Filed under: top 5 | Tags: Eluvium, favorite albums of 00s, lists, M.I.A., music, My Morning Jacket, Spoon, The National
Since this is officially the last year of “the oughts” or “the oh-oh’s” or whatever you want to call it, that means only one thing: we now need to figure out what we call the next decade (the teens, I guess?). It also means I need to figure out my top 50 or 100 or whatever albums of this decade.
Trying to keep the momentum going (2 weeks in a row!), I continue this week with 2005.
1. The National – Alligator (Beggars Banquet) – This catapulted The National into one of my favorite bands, when they had just previously been a “band I dig.” Matt Berninger really started to hit his stride lyrically on this one, taking desolate and lonely moments and making them seem somehow cathartic and romantic. And the rhythm section continued its development into the most underrated part of the band. This is really an album where any of the songs could be a favorite song on the album, depending on which of your friends you talk to.
2. My Morning Jacket – Z (ATO) – I’ll admit it, I was not prepared upon my first listen of Z. Just look at the first three tracks: I wasn’t prepared for the wordless chorus in, uh, “Wordless Chorus”; I wasn’t prepared for the faux R&B in the Prince-y named “It Beats 4 U”; and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the spacey “Gideon.” And while there are moments of the “old My Morning Jacket” mixed in (“What a Wonderful Man” “Anytime”, “Lay Low”), this is where they really began a new, exciting direction as a band (which they explored further on Evil Urges).
3. Spoon – Gimme Fiction (Merge) – Spoon has my vote for most consistent band of the decade. Since 2001’s Girls Can Tell, we can expect an extremely solid album every 2 years from the band (though this one took closer to 3). The band moved back away from their minimalist production on Kill the Moonlight to a more lush, full sound. Highlights are “I Turn My Camera On” and “I Summon You.”
4. Eluvium – Talk Amongst the Trees (Temporary Residence) – A beautiful ambient album from Portland’s Matthew Cooper, perfect for nights when you shouldn’t be up as late as you are.
5. M.I.A. – Arular (XL) – A few years before “Paper Planes” brought her into the mainstream, M.I.A. released an album which I consider to be better than Kala, from where “Paper Planes” hails. In 2005 it sounded fresh and bizarre and awesome, mixing dancehall, dub, reggae, electro, rap and so much more. Basically, its an aural representation of the cover art (or perhaps its vice versa).
Others receiving votes: Broken Social Scene – s/t (Arts and Crafts), Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – Jacksonville City Nights (Lost Highway), Sigur Ros – Takk… (Geffen), Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA)
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