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City, Music

2005 Music Overview - Andrew Rose

Posted by MP / December 28, 2005

Pop Montreal website guy and podcaster Andrew Rose chipped in his top picks. You'll find a more exhaustive, longer version on his blog, plus a three-part 2005-reflecting podcast on the Pop Montreal site.

Top Five Albums

fatlip.jpg5. Fatlip - The Loneliest Punk
Delicious Vinyl

Most overlooked album of 2005, as far as I can tell. Who doesn't like a good comeback story? A good hip-hop come back story at that? Ex-Pharcyde's Fatlip finally delivers his long-awaited solo debut, and it's funky, funny, somehow fresh despite its retro sounds (maybe because hip hop's early nineties golden age just didn't last long enough...), and full of endearing heart. It's not often in hip-hop nowadays that you get to hear a man really put his vulnerable soul on the table for the public to dissect. Fatlip pulls it all off here, and it's musically tops, too. We're going to try and bring him to Pop Montreal 2006. He seems to have shitty distribution (not available in Canada on CD, what?), so go order it online from Amazon.

bell.jpg4. Bell Orchestre - Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light
Rough Trade

What I love about this record is its patience—this one gets my 'most rewarding listen of the year' award. Here's the flip side to the Arcade Fire's cross-over appeal; jazz and classical lovers should find plenty to pour over here. There are sparse meditations and cacophonous celebrations alike, but by all means approach it as one complete composition. You can read my review of one of their performances in Montreal this year here.

arch.jpg3. Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die

Party! Not the drunken debacuhery kind, the loot-bag kind. For orchestral indie-pop this album is suprisingly tight and dance-friendly at times. It also sounds fantastic, which is another welcome change from the low-fi status quo. Certainly a happy record, but also surprisingly versatile.

clap.jpg2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Forget internet-blog hype and readers—rarely have I seen a band be so quickly embraced by uninitiated listeners. And that's how I felt the first time I heard it, as well. Sure you can hear New Order and Talking Heads. But how about Bob Dylan and Radiohead, too? Most importantly, at no time does the record feel like a tunnel-visioned rehash of any one sound. No, this was a record that burst out of nowhere and was accordingly welcomed with applause. Not groundbreaking, maybe, but still brilliant fun.

wolf.jpg1. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
Sub Pop

You were expecting someone else? The problem with our contemporary sense of popular music (as it has existed since, say, 1955) is that we've so idolized its pioneers that we're often unable to see beyond nostalgia, and actually really appreciate the present moment as it's happening. Wolf Parade, to me, are as great as any Dylan or Bowie or Zeppelin or Springsteen. This is what rock and roll myths are made of, people. Enjoy it. You can read my full review of the album here.

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