Top 10 (19) albums of 2005
I’ve been thinking about this the last few days as I find the whole ranking thing quite difficult – I feel so mean for relegating people to the lower rungs and then get pangs of conscience and become so indecisive that I’ve to start all over again – so here it is before I change my mind again. I started with top 10 list which became 19 with notable extras. It’s my list so I’m allowed have 19….it’s too hard to stop at 10. And I’ve actually left out quite a large number of CDs I’ve gotten in the past year that don’t fit! ‘Tis no wonder I’ve little enough disposable income!
1. Exploration – Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
Amazing album – made so much better by their gig in Whelans. I doubt any readers of this blog were there – there were about 30 people in total – they are totally underappreciated in Ireland. They are numero uno simply because I know all the words to all the songs and had to mouth them at the gig as my harmonies (i.e. singing off key) would’ve been quite noticeable! She’s Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter – recommend their live EP too.
2. The Duhks - The Duhks
Celtic folk bluegrass kinda brilliance. Hard to quantify really. Played a stunner of a gig in Whelans over the summer.
3. Eveningland – Hem
The most sublime listening experience I’ve had all year.
4. Prairie Wind - Neil Young
The great man returns after green detours. Made so sweet by week long appearance on Conan O’Brien last week – 2 songs every night – he played needle and the damage done and I think I cried. It was that good I don’t actually remember.
5. Live at the Fillmore - Lucinda Williams
At her very best – disc 1 more acoustic stuff. Disc 2 amazing. My flatmates hate it. I tend to view this as a great endorsement – a 7min plus version of Joy….what more does a girl need?
6. Wolf Parade- Apologies to the Queen Mary
Unfortunately don’t have tickets to Whelan’s gig at weekend – album superb.
Have EP as well. Does that make me like those Arcade Fire geeks on eyebrowy.com?
7. Humming By the Flowered Vine - Laura Cantrell
Her voice is even more amazing live, if that’s possible.
8. I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - Bright Eyes
Originally liked Digital Ash better – this though has crept into my iPod’s most played.
9. Illinois - Sufjan Stevens
Because it’s really good. Because most people will have it on their top 10s. I’m a follower.
10. Plans - Death Cab for Cutie
Transatlanticsm was a hard act to follow – plans doesn’t quite meet the challenge imho, but still great.
11. Devils and Dust – Springsteen
The Boss rules.
12. Superwolf - Bonnie Prince Billy & Matt Sweeney
Not as good as greatest palace music but it’s the bonnie prince genius.
13. Mercy Now - Mary Gauthier
Because “I drink” makes me feel like an alcoholic. And her sublime performance in the point supporting Willie Nelson wiped away my irritation at going early and abandoning friends in the pub to hear her – only to have a gang of middle aged Daniel O’Donnell fans spend the entire time talking about the last D O’D concert they were at and then kept calling Mary a man. What part of Mary didn’t they understand?
14. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2
15. Nashville - Josh Rouse
Not quite as good as Home but still fantastic
16. Jacksonville City Lights - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
He needs to appreciate the value of saving some stuff that one records while young to release posthumously. That said this is a return to form. Picked it over Cold Roses simply because it was released later and I’ve listened to it more.
17. Lonely Runs Both Ways - Allison Krauss and Union Station
Living Prayer is one of the most spiritually inspiring songs I’ve heard all year. Restless and Gravity are among her best. And she should have shamed Paul Brady who was at her concert in the Olympia, into never picking up a guitar and singing again.
18. Okemah and the Melody of Riot - Son Volt
I’m a big fan of Son Volt and was waiting for this album. No surprises really – so just really like it!
19. Cripple Crow - Devendra Banhart
In Reins – Iron and Wine/Calexico : Because having top 20 too excessive.
Picaresque – the Decembrists : Cool lyrics. Cool band
What I Really Mean - Robert Earl Keen
Amos Lee - Amos Lee
Souls Alike - Bonnie Raitt
Gimme Fiction - Spoon
Year of the Meteors - Laura Veirs
Blinking Lights and Other Revelations - Eels
Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
The Outsider - Rodney Crowell
Fair & Square - John Prine
Back to Me - Kathleen Edwards
Early 21st Century Blues - Cowboy Junkies : Cowboy Junkies albums tend to sound the same – music to commit suicide to – bought this for covers of “Missing” by the Boss and One by U2. Was not disappointed.
RASPBERRY – Cure – Saw Doctors
Bought it at their last gig in the Olympia thinking the songs didn’t play had to be better than the ones they did. They’re not. Have listened to it 1 and half times. Can’t put myself through the pain again.
Of course, all of the above is only relevant until Westlife release their new album – then everything is subject to change!