January 08, 2006

The Best of 2005: 16-20

16: Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
What makes bloc party kick ass? I can sum it up in 2 words, staccato drumming. From the first track "Like Eating Glass", you can tell the percussion is what drives this album. One thing they need to stay away from is politics. Having a song called"Price of Gas" and singing about how much it sucks is completely ridiculous. Not that prices don't suck, but honestly, who sings about it? Aside from that one song, their lyrics are really profound. The album also flows really well, changing moods and tempos almost seamlessly both from song to song and even within each song. Altogether a fantastic album, but gems are "This Modern Love", "Blue Light", and "Helicopter". Other than their political knowledge being that of a 10 year old, this album delivers in a major way.

17: Kaiser Chiefs - Unemployment
The Kaiser Chiefs have done nothing original on their debut album Unemployment, but they did make British rock fun again. Not unlike Franz Ferdinand, this band put a lot of energy and catchy riffs into their songs, making them nearly irresistible. Having the same producer as Blur has helped capture that fun and irreverence that is British rock. "I Predict a Riot", "Na Na Na Naa", and "Oh My God" are songs that will have you screaming along with them even when you're by yourself. From the anti-love opener "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" to the quiet charm of "Team Mate", this album has a lot to offer. Strongly recommended for fans of Franz Ferdinand, The Kinks, Kasabian, and Bloc Party.

18: Decembrists - Picaresque
Coming out of Portland and signed under the Kill Rock Stars label are reasons enough to want to check out this imaginative European band. Listening to this album is like reading a Charles Dickens novel, brilliant and tragic all at once. Writing songs with such an unusual vocabulary, its almost hard to get the message the first time along. You may feel like a moron, but you'll need a dictionary to look up words as you sing along."Sixteen Military Wives" and "Engine Driver" are two songs that really stand out in my book. This album is great for both easy listening and for really getting into the songs one by one.

19: Bright Eyes - Motion Sickness
I know live albums don't really belong on a best of list, but 2 made it on mine this year. Bright Eyes have so much emotion in their studio albums, it's hard to resist when a live album comes out. It mostly contains songs from the bands newer releases, but has a few old favorites like "Method Acting" and "Make War" from the album "Lifted...". Motion Sickness has a song called "When the President Talks to God" which is, needless to say, a song dedicated to ripping apart President Bush's administration. Conor Oberst brings as much emotion to his live shows as he does to the studio. The highlight on this album though, without a doubt, is Conor's slow, somber cover of Elliott Smith's "Biggest Lie". To hear an amazing songwriter recognize another amazing songwriter gives me goosebumps.

20: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Literally coming out of nowhere, this no name band hit it big over night. Making Rolling Stones next big hit list was a start. From there the band has gotten insane reviews from just about everyone that hears them. In my humble opinion, they rock. This album sounds like a modern day Velvet Underground, with a side of The Strokes. The lead singer has an interesting voice to say the least. I wouldn't suggest everyone go out and spend $15 on this right away, because it is certainly not for everyone. If you are a fan of the two bands I compared Clap Your Hands.. To and are looking for something slightly different to fill the void in your music collection, give these guys a shot. Tracks like "Skin off my Yellow Country Teeth" and "Home on Ice" are definitely worth a giving a listen.

No comments: