In true Wireless Cranium tradition, it's time to unveil a retrospective look at the year that was. But unlike last year's post, I'm going to drip feed it to you Stylus Magazine style. Builds up the tension better that way. And it will be easier to consume smaller posts rather than a mammoth one.
So here's a quick schedule of my next 6 posts (including this one).
Part 1: Overview
Part 2: Top 10 songs of the year
Part 3: Albums that didn't make the cut (honourable mentions, jury's out, disappointments)
Part 4: Top 10 albums of the year
Part 5: Musical discoveries of the year
Part 6: Re-evaluation of 2004 list
2005 was an excellent year for new music releases, easily the best since 2002. The fact that I'm saying this while it is still 2005 is quite important. Very often, I won't realise how good a year is until it has passed. It often takes me a few years to catch up to the year that was.
From my vantage point, 2005 is already great. And this is coming from someone who has purchased 180 CDs this year. That averages out to almost 4 albums per week. Lots of music to consume. Very difficult to give the 2005 albums time in the rotation and give them a fair go. Thankfully, the iPod has made this much easier. Which leads me into the next paragraph...
2005 was also the year of the iPod for me. It seems a bit odd to be saying this, since I only acquired it in November. Nowadays I can listen to whatever music I want whenever I want (well...except in the car because I haven't got my iTrip yet. But it's on the way!) So now when Pete emails me and says How good is this excellent obscure Joy Division track? I don't need to say to him I'll let you know tomorrow. I can listen to it there and then. Yes Pete, it's a choice cut I will reply.
So what made 2005 so great? Well firstly, there were no major disappointments. There were some minor ones which I will get to in future posts. But there were no albums like Badly Drawn Boy's One plus one is one that made me think that an artist or band had completely lost the plot. But simply having no disappointments does not make a year great. It's great releases which make a year great. And 2005 had no shortage of great albums. Many artists and bands who had only hinted at their greatness on previous releases really pulled through this year.
On the gig front, I got to see many of my favourite bands. There were the Go-Betweens, Teenage Fanclub and Oasis (for the 3rd time) gigs in the latter half of the year. The Whitlams gig was a nice freebie, as was Pete's RocKwiz teammate Glenn Tilbrook. There may have been a few gigs earlier in the year, but for the life of me I can't remember what and when they were :-( Good thing I have my blog postings to remind me about gigs now!
In 2004, the announcement that Brian Wilson was going to finally release SMiLE had fans salivating in anticipation. In 2005 it was Kate Bush's Aerial (her first release in 12 years) that had the fans sitting on the edge of their seats. 12 years between albums? That's a seriously long time between drinks. I guess she (kinda) made up for it by releasing a double album. Did it live up to its expectations? Did the hype machine kill this album? Did the hype machine kill any other albums? You'll have to watch this space.
See you in the funny pages!