A first — no 2005 list

There’s a reason the list-making record clerks in High Fidelity — the Nick Hornby book and John Cusack movie — are comic relief. Music geeks love making lists.

And I speak from experience.

Usually by June, I’ll have a preliminary list my favorite albums from the year. I not only have 10 items, I’ll usually have a few leftover. Around this time of year, I’ve just about settled on 3/4 or the list.

This year, I haven’t bothered.

I haven’t been paying attention to what’s been coming out, and some of the big-name releases that did — Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Garbage, New Order — weren’t … all that.

If I were to compile a list, it would barely reach five, and it would be these five:

  1. … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart I heard an advance copy in late 2004 and considered it my first favorite album of 2005. I didn’t realize it was going to stay there for the entire year.
  2. Sleater-Kinney, The Woods Sleater-Kinney + Dave Fridmann. Oh my, did that collaboration work.
  3. Duran Duran, Beautiful Colours This album reveals Astronaut for the tepid piece of crap it really is.
  4. bloodthirsty butchers, banging the drum The butchers are on fire with this album. Definitely better than the languid Birdy.
  5. Yorico, Cocoon Because she’s darker than Onitsuka Chihiro and rougher than Utada Hikaru, while still channeling Carole King.

Honestly — reissues and 2004 albums have been my favorites in 2005.

  • The Arcade Fire, Funeral Pretty good for a band ripping off the Flaming Lips. Jack White was talking about Win Butler (not by name) when he was ragging on singers who copy Wayne Coyne in the Fearless Freaks documentary. Still, it’s hard to deny Funeral is one hell of an interesting album.
  • Gang of Four, Entertainment! I feel cheated out of childhood for not having discovered this album when it first came out.
  • Naked City, Complete Studio Recordings The vocal version of Grand Guignol makes so much sense now.
  • Fuji Fabric, Fuji Fabric I think I’m the only person who thinks Fuji Fabric is reminiscent of Quruli. The two bands don’t actually sound the same, but I think they have a similar sense of eclectism.
  • The Killers, Hot Fuss No, I didn’t listen to this album till early 2005. Shut up. “Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a far better track than “Change Your Mind”.

Well, those two lists combined make 10. Right?