Top 20 of 2005

As a kickoff to this site, I thought I'd give some exciting info that I usually would put on my Web site, just to let you know I mean business. So that info will be my Top CDs for 2005, which I've heard through various online rumors, the blogosphere has been clamoring for:

1 Sufjan Stevens • Illinois
No shock here. I've already slobbered over this CD in various places and very publicly in CiN Weekly, where my recommendation could've gotten you a dollar off the disc! (Sorry this was, like, two months ago now).

2 Kanye West • Late Registration
Seems like I'm always onto new things, but I still go back and listen to this one every once in awhile. These top 2 discs held my attention the longest in 2005...

3 LCD Soundsystem • LCD Soundsystem
My personal favorite dance record of the year.

4 The Decemberists • Picaresque
I couldn't get enough of this CD in mid-2005, saw them live and was very impressed. I went back and picked up the previous Decemberists discs based on how well I liked this one and I was not disappointed...

5 Stephen Malkmus • Face the Music
There were so many good CDs in 2005 that I felt didn't get the kudos they deserved. This one, Low's The Great Destroyer, Edan's Beauty and the Beat and Ladytron's Witching Hour, just to name a few. I honestly think this is S.M.'s best work since Pavement split...

6 The White Stripes • Get Behind Me Satan
I loved this CD. I saw it as a smack in the face to all the mainstream media that supported them through the Elephant phase of their career, but I'm probably being a little dramatic. I liked it better than Elephant, which seems a little overrated to me in retrospect. No one knew what to make of it. Spin gave it a B- or something when it came out, but by the end of the year, it made their "Best of '05" list. Any band that can pull that off is all right in my book...

7 Common • Be
Check out "The Corner," that's all I can say. Perfect combination of soul and hip-hop. Plus, if you can add John Mayer to a song and not get me annoyed, that's a pretty impressive feat.

8 Sleater-Kinney • The Woods
When I first got this CD, I have to admit, I was a little scared of it. Stripped away were the pop sounds of their previous 2 CDs (All Hands On The Bad One and One Beat). This was completely hard rock. Once I made it through a couple of times though, I couldn't stop listening to it...

9 Spoon • Gimme Fiction
Spoon changed their sound a bit with this CD and I think they're all the better for it. I can't tell you how many people were surprised (that would be "good surprised") when I played "I Turn My Camera On" and told them it was Spoon. I think bands that stick around for awhile these days realize reinvention is key (see S-K above too)...

10 Dangerdoom • The Mouse and The Mask
This is the other disc I recommended for CiN Weekly, largely because it's the polar opposite of the serious and, at times, depressing tone of Illinois. The CD is fun, upbeat and funny (albeit in a weird way). It terms of rankings, it always seems that things that move you always beat out things that make you laugh, but I definitely listened to it as much as I listened to Illinois. This is the disc that made me realize MF Doom is a genius...

And the rest...
12 Edan • Beauty and the Beat
13 Low • The Great Destroyer
14 Gorillaz • Demon Days
15 Ladytron • Witching Hour
16 Franz Ferdinand • You Could Have It So Much Better
17 Annie • Anniemal
18 Beck • Guero
19 The Go! Team • Thunder! Lightning! Strike!
20 The Cloud Room • The Cloud Room*

*The 20 spot is always hard for me. It seems like I have 19 CDs that I really like every year and then about 20 others that are good to decent. I selected The Cloud Room based largely on the single (Hey Now Now) and their apparent ability to have crafted an entire album around it. After reading a recent article about how the album came about (and how this may be the last we hear of the Cloud Room), I chose it over good albums by Death Cab, Queens of the Stone Age, Bloc Party, M.I.A., Maxïmo Park and Broken Social Scene...so that explains that.

So there you have it! Wasn't that fun? That's all for my music snobbery today...if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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