Saturday, 31 December 2005

2005: A Year in Music [Part 6: Re-evaluation of 2004 list]

This is the final post in the 6-part 2005 extravaganza. And it has nothing to do with 2005 at all!

Instead, I'm going to take a look back at my 2004 post (which was actually posted in 2005, tsk tsk) to see if my opinions have changed over the course of the year.

In the 2004 post, I listed the following albums as my top five of the year:

1. Machine Translations - Venus Traps Fly
2. Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy
3. Elliott Smith - From A Basement On The Hill
4. Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
5. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born

Since that post, I have acquired the following additional albums from that year (listed in order of purchase):

A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Apostle of Hustle - Folkloric Feel
Bjork - Medulla
Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
High Pass Filter - Soft Adventure
The Veils - The Runaway Found
The Finn Brothers - Everyone Is Here
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Dan Kelly - Tabloid Blues
The Elected - Me First
PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
Black Cab - Altamont Diary
Green Day - American Idiot
The Delgados - Universal Audio
American Music Club - Love Songs For Patriots
Blonde Redhead - Misery Is A Butterfly
Destroyer - Your Blues
Dogs Die In Hot Cars - Please Describe Yourself (thanks to MarkP for getting me this one!)

That's a bucketload of new albums - if I had gotten those in the year of release my 2004 post would have been even more bloated than it already was! Now I hope you can appreciate the need to re-evaluate the list...

Well from that list, there are some excellent albums (Finn Brothers, A.C. Newman, Joanna Newsom, Apostle of Hustle). But would any have made it to my top 5 of the year? The answer can be seen in my revised list below:

1. Machine Translations - Venus Traps Fly
2. Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy
3. Elliott Smith - From A Basement On The Hill
4. Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
5. The Arcade Fire - Funeral

The list is pretty much intact, except that Wilco's A ghost is born has been pushed out of the top 5 to make way for The Arcade Fire's Funeral (which only got an honourable mention in the 2004 post). Yeah, Funeral is one of those slow-burner albums that tend to grow on you quite a bit. I still think it's been overrated by the indie press, which is why it's low in my top 5. But I have to acknowledge it for what it is, and there's no doubt that it's an excellent album and definitely better than A ghost is born.

I already talked about Everyone is here in my last musical discoveries post, so I won't talk about it again here. For those who don't have it, make sure you pick up a non-copy-controlled version of it as soon as you can. For those Australians amongst us, it means ordering it from Amazon or purchasing it from an American eBay seller. But it's definitely worth forking out for it -- it's a great album.

From my massive list of 2004 purchases acquired this year, which albums stand out from the crowd? If I had to make a prediction about which albums in that list will still mean something to me in 2010, it would be Folkloric feel and The milk-eyed mender.

Folkloric feel is the debut album from Canadian band Apostle of Hustle, which is a side project of one of the members of Broken Social Scene (is that enough name-dropping for you?). It's a low-key affair, but it's one of those albums that is known by few but cherished by those few who are lucky enough to own it.

The milk-eyed mender is the debut album from Joanna Newsom, a folk singer who has a love-it-or-loathe it voice. Luckily, I'm in the former category. Yes, she does sound like a 6-year-old with that high-pitched voice. But I'd rather listen to a unique talent like her than the rubbish that gets played on commercial radio stations. And it's not just the voice that draws me to her (although I do love a unique voice). She's a remarkable harp player and songwriter as well. If you are in the mood to try something different from the tried and tested (read: safe) guitar bass & drums formula, I'd highly recommend giving this album a go. You may regret it, but if you don't there's a good chance you'll find a new album to love.

Overall, my statements about 2004 from the original post still stand. It was a good year, but 2005 was even better. Here's to 2006 being an even better one:

Happy new year!

Hope you have a safe holiday break if you are taking one. I will be taking a few weeks of leave in January so there will definitely be less posts until February. Thanks for reading my overlong ramblings about music, thanks for feigning interest if you were completely bored, and thanks to those who have commented over the course of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sing some harmonies here: