no one was kind enough to post a useful quiz about 2005 for me, so I will just have to stick with the basics, using the ever-evocative medium of music. without further ado, my top 5 (and secondary top 5) of 2005 (yay, so many 5s.)
1. Picaresque, The Decemberists
A perfect blend of the prettiness of Castaways and Cutouts and the weirdness of Her Majesty. This band is one of the rare ones that really shows evolution and progress and just keeps getting better and more sophisticated and more artistically impressive, without losing their identity, style and surprising accessibility. Everyone I forced this album upon loved it, which must say something.
Fave tracks: The Engine Driver, The Infanta, Eli the Barrow Boy
2. Illinois, Sufjan Stevens
Me and everyone else, I know. But as a native Illinoisan, I can vouch for the fact that the musical tapestry here really does capture the mood of living in that state perfectly. Especially growing up there.
Fave tracks: Casimir Pulaski Day, Jacksonville (but there's not a bad one on it)
3. The Mysterious Production of Eggs, Andrew Bird
Catchy, weird and melodic. I got hooked on Fake Palindromes the first time I heard it, but all the other songs just sort of embedded themselves in my subconscious where I would find myself humming them before I even realized what they were.
Fave tracks: Fake Palindromes, A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
4. Alternative to Love, Brendan Benson
Just plain and simple, a fabulous pop album.
Fave tracks: Them & Me, Cold Hands Warm Heart, Spit it Out, Alternative to Love
5. Cold Roses, Ryan Adams
OK, so it's not his best album, but it has an amazing thematic consistency to it. It just FEELS like an album to me in a way that nothing he has done since Whiskeytown has. And unlike his other albums from this year, single tracks would just grab me by the throat and not let go. He needs to edit himself and quit it with the falsetto shit, but overall, this album is American gothic gorgeous.
Fave tracks: How Do You Keep Love Alive, Sweet Illusion, Magnolia Mountain
The next 5: Silent Alarm, Bloc Party; Get Behind Me Satan, White Stripes; Nashville, Josh Rouse; Transistor Radio, M. Ward; and Pixel Revolt, John Vanderslice.
Albums that got a lot of play in 2005 but did not come out then: Trouble, Ray LaMontagne and Julie Roberts' self-titled album.
Songs that will remind me of 2005 for various reasons: How Do You Keep Love Alive, Ryan Adams; Breathe Me, Sia; Shelter, Ray LaMontagne; Rated X, Neko Case; Return of the Grievous Angel, Ryan Adams and Emmylou Harris; Mr. Brightside, The Killers; Here Comes Your Man, The Pixies; The One I Love, David Gray; Story of Your Bones, Jennifer Nettles Band; I Turn My Camera On, Spoon.