Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Here's my Top 10 Albums for 2005:

1. Animal Collective – Feels

2. Deerhoof – The Runners Four

3. Konono No. 1 – Congotronics

4. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

5. Andrew Bird – The Mysterious Production of Eggs

6. Broken Social Scene – s/t

7. Six Organs of Admittance – School of the Flower

8. Spoon – Gimme Fiction

9. The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema

10. The Decemberists – Picaresque

Also-rans: Devendra Banhart – Cripple Crow, Antony & The Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now, The Fiery Furnaces – EP, The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree, The Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart, The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday, Calexico/Iron & Wine – In the Reins, Eric Matthews – Six Kinds of Passion Looking For An Exit, Danger Doom – The Mouse and the Mask, Lyrics Born – Same !@#$ Different Day, Architecture In Helsinki – In Case We Die, Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy, Clem Snide – The End of Love, Vashti Bunyan – Lookaftering


Pacze Moj 2:24 AM, February 07, 2006  

I usually can't comment on music lists because I haven't heard enough of the albums, but I've only missed two (of the top 10) on yours -- Konono No.1 and Six Organs.

I like the storytelling on Picaresque; there's a great solo performance of The Mysterious Production of Eggs (most of the songs, anyway) on the Internet Live Music Archive; Spoon's growing one me, but I like the first 4 songs more than the rest of the album; Illinois is a tad long; Deerhoof: can't stand the singer; The New Pornographers latest is solid, but I don't have anything to say about it; and Broken Social Scene's is something I listen to all the time without actually being aware that i like it! Hehe.

Out of the Also-rans, The Mountain Goats and Architecture in Helsinki are my favourites.

Hayden Childs 12:02 PM, February 07, 2006  

I think the trick to finding yourself immersed in the murky production on the Broken Social Scene albuym instead of letting it all gloss over is to listen to it on some good headphones. Like the Wrens' The Meadowlands of a few years back, it's a fairly richly layered album that sounds like it was recorded (and re-recorded) on older equipment. There's so much going on with both albums that they tend to turn into a wash at a distance.

I hope you give Deerhoof another try in the future. I know that an annoying voice can throw you out of the music, but her little J-pop squeak has grown on me over the years. I think The Runners Four is their most balanced album yet, bringing the pop and squall into a rather Eastern harmony.

Because you haven't heard them, I'll say that the Konono No. 1 album is fantastic and interesting, mainly because it combines a certain Stockhausenish art-noise melodic sense and a stone groove, like the best of Can, electric Miles, or afrobeat. And the main instrument are the electric finger pianos on the cover, so: weird. The Six Organs album is like every John Fahey period at once, all transcendent finger-picking, electronic chanting, and avant-skronk. It's trance-drug music, but so compelling (unlike much music that could be similarly described) that I keep coming back it.

The also-rans are pretty strong, too. If I were to do the list over today, I'd probably shift some up, but I'm not sure in what configuration.

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