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The site has multiple lists for every genre found on the site (Latin, Country, Jazz, etc.), along with specific editor's picks, but this is the official list of the "Top 50 New Releases", which includes all genres, so I'm guessing this is the main list
(in alphabetical order)
Annie - Anniemal
Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die
Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll
Beck - Guero
Andrew Bird - Mysterious Production of Eggs
Broadcast - Tender Buttons
James Carter - Gold Sounds
Keyshia Cole - The Way It Is
Common - Be
Danger Doom - The Mouse & The Mask
Deerhoof - The Runners Four
Neil Diamond - 12 Songs
Dave Douglas - Mountain Passages
The Fiery Furnaces - The Fiery FurnacesEP
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Anthony Hamilton - Ain't Nobody Worryin'
Richard Hawley - Cole's Corner
Toby Keith - Honkytonk University
Kelley Polar - Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens
The Kills - No Wow
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
Ladytron - Witching Hour
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter, Vol. 2
M.I.A. - Arular
Marah - If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry
Damian "Junior Gong" Marley - Welcome To Jamrock
Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth
Brad Paisley - Time Well Wasted
Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze
The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang
Josh Rouse - Nashville
Shakira - Fijación Oral, Vol. 1
The Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Smog - A River Ain't Too Much To Love
Epic Soundtracks - Good Things
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust
Marty Stuart - Badlands
Supergrass - Road To Rouen
Ween - Shinola, Vol. 1
Paul Weller - As Is Now
Kanye West - Late Registration
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Lee Ann Womack - There's More Where That Came From
Honestly, I think this is the best list I've seen this year. I mean, we can all disagree with certain picks (Toby Keith?!? Seriously, I'd rather shoot my left ear off), but it's very varied, and very representative of the current musical scene. And the best part? They don't feel the need to RANK everything!
YAY, no Sufjan Stevens! *applause*
You want Oasis and Rolling Stones instead of Sufjan Stevens and Magic Numbers? Really? REALLY???
I really dislike this list. It omits some consensus good-to-great albums, like Picaresque and (especially) Illinois, and instead of naming fresh albums to take these spots, it puts in dinosaurs like the Rolling Stones, Oasis and the White Stripes.
So Sufjan Stevens is missing, I doubt it's going to hurt his Acclaimed rating. Besides, the album only received a 4 star rating (rather than the typically 4 and a half for "instant classics"). I mean, if the AMG reviewer could do it again, I reckon they'd give it the 4½ rating that most of us agree it deserves. And yes, the Rolling Stones and Oasis albums were pretty balls-out bad, but where else is Lee Ann Womack, Anthony Hamilton, Lil' Wayne and Smog going to get their due on 1 comprehensive lists? Especially since those 4 are among the most respected artists in their genre (I'm from Houston, TRUST ME about Lil' Wayne). I mean, do you people really want to see another "Top 50 of 2005", that's ENTIRELY indie rock, with only Kanye West as the exception?
Unlike some people, I don't dislike Oasis and The Rolling Stones just because I'll be "cool." I could care less. However, ten years from now I don't think Illinois will be remembered and revered as well. In fact, critics have put him on a pedestal so high, the slightest misstep will happen and no one will give a shit about him.
There are much worse lists than this, but aside from the Sufjan S and Magic N omissions, I think the choices of non-US records are poor (and too few).
Well a lot of British albums have yet to import into the states so there are some that haven't even been reviewed. The Magic Numbers only got a 2.5 star rating from AMG, unfairly. I'm just tired of seeing the same old predictable ass lists I have been seeing this year. That's why the ranking numbers are extremely uneven. Again, with Illinois. Don't get me wrong. It's fantastic, yet fantastically OVERRATED. It's no better than his last two albums, especially Seven Swans, yet that album is ranked relatively low. The follow-up to Illinois will likely be a stronger album but will probably be met with indifference from critics. They build you up and knock you down like a game of Jenga.
I agree with Michael, I think Sufjan Stevens is being over-hyped. I dont own the album but i have listened to it and I just didnt find it that interesting. And I think the idea of doing an album about each state in the USA is quite silly.
Good to see Supergrass's album on that list!
Hooray for another mention for Anniemal. Hopefully it will help Annie re-establish a foothold in the albums list!
Annie is definitely heading for the "lost classic" label...
In reference to bob calling Oasis and the White Stripes dinosaurs. Oasis has barely been around for more than a decade, and the White Stripes even less ... Are our attention spans so short these days that we refer to bands that have been around since the '90s as pre-historic?
And with the Rolling Stones, you made the completely opposite wrong statement. The Stones aren't dinosaurs, they're pre-dinosaur, like the first organisms that dragged themselves out of the water to breath in air. But, hey, even slimey fishy creatures can make a pretty good album every couple of decades.
As for Sufjan Stevens ... while most of us can agree that he has been somewhat overrated, most of us can also agree that "Illinois" is a pretty good, borderline great album that should be on just about anybody's top 50 list at least, even if it's number 50.
I'm not going to lie. Illinois is among my top 30. But there FAR more cohesive and less indulgent albums. What marrs Illinois is its tendency to be pretentious and a clear lack of emotional resonance in his vocals. It's too precious and pleasant for its own good. Even the concept is pretentious. An album for each state? People often cite the lyrics as works of genius when all Sufjan did was thorough research. While it may be somewhat innovative, it sounds contrived on occassion, cramming every little idea into a song, sometimes making Illinois a sprawling, meandering, and shambolic mess. But it DOES sound nice.
I'm the one who should get attacked re: Oasis and Rolling Stones, and I have to admit that I have actually heard very little of their new albums...but I'm not trying to be cool, I'm just very tired of hearing about these bands.
As for Sufjan, I don't give a damn about the 50 states project. He's not going to do it of course, it's just something he said to get people's attention. After two listenings I thought "Illinois" was an average album, the turning point came when I actively listened to "John Wayne Gacy, Jr" and "Casimir Pulaski Day". The lyrics to these songs come from a genius. "Illinois" was the album I listened to most last year and it grew on me with every listen. For me, it stands head and shoulders above all other albums from 2005.
After two listenings I thought "Illinois" was an average album, the turning point came when I actively listened to "John Wayne Gacy, Jr" and "Casimir Pulaski Day".
Agreed. I don't know how one couldn't detect emotional resonance in these songs. And what I really like about Illinois is the balance between craft and this type of emotional resonance. Plus, it reminds me of Vince Guaraldi.
I do agree it's overlong, though. (Though it's weird that he gets criticized for ambition; whatever happened to ambition being a good thing?) Anyway, cut it to 45 minutes, and it's pretty much unimpeachable.
I love ambition, but it's another thing to be self-indulgent. Regardless of how good the album may sound, his voice is just merely pretty. No range is displayed and can get rather monotonous after the course of 70+ minutes. I just feel everyone praises Illinois because they feel like they should since that is the consensus. It's shaping up to be as hyped as OK Computer, a flawless, but STILL ridiculously overhyped album.
I really don't need range in a voice for it to be emotionally compelling -- the delivery combined with the lyrics on "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." are fantastic, IMO.
You're right that it is overstuffed, though. I'm forgiving it, mainly because there are very few artists even attempting anything of such scope these days. It's a pretty unique thing he's up to.
I've frankly been surprised by the amount of praise, though. I really liked Michigan, and got Illinois the day it was released as a result. (Much like OK Computer, actually!)
I loved it, and expected good reviews, but like with OKC I was a little surprised at the total consensus. For me, though, that was surprised in a good way.
Re Oasis and the White Stripes - I have to admit to not knowing their respective albums beyond the singles, but I do feel that their music has become quite formulaic, if that is the word. Nothing wrong with that as such, but if the melodies are lacking, it really bothers me that these acts take the place of people like Sufjan Stevens, who isn't half as famous as the White Stripes and is much more deserving of the hype.
As I see it, pretty much the only reason to put these albums in a year-end list is because it would remind you of the older, better albums. And that's a pity, because there are only about 50 spots in a top 50.
Finally, living in Europe, I think everybody in the indie world is seriously overestimating the hype around Sufjan. I mean, when I told the people at work I was going to his concert, no-one had ever even heard of him. He barely sells out venues of 1,000 or something and never gets any airplay. That puts his so-called popularity in a different perspective.
How can you call The White Stripes formulaic when Get Behind Me Satan is a complete departure from past works and is its most diverse collection of songs to date? And with Oasis, Don't Believe the Truth is one of their most ambitious and complicated albums. I am not saying that they have reinvented the wheel but it definitely doesn't try to ape past successes. The world will forget about the Sufjan Stevens hype in a couple of years time. I recommend Seven Swans over Illinois any day.
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