Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Year That Was: 2005 - Part V (10-6)

:: 10 ::

Andrew Bird “Fake PalindromesAndrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs

From an artist whose M.O. is being all over the place and an album recorded in the same vein, “Fake Palindromes” feels so focused. The stop-start pacing strings us along from the get-go. We want to sing along, and hold hands and sing:

“And we’re gonna tie your wrists with leather and drill a tiny hole into your head. And we’re gonna drill a tiny hole!”

Artist Site:
Buy Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs

:: 9 ::

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead “Worlds ApartWorlds Apart

The brashest, most irreverently political pop song of the year. You’d think we’d flinch at the 9/11 reference: “How they laugh as we shovel the ashes of the Twin Towers!” but then again, this band has never really been one to mince words. I must also recognize that the children reacting with cheers and laughter to the lyrics adds a nice touch; they single-handedly took this song to the top.

Artist Site:
Buy Worlds Apart

:: 8 ::

Sufjan Stevens “ChicagoIllinois

The road-trip song of the year, off of Sufjan Stevens’ 50-state project. Is it his voice or his blunt lyrics that makes this song so emotional for us?

“I was in love with a place in my mind, in my mind. I made a lot of mistakes in my mind, in my mind."

Artist Site:
Buy Illinois

:: 7 ::

Stars “Your Ex-Lover Is DeadSet Yourself on Fire

Stars have a knack for creating vibrant, danceable music. The pounding of the bass and the drums. The twinkle of the keys. The driving rhythm of the guitar. The lead hook being played on a cello. We’re not sure which of these elements makes the tone perfect for a dramatic post-breakup song. And we don’t know anyone who has had enough of Torquill Cambell’s voice. Her stage performance freaks us out, but that’s why they invented eyelids.

Artist Site:
Buy Set Yourself on Fire

:: 6 ::

Eels “Things the Grandchildren Should KnowBlinking Lights (and Other Revelations)

The capper of his two-disc autobiography, “Things the Grandchildren Should Know” has the weighty obligation of bringing things to a close. And, if this is E’s farewell to the music business -- a rumor the man denies (but, then again, he also denied being MC Honky) -- we can’t think of a more perfect way to remember him.

“And I had some regrets, but if I had to do it all again. Well, it’s something I’d like to do.”

Artist Site:
Buy Blinking Lights (and Other Revelations)

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