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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

[Music] Top Six List

Yesterday I was thinking about what my top 5 6 songs of 2005 were. I decided that the only criteria I would use would be: I liked it. So in the interests of taking up room on the internet and in no particular order:

  1. Juicebox by the Stokes (First Impression of Earth)

I have liked what the Strokes have done in the past but never enough to buy the album. This song, which is a very late entry to the 2005 list (so late in fact that it might actually be 2006), is just amazing. The big dirty bass riff that you can’t help but strut to does it for me. This song makes me want to learn bass.

  1. Goldigger by Kanye West (Late Registration)

I loved Graduation Day and so when Late Registration came out I was quick to snag a copy. And then Kanye released Goldigger as a single. Man, that was nuts. It’s a brilliant dance song as well and perfect for singing in the car.

  1. Dimension by Wolfmother (Wolfmother)

The opening of this track is a scream and then it gets better. The lyrics involve rock classics such as horses and deserts before the fall “into another dimension”, cue awesome guitar riff. These three Aussie guys are the reincarnation of Led Zeppelin and are part of the latest attempt to save rock and roll from the likes of Kelly Clarkson and those shit pop punk bands. Like Juicebox, this song is just the best to walk (strut) to and, again like Juicebox, it is a very late entry. Other Wolfmother songs considered: Collosal and Woman.

  1. TKO by Le Tigre (This Island)

I was trying to remember what I was listening to at the beginning of the year. How could I forget the lesbian electro power pop trio Le Tigre? After hearing their stuff on C4 for Big Day Out 2005, I went straight out and bought their album. TKO was the main single released from the album but also became my favourite (which is usually not the case). It is a little more “poppy” than the other stuff but I like it. The final track (Punker Plus) is another good ‘un. Note: Don’t confuse the band with the clothing label of the same name.

  1. November Has Come & All Alone by Gorillaz (Demon Days)

Every track on this album is a single! I have been cheeky and chosen two because they are both my favourite. All Alone has the great dubby voice of Roots Maunva and November Has Come features the mysterious MF Doom. Gorillaz second album is just so damn good! I bought it after a five minute listen at one of those CD store listening posts. Even the “spoken word” track, Fire Coming Out of a Monkey’s Head could be released as a single. All Alone is great for the dancy dub beat with Manuva’s made-up-word lyrics over the top (I am SO pissed off I missed him live). MF Doom must have been over the moon to work with cartoons (he’s already worked with DJ Dangermouse, who also features on Demon Days) and his crazy comparative lyrics merge beautifully into November Has Come without overpowering it.

  1. Wandering Eye by Fat Freddy’s Drop (Based on a True Story)

What are you? Nuts? I couldn’t leave out the Drop! First off my partner would slap me and then I would have to slap myself. Wandering Eye was always our favourite from the boys down the road (we live above Lyall Bay and are always seeing the guys at the fish and chip shop). Roady is a close second but, again, a slap from my partner means that Wandering Eye takes the prize. Surprisingly I have yet to see Freddy’s live (apart from the Cuba St Carnival in 2002). But I will and very soon at the Jackson St Party and Splore.

I did buy a lot of music this year and I could go on for ages (or at least to 10) but I’ll leave it there. Other tracks that could have made the list: First Time by Hollie Smith (E.P.); Flight of the Owl by Fly My Pretties (The Return Of…); O Baby by Charlie Ash (no album, yet!); Benzi Box by MF Doom and Dangermouse (Danger Doom); Werewolf Tries To Get a Date by Teenwolf (no album and another late 2005 entry) and probably a whole boatload I have forgotten.

Feel free to add your own picks in the comments, because I know you’re thinking about what you’d pick.


mike said...

First chance I get at work to perhaps add something to my blog, but
instead I come across this and have to leave a comment instead. (Well, at least I started writing it at work, but it took too long, so I finished it off here at home.)

I, too, bought a lot of music, although a lot of that lot was older stuff. But keeping to the topic, for what it's worth my six favourite songs from 2005 are (in no particular order, and likely to change by the time I finish writing this):

"Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" by Arcade Fire from "Funeral". So many great tracks, I could have chosen any of them, but I love Laika for its discordant melodies, the way parts of it seem shouted rather than sung (and yet still sound incredibly musical), the interweaving of the different styles, east and west. You name it.

"Like Eating Glass" by Bloc Party from "Silent Alarm". I just love the drumming. People at work must get sick of me tapping my feet to this one. And I won't say how "Silent Alarm" affects my driving. Actually, most of the songs on this album are like that. (I remember one time I annoyed a fellow worker when I moved the click wheel on my mouse in time to some music I was listening to - yeah, that probably was quite annoying.)

"Sad Girl" by Supergrass from "Road to Rouen" (what a great name). A different pace to many Supergrass songs, this is no less catchy.

"Blood" by Editors (note: no "The" at the front) from "The Back Room" (note: there is a "The" at the front). And for those that would disagree with my choice: "Blood runs through your veins, that's where our similarity ends..."

"Dayvan Cowboy" by Boards of Canada from "The Campfire Headphase. Very conventional for the Boards (it features a guitar; well, a sample of one at least), it is a study in restrained build-up to a fulfilling culmination.

"Wonder" by Breaks Co-op from "The Sound Inside". Many people would chose "The Otherside", which is an outstanding single on an outstanding album, but I love the grooves on "Wonder".

And as a special prize, the best driving song of 2005 goes to "Alpha Male" by Röyksopp from "The Understanding".

I'll probably be discovering more 2005 music as 2006 (and later years) roll on, as I'm usually pretty slow on the uptake, and I haven't really listened to a couple of my recent acquisitions (Fly My Pretties' "The Return of Fly My Pretties" and Rhombus' "Future Reference) enough to make any of the contents one of my favourites - yet.

Tom said...

I'm not going to write much or try too hard to keep it to six, but here are some:

"Love but not the Lesson" by Module, even though it sounds exactly like "Violator"-era Depeche Mode. Oh, who am I kidding: because it sounds exactly like "Violator"-era Depeche Mode. Could just have easily have been "Between the Stars and the Sky" or "I Neva Dared" (points off for gratuitous hip-hop spelling). Then again, if he'd put "Hot Stepper" or "Turn it All Around" on the album they might be up there, too.

"Haver" by Rhombus (it's about as hip-hop as I get). Could also have been "Scorching Bay". Anyway, any band that namechecks Ghuznee St in their liner notes gets my vote.

Your not going to make me choose just one track from Goldfrapp's "Supernature", are you?!?

Not sure which Boards of Canada track I'd choose. The guitarriness put me off at first (are they starting to sound like Skallander? Probably more likely the other way around), but it's growing on me. I just can't remember the names of individual tracks.

I was a bit disappointed by the new Röyksopp and Ladytron albums. And this may get me drummed out of Wellington, but I don't think I've listened to Freddy's album more than a couple of times (I get to hear it quite enough in cafés and shops, thank you very much): they're quite something live, but when it comes to dub I much prefer the techier end of the spectrum (Pitch Black, Epsilon Blue)

mike said...

Yeah, I agree, Tom, Röyksopp's latest doesn't occupy the same heights as does "Melody AM". Shame that. And I was a little disappointed with the Boards latest, although you're right, it does grow on you. However, I don't think I'll ever look back on it and see it in the same league as "Music has the Right to Children".

And I'm ashamed to say I haven't heard Module yet, and Fat Freddy's only once.