A Top 50 Albums Of 2005 List

[i][u]Webmaster’s note (because someone questioned it):[/u] This is Zoheir’s personal list and nothing to do with anyone else on the site. Cheers, Theo.[/i]

Would it be insufferably smug to first re-cap my top 10 for 2004? Ah, what the hell:
1. Arcade Fire – ‘Funeral’
2. The Libertines – ‘The Libertines’
3. Willy Mason – ‘Where The Humans Eat’
4. The Blood Brothers – ‘Crimes’
5. Kanye West – ‘The College Dropout’
6. The Thermals – ‘Fuckin A’
7. The Killers – ‘Hot Fuss’
8. The Concretes – ‘The Concretes’
9. Liars – ‘They Were Wrong, So We Drowned’
10. J.C Chasez – ‘Schizophrenic’

2005 TOP 50:
50. Autechre – ‘Untilted’
49. Alfie – ‘Crying At Teatime’
48. Maria Taylor – ’11:11’
47. Susumu Yokota & Rothko – ‘Distant Sounds Of Summer’
46. Queens Of The Stone Age – ‘Lullabies To Paralyze’
45. The Magic Numbers – ‘The Magic Numbers’
44. John Cale – ‘blackAcetate’
43. Sons And Daughters – ‘The Repulsion Box’
42. Boards Of Canada – ‘The Campfire Headphase’
41. Weezer – ‘Make Believe’
40. Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Employment’
39. Oasis – ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’
38. Death From Above 1979 – ‘You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine’
37. Editors – ‘The Back Room’
36. Mahjongg – ‘Raydoncong 2005’
35. Elbow – ‘Leaders Of The Free World’
34. The Mars Volta – ‘Frances The Mute’
33. Four Tet – ‘Everything Ecstatic’
32. The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower – ‘Love In The Fascist Brothel’
31. Nine Black Alps – ‘Everything Is’
30. LCD Soundsystem – ‘LCD Soundsystem’
29. The Constantines – ‘Tournament Of Hearts’
28. The Locust – ‘Safety Second, Body Last’
27. Sigur Ros – ‘Takk’
26. British Sea Power – ‘Open Season’
25. Kanye West – ‘Late Registration’
24. Shout Out Louds – ‘Howl Howl Gaff Gaff’
23. Joy Zipper – ‘The Heartlight Set’
22. Coldplay – ‘X & Y’
21. M.I.A – ‘Arular’
20. Bloc Party – ‘Silent Alarm’
19. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – ‘Howl’
18. Franz Ferdinand – ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’
17. Art Brut – ‘Bang Bang Rock & Roll’
16. Keren Ann – ‘Nolita’
15. The Cribs – ‘The New Fellas’
14. The Rakes – ‘Capture / Release’
13. Cut Copy – ‘Bright Like Neon Love’
12. Hard-Fi – ‘Stars Of CCTV’
11. Test Icicles – ‘For Screening Purposes Only’

10. Antony & The Johnsons – ‘I Am A Bird Now’
For once believe the hype: the voice is stunning and coupled with such disarmingly personal material, the effect is heartbreaking. Also the third great Mercury Award winner in a row (what is the world coming to?!! etc etc).

09. Kano – ‘Home Sweet Home’
Comparisons with Jay-Z of all people hold up on the East London MC’s debut album, a witty yet un-compromising record as in love with Black Sabbath as it was with council estate grime, and all the better for it’s welcoming of the likes of both Mike Skinner and Paul Epworth.

08. Madonna – ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’
Both a glorious nod to the past, yet firmly of the 21st century ‘Confessions…’ was streamlined and clinical to within an inch of its life, state-of-the-art house sounding expensive, tasteful and thrilling. A magnificent kick to the nether regions of modern dance music

07. We Are Scientists – ‘With Love And Squalor’
‘With Love And Squalor’ will be the soundtrack to a thousand (as their hilarious website says) “lucid, discerning people with amazing taste and salacious physiques” meeting over packed indie-club dancefloors around the country. It’s the album you drunkenly eulogise about to your friends on the night bus home, the sort of urgent, achingly poignant record people wait ages to hear.

06. The White Stripes – ‘Get Behind Me Satan’
There’s a simple reason why The White Stripes keep getting better and better when all around them their equally-huge peers flounder under the weight of lacklustre new material: Jack and Meg White, un-afraid to push their songwriting in new directions, release ‘Get Behind Me Satan’, a virtually guitar-less record yet paradoxically the best album of their career, an instant classic touched by the hands of country, soul, funk and fucking great pop songs. Okay, so they make it seem simple.

05. Gang Gang Dance – ‘God’s Money’
Channelling the spirit of Public Image Limited far better than any other band we’ve heard in ages, ‘God’s Money’ was the hypnotic, instantly danceable, creepy head-fuck of a record that Kate Bush should have made. Apparently amazing live, New York’s Gang Gang Dance have crafted a record that will still sound sublime in ten years time, when every new hipster act will be loudly ringing their praises.

04. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – ‘Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’
The experimental spirit of Talking Heads, the voice of a rapturous Thom Yorke and the emotional purity of Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s self-titled debut, famous already for being hand-posted to 25,000 internet-savvy music fans, simply needs to be heard by the 5.975 billion-odd yet to be seduced by it’s staggeringly heart-rending charms. (Apologies for the crap maths)

03. Gorillaz – ‘Demon Days’
Not only did ‘Demon Days’ feature the two most perfectly-formed singles of the year in ‘Feel Good Inc’ and ‘Dare’, it stood as the most inventive and delightfully-made record bar none, stuffed with everything from children’s choirs to a Dennis Hopper narration. An absolute masterclass in audio production, music videos, and rehabilitating Shaun Ryder.

02. Babyshambles – ‘Down In Albion’
2005 could have been the year Pete Doherty died. In many ways it was: drug scandals, broken bodies, supermodel affairs and cancelled gigs pushed him, in the eyes of many, out of the squalid poet-laurete-of-a-generation corner that he’s occupied since The Libertines’ emergence in 2002 and into the altogether nastier glare of intense tabloid speculation. Yet when Babyshambles’ debut finally arrived it was with the quiet thump of redemption: frequently beautiful and never less than absoulutely compelling, ‘Down In Albion’ laid bare Doherty’s frustrations, his dreams and his, still unsurpassed, prowess with a battered acoustic and a gin-soaked voice.

01. Bright Eyes – ‘I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning’ / ‘Digital Ash In A Digital Urn’
Arguably the greatest songwriter in America today, Conor Oberst’s ‘conventional’ release for 2005, ‘I’m Wide Awake…’ would, by itself, be a near shoe-in for any end of year lists. Quintessential Bright Eyes, it’s intimate moments were heart-stoppingly gorgeous, a thousand hearts breaking in the spaces between each trembling, cracked vocal, while when Conor (who is vehemently anti-Bush) was angry, as on the gloriously righteous ‘Road To Joy’ (“We’re going to make them goddamn certain it was going to end”), it was with such trademark passion that it made you pray for just one well deserved and clinical assassination.
And yet ‘Digital Ash…’ (released on the same day back in January) was if anything, better. Although still recognisably Bright Eyes, no longer were the songs cushioned by acoustic guitar and country rock traditions. Instead came synth-pop, alien electronics, and on the opening ‘Time Code’, drums that escaped from the last Nine Inch Nails release. More than a curious experiment, on ‘Digital Ash…’ Conor brought warmth, poetry and songs about vomiting to laptops.
A striking, intense and precocious talent, long may he reign.

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17 Responses to A Top 50 Albums Of 2005 List

  1. Theo Graham-Brown says:

    Jesus man…

    Babyshambles at number 2. What the fuck?

    Coldplay and Oasis? In any top list? I think you need to do three things:
    1) Buy some lighter fuel
    2) Spray over your CD collection
    3) Ignite

    As to 2004…I’m very dubious. You need to find some much better albums. Much better. Mclusky should have been there at number 1 for starters.

    I’m off to be violently sick.

    TheoGB webmaster@iShotTheDeputy.com

  2. Zoheir Beig says:

    Woo! Heaven forbid anyone should have a different taste 🙂 Far be it from me to get into a playground-esque slanging match over bands, but…actually damn, because Mclusky are pretty ace. Care to share your genius (obviously) musical finds of the year?
    P.S Check out a band called Arctic Monkeys everyone, they rock.

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