Since everyone else on the planet is doing it, why not me? In the time-honored tradition of end-of-year wrapups, here it is, my very own Top Ten Albums of 2005.
I preface this list by saying that, for me, this year has been remarkable for the depth of new music. So many great records have come out, so many exciting new bands have popped up, that it was extremely difficult to choose just ten. (So, of course, there will be a long also-ran list here.)
Perhaps this has been simply an effect of my re-awakening.
As I've written about here before, the first part of this year saw me wake up and walk out of my deep, dark, musical hole. I was and am still amazed at what I've found. I was so totally engaged in music for so long, so focused on finding it and writing about it and thinking about it and acquiring it and sharing it, that when I got married and left Austin, I just stopped paying attention. It was nice for a while. And during that time I sort of forgot what it was like to care so much about it.
Now I remember. And what a fantastic year it's been.
So, without further ado, here they are.
CHess' Top Ten Albums of 2005
1. Broken Social Scene ~ s/t
2. WHY? ~ Elephant Eyelash
3. Four Tet ~ Happiness
4. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ~ s/t
5. 13 & God ~ s/t
6. Wolf Parade ~ Apologies to the Queen Mary
7. Animal Collective ~ Feels
8. The National ~ Alligator
9. The Decemberists ~ Picaresque
10. Brazilian Girls ~ s/t
Honorable mentions in no particular order which, in a lesser year, would have made this list easily: Okkervil River (Black Sheep Boy), The Books (Lost and Safe), Stephen Malkmus (Face the Truth), Spoon (Gimme Fiction), Art Brut (Bang Bang Rock and Roll), Wilderness (s/t), Sleater Kinney (The Woods), Boards of Canada (The Campfire Headphase), Bloc Party (Silent Alarm), Franz Ferdinand (You Could Have It So Much Better), New Pornographers (Twin Cinema), Beck (Guero), MIA (Arular), Caribou (Milk of Human Kindness), Iron and Wine & Calexico (He Lays in Reins), Death Cab for Cutie (Plans), American Analog Set (Set Free), LCD Soundsystem (s/t), Jeff Parker (Relatives)
So, there you have it. I'd love to see your lists, to hear criticism, or to share music with any of y'all who are interested.