Saturday, 31 December 2005

My Top Albums of 2005

This is something of a tradition for me so please bear with me if you hate music...scratch that, if you hate music then you are sub-human scum and have no place here.

2005 has been a very poor year, especially for guitar based tunes, although with the likes of The Artic Monkeys and Plan B on the 2006 horizon it does bode slightly better. Having said that I heard a preview of The Strokes new album and it was a pile of horseshit.

Their was surprisingly few re-issue highlights in 2005 but the one stand out is a truly exceptional record: Pearl by Janis Joplin. It came out all repackaged and with a bonus disc of live wailing and is a must for anyone wishing to hear the greatest white female voice in Rock and Roll.

Before I lay on you my Top Three Albums of 2005 I have some honourary mentions to make, starting with the last addition to my epic CD collection in 2005: 29 by Ryan Adams, where (in a year of quantity over quality) he hits his stride in a beautiful, understated record. He seems to be in his Dylan phase and the longer he stays there the better.

Speaking of a Dylan phase, Bright Eyes and I'm Awake and it's Morning is another acoustic based winner with wicked lyrics and a sense of political urgency; while Tom Vek's We Have Sound plugs in to the thin, mercury noise of mid-period Dylan and throws in some looped beats and interesting sounds to meld a startling piece of original music.

As for the big hitters, Coldplay (X&Y), Franz Ferdinand (You Could Have it so Much Better) and The White Stripes (Get Behind Me Satan) don't disappoint, maintaining high musical standards in their search for uber-band status; although the samey nature of these albums stops them from being truly great releases; they seem to have stayed within their boundaries somewhat.

Two final shout-outs go to the excellent Mitchell Brothers and A Breath Of Fresh Attire, which although far from perfect is a wonderful slice of London life in an accessible Grime/Hip-Hop format and holds perhaps my favourite song of this year: Alone With The TV and the GLC, who have managed to produce a comedy album as funny as the first and the joke isn't even wearing thin yet: SAFE AS FUCK.

So my Top Three Albums of 2005 are (in no particular order):

  • Kano: Home Sweet Home. Takes the best bits of Grime, the best bits of Hip-Hop, the best bits of just about every other pop music genre and makes an album that should have launched him to worldwide stardom and his flow is fast, furious and beautiful. The fact he is still only slightly famous shows how morally bankrupt the music business is.
  • System of a Down: Mezmerize. Clever heavy metal that draws on a bewildering array of influences and world music styles and leaves SOD as the leading light in heavy metal by a royal mile and the lyrics take on the political issues of the US to boot. Metallica could never make a racket like these guys. Pity Hypnotize wasn't as good...
  • Antony and the Johnsons: I Am A Bird Now. The voice of an angel, mixed with some of the most jaw-dropping lyrics and sweeping, epic soundscapes creates the finest album of 2005.



  1. Top five albums:

    1. Kate Bush - Aerial
    2. Leo Abrahams - Honeytrap
    3. Daniel Lanois - Belladonna
    4. Phil Manzanera - 50 Minutes Later
    5. Steve Hackett - Live Archive 05

    That is all...

  2. I have been so out of touch with recent music except that I once heard Janis Joplin live. She was electric pain. (NOT a negative comment) I really can't say a thing about the rest.

  3. well, happy newyear all.

    it's intresting to know what you listen to, it's a good thing to make big brother feel useless too :) now what they invested millions to know (books you read, music you listen to) is already known to everyone..ain't blogs great?


  4. No offense. I don't think "big brother" gives a rats ass what you think.

  5. Wow, what a list! I'll definately be checking some of them out tomorrow, when I have a little more time to do so. It sounds as if we have very similar musical taste. Happy New Year!!!

  6. Anon: your use of the word Big Brother makes me conclude that you are a tinfoil wearing asshat.

    Seek help now!

  7. How can anyone hate music? They may claim to hate a type of music, "I hate country, hip hop, prog etc..." I think the people that say they hate entire genres are applying their prejudice and fear before hearing it. They are showing their ignorance.

    I can honestly say that I can find examples of music from every genre that I love and examples that I intensely dislike.

    I will give the albums you listed a try. Thanks.

  8. A lot of people don't like black music though Cranky...

  9. I hate to beat an old meme, but anyone who is a fan of rock and roll music is a fan of black music(whatever that means).

  10. I agree, just met plenty of people who don't and are musically poorer because of it.

  11. I was disappointed by Kano's album. I was a big fan of 'Typical Me' and looked forward to the rest of it, but I found the production quite weak and repetitive. For decent UK hip-hop, Roots Manuva beats it hands down.

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