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Fox News Top Albums of 2005

Fox News: Top Albums of 2005

Here we go. The best of the year:

1. “Cold Roses” -- Ryan Adams
You know it was the best because the Grammys ignored it. “When Will You Come Back Home,” “How Do You Keep Love Alive” and “Meadowlake Street” are now logged into every one of my MP3 players. I guess Adams has a bad rep in some circles. Some people think he’s Bryan Adams. He’s not, trust me.

2. “A Time 2 Love” -- Stevie Wonder
Motown has done very little for Stevie, and my guess is he’ll leave first chance he gets. “A Time 2 Love” should have been a Grammy nominee. Fifteen sterling tracks include several memorable ballads. Where was Universal’s Doug Morris on this? Didn’t he say at Stevie’s sad little launch party that he was going to undertake this project “personally”? And the always charming Sylvia Rhone is about to get promoted. Not before you explain this disaster.

3. “Chaos and Creation” -- Paul McCartney
A Grammy nomination for Best Album. No sales. But McCartney found a melodic and lyric groove that was a little dark for him and it all worked. No single yet, but “How Kind of You” is starting to get a little airplay. It sounds great. My favorites: “This Never Happened Before” and “At the Mercy.”

4. “Get Lifted” -- John Legend
Is there a future for R&B besides Alicia Keys? Yes, and John Legend could be it. An album that just gets better and better with every listen. I think I could listen to “Live it Up” and “So High” 100 more times without ever getting bored. Dig the sample of The Staples Singers’ “Let’s Do It Again.” Thank you, John. And to think Kanye West had something to do with this. Go figure.

5. “Unpredictable” -- Jamie Foxx
Surprise! Jamie Foxx will be insufferable now, with an Oscar and a hit album. “Extravaganza” is a dynamite single, and there are plenty of well-produced tracks here that have nothing whatsoever to do with Ray Charles.

6. “The Emancipation of Mimi” -- Mariah Carey
Just the fact that Mariah was able to come back from her “Glitter” disaster is news enough. “We Belong Together” was the song of the summer, and now an extended version of the album has yielded “Don’t Forget About Us.” Benny Medina has to get credit, too. And Randy Jackson, who most people now think of as being from “American Idol,” is Mariah’s secret weapon.

7. “Suit” -- Nelly
Despite a lot of sampling, Nelly made a clever, smooth R&B album that makes sense. Where Kanye is stringent and annoying, Nelly seems to know that a clipped together production is simply fun, and that’s all. That’s why “Over and Over” with Tim McGraw is so much more appealing than any of Kanye’s posing. And Nelly is a nice guy, too. I’ll never forget him coming out periodically to bring Patti LaBelle water or comfort during the taping of her birthday special.

8. “Something to Be” -- Rob Thomas
Rob Thomas isn’t cool, but he’s hot. His solo album is filled with well-crafted, richly produced, hook-driven hits. They fall somewhere between pop-rock and pop-soul, which ain’t bad. “Lonely No More” remains the commercial standout, but I love “Streetcorner Symphony.” This is an album that will last past its expiration date. Another really nice guy, too.

9. “All That I Am” -- Santana
There will never be another “Caravanserai” or “Abraxas,” so “All That I Am” is going to have to do. Why not? The instrumental “Trinity” soars and makes the whole album. Anthony Hamilton, Steven Tyler and Michelle Branch make it a Santana party.

10. “No Direction Home” (Bootleg Series Vol. 7) -- Bob Dylan
Martin Scorsese’s documentary DVD was accompanied by this soundtrack CD. They are each totally invaluable chronicles of Dylan, huge hope chests crammed with gifts of all time. “Visions of Johanna” and “Masters of War” are now elevated to a status higher than we knew existed.

11. “Moonlight Serenade” -- Carly Simon
Her textured singing has always suited Carly Simon when it comes to classic pop songs. “Moonglow” is my favorite here, but you can’t beat the title track or “How Long Has This Been Going On?” What makes Carly’s renditions especially appealing is that much like Natalie Cole, you feel that she has a stake in the production, and a thorough knowledge and appreciation of the material.

12. "The Concert for Bangladesh" (Reissue)
Thanks to Olivia Harrison, George Harrison’s dedicated and devoted widow, we finally have a remastered album and movie. If you’ve never heard “Beware of Darkness” with George and the inimitable Leon Russell, savor the moment. This has to be in every rock library. And proceeds still go to UNICEF.

13. “The Body Acoustic” -- Cyndi Lauper
I just heard Cyndi and Sarah McLachlan’s version of “Time After Time” on WPLJ in New York. Bravo to them! The record stuck out among today’s junk as little gem. The rest of the tracks here do the same thing, and “Shine,” “I’ll Be Your River” and Cyndi’s Jeff Beck collaboration “Above the Clouds” are all standouts. Lauper is the next person who actually deserves to be a first ballot inductee in the Rock Hall of Fame.

14. “I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise” -- Bettye Lavette
A great soul singer, generally unknown to the public but a cult favorite. Lavette records and records and impresses with her gravelly gift from God. There are nice surprises here, too, like Aimee Mann’s “How Am I Different.” How is Bettye Lavette different? Like Carla Thomas, Irma Thomas (no relation) and Ann Peebles, she’s the last of a rare breed. Embrace her now, while you can.

15. “A Bigger Bang” -- The Rolling Stones
The first really good Stones album through and through since 1981’s “Tattoo You.” “Rough Justice” was just smarmy enough to be a calling card. “Streets of Love” and “Biggest Mistake” should have been huge. Like Stevie Wonder, completely and miserably handled by a record company that either didn’t care or didn’t have a clue.

Re: Fox News Top Albums of 2005

What an awesome list. Fox News has the best taste in music!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Fox News Top Albums of 2005

Who made this list? Who is "I"?

So, someone on Fox News goes out of his way to trash the guy who said that George Bush doesn't care about black people. What. A. Surprise.

Speaking of Mr. West, by the way, if nothing else we should be thankful because without him, ROLLING STONE would have had A BIGGER BANG as their #1 album. Man, even after all these years Jann Wenner never misses an opportunity to kiss Mick's ass.

Re: Fox News Top Albums of 2005

Stevie Wonder's album second? Most people trashed it.

Re: Fox News Top Albums of 2005

Harold Wexler
So, someone on Fox News goes out of his way to trash the guy who said that George Bush doesn't care about black people. What. A. Surprise.

Actually I notice there's no rap at ALL on the list. So the dig might be more focused at pleasing the "rap's not music" crowd than a dig at West's politics.

Re: Fox News Top Albums of 2005

fox new's list is as conservative as its politics

Re: Fox News Top Albums of 2005

I bet they auctioned off positions on this list to major labels.

Cable news isn't news so much as 'Infotainment'. Whether it be Foxnews, MSNBC or CNN, it's just one big obsessively ratings conscious blur of pandering and product placement.