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Puckett's Favorite Albums Of 2005

By Scott Puckett

This was the year when I realized what had been, up to that point, a lifelong dream - seeing Saint Etienne live. I found out about the tickets less than two weeks before the show, but after being a fan since picking up "Foxbase Alpha" in 1991 and getting frustrated over missing micro-tour after micro-tour, I wasn't missing that show at The Metro.

And perhaps it's odd that a punk rock site considers that one of the high marks of the year - it certainly wasn't for lack of trying to find something interesting in punk, just the persistent, on-going lack of confrontation in punk. At some point in the last few years, it seems as though someone took punk rock in for an oil change, draining all the threat and menace and potential for transformative change from it, and then forgot to fill it back up.

As such, I feel like I've been clinging to any half-assedly decent record which challenges the status quo like a life preserver - it ain't much, but it's better than drowning.



I will only claim one thing about the following records - this is what 2004 sounded like for me. Some guilty pleasures, some great artistic accomplishments, and some selections that will likely leave you scratching your head. So be it. Music - and writing about it - is a frustrating thing and lists like these are intended to spark discussion and debate. With that said, let's get on with it. Here are the disclosures:

  1. I have some level of personal involvement with a number of bands on this list. I have either interviewed them, am in the process of interviewing them, am friends with them, talk with them on a regular basis, drink with them or otherwise have a relationship which extends beyond merely hearing the record. There are a substantial number of records which were released in 2005 by bands that I also have some relationship with that do not appear on this list.
  2. The only albums on this list which I did not pay for are:



Favorite Songs

Hey, I'm a geek. In any year, there's usually a handful of songs that I just can't hear enough, that I listen to on repeat for hours, that linger in my ears for weeks afterward. If I were making a mix CD of 2004, these songs would be on it.


Of course, new releases weren't the only game in town. This year was pretty decent for reissues and collections, including:

If you didn't pick those up, you really might want to do so.

Ass Coverage

Every year, I wind up with discs that I'm just not sure about - albums that keep me listening and keep me interested, albums that I keep going back to like dysfunctional relationships with addicting people. Think of this list as albums that I reserve the right to add to my list of favorite records for 2004 whenever I see fit. Unlocking their secrets simply requires more time than I had to offer them in 2004.

Most Overlooked Album Of 2003

How in the hell did I miss The Postal Service's "Give Up"? Good thing I corrected that mistake.

Worst Packaging

Múm's "Summer Make Good" features what is absolutely the worst packaging of the year. Sure, it looks good but the CD slips into a sleeve which is so tight that it has to be forced back in ... and practically pulled out with tweezers. It's just stupid - if you can get the CD out of the packaging without ripping the sleeve, you will be graced with some delightful glitch-pop songsmithing ... but that's a pretty big if.

Looking Forward

2005 is already shaping up to be better - you will be hearing about the Jesu record that Justin Broadrick is releasing - I have a copy here, I can't stop listening to it and it's fucking amazing. If you can imagine a combination of Godflesh, My Bloody Valentine and Sigur Rós, you will have a vague understanding of how mind and genre-bendingly awesome the Jesu album really is.

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008