Hollywood Jr, 1947
Sage Francis, a Healthy Distrust
Shakira, Oral Fixation
System of a Down, Mezmerize
4 December 05 from edward 12
This thread is informing me of the many gaps in my listening this year (much appreciated) so my list will likely change soon, but so far:  

Pipas' Chunnel atumnal
Low's Great destroyer
The Unlovables' Crush, boyfriend, heartbreak
Mountain Goats' Sunset tree
Russian Futurists' Our thickness
The Clientele's Strange geometry
Tori Amos' Beekeeper
Robyn
Tullycraft's Disenchanted hearts unite
Sufjan Steven's Illinoise
Animal Collective's Feels  

Worryingly heavy on the indie. I'm a little surprised no one mentioned the Clientele before me though, i thought it was their strongest effort so far.
3 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 11
Hmm, I like Robyn's "Robotboy", but I'm afraid some of her other songs make me cringe. Funny that iTunes lists the record as having been originally released in 1995.  

I haven't read anything about Wilderness, I just played the samples on iTunes and thought they sounded fantastic. They remind me of something in between Ultrasound and Interpol, or maybe like the Chameleons' music grafted to a male version of Life Without Buildings' vocals.  

I see I have more to investigate, thanks!
3 December 05 from Brian Block 10
Mine, also in a state of presumed flux/revision:  

1. Sage Francis, a Healthy Distrust
2. Ford Pier, Pier-ic Victory
3. System of a Down, Mezmerize
4. Tori Amos, the Beekeeper
5. New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
6. Regina Spektor, Soviet Kitsch  

other candidates alphabetically:  

Aqueduct, I Sold Gold
Architecture in Helsinki, In Case We Die
Beck, Guero
Decemberists, Picaresque
Decomposure, At Home and Unaffected
Dirty Projectors, the Getty Address
Fiery Furnaces, EP
Fluid Ounces, the Whole Shebang
Head of Femur, Hysterical Stars
Low, the Great Destroyer
Mountain Goats, the Sunset Tree
Pedestrian, un-Indian Songs
Robert Plant, Mighty Rearranger
Porcupine Tree, Deadwing
Propagandhi, Potemkin City Limits
Robyn, Robyn
Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
Troubled Hubble, Making Beds in a Burning House  

I'd agree with Ian that Robyn should be right up your alley, glenn. And that of millions of others, in fact - it's pop gloss, but in a form i think you'd enjoy.  

There's a new New Model Army cd? Cool! I'm also expecting dEUS's Pocket Revolution and L'Arc-en-Ciel's Awake to be candidates, but they haven't reached my house.
3 December 05 from Ian Mathers 9
The last time I revised it, it was:  

01. The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
02. Readymade - All The Plans Resting
03. Eluvium - Talk Amongst The Trees
04. Low - The Great Destroyer
05. Sweet Billy Pilgrim - We Just Did What Happened And No-One Came
06. Jesu - Jesu
07. Paavoharju – Yha Hamaraa
08. Ok Go - Oh No
09. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
10. The Russian Futurists - Our Thickness
11. Hood - Outside Closer
12. Robyn - Robyn
13. Elbow - Leaders Of The Free World
14. Magnolia Electric Co. - What Comes After The Blues
15. Engineers - Engineers
16. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
17. Constantines - Tournament Of Hearts
18. Susumu Yokota - Symbol
19. Marianne Faithfull - Before The Poison
20. Teenage Fanclub - Man-Made  

I'm really gratified to see The Sunset Tree turning up in others lists, because everyone should really, no-fooling hear it. Same with Paavoharju, but I can understand people not liking that one more.  

glenn, I think you might really, really enjoy the Robyn record. Can I ask what spurred you to purchase the Wilderness disc so speedily? Nothing I've read has given me even the vaguest sense of what it might sound like.
2 December 05 from Fred von Lohmann 8
A disappointing year, overall, but a strong showing the final months! Here are my contenders, soon to be winnowed to a Top 5:  

The Decemberists, Picaresque (has a lock on #1)
Laura Veirs, Year of Meteors (nearly as good as her 2004 Carbon Glacier)
Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene
American Analog Set, Set Free
Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
Wilco, Kicking Television
ani difranco, Knuckle Down
Beck, Guero
Amadou & Mariam, Dimanche A Bamako
Konono No.1, Congotronics
Bill Frisell, East/West (sorry, glenn, it's jazz)
2 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 1
Excellent! Those lists gave me about 15 I either hadn't heard at all or hadn't really considered, almost all of them available on iTunes for easy sampling. Avec, Bell Orchestre, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Final Fantasy and Maximo Park all survived the initial merciless pass, and I'll go through them again in a couple days and see what I think then. Wilderness I will buy immediately.  

I'm deliberately waiting for the 2006 US releases of the Christine Fellows and Sarah Harmer albums to avoid complicating my 2005 list any further. I might take a chance and hold the new Cardigans album for 2006, too. There's no announced US release yet, but I can't believe "I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer" won't provoke one.  

Some pre-2005 albums I discovered this year that would be on my short list if I didn't stick to release dates:  

The Cardigans: Long Gone Before Daylight (2003)
Darkwell: Metatron (2004)
Lali Puna: Faking the Books (2004)
Magnum: Brand New Morning (2004)
Tegan & Sara: So Jealous (2004)
Amon Tobin: Out From Out Where (2002)
Utada Hikaru: Exodus (2004)
2 December 05 from James 7
I'm at work, so I don't have too much time to produce a thorough list. Off the top of my head:  

Final Fantasy, "Has a Good Home"
The Mountain Goats, "The Sunset Tree"
Boards of Canada, "The Campfire Headphase"
The Books, "Lost and Safe"
LCD Soundsystem, s/t
Spoon, "Gimme Fiction" (I really disliked this album when I first heard it)
Youth Group, "Skeleton Jar"
Shout Out Louds, "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff"
Patrick Wolf, "Wind in the Wires"  

Some albums I just got this year that I really like too:
Joy Division, "Closer"
Interpol, "Antics"
Velvet Underground, "VU"
AIR, "Talkie Walkie" (I'm in love with this album)  

I'm really hoping my copy of Animal Collective's "Feels" comes in soon. Their work has traditionally gone over very well with me.
2 December 05 from jer 6
The contenders:  

Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
Bright Eyes, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
Christine Fellows, Paper Anniversary
The Go! Team, Thunder Lightening Strike
Sarah Harmer, I'm a Mountain
The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree
The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
Michael Penn, Mr. Hollywood Jr, 1947
Regina Spektor, Soviet Kitsch
Stellastarr, Harmonies For The Haunted
Shout Out Louds, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
13 & God, 13 & God
Youth Group, Skeleton Jar  

The last-minute considerations:  

Avec, If I Breathe I Fall Asleep
Final Fantasy, Has a Good Home
New Buffalo, Last Beautiful Day
1 December 05 from Bertson 5
So far, my short list is  

Bloc Party- Silent Alarm
Low- The Great Destroyer
Wedding Present- Take Fountain
Six Organs of Admittance- School of the Flower
Books- Lost and Safe
Sleater-Kinney- The Woods
Andrew Bird- The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Thunderbirds Are Now!- Justamustache
A Silver Mt Zion- Horses In The Sky
Mountain Goats- The Sunset Tree
Maximo Park- A Certain Trigger
Art Brut- Bang Bang Rock N Roll
New Pornographers- Twin Cinema
National- Alligator
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- s/t
Wilderness- s/t
Pernice Brothers- Discover A Lovelier You
You Say Party! We Say Die!- Hit The Floor  

Still to be decided on:
Constantines- Tournament of Hearts
Wolf Parade- Apologies To The Queen Mary
Legends- Public Radio
Tangiers- The Family Myth
1 December 05 from Michael Zwirn 4
My purchasing this year has been very very small in volume and doesn't add a lot to the previous list, but I liked Amy Rigby's Little Fugitive and Chris Whitley's Soft Dangerous Shores quite a bit.
1 December 05 from whalemusic 3
Here's a few suggestions for 3 that I enjoyed this year, glenn. Edited down from a longer list, though I'm sure you'll still have heard some of them.  

A Northern Chorus– Bitter Hands Resign
Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
Bell Orchestre – Recording a Tape the Colour of Light
Luka Bloom – Innocence
British Sea Power – Open Season
The Decemberists – Picaresque
Echo and the Bunnymen– Siberia
Brian Eno – Another Day On Earth
The Fall– Fall Heads Roll
Fembots– The City
Final Fantasy – Has a Good Home
Sarah Harmer - I'm a Mountain
Greg Keelor – Seven Songs for Jim
Joel Plaskett – La De Da
Saint Etienne – Tales from Turnpike House Simple Minds – Black and White 050505
Spoon – Gimme Fiction
Maria Taylor – 11:11
The Violet Archers – The End of Part One
Vitalic - OK Cowboy
Martha Wainwright
Tom Wilson and Bob Lanois – The Shack Recordings, Volume One
Wintersleep – untitled
Patrick Wolf – Wind in the Wires  

Oh, and I guess I could also add Stars Set Yourself On Fire to this list. A 2004 release in Canada but a 2005 release Stateside.
1 December 05 from Scott Parkerson 2
No one told me that the Cardigans were still doing just fine. I may need to obtain Super Extra Gravity. And, I really, really need to get The Beekeeper. For some reason, I never bothered to do so.  

I wish I had some suggestions for part three of your list, but I'm all out of suggestions. I mean, you already covered Kate and Low....
1 December 05 from glenn mcdonald 1
December is List-Making Month (for List Makers, anyway), so today is my traditional first pass through my 2005 album acquisitions to make two of the three lists I will be pondering for the rest of the month: 1) the short list for the best-album top-ten, and 2) albums I need to listen to more before I know if they belong on the first list. Not derivable from my own data is 3) albums from this year that I would love, but haven't heard. So here are 1 and 2, and suggestions for 3 are hereby solicited!  
 

2005 Short List as of December 1  

Amano Tsukiko: A Moon Child in the Sky
Amos, Tori: The Beekeeper
Bettens, Sarah: Scream
Bush, Kate: Aerial
Candlemass: Candlemass
Cardigans, The: Super Extra Gravity
Dream Theater: Octavarium
Fifty Foot Wave: Golden Ocean
Frames, The: Burn the Maps
Gamma Ray: Majestic
Gryner, Emm: Songs of Love and Death
Hatfield, Juliana: Made in China
Heap, Imogen: Speak for Yourself
HIM: Dark Light
Hypocrisy: Virus
Idlewild: Warnings/Promises
Jorane: The You and the Now
Kent: Du & Jag Döden
L'Arc~en~Ciel: AWAKE
Lauper, Cyndi: The Body Acoustic
Low: The Great Destroyer
Lucksmiths, The: Warmer Corners
Spektor, Regina: Soviet Kitsch
Tommy heavenly6: Tommy heavenly6
Tullycraft: Disenchanted Hearts Unite
Waltham: Waltham
Yokota Susumu: Symbol
Zapruder Point: It's Always the Quiet Ones  
 

Still Processing  

a-ha: Analogue
Cale, John: blackAcetate
Fake?: Made With Air
Gackt: Diabolos
Helloween: Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy
Nevermore: This Godless Endeavor
New Model Army: Carnival
Propagandhi: Potemkin City Limits
Spitz: Souvenir
T.M.Revolution: vertical infinity
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