My Top 10 of '05 (Well... the first half that is...)
So here ya go, my top 10 of the first of '05:
10. Crooked Fingers - Dignity and Shame
While this record is melodically kind of dark, it's very beautiful and hopeful at the same time. Definitely the best effort by these guys. The title track is excellent.
9. Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
Yea, I know, it's more of that "new-wave" revival shit right? Well, not really. These songs are just pretty damn good, regardless of their musical style. A Certain Trigger is a lot better then anything The Futureheads or The Killers are offering. "Graffiti" and "Apply Some Pressure" are great listens.
8. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
I can't really say anything bad about this album. Just go check it out. Standout tracks are "I Summon You" (another one of my favorites this year) and "Sister Jack."
7. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah! - Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah
As I said in yesterday's post, these guys are the real deal. The only thing keeping them out of my top 3 is the occasional down spot on their S/T debut. It's really damn good nonetheless. Make sure you check out "Is This Love?" as it's one of my favorite songs released this year.
6. The Decemberists - Picaresque
Overall just an amazing album that fails to have any standout moments. It's more classic Decemberists. Her Majesty is still my favorite by these guys, but this has swooped in close behind. "Engine Driver" and "We Both Go Down Together" are the standouts.
5. Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
Indie/Pop at it's best. The songs are catchy as hell and sincere to boot. Another great album from this wonderful band. Check out "Reunion" and "Set Yourself on Fire."
4. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
Easily Conor Oberst's best album. I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning is a quiet and honest folk album. "First Day of My Life" and "Road to Joy" should be checked out.
3. The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
Not my favorite Mountain Goats album, but it's hard to live up to Tallahassee in my mind. It is, however, more classic John Darnielle, which is a great thing. Check out "This Year" and "Love, Love, Love."
2. Antony and the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
Some may be turned off by his trembling voice, but underneath is a album full of great and classic songs paying homage to the great blues/jazz albums of the past while incorporating a style very much his own . "Hope There's Someone" is easily the standout track.
1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
I'm guessing this one stays up here for the rest of the year. It's beautiful and sincere. Yes, melodically and structurally it is very similar to Greetings From Michigan, but I'm sure as hell not gonna say that's a bad thing. Highlights include "Chicago" and "The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Me."