BEST OF 2005 LIST
THE MAGIC NUMBERS - THE MAGIC NUMBERS (Heavenly)
This one I just played more than anything else throughout the year. I originally thought it was just OK, then it just kept getting better and better. 'Long Legs' was the song that pulled me in, but it was 'I See You, You See Me' that crushed me. I remember first seeing these guys play in Camden with FILM SCHOOL at the Barfly, thought they were pretty cool, but kinda hippie.
THE REST OF THE TOP 10: (In alphabetical order)
DEVANDRA BANHART - CRIPPLE CROW (Beggars/XL)
I've been a fan of Devandra's since way back (check your early Future Sounds- San Francisco guy), but I was beginning to think that this neo-folk trend was getting over-hyped, so I was already a tough critic when receiving this CD. I can't believe I doubted him, this record is completely refreshing, with more imagination than most bands or artists will ever turn in. It's a head trip, for sure, but gorgeous, sad and downright horrible (in a good way) at times. Songs like 'Heard Somebody Say' and 'Long Haired Child' are my favorites, but the whole thing, all 22 songs are incredible.
BLOC PARTY - SILENT ALARM (Vice)
OK, so they got over-exposed, not their fault. Just a UK band trying to break America, something very few are able to do, mostly because they don't put the time in here. Not the case with these guys, they paid the road dues. Hard to argue a record that contains songs like 'Hellicopter', 'Like Eating Glass', 'Banquet', 'She's Hearing Voices', and 'So Here We Are'. Deep pockets indeed.
DOVES - SOME CITIES (Capitol Records)
I've always been a fan of DOVES, but I've always thought they put together albums that were half full, but on their third full length, they nailed it! The song 'Black & White Town' owned me for months, while tracks like 'Snowden', 'Almost Forgot Myself' and the brilliant 'The Storm' proved that this band is in full control.
DAVID HOPKINS - AMBER & GREEN (Reekus Records)
I don't care if anyone suspects me of playing favorites, I challenge anyone that hasn't heard David's record to play it all the way through and then put on your favorite album and tell me straight-faced, song for song, that their's is better. This is like a greatest hits album and it's only his debut. Already with two Top 40 hits in 4 months in Ireland, just wait until it reaches our shores in 2006.
KONONO NR1 - CONGOTRONICS (Crammed Discs)
Now, my little brother is the world music expert, I generally like it, but am anxious to get back to rock and roll. This time, I was absolutely floored when I first played Congotronics! I haven't been this moved by something worldly since the first time I heard FELA KUTI. This is music from the Congo, and it's outstanding.
MY MORNING JACKET- Z (ATO Records)
AMAZING! I actually was worried that they couldn't top 2003's 'It Still Moves' or even really get close, especially since they lost key band members. Then Jim James and Co. answered with this album, and after hearing 'Off The Record' alone, I was hooked. A flawless record.
THE NATIONAL - ALLIGATOR (Beggars Banquet)
Anyone that's been with FUTURE SOUNDS for awhile, should know my loyalty to this band. This fall, I got the pleasure of going on the road with them (sort of, with FILM SCHOOL on tour with The National) and got to hear this album come alive each night and get to know them. A great bunch of guys that created an album that only gets better each time you play it.
ROGUE WAVE - DECENDED LIKE VULTURES (Sub Pop Records)
Here's another Bay Area band that I've always loved and raved about through FUTURE SOUNDS. Their sophmore record takes over from where 'Out Of The Shadow' left off - in top form. Tracks like '10:1', 'California', 'Publish My Love' and 'Love's Lost Guarantee' string together a bullet-proof record. Zach Rogue is clearly an important songwriter that is hugely under-appreciated.
THE WHITE STRIPES - GET BEHIND ME SATAN (V2 Records)
Here's another one that I thought would just mail it in and we'd be looking forward to Jack's new project. Instead, after all the hype and magazine covers have passed, what remains is a damn good record, AGAIN. That damn song, 'My Doorbell' had to be the most played track on my Ipod forever. I have to give credit where it is due, great record.
BEST OF 2005 #11-20
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - FEELS (Fat Cat)
ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS - I AM A BIRD NOW (Secretly Canadian)
DEAD MEADOW - FEATHERS (Matador Records)
DEPECHE MODE - PLAYING THE ANGEL (Mute)
RICHARD HAWLEY - COLES CORNER (Mute)
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (DFA)
DAMIEN MARLEY - WELCOME TO JAMROCK (Universal)
NADA SURF - THE WEIGHT IS A GIFT (Barsuk)
SHE WANTS REVENGE - SHE WANTS REVENGE (Geffen Records)
STARS - SET YOURSELF ON FIRE (Arts & Crafts)
Spoon, Black Mountain, Dungon, The Gris Gris, KaiserChiefs, Amadou & Mariam, M.I.A., Broadcast and Bettye Lavette.