December 16, 2005

Top 11 Albums of 2005

In a weird freaky coincidence, Nat decided to do a little CD post at his blog too. I was walking home today and was all like "I think I'll do a Top 10 albums thing". And lo and behold here it is. I decided to 11 though cause i couldn't stop at 10.

11. Missy Elliot, The Cookbook

Less imediately rap and hip-hop filled as it is an instantaneously a butt-shaking good time! And way to go on recruiting M.I.A. for a guest spot.
Choice Cuts: "Bad Man", "Lose Control", "We Run This", "Can't Stop" and "Party Time".

10. Sarah Blasko, The Overture and the Underscore

The only Australian entry on the list. Blasko is a true talent and this is her first album. Was cruely swept under the run because of the similar (yet ultimately inferior) Missy Higgins. One moment blissfully pop, the next sublimely erotic and dramatic.
Choice Cuts: "Don't U Eva", "Always Worthy It", "Sweetest November", "At Yer Best" and "All Coming Back"
Honourary Mention: Produced two stellar cover versions that appeared on other albums in 2005. Her absolutely MASTERFUL version of Cold Chisel's ace "Flame Trees" was truly one of the most haunting and beautiful songs of the year, and it appeared on the Little Fish soundtrack. Her swell interpretation of legend's Crowded House' "Don't Dream It's Over" appeared on She Will Have Her Way: The Songs of Tim and Neil Finn - an entire album of their songs redone by female vocalists.

9. Sufjan Stevens, Come On! Feel The Illinoise!

Strange and bizarre but beautifully crafted and sublime. I can't really describe it, but would you expect from an album that has a a song name "The Black Hawk War or, How to Demolish and Entire Civilisation and Still Feel Good About Youself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, "I Have Fought the Big Knives and will continue to fight them until they..."

Choice Cuts: "Black Hawk War", "Come On! Feel The Illinoise!", "John Wayne Gacy Jr", "They Are Night Zombies!" and "Out Of Egypt, Into The Great Laugh Of Mankind..."

8. Goldfrapp, Supernature

Ooh, baby. Is Alison Goldfrapp sexy or what? That voice just melts over these delicious dance tunes. Ooh la la indeed.
Choice Cuts: "Koko", "Ooh La La", "Ride A White Horse", "Number 1", "Lovely 2 C U" and "You Never Know"

7. Kanye West, Late Registration

As much fun as the album is the main reason it is on here is for one of the greatest uses of sampling I've ever come across. "Diamonds From Seirra Leone" uses that great lady of music, Shirley Bassey and her "Diamonds Are Forever" theme song, to create one of the best songs of the year.
Choice Cuts: "Diamonds From Seirra Leone", "Gold Digger", "Bring Me Down", "Touch The Sky", "Roses" and "Crack Music"

6. Doves, Some Cities

Blistering rock. This is music that soars and I can't put it any simpler. It just builds until those big guitars come in and its home free.
Choice Cuts: "Black and White Town", "Snowden", "Sky Starts Falling", "Shadows of Salford" and "Some Cities"

5. Alexandre Desplat, OST BIRTH

Okay, the movie was released HERE in 2005 as was the sountrack. And wow, what a soundtrack. Definitely one of my favourite scores of all time I just can't get enough of it. It works because when I hear it it literally does take me back the movie and the individual scenes they correlate to. Brilliant.
Choice Cuts: "Prologue", "The Letter", "Day Out", "The Rendez-vous", "My Dead Husband", "Timpani" and "Elegy"

4. Martha Wainwright, Martha Wainwright

This album hit me like no other. These songs are just great, and they are filled with such excellent lyrics and Martha's voice rips through them like nobody else could. And whoever "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole" is about should be scared. very scared.
Choice Cuts: "These Flowers", "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole", "Ball & Chain", "Factory", "GPT", "When The Day Is Short" and "Far Away"

3. M.I.A., Arular

I was not expecting this. At times this is THE dance album of the year (yes, even moreso than a certain other one). However, a few more songs and few less "skits" would've definitely made this album of the year material. Political message or not, you can't deny this is brlistering music. I'd love to say this was the future of music... i hope it is.
Choice Cuts: "10 $", "Fire Fire", "Amazon", "Bucky Done Gun", "Galang", "Sunshowers", "Hombre" and "U.R.A.Q.T."

2. Madonna, Confessions on a Dance Floor

Uh-huh. Only Number 2. I am adament that this album is brilliant. Just brilliant. It makes me wanna get up and dance (for inspiration) and if I can't do that then I'll dance in my head. Great pop hooks attached to awesome dance riffs. And who cares if there are more songs about Madonna being Madonna when they're as good as the ones on here?! And I don't think anyone denies the pop brilliance of "Hung Up" - much like Kanye's "Diamond's From Seirra Leone", it perfectly uses a sample (the still ace sounding Abba's "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)" and makes it it's own. "Get Together" is just simply done dance, but done so well. "Sorry" introduces us to one of Madge's best (the best?) hooks (the "Sorry/I've Heard It All Before" repeated line), "Future Lovers" recalls Music's bonkers "Paradise (Not For Me) and "I Love New York", while featuring stupid lyrics, has a "play it LOUD" mentality that I can't ignore. I personally blame this album for ruining my hearing in the coming months as it will definitely be on repeat. I need to play it at full volume to get the full effects of it's brilliance. Not to mention ace tracks like "Isaac", "Let It Will Be" and "Forbidden Love". And whose idea was it to sample Madonna's own "Frozen" on "Push". Brilliance.

1. The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

The album with the most *snickersnicker* cover design - Jack and Meg standing back-to-back with an arm behind each other pointing at the other, while Meg holds an apple in front. It also includes some of the greatest music of the year. Extremely hard-to-take for more mainstream rock induced people, the album is imagination galore - "The Nurse" and "Forever For Her (Is Over For Me) perfectly combine an xilophone verse with a guitar/drum chorus), "Take, Take, Take" is oldschool perfection that even references to Rita Hayworth, "Little Ghost" and "I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet) is Jack continuing his Cold Mountain country twang, "Blue Orchid" is traditional grandstanding rock, "Denial Twist" again merges fun vocals and deep drums and guitars while "Red Rain" is just LOUDLOUDLOUD in the best possibly way. And a lot of the tracks mix what they already have with near-haunting piano. Almost too simply done piano, but it works all the same.

While not as immediate as, say, their previous album Elephant, this one slowly reveals itself as one of the greatest albums of the last few years.

While #1 and #2 should be tied, i decided to make White Stripes #1 because I think when they're talking about music 30 years in the future Get Behind Me Satan will figure prominantly as one of those "artist goes experimental" albums that everyone talks about.

Honourary Mentions: Kate Bush (Aerial), Sugababes (Taller In More Ways), Mariah Carey (The Emancipation of Mimi), Wolfmother (Wolfmother), Natalie Imbruglia (Counting Down The Days, Mylo (Destroy Rock & Roll), James Blunt (Back to Bedlam), Imogen Heap (Speak For Yourself), Feeder (Pushing The Senses), Various (OST Brokeback Mountain), The Chemical Bros. (Push The Button) and Antony & the Johnsons (I Am A Bird Now)

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