Thursday, December 29, 2005

Music - Favourite albums of 2005

Here is my personal favourite list of albums in 2005. It was not the perfect year for me to be up to date with new releases, but I tried as best as I could:

1. Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

One of the most unconventional and most courageous intros of great albums, followed by 10 breathtaking indie/folk/Americana songs. Conor Oberst established himself as one of the greatest artists of our times. Songwriting and musical implementation were of such outstanding quality that with first listening to the album there was no doubt: A classic.

2. Adam Green: Gemstones

A nonchalant-animated rollercoaster ride of intello-pop. 15 songs in 30 minutes. Ideas of lyrics and melody to abound, rapid speed and dynamic changes, sarcastic and absurd stories. The singer / songwriter, entertainer, poet and crooner remains true to himself. Big, big pop music.

3. Ben Folds: Songs For Silverman

Just having had the output of the fabulous "Has been" of William Shatner, the next big thing: Songs for silverman.
Labelled as the return of Ben Folds five. But that's not really true, but there is a band and contributes to the relaxed sovereignty of his second (and respectively third) solo album, which rose to be unspectacular and set to be a gorgeous bunch of timeless, soft melting, melancholic pop songs. Highlight: "Late", the obituary to Elliot Smith. One of the most beautiful sad songs of the year.

4. Eels: Blinking Lights And Other Revelations

Mark Oliver Everett has never been reserved, but such a show of strengh was not to be expected even of him. A double album about everything, with all means, at any cost. Too much is programme here, someone wants to pull out all the stops, say everything, get rid of everything. Blinking lights and other revelations is a rich, colourful compendium of the Eels' cosmos, a puzzle of bubbling e-piano, singing saw, the grunt of Tom Waits and the saddest guitar of our planet. The Magnum Opus of E, a definite and exhaustive work. What will Mark Everett have more to say?

5. Death Cab For Cutie: Plans

Death Cab For Cutie can't complain about missing attention. They broke through in the States and made their way into many hearts in Europe, where Nada Surf already resided. But still their missing appetite for spectacle is used against them, most of all in this British wriggling year 2005. But there is barely any other pop music, that is resisting less to be very close to you - without showing too much skin. Each song a promise that is kept.

And now, 10 honorable mentions

Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
Gorillaz - Demon Days
The Cardigans - Super Extra Gravity
Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel The Illinoise
Ryan Adams and The Cardinals - Cold Roses
Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow
Wir sind Helden - Von hier an blind
Tocotronic - Pure Vernunft darf niemals siegen
Element Of Crime - Mittelpunkt der Welt


Blogger patroclus said...

Very nice reviews, Konrad. I'm always impressed with how excellent your English is!

I keep meaning to get that Bright Eyes album; I do like Conor Oberst although he does tend to get very overwrought, in a quite endearing way.

I'd add Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy and Spoon's Gimme Fiction, both of which I reckon you would like very much, judging by this list.

Happy New Year to you! And I promise to visit more in 2006!

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Jayred said...

Hey, impressive list, Konrad! Makes me feel so clueless, hehe.

Here's wishing you a Joyful, Purpose-Driven 2006! Keep on blogging (you're such a good writer).

5:26 PM  
Blogger PIE! said...

Happy New Year!

Good list! I love that Eels album.

I also agree with Patroclus; Black Sheep Boy and Gimme Fiction are awesome.

Deerhoof's The Runners Four and Animal Collective's Feels top my list too.

How about top movies?

9:47 PM  

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