My Favourite Albums of 2005

CDWith only a few days remaining in the calendar year, it's time to write a bunch of year-end "best of" entries. I've already hit you with my favourite television shows in 2005 and my favourite musical guilty pleasure of 2005 but now it's time for a biggie. Here are my ten favourite albums of the year that were released in 2005.

10. Feist's Let It Die
I first heard Leslie Feist on Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People. Let It Die, her second solo effort, was my quiet album of 2005. It's a great deal slower than my usual fare but it gently rocks my world. There's definitely something about her I dig.
Essential Track: Mushaboom

9. Neil Young's Prairie Wind
I really wanted this to be good. Neil Young is a musical hero of mine and earlier this year, his sixtieth, he required emergency surgery for an aneurysm. On Prairie Wind he's clearly looking back, writing about his recently deceased father and growing up in the prairies, but he's looking back in a collection of solid songs that will please any Young fan.
Essential Track: When God Made Me

8. Kanye West's Late Registration
My ears were very pleased with Kanye West's follow up to his debut smash The College Dropout. Every track sounds great with solid rhymes over solid rhythms. It was the best rap album of the year and, in my humble opinion, West's best effort to date.
Essential Track: Hey Mama

7. Stars' Set Yourself On Fire
I call this sweet rock. It's heavy, but in a soft and melodic way. Just before "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" we're told "When there's nothing left to burn, you must set yourself on fire." That pretty much sums up this great album out of Montreal.
Essential Track: Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

6. System of a Down's Mesmerize/Hypnotize
Yes, System of a Down released these as two separate albums, but they're clearly meant to be a double album and that's exactly how I view them. Legend has the guys taking their lead from Quentin Tarantino who released Kill Bill as two separate films even though they're two parts of a single whole. In total we have 23 typically awesome SOAD tracks, aggressive, manic and thought provoking.
Essential Track: B.Y.O.B.

5. Death From Above 1979's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
I listened to this album after my brother Steve suggested I'd like it. He was right. It's all pretty heavy and groovy and they're from Toronto to boot. The remix album is awesome too.
Essential Track: Romantic Rights

4. Audioslave's Out of Exile
Admittedly, my vulnerability to nostalgia had me digging Audioslave before I heard a note from them, but this is their second album and I've loved them both. They've both been chock full of great rock songs that get me singing along with Chris Cornell. Out Of Exile is fantastic, three singles deep with more on the way.
Essential Track: Doesn't Remind Me

3. The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan
I wonder if these two can do no wrong? Their seven appearances on SLS tie them with the Foo Fighters for first place overall. I consider every album they've released to be pure play-throughs. Get Behind Me Satan is no exception, even if it is a slight step back from Elephant and White Blood Cells.
Essential Track: My Doorbell

2. Broken Social Scene's Broken Social Scene
I describe Broken Social Scene as absolute melody in a most chaotic way. Listening to their latest album I'm overwhelmed by this chaotic order that somehow, against all odds, melts into such beauty. Play a game of Six Degrees of Separation with this band and you'll smack right into other personal favourites like Feist, Metric, Stars, Arcade Fire and more. It's incredible what's come out of the Toronto alt-rock scene in recent years.
Essential Track: 7/4 (Shoreline)

1. The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema
Best album released in 2005! If the idea of a Canadian album with great harmonies, greater melodies and spectacular play-through quality is at all appealing to you, this is your band. Buy it! Borrow it! Listen to it!
Essential Track: Use It

Other Great Albums From 2005: Beck's Guero, Foo Fighters' In Your Honor, Metric's Live It Out, Wolf Parade's Apologies To The Queen Mary, Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better, Gorrilaz's Demon Days.

It was a great year for music, but nothing sounded as good as 2004's Funeral from Arcade Fire. Although it was released in 2004 and didn't qualify for this top ten list, it truly was my favourite album of the year.

Discuss "My Favourite Albums of 2005" (0 comments so far)

AFI TV Programs of the Year

TVIn addition to listing their official selections for movies of the year, AFI also lists their TV programs of the year. I just wrote about only seeing one of their ten movies but I can also cop to watching but one of their ten television programs.

The one I did watch last season is "Rescue Me". I'm shocked that "Six Feet Under" didn't make their list and surprised that the very good "Weeds" was also omitted. Here's their list in its entirety:

  • 24
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Deadwood
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • House
  • Lost
  • Rescue Me
  • Sleeper Cell
  • Sometimes In April
  • Veronica Mars

Discuss "AFI TV Programs of the Year" (0 comments so far)

AFI Movies of the Year

MoviesI just read the AFI Movies of the Year Official Selections. I've seen one movie on their list. In my defense, I'm notoriously late getting to movies because I see so few in theaters and many of these are awfully fresh. A number of the movies below are on my "to see" list, but I'm so behind I still have to get to "Million Dollar Baby".

For the record, one one I've seen is "Crash" and I loved it. Here's their list in its entirety:

  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • Crash
  • The 40 Year-Old Virgin
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • A History of Violence
  • King Kong
  • Munich
  • The Squid and the Whale
  • Syriana

Discuss "AFI Movies of the Year" (0 comments so far)

My 2005 Christmas Playlist

ChristmasLast December I unveiled my definitive Christmas mix. This year I created a 247 song Christmas playlist and quickly got tired of skipping over the songs I didn't feel like hearing. My solution to this problem was to create a second Christmas playlist consisting only of the tunes I feel like shuffling this season. The result is my 2005 Christmas playlist, 37 songs strong.

Interestingly enough, there are a number of songs that appeared on my 2004 list but didn't make my 2005 list, even though this season's list is 15 songs longer. Here are the 37 songs I've chosen...

  • Christmas Don't Be Late - Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
  • Jingle Bells - Barenaked Ladies
  • Green Christmas - Barenaked Ladies
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Boris Karloff
  • Mary Had A Baby - Bruce Cockburn
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Coldplay
  • The First Noel - Crash Test Dummies
  • Peace On Earth & Little Drummer Boy - David Bowie & Bing Crosby
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Dean Martin
  • Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) - Drunken Boat
  • Christmas at the Zoo - The Flaming Lips
  • Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over - Jack White
  • Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir
  • O Holy Night - John McDermott
  • Zat You Santa Claus? - Louis Armstrong
  • Christmas Night In Harlem - Louis Armstrong
  • The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole
  • Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding
  • Let Me Sleep - Pearl Jam
  • Fairytale of New York - The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - The Pretenders
  • 2000 Miles - The Pretenders
  • Thank God It's Christmas - Queen
  • Baby It's Cold Outside - Ray Charles with Betty Carter
  • Ave Maria - Sarah Brightman
  • Song For A Winter's Night - Sarah McLachlan
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - U2
  • O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Christmas Time Is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Welcome Christmas - The Whos of Whoville

Discuss "My 2005 Christmas Playlist" (1 comment so far)


HappyI'm enjoying at extended period of unassisted happiness. No Prozac, Paxil or other antidepressant is playing a role. I'm just as happy as a pig in shit.

Here are twenty "happy" songs from my collection.

  • Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy - Ren & Stimpy
  • We're A Happy Family - Ramones
  • Shiny Happy People - R.E.M.
  • The Happy Song - Otis Redding
  • Happy Home - 2Pac
  • Happy In The Meantime - Lit
  • Happy - hHead
  • Are You Happy - Iron Butterfly
  • I'm Happy Just To Dance With You - The Beatles
  • Blues Happy - Arrested Development
  • I'm So Happy - The Jackson 5
  • Trigga Happy Nigga - The Geto Boys
  • Look Happy, It's The End Of The World - Matthew Good Band
  • Happy To Hang Around - Travis
  • Happy Now? - No Doubt
  • Happy Man - Chicago
  • Happy Jack - The Who
  • Only Happy When It Rains- Garbage
  • My Happy Ending - Avril Lavigne
  • Put On A Happy Face - Tony Bennett

Discuss "Happy" (0 comments so far)

The Ghosts That Haunt Me

SpookyTwas the night before Halloween, and all through the house, all the creatures were stirring, except for the mouse. The monsters had gathered to plan and prepare, for the trick-or-treaters who soon would be there.

Sick to death of "Monster Mash", these monsters played a frightening playlist of ten "ghost" songs...

  1. Ghost Riders in the Sky - Johnny Cash
  2. The Ghosts That Haunt Me - Crash Test Dummies
  3. The Ghost of Tom Joad - Rage Against The Machine
  4. Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore - The Mars Volta
  5. Little Ghost - The White Stripes
  6. Ghost - Pearl Jam
  7. Born As Ghosts - Rage Against The Machine
  8. Ghost - 2Pac
  9. Headful of Ghosts - Bush
  10. Ghost Dance - Patti Smith


Discuss "The Ghosts That Haunt Me" (0 comments so far)

Definitive Songs

MusicWe'll continue with another block of ten as I name artists and their definitive songs. We're knocking down ten a day, in alphabetical order.

  • Weezer - Undone (The Sweater Song)
  • Whale - Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe
  • White Zombie - Thunder Kiss '65
  • Willie Nelson - On The Road Again
  • Wu-Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck
  • Wreckx-N-Effect - Rump Shaker
  • Wyclef Jean - Gone Till November
  • ZZ Top - Legs

Discuss "Definitive Songs" (0 comments so far)

The Best Sellers Revisited

CDExactly one year ago today, I checked to see how many of the top 10 selling albums of all time I had in my collection. At the time, I had three: Led Zeppelin IV, AC~DC's Back In Black and Taryn's Shania Twain's Come On Over.

If we revisit this today, things have changed. Here's where we're at right now.

  1. The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits - Despite the fact the Eagles somewhat bore me, I now have this album. I'm still surprised this mega-selling disc does not have "Hotel California" on it. Over the past year I added that album as well.
  2. Michael Jackson: Thriller - The disc is mine.
  3. Pink Floyd: The Wall - I added a great deal of Pink Floyd over the past year, including this double album.
  4. Led Zeppelin: Untitled (IV) - I've had this one for quite some time. Is there a high school student out there who doesn't own IV?
  5. Billy Joel: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 & 2 - I added a two CD collection from Billy Joel called The Essential Billy Joel. I don't know if it's the same set, but it's got all the hits you'll find on the greatest hits. I say it counts!
  6. AC~DC: Back In Black - Another high school staple, I've had this album since grade nine.
  7. Shania Twain: Come On Over - As I said a year ago, Taryn bought this one. She's the fan, I'm just a casual observer.
  8. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours - I don't have it but I now have the Fleetwood Mac box set "The Chain" which is four CDs full of the good stuff. A great deal of Rumours is represented, obviously.
  9. The Beatles: The Beatles (White Album) - I finally added this classic to my collection recently. I'm still missing Rubber Soul though...
  10. Whitney Houston & Various Artists: The Bodyguard - I don't own it this one and I likely never will. I only collect music I'm certain I may actually want to hear some day.

Discuss "The Best Sellers Revisited" (0 comments so far)

Definitive Songs

MusicWe'll continue with another block of ten as I name artists and their definitive songs. We're knocking down ten a day, in alphabetical order.

  • The Watchmen - All Uncovered
  • The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl
  • The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
  • Tom Cochrane - Life Is A Highway
  • Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
  • Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl
  • U2 - One
  • Van Halen - Jump
  • Van Morrison - Moondance
  • Violent Femmes - Add It Up

Discuss "Definitive Songs" (0 comments so far)

Definitive Songs

MusicWe'll continue with another block of ten as I name artists and their definitive songs. We're knocking down ten a day, in alphabetical order.

  • The Fugees - Killing Me Softly
  • The Guess Who - American Woman
  • The Offspring - Self Esteem
  • The Police - Every Breath You Take
  • The Pretenders - Brass In Pocket
  • The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
  • The Smashing Pumpkins - Today
  • The Steve Miller Band - Fly Like an Eagle
  • The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
  • The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Discuss "Definitive Songs" (0 comments so far)

Previous 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Next

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.