I think most of you will agree with me when I say that 2005 was an interesting year ("Interesting" meaning "fucked up"). Now I can't speak for everyone (except the mutes and maybe some of the deafs), but for me personally, these were the records that shaped 2005. Not only providing a soundtrack, but carrying things along, inspiring us, and hopefully getting us into a bit of trouble along the way.
So here they are.
They are in no specific order.
(Of course they are.)
They are not.
• Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
This album is sprawling and gigantic, a million shiny hooks happily drowning beneath a tsunami of beautiful, churning noise. Complicated and dense yet still utterly appealing, It's an absolute mess and it works perfectly.
• Burdocks - What we do is Secret
With taut, charging rhythms, impossibly charming melodies and jerky, angular guitar work, these songs are scrappy, caffeinated and catchier than the avian flu. Vote Burdocks.
• Stephen Malkmus - Face the Truth
Steve Malkmus is a weird guy, and it's never been more apparent than on this album. These songs are all over the map, ranging from synth-y dance experiments to extended guitar jams to twinkling balladry and folk-infused indie rock. Yet it's still unmistakably Malkmus.
And unmistakably great.
• Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Not only the biggest and loudest rock album of the year, but the biggest and loudest rock album IN years. Sleater-Kinney have cranked this puppy to 11 and sent everyone else packing.
Here they are. Rock you like a hurricane.
• Blood on the Wall - Awesomer
Awesomer than what? Than most other albums this year. I'm not even sure why I find these sloppy little rock songs so endearing. probably because they make it sound so easy.
• Beck - guero
Mr. Hansen is back with another loot bag full of random pop-culturalisms and here-and-there musical inclinations, meshing it all together with his usual panache. He manages to sound very much like the Beck of yesteryear, but a little older, a little wiser; a twinge of maturity rearing its head through the junkyard riffage and whiteboy funk. His best album? No. An f-ing great album? Hell yes.
• Kiss Me Deadly - Misty Medley
Jittery and nervous, but as inviting and seductive as a geisha made of silk. The sublimely dance-y rhythms and percolating beats keep things moving along nicely, and vocalist Emily Elizabeth's breathy sqeal makes it sound as if she's sitting in your lap, quickly running out of oxygen but having way too much fun making you blush and squirm.
• Lightning Bolt - Hypermagic Mountain
This record is an absolute menace. Played loud it's the aural equivalent of rolling down a jagged mountain on fire and on drugs during an earthquake and loving every second. And when that really happens to you, you'll say the same thing you said the first time you heard this album. "This is fucking awesome."
• The Kills - No Wow
Not so much love songs as they are songs about the nuclear fallout that can accompany love when it all goes sour. Stark, sexy and sometimes jarring, these songs absolutly seethe with paranoia and betrayal. But they still kinda wanna do you.
• DangerDoom - The Mouse and the Mask
What's this? A hip hop album that's actually fun? In the era of bling-blang and G-Unit faux-gangsta bullshit? Who could have done this? Only MF Doom. With a little help from Danger Mouse. (And a little more from Master Shake, Meatwad, the Mooninites, etc). Danger's bouncy old school beats are a perfect counterpart for Doom's brilliant/nonsense flow. I also enjoy all the Adult Swim samples, (because I'm a giant nerd). Funny how an album with a dozen late night cartoon characters running all over it can turn out to be the least bullshit hip hop record of the year.
Dog Day - Thank you EP
SS Cardiacs - Fear the Love
Ladytron - Witching Hour
Sharp Like Knives - No Pressure
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Public Enemy - Power to the People and the Beats
Sonic Youth - Goo: Deluxe Edition
Best Remix Album:
Beck - Guerolito
Best Album That Didn't Actually Come Out In 2005:
Triumph - progressions of power