Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Best Albums of the Year So Far

So it seems there is a mere six months left in this here 2005. We're still awaiting the returns of bands like Franz Ferdinand, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Fiery Furnaces, not to mention the follow up from last year's champion Kanye West. But why not take stock of all the super albums to have been "dropped" in the past few months. (Since it's "not out yet" I've taken the liberty of not considering Sufjan Stevens' brilliant 'Illinoise' for inclusion.)

11. Common 'Be': Here's hoping the next few months lead us down a more hip hop friendly release schedule (new Ghostface, Missy, MF Doom, and Kanye, should do the trick). This is a strong album but gets a little sachrin for me at times. Still the finest rap album of the year thus far Kanye's production is super and Common an drop a line with the best of em'.

10. Spoon 'Gimme Fiction': Still better pound for pound than 'Girls Can Tell'. Overrated, then under Rated. They're a band that doesn't need a home run every time out.

9. Decemberists 'Picaresque': This band's finest hour? So far for sure, now if only you could dump that last track.

8. Architecture in Helsinki 'In Case We Die': This band is really the most joyful sound to bounce out of my headphones this year. Plus dulcimer!!

7. The Fiery Furnaces 'EP': Better than most band's full lengths this 'Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncey' for the nerd set is probably my biggest impulse listen thus far this year. Come Septmeber it may not be here but I figured this band's novelty would've worn off by now. Instead I'm more infactuated by the day.

6. Bright Eyes 'I'm Wide Awake It's Morning': Better songs than any other album here. It strikes a cord everytime I listen to it. Could use a touch more joy.

5. M.I.A 'Arular': The global revolution apparently is not forth comming but this album makes me wanna shake it so who cares.

4. Sleater Kinney 'The Woods': The loudest, noisiest thing to come out this year is yet another break through from one of the finest bands of the past let's say 25 years.

3. Stephen Malkmus 'Face the Truth': The truth is that while Malkmus's last two album were nice they lacked that Pavement adventurousness (sorry Lin). But now, oh bitch now that shit is back in spades. The weirdest album of his career, this is really huge for me. (PS: Free show Battery Park this Monda July 4th w/Yo La Tengo)

2. LCD Soundsystem 'LCD Soundsystem': The best dance punk album ever! Fuck it I'm a slave to the grooves. Second Best show this year! Killer songs! Better Base Lines! Yeaow!!!

1. The Hold Steady 'Seperation Sunday': The best thing to spring forth from the indie rock depths since The Arcade Fire's 'Funeral' (perhaps even better, gasp!). This album is AC/DC with more brains and more interesting drug problems. The smartest, funnest, coolest album of the year so far. The world has some catching up to do.