Añejo Mockingbird

Used to be this place was mostly about music and pop culture, but it's slowly morphed into a launching pad for finding our foster greyhounds new homes. So be it. We love the hounds and are more than happy to use our modest little blog page to reach out and snag some attention for these greyt dogs... Oh, we'll still post the occasional odd music review or rant at the state of the Redskins from time to time, but they'll hafta take a back seat to the dogs 'til further notice

Location: Pennsylvania, United States

Music geek who appreciates everything from power-pop to indie-rock and most everything in between. I especially dig Reggae and its predecessor, Ska.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Best Music Of 2005

Yeah, I'm a few days late. I submitted a "best of" music story over at Plastic and didn't have enough time to do it here, 'til now. And in another time-saving gesture, I'm copying my post from the thread. Ah, the virtue of laziness!
My top 25 picks:
25. Doves - Some Cities. Another solid album of dreamy Britpop.
24. The Shout Out Louds - Howl, Howl, Gaff, Gaff. Good, solid, unpretentious rock-n-roll from Sweden (I think)
23. The Decemberists - Picaresque. A good album, but one that left me slightly underwhelmed. Seemed like they were trying just a bit too hard...
22. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak. Less southern and more soulful than its predecessor - a surprisingly entertaining & coherent album considering that you can barely understand the lyrics.
21. Kaiser Chiefs - Employment. Lotta fun, this album is. Very bouncy.
20. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema. This one made my list mostly because there are a handful of awesome singles on it, but I was very disappointed by it, overall. For me, their first two albums are much better.
19. The Russian Futurists - Our Thickness. Catchy, electro-pop by the one-man-band that can, and does, move you.
18. Tall Grass Captains - She Moved Through. Throwback guitar pop a la Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe.
17. Ash - Meltdown. Released in '04 in the UK, this was finally released this year with little fanfare. Too bad, 'cuz it's a great album. Catchy rock with the guitars getting a metal-esque sheen. Big-time sounding arena rock - the Foo fighters wish they could make an album this good.
16. The Click Five - Greetings From Imrie House. My guiltiest pleasure of the last year. Pure power-pop sugar. Ridiculously catchy. If you liked The Knack's debut album (from way back when), you oughtta like this.
15. The A-Sides - Hello, Hello. Beatle-esque pop from Philadelpia. Pays tribute to '60's pop without sounding derivative. Very solid album.
14. The Orange Peels - Circling The Sun. Summery pop music from the folks at Parasol. Played this one a lot at poolside this Summer.
13. Black Mountain - S/T. Sexed up stoner rock. Kinda/sorta. Sabbath, Zep, and various others from the '70s are referenced on this disc.
12. The Happy Bullets - The Vice And Virtue Ministry. Giddy lit-pop that outdoes the Decemberists. Seriously, this is the record that the Decemberists should've released.
11. System of a Down - Mezmerize. Truly a bizarro, kinetic, frenetic, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fusion of metal and Armenian folk music that goes all over the map, yet still manages to stay focused and slay everything in its twisted path! Best metal/hard rock disc of the year.
10. Stubbs The Zombie - V/A (Soundtrack). Various alt-rockers take on tunes from the '50's (mostly) for this soundtrack for a video game. Endlessly fun!
9. M.I.A. - Arular. Sri Lankan hip-hop extravaganza! Best hip-hop/electronic/whatever album of the year. She's got a very unique vocal style that almost sounds perfect for the beats on this album. Well worth checking out if you're into adventurous music.
8. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary. Much-hyped Canadian band lives up to all the glowing accolades with a great mix of Modest Mouse-inspired rock. And indeed, Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock was at the helm or the recording of this album.
7. Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy. Black-hearted, alt-countryish album of dark, engaging tunes. This is one of those albums that grows better with each listen.
6. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Forget the haters that dismiss Conor Oberst - the man can, and does, write some amazing songs. This is a great album that features Emmylou Harris guesting on vocals with the man-child who gets all the Dylan comparisons. There are some absolutely gorgeous songs on this album of gothic Americana. Ignore it at your own peril.
5. The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers. Pure pop bliss. Hooks and harmonies galore. This is timeless, classic stuff.
4. Spoon - Gimme Fiction. Perfect, highly textured, indie-pop. Layer upon layer of interesting sonics. There's some killer singles on this album, too.
3. The Tah-Dahs - Le Fun. Witty, clever pop that sometimes blisters your ears with its ferocity. Killer fucking hooks are all over this album. I took a flyer on this after reading the Coke Machine Glow review and downloading the available track, and I'm damned glad that I did. If you like Ted Leo, The Pixies, and Husker Du/Bob Mould then this disc should be right up your alley.
2. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois. This album deserves every freakin' good word written about it. A terrific, terrific album.
1. The Earlies - These Were The Earlies. Dreamy, psychedelic indie-pop. Originally released last year in the UK, it got its proper U.S. release earlier this year, which is a good thing for those not willing to shell out for the import price. Anyhow, there is a ton of stuff going on and swirling around on this album. This album touches on everything from the Beach Boys to the Flaming Lips, yet doesn't really sound like any of them. There is no filler on this disc, which mangaes the neat trick of being instantly accessible, while revealing new layers and growing deeper every time you listen to it. As you might expect, it's a super headphone album, too. My absolute favorite album this year! If you like the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Grandaddy, Spiritualized, or My Morning Jacket* you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

*Haven't heard their latest yet if you're wondering why it didn't make this list. Also haven't heard latest discs from The White Stripes, Clap your Hands Say Yeah, The Mountain Goats and several others who may or may not've made the list...
In this day and age, anyone who says that there's no good music out there isn't trying very hard. It was a fine year for tuneage, and I'm looking forward to next year's albums already!


Blogger Tim said...

As usual, too many of my best discoveries this year were last year's release. (Seems to be the way since I hit my 30s ...)

It's almost cheating, but I'd maintain that the best damn album I heard this year was The Killers' special-edition re-release of Hot Fuss. Granted, I generally called shenanigans on Plasticons who put a reissue on the list, but all three bonus tracks were so super tasty ... so there you are.

What of Death Cab for Cutie's Plans? Didn't buy or not a fan?

Also pretty darn good '05ers, imho: Fall Out Boy, From Under the Cork Tree; Feist, Let It Die; The Fray, How To Save A Life. Probably a bunch of others that don't come to mind right now.

Will have to do a list once I've surmounted the holidays. The good thing about having a blog is that I don't have to worry about the Plastic story being un-commentable after a few days.


9:54 PM  
Blogger J.P. said...

What of Death Cab for Cutie's Plans? Didn't buy or not a fan?

Didn't buy it. Wanted to get it, but somehow just never got around to it. Damn my limited supplies of time & money!
Wanted to comment at your blog but didn't seem to be able to without a Xanga membership. And yeah I was too lazy to register. I'll have another crack at it later.

4:39 PM  

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