The Top 20 Albums of 2005!
#20. The Decemberists - Picaresque
#19. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
#18. Eskimohunter - Musical Snowglobe Machine
#17. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
#16. M.I.A. - Arular
#15. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
#14. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
#13. Animal Collective - Feels
#12. Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase
#11. Jackson & His Computer Band - Smash
#10. Ladytron - Witching Hour
#9. Mazarin - We're Already There
#8. Broadcast - Tender Buttons
#7. Serena Maneesh - Self-Titled
#6. Caribou - The Milk of Human Kindness
#5. Stephen Malkmus - Face the Truth
#4. The Clientele - Strange Geometry
#3. Sleater Kinney - The Woods
#2. Deerhoof - The Runners Four
#1. Doves - Some Cities
In the past I’ve always glanced over Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast as decent yet strong albums. And to be honest Doves have always seemed to straddle the line between Shoegaze and Britpop without committing to either side or attempting to make a statement. The task of trying to build a sound that simply brings out the best in both genres is nice, safe, and just okay, but not as convincing or rewarding as taking a risk with new ideas while maintaining your musical personality in every song.
Fortunately, Doves Made album #3 their perfect record that cuts and swerves through all genres while at the same time sounding completely fresh. The only band that came close to making a sonic leap from their last record in this fashion while still sounding ”new” was Deerhoof. It was close and both bands made incredible albums garnering new fans and blowing the minds of longtime followers.
Doves recorded an album that doesn’t owe so much to The Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and Joe Jackson as they do to themselves. They’ve always been masterful at creating mood and soothing melodies, but Some Cities is edgier, catchy, and mesmerizing all the way through. No album this year is this consistent and uplifting while sounding like they’ve stumbled into new pop territory. There’s also a nice balance between sound manipulation and instrumental arrangements, see “One of these Days”. Doves consistently introduce new sounds without relying on specific effects, studio trickery, or some tired 80’s trend. Tracks like “Snowden”, “The Storm”, and “Black and White Town” are so perfectly different, unique, and even accessible. Not that accessibility is the best quality in a song but even The Beatles still appeal to kids and adults all over the world. This is one of the few albums I can still listen to all the way through since it’s early 2005 release and still feel excited about what this band has in store for us.