The Best of 2005

Well 2005 brought us quite a handful of great new music and I wanted to get a list of my favorites from the past year all in one place. This list is not a top ten or anything specific, its just a list featuring the music that I enjoyed the most and the music that was found being played the most during the year. I will let you know which ones, in my eyes, are the must have albums from the year. There was a lot that I cut from the list in the end but it left it showing what were my very top favorites from the past year, heres to another great one in 2006! So lets see here, where to begin... in alphabetical order:

Artist: Akron Family/ Angels of Light
Album: Akron Family/ Angels of Light
Description: I first heard this record while I was setting up for a show at a local cd shop that used to have a lot of in store concerts and I would always bring in a PA and run it. The owner, Andrew, gave me an advanced copy of this album to play before the show and I was instantly hooked. The music on here is amazing rock / folk / sing along music that is playful yet well crafted and has a really unique sound that is over all pretty hard to describe. Check it out to see what I mean.
iTunes Link:
Akron / Family & Angels of Light

Artist: Autechre
Album: Untilted
Description: Ignore the silly name of the record here and trust me when I say that this album holds as always a sound that leads the way for many leading IDM artists. Autechre has always had their little spot among electronic music fans and it seems like any time they release an album there is more than enough debate on why the new album sucks or why it is their best yet. It seems like their fans are always really divided on which albums are amazing and which are just terrible. I never really could figure out why this is the way I see it, Autechre's albums have all bounced off of each other pretty logically in my mind and like any developing artist they have shown that they still have a good bit of creative thinking in them even after releasing album after album over the years. For those of you who are not familiar with their music, think minimal electronic music that will sometimes have you bobbing your head and other times leave you scratching it wondering how to react. All in all this release holds fast to all of the classic Autechre stereotypes while still introducing some new tricks and rhythms that I just can't seem to get enough of. HIghly reccomended for anyone looking to try something different.
iTunes Link:

Artist: Beck
Album: Hell Yes EP
Description: Im Sure many of you are aware of Becks newest full length from 2005, Gurerro, and I really enjoyed that album a lot but I found that looking back on the year I liked this EP more then his full length release. Although it is not as varied in sound and is only four songs long I really love this EP. The whole 8-Bit remix thing going on on this whole release really worked well and once I heard the Original versions of these songs I was somewhat disappointed because I was so used to hearing these 4 songs and I had come to love to listed to them so much. And just look at that cover, how could you pass that up?
iTunes Link:
GameBoy Variations (Hell Yes Remix) - EP

Artist: Ben Folds
Song: Late
Album: Songs for Silverman
Description:While I am not the very biggest of fans of Ben Folds music I do like some of his tracks and when they are good they are really good. I had heard this song as a bootleg from a live show after reading about it somewhere online a while back. The reason I have decided to feature this song is because of it's subject matter which is the late Elliott Smith. Elliott's music has held a place in my life that has not been able to be replaced by any other artists music and this song is a wonderful nod to his career as a songwriter.
iTunes Link:

Artist: Bonobo
Album: Live Sessions
Description: This is one of a few albums featured in this list that I have reviewed on this site and at the moment I have no way to link directly to that review but that will change in the coming weeks so sit tight for that ability. At any rate I would have to say that this is one of the single most played albums that I bought in 2005. It has a really amazing mood that never seems ill placed in any situation. The mood that is put forth with this music can be stretched to fit any moment in life, it holds a really nice somber feel for quieter moments but holds enough of an upbeat kick that lets you get your groove on at any given moment. (I can't believe I just said "get your groove on") Anyone and everyone could find something to like in this short but sweet release.
iTunes Link:

Artist: Des Ark
Album: Loose Lips Sink Ships
Description: These guys have been around for a good while now here in the local scene in NC and have finally recorded a proper album. This record brings this edgy two piece rock group to the comfort of your own home. I remember catching them live here and there at shows around this area and I was always impressed with their ability to draw the audience towards them making every show I've seen of theirs an amazing show. It's hard to find intimacy within music that gets so intense at times but they manage to pull this off both at their live shows and on this record. Wonderful song writing and inventive compositions can be found on this record so check out this amazing release!
iTunes Link:
Loose Lips Sink Ships

Artist: Dixie Dirt
Album: Pieces of the World
Description: As far as my favorite albums or 2005 go I would have to place Pieces of the World up on the top of that list. As with a few other albums on this list I have reviewed this album on this site already and I suggest you check that out to get a few more details. This was one of my very favorite records to be released in 2005 hands down. There is something in these songs that moves me to listen to them over and over and I simply can not get enough. I was really disappointed to find an article online speaking of how they have since broken up as a band. Hopefully this will be a temporary break? At any rate I would highly suggest you check out this album as well as their first release. Simply wonderful music all around. this is not to be missed!
iTunes Link:
peices of the World

Artist: Electronic music Composer
Album: Abandon Music
Description: I love electronic music and I wish that I had more access to some of the more obscure acts putting out music today but It's hard to come by in this area so in the past years I have mostly been exposed to labels that are easier to find being the ones who are either available online, have decent distribution, or things I have picked up while traveling. I have come across all kinds of great new electronic music in the past year but a lot of it was not released in 2005 so it's not going to come up here on the list. So anyways, this year there was a few electronic music albums that stole a good but of my life as far as listening time goes and this is one of them. If you do a bit of digging you will find that this artist (Kenneth James Gibson) has released a huge amount of music under all sorts of various aliases each of which carry their own style. I cant think of to many musicians doing this as well as he is. This album is a wonderful venture into the more experimental side of IDM which will have you both nodding your heads as well as smiling at the tight control he has over his sound.
iTunes Link:
Abandon Music

Artist: Gorillaz
Album: Demon Days
Description: This has got to be the most commercially successful album on this list and that should not deter you from giving it a listen. It's a great album all around and full of really great ideas. Apparently the group is really just two british guys, one of which is a former member of blur. This album reminds me of a good beck album in the way that it covers so much ground within the music. It has the low end head nodding aspects of hip hop, the get stuck in your head melodies of pop, and the edginess of indie rock. Easily one of my favorites this year.
iTunes Link:
Demon Days

Artist: Great Lake Swimmers
Album: Bodies and Minds
Description: I love a good relaxing album full of gentle acoustic ballads and this fits right in there with this years best. I'm not sure that "ballads" was the best word to use there, you know what I mean though, a guy sits down with his guitar sings gorgeous songs about life and the intricacies within it leaving you at peace while listening to it. I mentioned this record in the favorites section of the site and it is very much a favorite. Simply put its a beautiful piece of work which was recorded in a church that gave the album a really warm tone. Fans of this kind of music should not pass this one up.
iTunes Link:
Bodies and Minds

Artist: Jamie Lidell
Album: Multiply
Description: For more on this brilliant album dig though the reviews from August and read about one f the years secret hits. This record is simply amazing and really gives Jamie a chance to get the attention he deserves. It's not quite soul music and its not quite dance music but it really tight and a lot of fun. Makes for a great party album, nothing but gold can be found in these songs so check it out!
iTunes Link:

Artist: Jose Gonzalez
Album: Veneer
Description: Man did this album come out of no where! I just happened upon it while browsing through iTunes one day and I am really happy to have picked up a copy of it. From what I understand this was released a few years back but just now got a proper release in the US and Im glad it did. I can only hope to hear more from this wonderful musician soon.
iTunes Link:

Artist: Kid 606
Album: Resilience
Description: This marked quite a milestone for electronic musician Kid 606 because nearly all of his albums prior to this were really quite elaborate dance/IDM albums and most were really edgy and full of loads of energy. There were moments of ambient poking through this fog of his reputation as a noisy producer with albums like the soccergirl ep and the two P.S...Love... ep's. With this album he took a step away from his traditional approach and released a brilliant album of slower and much more simplistic jams all of which have a nice warm analogue feel to them. My favorite track on here has to be the track Short Road Down which I featured here on the favorites page.
iTunes Link:

Artist: M. Ward
Album: Transistor Radio
Description: This was another surprise this year which I discovered through my local record shop. The record holds a diverse bit of what many would classify as americana but I would simply call indie rock. It holds a Lo-Fi warmness that makes for a good listen on a cold winter night. Tracks on the record range from calm acoustic songs to fun electric guitar rock songs. It was one of the most played albums this year on my record player because it always puts me in such a good mood whenever I hear it.
iTunes Link:
Transistor Radio

Artist: Magnolia Electric Company
Album: Trials and Errors
Description: This is now officially out of print but you can still buy it over on iTunes thankfully because this is one of my very favorite albums by musician Jason Molina which now as a new band and a somewhat more bluesy sound called Magnolia Electric Company. It is really similar to his past efforts but it really shows that he has a full band backing him now. I really love these recordings. There are a few songs that also appear on their new full length but I prefer these versions of the songs by far they just feel more honest. For fans of indie rock fused with a somewhat classic feel if that makes any sense.
iTunes Link:
Trials and Errors

Artist: Matt Sweeny and Bonnie Prince Billy
Album: Superwolf
Description: I really enjoy most of Will Oldom's (Bonnie Prince Billy) music and I prefer his more scaled back personal work. This album is a wonderful collaboration and for a while this past year was all I was listening to. The record has a raw feeling about it that I really like. Its gritty style and the almost odd song writing on this album really draw me in. It's not for everyone but I would at least give it a listen if you are looking for some great acoustic song writing with a really unique almost dirty touch. It feels like it came from somewhere out in the country or was at least inspired by it somewhat if that helps describe the sound a bit.

Artist: Quinoline Yellow
Album: Dol-Goy Assist
Description: I had been a big fan of this artists previous two eps on skam records and I was really excited to see that he was releasing a full length and it was worth the wait. This album has a really classic IDM feel and it brought my mind back to remembering why I got into the genera in the first place. Quinoline Yellow's music still feels like a cross between Autechre and Aphex Twin. I remember loving every song on his ep's and here on a full length album I can see that he was stretching it a bit with a couple of these songs but over all it's a fantastinc release that deserves much more attention than it got.
Buy it on Bleep

Artist: Sun Kil Moon
Album: Tiny Cities
Description: Sun Kil Moon's first record really really impressed me and I can not get over just how much I enjoyed it so I was overjoyed to hear that he was releasing a second album. I remember seeing him play live before this was released and all of the songs he played were so familiar for some reason. I did recognize that he had covered a couple of songs during the show but it wasn't until later that I realized just how many of them were covers. Turns out this whole album is a cover album and they are all covers of Modest Mouse songs! I love his versions of these songs because it gives a good bit of respect to the wonderful song writing of Modest Mouse. Check my full review for more on this great album.
iTunes Link:
Tiny Cities

Artist: Venetian Snares
Album: Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett
Description: And Last but not least, an electronic music epic by Venetian Snares. Inspired by Hungarian orchestral music and laced with classic Venetian breaks this album will not disappoint, it will leave you catching your breath. The whole album is nothing short of amazing if not simply because it's so nice to see him trying some new things with his music. Take classical music and combine it with breakcore and you have got this albums feel in your head. Having trouble imaging it? have a listen and see for youeself! You just cant beat track 3 with its amazing composition and use of Billie Holiday's singing. The song he had chosen that she sung is perfect for this song and his additions make it all the more dramatic and epic in scale. If you do some research on the song (Gloomy Sunday is the name of the Billie Holiday song I am referring to, which she did not write by the way.) you will find that she added a verse to the end to make it less depressing and that verse has been left out of what he used in this song. So at least pick up that song if nothing else. It is a lot different than the other songs on here but fits right on in. Sorry this is a scattered little review, it really is pretty hard to describe so just check it out for yourself and see what I mean.
iTunes Link:
Rossz Csillag Alatt Született