Yeah, it's that time of year again, where you have to sit down and make up a list of what you thought were the "BEST OF THE YEAR" in music and TV and movies and blah blah blah...and don't act like you don't. It's the fucking law, dammit.

Anyway, there are still a few movies I've yet to see (SYRIANA, KING KONG, MUNICH) so the movie one will have to wait, but I'm pretty sure I've gotten all the music I needed for 2005 thus far, so without further ado...

(some of these might not have come OUT in 2005, but since I bought them this year, they count so shut it...)

True, this DID just come out like a week ago, but it's got a lot of decent tracks on there. The version of "Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd" alone is worth the price of the album. Plus, you get 2 CDs and 1DVD all for under $15. Not too shabby. I know some of you are holding your noses going, "Ew, Dave Maaaaaaaathews?!" But if you haven't listened to any of his albums or ONLY heard the shit singles that have been overplayed on the radio, you might want to give this live record a shot. They do an amazing cover of The Zomibes "Time of the Season" and have plenty of old favorites like "Say Goodbye" on there as well.

This is a case of falling in love with a song on a mix CD and buying the entire album because of it. I love that...when it works out. When you end up buying the whole album and then discover the ONE SONG was all that was decent...that sucks. Luckily Jose Gonzalez is truly talented and VENEER is one of my favorite picks of the year. It's so simple and spacous and quiet. Elliot Smith without the feeling of "Man, this guy is fucking depressed." Go download songs like "Heartbeats" or "Crosses" off iTunes and you'll be forced to buy the whole thing too. Suckers.

This one is tied for my absolute favorite record of the year. It's flawless. It's so full of energy and rawness...I love every second of it! These girls are ROCK GODS. If this world was fair, High School girls would laugh Kelly Clarkson and Ashlee Simpson and their "rawkness" off the airwaves and worship real women rockers. They don't take any shit, have an amazing sense of style and attitude and best of all, DON'T SUCK! I dare you to listen to "Rollercoaster" and not fall in love. This is a must buy, folks.

Another band that just keeps getting better. This one is nearly flawless. I have a feeling their next album will be the greatest thing ever. Songs like "I Summon You" are signs of something big around the corner. You can't write songs that catchy unless you're planning on taking over the world. You all have been warned.

Another perfect live album. Okay the Dave Matthews one isn't perfect, but this one is damn close. True, a lot of the songs selected here are "later-album-heavy" but c'mon, they're still damn good people! Lucinda is just the ragged, worn down voice you need at the end of a hard day's work. Or whenever you get the feeling to have a "tear in your beer." You cannot escape the saddness of songs like "Lonely Girls" or "Blue" or "Those Three Days" and honestly, you wouldn't want to. These are such powerful, raw, and emotional songs of getting your heart broken...you might just want to end your own relationship just so you can shout "PREACH IT SISTER!" to the cd player.

I was always a big SOUL COUGHING fan, so when they broke up in 1998, I was skeptical if anything they ever released solo would match the effort they were able to produce as a group. Mike has not only outdone himself with his debut on a major label, but I really enjoy this approach more than the "Hip Crazy Noises in the Background Thing" that Soul Couching made famous. Just use a guitar and some sweet lyrics and I'll be happy. Songs like "Sunken Eyed Girl" do just that.

It took many listens before I fully appreciated this album. I must admit, at first listen, I was like "This is it?!" But now I can listen to the entire thing straight through and enjoy it. REEEEEEALLY enjoy it. Sure it's not nearly as heavy as "WITH TEETH" makes it sound, but that's cool. It takes some chances. It uses restraint. It builds up and strips down the sounds all within a single song. You can't truly get a read on what direction Trent was wanting to take this record. And I like that. Songs like "Only" take me all the way back to PRETTY HATE MACHINE and I can't wait to see where he takes us next.

Such an amazing record. I must have listened to this thing like 50 times this year. I love everything about it.

tied with SLEATER-KINNEY for record of the year. I've listened to this one the most, but dammit, I love my rocker chicks. This thing just hit me like a ton of bricks. Out of nowhere I hear "In This Home On Ice" and I'm instantly hooked. Some might say they're just a freakier version of The Talking Heads, but I don't care. They're hypnotic and I can't quit listening to the sounds they make. Easily the one CD I cannot take out of my car. It's a damn shame the thing is only 30 minutes long too...I barely can get to work that fast and have to relisten to a track or two over again. Someone tell them to make the next one 40 minutes...you heard me...

And there you have it. I'm sure I left a few things off here and there, but off the top of my head and glancing through iTunes, this is what I came up with. I'm interested in seeing your picks. And listening to Jamie shit all over mine.


Rob Schamberger said...

I'll have to second you on the Lucinda Williams and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Lucinda's 'Joy' just hits that emotional trueness that's so rare anymore.

My favorites this year, besides those two:

Ray LaMontagne: Trouble
Josh Rouse: Nashville
Kanye West: Late Registration
Common: Be
West Indian Girl (Self-titled? I forget)
David Bowie: David Live (Re-release that came out this year)
Ben Folds: Songs For Silverman (I know, I lose all of my cred for liking this, but it's a very genuine album)
North Mississippi Allstars: Hill Country Review (I know, it probably came out last year, but I got it this year. Maybe my favorite live recording ever.)
North Mississippi Allstars: Electric Blue Watermelon

Jason Arnett said...

Well, I'm not nearly hip enough to be in this crowd, but I really love the latest Depeche Mode record, the new Fiona Apple is challenging and worth repeated listenings, and I played the Offspring's Greatest Hits into the ground when I bought that.

Everything else I've bought this year has been very, very old and no one but me wants to listen to it.


Travis said...

Rob, you lose no cred with me for liking Ben Folds. I enjoyed his latest studio album, but felt some of his previous cuts off the online-only EP's were much better.

Jason, you are very, very old. :P

Jason Arnett said...

And my insurance is very, very good.