Justhipper’s Top 15 Albums of 2005

2005 is the year in which I got to grips with all the CDs we bought in 2004, which made this list really difficult. Ledge has spent the year acquiring the critics choices for the year, yet I feel I really got to know very few of them well. The list below represents the ones that stuck in my memory most, and the list of CDs for which I’m going to spend the most time getting to know every blip and squawk in 2006. There’s so many more sitting near the CD player waiting for a first play, including Elbow, Teenage Fanclub, Wolf Parade, Animal Collective, Okkervil River and Calexico & Iron & Wine. But here’s the list, as unrepresentative as it may be.

  1. Arcade Fire – Funeral
  2. Realising that this came out in 2004 in North America, we didn’t hear it until December 2004, and didn’t own the album until it came out in the UK properly in February 2005. It was probably the most startling and striking thing I heard in 2005 (short of Antony Hegarty’s voice) and was at once the most celebratory and vibrant album I’ve heard in years.

  3. The Tears – Here Come the Tears
  4. I have always been a massive Suede fan but was not expecting much from this reunion of Brett Anderson & Bernard Butler because these things are never as good as you want them to be. Not so The Tears. While the album itself is far from perfect, it does reflect a new direction for their songwriting and a brilliant jumping off point for their new project. It showcases some of the strongest aspects of their musical talents including the beauty of Brett’s descriptive storytelling, Bernard’s meandering guitar melodies and a flair for both lavish overproduction that complements the more ridiculous lyrical excesses and pop moments as well as a real understanding that sometimes the silences and the gaps make the songs.

  5. The Decemberists – Picaresque
  6. This is simply one of the most unusual and charming records to grace anyone’s record collection in years. How can you possibly find fault, or, in fact, not grow to love an album about double suicides, revenge, giant whales, spies, sporting failures and war?

  7. My Morning Jacket – Z
  8. The first play of this record resulted in shock and horror. Subsequent plays have implanted it in my consciousness. It’s such a strange mix of lush melodies, twangy guitars and reggae beats yet it works on a really basic level of making me want to dance around the kitchen everytime I hear any track from it.

  9. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  10. Once I got used to the vocals sounding like a cross between Bob Dylan on a bad day and David Byrne (whose voice I loathe), I really really grew to love this record, mainly because of the lovely guitars and the perky melodies.

  11. Editors – The Back Room
  12. As much as I loved the intensity of the early singles, I wasn’t expecting much from this record. It suprised me a lot with the depth of the subject matter and the strength of the songwriting. Few new bands these days can do loud and quiet on separate songs but Editors manage to capture both intense anger and vulnerable melancholy on a really really strong debut.

  13. Eels – Blinking Lights & Other Revelations
  14. Antony & The Johnsons – I am a Bird Now
  15. Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock ‘n’ Roll
  16. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
  17. Clor – Clor
  18. Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
  19. Richard Hawley – Coles Corner
  20. Rufus Wainwright – Want Two
  21. Sons & Daughters – The Repulsion Box

14 Responses to “Justhipper’s Top 15 Albums of 2005”

  • Axelmoloko Says:

    Hi guys, great top 15t! if u don’t mind i will include your blog and your top-ten (Ledge top-ten too) in the worldwide poll i am doing on http://www.indiefordummies.blogspot.com . Any info about that on my blog. thanks and merry christmas. alessio

  • The Indie Credential » Blog Archive » CD Review: Brett Anderson, Brett Anderson (Drowned In Sound, 2007) Says:

    […] I’ve received in my post bag a 5-track sampler from Brett Anderson’s forthcoming solo album (March 26, Drowned in Sound). Some of you may remember that I’ve been anticipating this record for a while as I was a huge Suede fan, I thought The Tears album was very good and I do genuinely think that Brett has a good album left in him somewhere. This record, however, if the promo sampler represents the highlights, is not it by a huge margin. […]

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