The criteria for this list wasn’t that the album was released in this year, but more what I listened to the most. Obviously my slant is towards indie music but hopefully I can show you I’m a bit more open minded when I unveil my singles list.

1. Killers – Hot fuss

I think I found them via I Love Music and was shocked to find that they actually had a single in the Australian charts. What made me look for them was the fact that they were from Las Vegas and they supposedly had an 80s sound. One listen to the album started 3 weeks of constant playing and raving about it to everyone I saw. They sounded a little bit Duran Duranish to me with more melody yet more rock. First song I loved was "Jenny was a friend of mine" but over the passage of time it has become "All these things that I have done". Easily the number one of the year for me.

2. Junior Senior – d-d-don’t don’t stop the beat

They stole my mind with the "Rhythm Bandits" song on the Fifa 2004 xbox game but it was "Move your Feet" that got me hooked. Erupting from the anger and sadness of 2003 they just aimed to make you sing and dance like happy monkeys. The straight junior was a perfect foil to openly gay senior and their word play was humurous and catchy. "Go Junior Go Senior" and "Shake me Baby" are my favourites.

3. Tegan and Sara – If it was you

I’d seen them mentioned on a few blogs and websites so I thought I’d investigate. The first listen annoyed me and I thought "why the hell do they like this" but I did like "Not Tonight" enough to listen to it a few times. After I while I found myself craving other songs on the album and now it’s gotten to the point where I can’t go a day without listening to one of the songs. It’s simply a catchy poppy album that is drop dead centre in the genre "chick songs". All about relationship issues, stalking and acting irrationally. I adore it. Most listened to songs are "Monday, Monday, Monday", "You went away" and "Living Room". Who’d have thought that two twins could both be gay?

4. The Postal Service – Give Up

Russell described them as whiny americans after I made him listen and although he is sort of right this album was a perfect accompianyment to post California trip depression. "The district sleeps alone tonight" sort of crept up on me at work when at 4:40 it erupts in this electronic beat with a simple guitar line that forced me to listen to the one song on repeat for the rest of the day. "Nothing Better" is a witty duet about breaking up with someone who doesn’t love you anymore. It’s not often hockey makes it’s way into lyrics. As far as I’m concerned this album beats anything that Death Cab for Cutie and Dntel do separately.

5. Belle and Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress

The epitimy of what they call indie twee this is the album that propelled Belle and Sebastian in to mainstream conciousness. I love their witty wordy storytelling set to poppy, soul, piano folk music mash. Stuart Murdoch’s breathy vocals annoy some people but I like the quirkiness. With a tendency to make you happy but think at the same time Belle and Sebastian have finally achieved an all killer no filler record. "If she wants me", "Step in to my office baby" and "Wrapped up" are the highlights.

6. The Dissociatives – The Dissociatives

Silverchair’s Daniel Johns and Paul Mac joined forces to create this refreshing electronic guitar album. "Lifting the Veil from the Braille" has absolutely no lyrics but revives the sound of whistling which hasn’t been used since the hair rockers of the 80s (think Every rose has it’s thorn). Apparently Daniel didn’t want to touch a guitar but thankfully Paul convinced him to pull it out to create such masterpieces as "Thinking in reverse" and "Young Man, Old Man". I think this is Daniel’s Sgt Pepper album and his experimentation has been for our benefit.

7. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters

Listening to the Scissor Sisters the first time I was thinking this is their Elton John song, this one is Bee Gees, this is Robbie Williams, this Michael Jackson. I was annoyed for a little while until I realised that I liked all those musicians and emulation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. "Comfortably Numb" is far and away the best cover version I have ever heard. The record would probably have been higher in my list purely on the strength of that song except I felt that the album sort of weakens at the end. "Take your mama" is just a rollicking good time. YEAH!

8. The Thrills – So Far from the City

The soundtrack to our drive down Highway One this irish band sings about California like they were born there. I tortured myself for the next month when I got home listening to "Big Sur", "Santa Cruz (You’re not that far)" and "Deckchairs and Cigarettes". The singer’s voice is a little bit annoying but that didn’t matter to me when I was waiting for the train to commute to work and hurting myself dreaming of being back among the rainy winter cold of San Francisco and Hearst Castle. Pianos, slide guitar and longing make this album sublime. Geez I’m a masochist.

9. Sufjan Stevens – Greetings from Michigan the Great Lakes State

For about a month I thought he was dutch cause it said that he came from Holland until I discovered it was Holland Michigan. You’d think I would’ve known from the title huh? Another post american torture album that is depressing enough to commit suicide to. "Flint (for the unemployed and underpaid)" is a sad piano trumpet ode to Michael Moore’s home town. "All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!" is a rolling twirling tumbling guitar piano piece while "The Upper Peninsula" is a banjo picking solemn duet that talks about seeing your wife at the K-mart and the song I put on a lot of compilation cds. I think this is the most inventive album of my top 10 but isn’t higher because I rarely listen past "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)".

10. The Bees – Free the Bees

I’d liked their first album but it was Cameron who alerted me to the new album and "Chicken Payback". It’s odd because I can’t single out individual songs on this record but I like the album as a whole. It’s kind of like the sum of all parts idea. "Chicken Payback" is a catchy dancy song straight out of the sixties that should be played at parties so that everyone could sing along. "The Russian" could be a Bob Marley song but no one would say it is reggae. "I love you" sounds like Smoky Robinson should be singing it on American Bandstand. Maybe it’s one for the car where both parents and kids agree it’s a good record.

Honorable mentions go to

  • Frou Frou – Details
  • Iron and Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days

Albums that could have possibly have been in my top 10 if I had listened to them more before I did this list

  • Pink Martini – Hang On Little Tomato
  • William Shatner – Has Been



3 thoughts on “Top 10 albums of the year

  1. Amyo says:

    Crap, I knew I would forget one and it would probably be my number 3 too.

    The Shins – Chutes too Narrow.

    I’ve gone on about this album before so I probably don’t need to again, but this record should be in everyones collection.

  2. rhiannon says:

    hey, great to know i played a small part in getting someone hooked on tegan and sara.

    and yea, i have known a few sets of twins that both are gay. adds to the arguement that being gay is a pre-determined thing.. something in your genes, not just a choice or a way of life. its what you are.

    definately keep an eye out for So Jealous when it comes out. its a great album. much more grown up i think and less folky. but i love it!

  3. Amyo says:

    Actually bought So Jealous from Rockinghorse the other day. After a few listens there are a couple of songs I like, but doesn’t yet have that *need to listen* thing that this one has.

    By the way, I love your website and it is one of the few blogs of someone I don’t know that I keep returning to. Nice work!


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