2005: The year in review
“Boom, boom, boom! Damn it, I need more boom, boom,
Remember that line from “The Jazz Singer,” when Neil Diamond was at the end of
his rope with the studio musicians and production team? Well, in 2005, it could
be said that we got more boom, boom, boom. And a new Neil Diamond record to
Yes, 2005 started strong and maintained a steady flow of quality new releases,
somewhat alleviating the sluggishness of last year’s largely uninspiring titles.
Throwbacks like Diamond and the always vital Bruce Springsteen etched new marks,
while forgotten relic Billy Idol landed a sucker punch from left field. Steady
Eddies like Coldplay and Beck kept cranking along, and the fresh-faced New
Pornographers injected something more original.
While tenured icons Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones dropped disappointing
bombs, still others like Aerosmith managed to delight, even if by dusting off
archived material and going at it live. Billy Corgan (admittedly) needs to get
his band, either band, back together. Sheryl Crow needs to get married already
and somehow find misery again, as it’s far more becoming of her as a songwriter.
Oasis appears to be retiring, and the Foo Fighters really need to steer clear of
Without further ado, I present the ten must-own CDs released this calendar year,
as usual in no pre-determined order:
Okemah and the Melody of Riot (Sony)
Just when you thought Jay Farrar was ready to pull the plug on his Son Volt
creation, they go and assemble arguably the band’s finest hour, at least since
Kings of Leon:
Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA)
Good enough for Tom Hamilton, good enough for me! And 5 points extra credit for
anyone who deciphers the meaning of this title.
Eminem would say, “And the beat goes on and on.”
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals:
Cold Roses (Lost Highway)
The guy continues to write at an alarming pace, but of three original releases
this year, this one towers above.
Devil’s Playground (Sanctuary)
Can reuniting with your old producer really have such an impact? Keith Forsey
must’ve studied under Rick Rubin at some point.
Twin Cinema (Matador)
guys continue to outlast, outwit, and outplay each of
their former bands."
CMJ Monthly crowned them “the best pop band alive.” That might be a stretch, but
this is a great record.
Just when I had given up on Beck, following the narcoleptic Sea Change, he
delivers a fruity, fun homerun.
12 Songs (Sony)
Audioslave: Out of Exile (Sony)
These guys continue to outlast, outwit, and outplay each of their former bands.
“Doesn’t Remind Me” is my song of the year.
Devils & Dust (Sony)
We will now all bow down to King Midas!
Honorable Mentions, and one Dishonorable Mention
Best Tribute Album:
Numbers from the Beast - A Tribute to Iron Maiden (Restless)
Want a tribute project to work? Hire Lemmy Kilmister to do the band’s most
Best Live Album: Aerosmith,
Rockin’ The Joint (Live from the Hard Rock Hotel)
“Seasons of Wither”, “Big Ten Inch Record”, “Train Kept A’ Rollin’.” Are you
fucking kidding me!?
Best Greatest Hits Collection: Iggy Pop,
A Million in Prizes (The Iggy Pop
No, I wanna be your dog!
Best Reissue Album: Motorhead, Overkill (Sanctuary)
So why were we listening to REO Speedwagon in 1979?
Best band you’ve never heard of and probably won’t hear from again: The Tom
Atlanta is fertile ground for new bands, now let’s see if
Daylight Tonight is
these Zeppelin lover’s first and last.
Best signal that a career has crashed and burned: Alanis Morissette’s desperate
re-release of Jagged Little Pill in an acoustic format ten years later.