The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Monday, June 20, 2005
The Top 5 Albums of '05 Thus Far

Now that we've officially reached the midpoint of the year already, which in fact is crazy in itself, The Upstate Life is going to take a swing at one of those lists we all love to read, then later hate, then read yet again because you forgot how much you actually hated them in the first place. You may be asking yourselves, "Brett, what's the point of writing a post that actually contains a slight ounce of effort?" Well, that's a good question, and the reason is because The Upstate Life will be on hiatus for the next two weeks. That's right, TUL is going on a much-needed, well-deserved vacation and kissing the mean streets of Bethesda goodbye (at least until we enter July). In order to fill the void this blog will obviously leave behind while I'm gone, I came across the brilliant idea of running down the best five albums that have been released so far in 2005. Hopefully this will hold you all over until my triumphant return back to the states. Now, onto the list:

5) LCD Soundsystem: Self-titled - I frankly did not care for this record when I first heard it. Of course, it started to grow on me and finally made its way onto this list because of hit tracks like "Tribulations" and "Disco Infiltrator." It's a shame the album pales in comparison to their incredible live show where the songs really come alive (If anyone saw them perform "Yeah" at the 9:30, need I say more?).

4) Annie: Anniemal - C'mon now, there's honestly no reason to hate on this album. Each song contains so much sugar you might want to switch to a Splenda diet after listening to it. It's the best pop album '05 has yet to offer us. Anniemal puts Gwen Stefani and all her hollabackness to shame.

3) Hot Hot Heat: Elevator
- Not as great as Make Up The Breakdown, but still a good record for the Canadian group's major-label debut. Granted, it's a bit over-produced at times, but "Island of the Honest Man" and "Goodnight, Goodnight" keeps Elevator from plummeting to the ground floor.

2) Bloc Party: Silent Alarm - Ah yes, we can't have a top 5 of ½ '05 without mentioning Bloc Party now, can we? The Franz Ferdinand of 2005, and honestly, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Great guitar riffs, chaotic drumming, and a high danceable factor make Silent Alarm one of the strongest candidates this year so far. Definitely glad I caught them at the Black Cat instead of at the 9:30 Club too.

1) Maxïmo Park: A Certain Trigger - There's an undeniable rawness to the sound of this band that makes them so unique and their LP so compelling. There isn't one bad track on this album, sans "Acrobat". Sorry guys, only Belle & Sebastian can pull off talking over a song and getting away with it. Then again, maybe I'm just bitter because I missed their set at the high school-fueled Killers show.

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