Monday, January 02, 2006

The Year That Was: 2005 - Part III (20-16)

[See the introduction in Part One (below)]

:: 20 ::

Fiona Apple | “Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)” | Extraordinary Machine

Now that Fiona has been “freed,” she’s back six years after her brilliant sophomore album When the Pawn... with slightly revamped versions of the album leaked last summer. “Tymps” is the exception, a song absent from the original leaks to the Internets, and one that has such locomotion that it somehow brings order to the rest of the album, which had sounded somewhat schizophrenically compiled.

“And that signature thing that used to bring a following I have trouble now even remembering.”

Artist Site:
Buy Extraordinary Machine

:: 19 ::

Death Cab for Cutie | “Marching Bands of Manhattan” | Plans

We’ve all had enough of Death Cabbies jumping off the bandwagon once it made a stop at the O.C. Plans is a better-than-decent album that fails mostly in its inability to match the cohesiveness of Transatlanticism, but it is half-full with gems like the tone-setting opener, “Marching Bands of Manhattan.” Say what you will, but we’re human and we’ll cave to Ben Gibbard’s voice on top of that spacey organ any day.

Band site:
Buy Plans

:: 18 ::

Eels | “In the Yard, Behind the Church” | Blinking Lights (and Other Revelations)

E is the king of personal masterpieces. Blinking Lights may be the most inexplicably overlooked album of 2005; nine of its 33 tracks received nominations in the Toaster’s 2005 Best Of process, but it seems to have been forgotten in most critics’ end-of-the-year honors. “In the Yard’ may not be representative of the work as a whole, but it shines easily on its own as it plunges the listener from its delicate, bell-tinkling verses to its driving, lush vocal-less choruses.

Band site:
Buy Blinking Lights (and Other Revelations)

:: 17 ::

Franz Ferdinand | “The Fallen” | You Could Have It So Much Better

Franz at its finest. Yep.

“Well, what’s wrong with a little destruction?”

Band site:
Buy You Could Have It So Much Better

:: 16 ::

Martha Wainwright | “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” | Martha Wainwright

Rufus’ little sister Martha Wainwright seems to have also inherited the family’s gift of bringing its personal problems into the public spotlight via song. The Toaster isn’t quite sure just who Martha’s singing to, but the muscle in her voice and the way she spits out “for you-whoever you are” lets us know she means it.

“And you have no idea, no idea how it feels to be on your own in your own home, with the fucking phone and the mother of gloom in your bedroom.”

Artist site:
Buy Martha Wainwright

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