New Radiant Storm King - The Steady Hand: Bradley may have jumped the gun on album of the year, but it is really, really solid pop/rock bordering on shoegaze.
Omar Rodriguez - Omar Rodriguez: On his latest solo album, Omar tries to make freak-jazz a viability. The problem arises when your realize that highs aren't so high and the lows are boring and don't, like Frances the Mute did, make you anticipate the highs. I still applaud him for making music and challenging creative norms.
Good Clean Fun - Between Christian Rock and a Hard Place: I think the cheeks of the members of Good Clean Fun have holes in them from all the tongue jabs they get. Another solid batch of satire for the hardcore/emo/whateverelseitscalled crowd. The MySpace Song in particular, is amazing.
John Fahey - The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death: Interesting instrumental acoustic album from a guy who inspired a lot of people after him. Not something you'll play all the time, but something that should make mix tapes.
The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun: Leaps and bounds better than their debut. I wonder if I could play this on top of Rabbit Fur Coat and get a new Rilo Kiley album...
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not: Perhaps it's selfish of me, wanting thirteen new songs for their debut album and only getting a few, but that's my right. The songs they did re-record seem to lack some of the intensity that their demo brethren posessed. Ultimately, however, it's hard to deny that this is one hell of an album.
Pearls Before Swine - Balaklava: Building upon the concepts created for One Nation Underground, Balaklava feels more like a complete album. It's an excellent album at that.
Pearls Before Swine - One Nation Underground: Quirky without seeming contrived, this pyschadelic '60s album (though not pop) is certainly decent, just not amazing.
Felt - Forever Breathes The Lonely Word: Despite being '80s almost to a fault, this album could be the next 'next old [album] that's cool to like now'.
Cat Power - The Greatest: As if it were some fortune-telling device, this album turns out to be Chan Marshall's greatest to date. It's very accessible, without straying too much from her trademarks. It's entertaining and enjoyable, something previous albums weren't.
The Society of Rockets - Where The Grass Grows Black: Good old fashioned rock and roll that's fun to listen to without being cheesy.
Robert Pollard - From A Compound Eye: I was never really into Guided By Voices to begin with, so it's not surprising I'm not really into Pollard's solo album. That's not to say it's bad, it's just not for me.
Two Gallants - What The Toll Tells: Like some magnificent marriage of Bright Eyes and Against Me!.
Belated as usual, I bring to you my Top 35 of 2005. I know last year I did more than this (Top 88 of 2004), but I'll tell you why I did not.
Neutral Milk Hotel - When It All Caved In- Rarities and Final Show: This is the essential bootleg fans of NMH should obtain. At least, until Orange Twin gets their act together (or though it seems it's Jeff dragging his feet).
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