Saturday, December 31, 2005
#2 Minus the Bear - Menos el Oso
I love everything about this band. They are one of the few truly unique bands that I listen to. There is a funkiness to the music that I really like. The lyrics usually tell a story and can often be very witty. They set a mood with their album that I just can't quite explain. Everyone should give these guys a listen.
Friday, December 30, 2005
#3 Nightmare of You - Nightmare of You
I was so happy to hear these guys were releasing something this year. I had the original demos for what seemed like forever. They matured a lot from the demos to the new album. I love the lyrics and Brandon's voice. The music spans a range of influences and keeps the album fresh. They throw everything at you, from a country style steel guitar to 80's synth and it all works.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
#4 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Holy shit, this album hit me out of nowhere. This is one of the most beautiful albums of recent memory. Sufjan can take any subject and write an amazing song. I recall reading that he played most of the instruments on the album, which if it's true, is an amazing feat. Another thing that he has going for him is taht his song titles are longer than fall out boy's titles. I love this album but i like the next 3 a little more.
#5 Kevin Devine - Split the Country, Split the Streets
Kevin might write the best lyrics of recent memory (ok, maybe that's a stretch, but they are damn good). I would quote you some examples but I might get my blog shutdown by the RIAA. Although I don't always agree with the political messages in a few of the songs, I feel like they don't overpower the songs and I can still enjoy them. The reason I feel that this album is top 5 material is that this fall, I listened to this album at least twice a week. Something about the honesty in his lyrics mixed with somewhat catchy music draws me in. It's a great album to just sit back and relax to, although there are a few songs that rock. Overall this album, although similar to the last, seems to be a little more personal. My only problem is the lack of more fast songs because those were my favorite on his last album.
#6 Gatsbys American Dream - Volcano
These guys put out one of the catchiest albums of the year and most of the songs don't even have choruses. I also think that Nick has one of the best voices in the scene. There is just something about this band that does it for me. I feel like their energy from their live show somehow comes through on their album, and that's a great thing.
Monday, December 26, 2005
#7 Thrice - Vheissu
I saw these guys play 2 songs from the album at warped tour and it got me extremely excited for this release. When I finally got the album, I was very disappointed. The album had more mellow songs than I was looking for. After the initial disappointment wore off, I found that this is really a great album. Thrice took a risk and I feel that in the long run it will work out well for them. "The Earth Will Shake" was amazing at warped tour and the album version just blows me away. I feel like everyone should pick up this album (the limited edition one with the comments from the band members in the liner notes)and just sit down and read it while listening.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
#8 Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory
Probably one of my most anticipated releases of 2005. This is my favorite live band and the new songs are really good live. Although I like the last album better, this album has a much fuller sound. I also think that it was a step in the right direction for Justin to write more personal songs rather than just make up stories for each song. I don't know how influential Mark Hoppus was on the album but I think it is a solid debut for his production skills. I think this band could be huge and their next album might just put them there.....hell, their next single (Hold Me Down) might just do it.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
#9 Houston Calls - A Collection of Short Stories
This album was a huge step forward for these guys. I really needed this album; I had listened to their sampler cds way too many times. It is an up beat album that puts me in a good mood. I must have listened to it all day at work for at least a week straight.
Friday, December 23, 2005
#10 Jimmy Eat World - Stay On My Side Tonight
If you take the remix off of this album it would be higher. I love every song on this album that isn’t a remix. I usually don’t buy that many EPs but this one was an exception. The more that I hear songs from the Mark Trombino sessions, the more I wish they released that album instead. I really love the percussion on this album.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
#11 Armor for Sleep - What To Do When You Are Dead
I was extremely excited for this album and it exceeded my expectations. The concept of the album is very cool and the art work goes along with it well. The album bounces from rocking out to somewhat chill very easily. Ben has a unique voice that I really enjoy. This album is much more complex and layered than the last one (not that there is anything wrong with the last one, it rocks). Both of their albums seem to create their own mood and draw you in.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
#12 John Ralston - Needle Bed
One of the few bands on this list that I did not learn about through downloading and/or absolutepunk.net. I was totally surprised by this band when they opened for the Get Up Kids in June. I was pissed about the openers being bands I didn’t know because some of the shows were being opened by bands like Straylight Run. It turns out that John Ralston is better than Straylight Run, so I quickly changed my mood from pissed to entertained. The album is very catchy, the songs Gone, Gone, Gone and When We Are Cats are exceptionally good. Oh, this guy is unsigned so get the cd from cdbaby.com.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
#13 Panic! at the Disco
This band came out of nowhere. They hadn’t even toured when they released this album. Although they draw many comparisons to Fall Out Boy, they definitely have a uniqueness with the addition of synth and often better lyrics that the new Fall Out Boy record. This album will put you in a good mood and have you dancing in no time. I remember having a demo sent to me of one of the songs long before the album was released and I just listened once and forgot about it. Once I had versions of the songs with synth, I was excited for this release. It also managed to stay off the internet until the Friday before release which is very impressive.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
#14 Say Anything - Vs. Aids Demos/...Was A Real Boy
This wasn’t even a real release but I don’t care. I had one of the demos for awhile and really liked it even though the quality was awful. Then I got the rest of the demos and despite the horrible quality, I would listen to them all the time just because it was something new from a great band. Finally, some of them were re-recorded for the reissue of “Is a Real Boy” called “Was a Real Boy”. The songs are all a step forward for the band and make me excited for the next release and almost make up for them canceling the show this summer. Now if only Max could get into a better mental state and write the new album.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
#15 Gym Class Heroes - The Papercut Chronicles
I saw these guys open for Fall Out Boy twice. The first time I had no idea who they were and was totally not expecting a rap act that uses instruments. They pull it off very well. The lyrics are actually somewhat intelligent which is a breath of fresh air in the rap department (thanks also to Kanye West). It is also nice to listen to a “rap” album that doesn’t have skits every other song. This album uses a tight rhythm section, a talented guitarist and an intelligent and gifted lyricist to create something unique.
#16 Mae - The Everglow
This album mixes piano and pop rock very well. The songs range from catchy pop songs to slow, sometimes sad piano driven songs. The best part of the album is that all of these songs are mixed together and all seem to have a sense of hope attached to them. The concept of the album being like a book combined with the artwork that resembles a book is great also.
Friday, December 16, 2005
#17 Jack's Mannequin - Everything In Transit
This was a great summer album. Andrew wrote this song as a soundtrack to his life, and I think that was a great idea and it definitely shows in the lyrics. This is just a fun album that puts me in a good mood.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
#18 Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
This album was a long time coming. The hype was built up by the supposed shelving of the album by Sony although this was actually just because Fiona was not happy with the album. I don’t know what was wrong with the original version, but the final version isn’t that much different. Fiona always puts me in a certain mood that I can’t describe, but I like it.
#19 Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
A somewhat disappointing release but still a solid album by one of my favorite song writers. I didn’t really get into Death Cab until the summer of 2004; I picked up Transatlanticism on a whim and loved it. This album is not quite as good as some of their previous albums but it shows that they are not going to change their sound just because they are on a major label. There are many beautiful songs on this record such as Summer Skin and Soul Meets Body. It is the type of album that I love to listen to in the car or at work to relax when I’m a little stressed. Ben Gibbard continues to write great songs which is enough to make me happy until the next release.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The first time I listened to this album was at work and as soon as “Devotion and Desire” hit my ears I was blown away and immediately stopped doing my work. There is so much emotion in the lyrics and the music fits this perfectly. I was lucky enough to see them play this fall before their drummer was killed in a van accident on the way to a show. The band continued to tour as an acoustic act for the rest of the tour; this shows me that the band has a lot of courage and I greatly respect them. The lyrics are somewhat dark and honest as they were on the last album, which I think is a great change from some of the bands I listen to. I hope that the band can find a new drummer and continue to write great music. I would recommend this band to anyone that likes Alkaline Trio, the vocals are very similar.
Monday, December 12, 2005
#21 Veda - The Weight of an Empty Room
My God this girl has got an amazing voice. I first heard their EP on their record label’s site. When the full length was released, I immediately fell in love with Kristen’s voice all over again. Her voice is so overpowering that Thrice couldn't find a way to put her in a song on their new album without her voice taking over the song. It’s one of those albums that you put on and just get lost and then all of a sudden it is over and you want to do it all again. I highly recommend giving this band a chance, especially if you like female vocalists.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
#22 Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn/I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
Until these albums were released, I was not much of a Bright Eyes fan. I had trouble enjoying Conor Oberst’s voice, but with these releases I was able to get used to it. There is a reason I have listed them as one album. First of all, they were released on the same day and could very well be a double album that has one side of acoustic music and one side of more electronic rock. The main reason is that I started listening to Digital Ash and didn’t pay much attention to Wide Awake; Digital Urn seemed to suit me more at the time. Recently I have started listening to Wide Awake more often. It’s a mix of singer songwriter type music and country if country was good. Although I don’t agree with most of the political aspects of the album, they are not so overwhelming that I can not enjoy the album. I would recommend the songs “Easy, Lucky, Free” and “Lua” as starting points for each album.
#23 Acceptance - Phantoms
Everyone should buy this album. It’s a great mix of catchy rock and emo. You should have heard of this band but you probably haven’t. The unmastered version of the album leaked very early (like months and months ahead of time). The combination of this and poor marketing by Columbia records (they picked horrible singles) has not helped this album’s sales at all. This really is one of the catchiest albums of the year.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Album #24 The Spill Canvas - One Fell Swoop
I was someone excited for this album but did not want to get my hopes up because their first album was hit or miss. Although this album does not deliver a track as stellar as “the tide,” I feel that is a much more solid album. I must have listened to this for a week straight at work. A lot of the songs seem to describe situations I was going through or had been through, so that was an added bonus. Although the lyrics can seem a bit cheesy at times, overall they are very well written and seem to come from the heart.
And so begins the countdown......
I’ve been a Millencolin fan for awhile now, but I think I got this album more for Steve and JP, so I didn’t listen to it that much at first because I knew they would be playing it constantly. Once summer rolled around I started listening to it a lot and then saw them at warped tour and was blown away. Then I saw their video and was also blown away. This is a great pop punk record that everyone should give a listen.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Top Ten Songs of All Time
10. Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Breaking the Girl
8. Weezer - Say It Ain't So
7. Green Day - She
6. Elliott Smith - Bled White
5. Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
4. Brand New - Jaws Theme Swimming
3. The Get Up Kids - Walking on a Wire
2. The Clash - Spanish Bombs
1. Sublime - Badfish