Saturday, 30 December 2006

2006: A Year in Music [Part 6: Re-evaluation of 2005 list]

Time to look back on my top albums of 2005 post to see how my opinions have changed over the course of the year. Since lists are very much a product of the time they are written, I think this is a great way of keeping the analysis of the year a bit more open-ended and allow opinions to be re-evaluated. Sometimes albums are initially overrated, and after some time I get sick of them. Other albums may be growers and they didn't have enough time to "hit" me yet.

This was my top 10 albums of 2005, as published at the end of last year:

1. Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
2. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
3. Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft
4. The Eels - Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
5. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
6. The Drones - Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By
7. Spoon - Gimme Fiction
8. Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth
9. My Morning Jacket - Z
10. The Go-Betweens - Oceans Apart

And here are the 2005 albums I have purchased/acquired since I made that list:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Supergrass - Road To Rouen
Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
Mike Noga - Folk Songs
The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors
M. Ward - Transistor Radio
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Machine Translations - Wolf On A String (EP)
The Polyphonic Spree - Thumbsucker (Soundtrack)

Out of these more recently-purchased albums, there are some solid albums in there and also some underwhelming ones. The Thumbsucker soundtrack was only a very recent purchase and I've only had one listen of it so far. It may eventually make the cut but it's too soon to comment.

I have already mentioned the Rosebuds and Mike Noga albums in my previous post, so no need to repeat myself here. Needless to say they are great albums which come highly recommended. Of the others, the Bloc Party album is another pretty solid album although maybe not quite the masterpiece I was expecting.

The self-titled debut album from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a solid effort with a similar sound to the Wolf Parade album of 2005. Think quirky indie pop with a whiny David Byrne-esque vocalist and you get the drift. The new album from Supergrass, Road to rouen, was a surprisingly mature effort from these Britpop veterans; quite mellow and subdued overall, but still not losing sight of what makes them who they are.

Broken Social Scene's self-titled album was a bit of a disappointment for me after the brilliance of their previous album You forgot it in people. There's some great songs on it but it all blends into one long track for me, and I miss the eclecticism of their past work. However, it is still growing on me with each listen, so not all is lost.

M. Ward's album Transistor radio was a real disappointment for me. Initial spins seemed promising but I have grown incredibly bored with it on subsequent listens. The Machine Translations EP Wolf on a string was also a disappointment, especially after the brilliance of their previous albums.

Having said all of this, this is my updated top 10 albums of 2005 (old positions are in brackets):

1. Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now [1]
2. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois [2]
3. Mike Noga - Folk songs [New entry]
4. Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft [3]
5. The Eels - Blinking Lights And Other Revelations [4]
6. The Drones - Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By [6]
7. The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors [New entry]
8. The Go-Betweens - Oceans Apart [10]
9. Spoon - Gimme Fiction [7]
10. Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth [8]

Summary of changes:
  • The Mike Noga and Rosebuds albums are the only new entrants in the top 10, as I only bought these in 2006 and they are incredible albums which deserve a place in the list.
  • The Wolf Parade and My Morning Jacket albums have been kicked out of the top 10. While Wolf Parade is a decent album, I haven't listened to it for a long time and I think a lot of the magic of the album has been lost for me. My Morning Jacket seems to be one of those albums that becomes less impressive with each listen, which is disappointing.
  • The Go-Betweens album has moved up a bit in the list, and the Spoon and Oasis albums have moved down a bit. Just some minor tweaking here.
And that concludes my 6-part series on 2006, the year that was. Hope you enjoyed reading it. Remember to grab the MP3s on the other posts as soon as you can, as they will be taken down in a few weeks.

Happy new year!


  1. Jiggs, would be great if music critics could also revise their lists years down the track -- as you note, music can sometimes take years to sink in.
    Anyway, thank you and well done on your 2006 review -- made for great reading, and a sampling of some new cuts. Keep up the fantastic work on Wireless Cranium! Look forward to debating in person sometime soon.

  2. Thanks for the great feedback Pete, and thanks for reading and commenting -- that's what makes the work worthwhile :)

  3. Yes, well done Jiggy on your blog postings...they are always good for a read. I don't always leave a comment, but I do always read them to see what they have to say, and usually they are most interesting...

    re the mp3's though...being on dialup makes it too hard to download them, so I never get to hear them...not to worry though...

    and yes, i am aware what i have gone totally overboard with the .... in this post...hehehe...oops, there i go again.

  4. That's alright Wal, I'm a big fan of the ..., and sometimes worry I use them too much... just trying to appear mysterious and enigmatic...

  5. Thanks for the comments Wal! (...)

  6. Excellent wrap there Jiggy! Once again, you've set the bar (at least in my mind) for the most complete review of the highs and lows you've discovered in the year.

  7. Thanks Pat! I look forward to your wrap-up of 2006, and keep in mind that I take it very seriously :)

    After all, it was your accolade of "best album of 2005" to Bloc Party's Silent alarm that convinced me to purchase it; even though I don't agree with your accolade, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable album. It would also be interesting to see a re-evaluation of your 2005 list to see how your opinions have changed over the course of the year (but no pressure ;)

  8. Without doubt I will. I've got no problems emulating the best there is!


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