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Wednesday, December 14

My Top 25 Albums of '05

It's the end of the year and as usual, best of... lists are appearing all over the place. It's been a very impressive year for music, in my opinion, and I've loved reading all the blogs out there and discovering new music. Thanks to You Ain't No Picasso, Gorilla vs. Bear, My Old Kentucky Blog, and countless others for turning me on to some of the best music out there. These are my personal favorite albums of the year, and the each one comes with a free MP3 download.

Thanks for reading and supporting my blog, I've immensely enjoyed running this site and look forward to another year of educating all those illiterate kids out there with music. So grab an Orange Mocha Frappachino and enjoy some of the best music this year has to offer.

25. Minus The Bear - Menos El Oso (read original post)

Some people may consider this Bloc Party-lite but I still quite enjoy it. Great driving music.
MP3: Hooray

24. Mates of State - All Day

I realize this is only a four song EP, but it gave us one of the best pop songs of the year in "Goods" and a really interesting version of Bowie's "Starman" - so I'm counting it.
MP3: Goods

23. The Subways - Young For Eternity

Thank the O.C. for this one. The Subways were featured on it this season and all their songs were very strong. The song below might have my favorite riff of the year.
MP3: I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say

22. matt pond PA - Several Arrows Later

I realize that this isn't as good an effort as matt pond PA has put forth in the past (see Emblems), but it still features some really great jangle pop.
MP3: From Debris

21. Ben Folds - Songs For Silverman (read original post)

Shows off Ben Folds technical piano skills, and still provides some of the catchiest pop/rock around.
MP3: You To Thank

20. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning Strike

My favorite album to put on for an unsuspecting listener. Their expression is usually "What the heck is this?" One of the funnest albums to listen to all year.
MP3: Huddle Formation

19. Mae - The Everglow

Rapid-rising Jimmy Eat World-inspired melodic rock band. When they're huge, I can say that I listened to them when they were recording in their garage.
MP3: Suspension

18. Beck - Guero

I have to thank my girlfriend for getting me into this album, and Beck in general. Still the funkiest white boy around.
MP3: E-Pro

17. Belle & Sebastian - Push Barman to Open Wounds (read original post)

It's wonderful to have all of B&S's EP's in this easily accessible package. Full of catchy and good-natured "twee" pop.
MP3 Photo Jenny

16. The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors

Very fast rising CD on the list for me. Moved up a couple steps each day, and might have made it to the top ten if I had it longer. Beautiful and well-crafted album.
MP3: Blue Bird

15. The Cloud Room - The Cloud Room (read original post)

Incredibly catchy music. I love playing The Cloud Room on my iPod while walking between classes.
MP3: Hey Now Now

14. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

This album took a little longer for me to get into, but once I did it I found it very rewarding. I love the creativity on this album.
MP3: Twin Cinema

13. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

While I prefer Lifted, this album has some of Conor Oberst's best constructed music ever, continuing to prove his songwriting genius. The song below could be the best love song this year.
MP3: We Are Nowhere And It's Now

12. Copeland - In Motion (read original post)

Aaron Marsh creates some of the most angelic and emotional music I've heard, and Copeland is oozing with potential. Copeland holds a special place for me since they're the first band my girlfriend and I saw together.
MP3: Don't Slow Down

11. Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs

It's amazing how quickly albums can jump on you, and stick with you. I've only had this CD very shortly, but already I know it deserves a spot this high on my list. Breathtaking arrangements.
MP3: A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left

10. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better (read original post)

This album took me completely by surprise. I never really got into Franz Ferdinand's first album but I was hooked on this one from the killer opening all the way to the end. It fits in more hooks then I thought possible and even a couple 60's style ballads to top it off.
MP3: Walk Away (acoustic)

9. Sigur Ros- Takk

It's hard to put put this album into words but here are some - joyous, inspirational, awe-inspiring.
MP3: Saeglopur

8. Various Artists - Stubbs The Zombie Soundtrack (read original post)

It's a bit hard to explain what attracts me to this soundtrack so much. One of my musical phases back in Jr High was "oldies" and I listened almost exclusively to hits of the 50's and 60's. To reconcile those old likes with some of my favorite bands like Rogue Wave and Death Cab for Cutie is something that makes me excited and overjoyed on each listen.
MP3: Oranger - Mr. Sandman

7. Stars - Set Yourself On Fire

If ever an album can be summed up with a song, I think this one can. Ageless Beauty is great way to describe Set Yourself On Fire, both as a description of the CD and as a incredible piece of music.
MP3: Ageless Beauty

6. We Are Scientists - With Love and Squalor

My favorite album to rock out to this year. Fast-paced, guitar-heavy, no-nonsense music thats fun to listen to.
MP3: Inaction

5. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans (read original post)

Death Cab for Cutie still remain my favorite band in the indie genre, and this album, while being a slight step backwards from Transatlanticism, is nowhere close to being a disappoinment. Full of the intimate lyrics and beautiful melodies that Death Cab is known for.
MP3: I Will Follow You Into The Dark

4. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

Remains consistently amazing the whole album. Has both my favorite drumming in an album of this year and the best opening track in "Like Eating Glass"

MP3: Banquet

3. Rogue Wave - Descended By Vultures

This is a incredibly rich and detailed album, with amazing vocal arrangements and a large arsenal of sounds. It's harder tracks can sound like Sunny Day Real Estate at times (which is a very good thing), but they don't overshadow the equally fantastic acoustic tracks.
MP3: Publish My Love

2. The Decemberists - Picaresque

Storytelling at its best, and the best band ever to feature an accordian. They have one of the most unique and interesting styles I've ever heard, and this is my favorite album of theirs.
MP3: Sixteen Military Wives

drum roll please...

1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (concert review/pictures)

There's not much to say about this album that hasn't already been said by either me or anyone else. Listening to this album is a life-altering experience and it gave me an entirely new outlook on music in general. This album gave me a new excitement about music and even influenced me to start blogging. This album truly makes me proud to live in a state mostly known for corn fields, and no other album before it has taken me on such a sincere and spritual journey.

I'm sure nearly all of my reader's have all of the tracks I would post (if you don't visit here) so for the MP3, I'm providing an acoustic version of one of the many standout tracks on the album.
MP3: The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts (Live @ KCRW)

Artists That Probably Would Have Made The List, had I gotten into them sooner...
Jose Gonzalez
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
The National

Song of the Year:
A underrated treasure from Illinois. The song mixes perfectly the acoustic sincerity of Sufjan with his elaborate large scale productions. The strings create the perfect buzz sound of a wasp and there's just something that about Sufjan singing "Hallelujah".

MP3 The Predatory Wasps of the Palisades Are Out To Get Us!

Thanks for reading and downloading!
posted by Taylor, 12/14/2005 12:18:00 AM | link 8 comments


Great list. Pleased to see some of my favorites in here as well. Thanks for the downloads.

(I think the DCFC link is instead linking The Rosebud's Bluebird.)
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12/14/2005 11:31:00 AM  
your blog RULES. i love zoolander and you have kickass taste in music.
commented by Blogger n., 12/14/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Thanks. I fixed the DCFC Link
commented by Blogger Taylor, 12/14/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Great blog!
thanks for sharing
commented by Anonymous alberta redneck, 12/14/2005 04:40:00 PM  
I have to hand it to you - Mr. Sandman is damned catchy. Thanks for that.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12/17/2005 03:44:00 AM  
Great list. I highly recommend you keep on playing Jose Gonzalez and The National. Both are so immensely rewarding.
commented by Blogger kevin, 12/17/2005 03:06:00 PM  
Excellent list. You also posted the exact same tracks from Sufjan, Sigur Ros, and Minus The Bear. Oh yeah, Zoolander rules.
commented by Blogger Eric, 12/29/2005 03:57:00 PM  
i listen to the decemberists at least 7 times a day. i personally like castaways and cutouts best...but to each his/her own! thanks for the mp3s and keep on blogging
commented by Anonymous lily, 3/01/2006 03:54:00 PM  

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