Banana Nutrament

2005 Year In Review

Quite a few blogs have posted their "First Half Best of 2005" top ten lists and album favorites. We find this odd, as every album worth hearing has been already released or leaked at the very least. Everyone knows that the music world operates inversely to the film industry; the movie world releases Oscar bait in December while the majors and indies put out their best albums early in the year, saving the dross for the Christmas present impulse buying season. And so, we present our 2005 Year In Review.

Deirdre: Sufjan Steven's "Illinois" is my choice, it is an assured return to the sprawling, ambitious project of creating an album for all 50 of the States you Americans have. Who knows if he will even come close to completing it, regardless, the best art often springs from failed attempts at the impossible. The poppiest moments of this record sound like something coming out of Schroeder's piano during a Charlie Brown/Peanuts television special.
I'm not going to stream anything off it, as it has already been featured here on our blog. Quite a few online writers are trumpeting his praises and sharing tracks from the release, perhaps too many. It is a troublesome side effect of the music blog explosion that often too many ears converge on a single artist and half an album gets pushed around the Internet as a result. This is great PR but I hope it does not adversely affect sales. To see what I mean, look at the level of interest in "Illinois" here.

Darnell: My pick for 2005 would have to be Congotronix. These are some African cats who grew up listening to Mantronix and then worked in all the new angles Hollertronix are up to. When I heard these trax I had to drop a fat YouSendIt to all my hollafriends. Plus, what really makes this a batch of triple swift jawns is that they power their thumb pianos with car batteries, which is what people in the Bronx use to get juice for block party jams. Or so I've read.

Congotronics - Kule Kule
Buy it here

Indeie: I wanted to show the world my "fun" side so I thought I'd pick the LCD Soundsystem debut album. Then I realized it was sent to me in 2004 as an advance promo copy, so I can't count it for this anuum. My choice is Elisjtha Epperhaus' delicately nuanced Moonbeam LP. It was produced in Finland over 8 years of winter solstices, with all equipment being powered by lunar energy, that is, solar panels fed by the moonlight.

Deirdre: That sounds beautiful.

Indeie: Well, you're unlikely to hear it as it was hand lathed in an edition of five. And I own two of them.

Miguel: I'm inclined to agree with Deirdre's pick as I have been unable to put down the Sufjan. But I've been playing another powerhouse record even more, "Let Us Never Speak of It Again" by Out Hud. I've seen them perform "How Long" and "One Life to Leave", the female leads singing together work well live and are a new direction from their prior work. It's also interesting to see how the disco barnburner "Dear Mr. Bush.." translated to the studio setting. The real surprise though was "It's For You". This is either something they came up with for the album or I just don't remember it from their early live performances, but it is a real standout for many
people. The whole album retains Molly Shnicks's stunning cello work (also present on the S.T.R.E.E.T.D.A.D. album) which fuses so nicely with the synths and Factory era beats. And you've got to give them credit for pulling off unironic use of the slap bass.

Out Hud - It's For You
**Buy "Let Us Never Speak of It Again" Here**

Gordo: These are all sweet.