10) Odyssey : A fixture on my dance party playlists. From what I hear, it's not as "electroclash" as it's predecessor, #1, but I could care less...it's much more consistent. There's only few down spots, and it's not from bad songs, just bad ordering of the tracks...This record brought me to the cold realization that it was possible for me to like electronic music, although I did realize that there were many kinds, and this was the good kind.
9) Silent Alarm : If you had asked me to make this list back in December, this would probably have been #1. It got around 13 solid play-throughs in a month, mainly because it's so goddamn catchy. Kele seems to sing every word like it's the last he'll ever get. There isn't one bad song on this record, which I believe is verified by their remix album being just as good if not better than the original. I warn you: you will not be able to listen to this record and not dance.
8) LCD Soundsystem : I suppose it's fitting to have this record right before the one that follows it on the countdown, if only for the homage of the opening track Daft Punk Is Playing at My House. This psuedo double album isn't really more than a collection of singles, but it's an awesome collection of singles. I guess I can credit James Murphy with my current obsession with "electro," whatever the fuck that is. Highlights include the opener, "Tribulations," "Give It Up," and of course "Losing My Edge."
PS: When I tried to tag "James Murphy" i got some thrash metal dude who has 0 listens on last.fm. LOL.
7) Human After All : I know die-hard Daft Punk fans will scream "SACRILEGE!!" but this is the record that got me into Daft Punk (I know, I'm a little late to the game). I fucking love the ironic title, the robot persona, and overall industrial feel (even though I'm probably misusing that word). The record doesn't really define Daft Punk, but it's great that they can release a record amidst their imitators and show them that no one plays robot like they do.
6) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah : ANOTHER brooklyn outfit on my top 10 (Half of my top 10 use to or currently live in Brooklyn...LCD Soundsystem, Fischerspooner, The National, Sufjan, Hold Steady and now Clap). But what can I say, early 00's Brooklyn is like early 90s Seattle...Anyways, onto the music...This record takes some getting used to, especially if you sat through the entire opening track. Alec Ounsworth's voice is borderline pre-pubescent crackling...but with solid production (and I'm sure countless takes) it wavers but stays above the line of listenability...in fact, part of its beauty is expecting it to crack, even though it never does. the talking heads references abound, but overall it's a quirky, pretty sounding record.
5) I'm Wide Awake It's Morning - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn : OK, so this isn't really one record, but I consider this Conor Oberst's double album, and it's an excuse to fit one more onto the list, which had to be pared down too much to begin with. First, IWAIM: I personally believe this is the culmination of 10 years of song-writing for Conor. Most of his early stuff showed infinite promise, but his voice sounded terrible, and his arrangements were jumbled, incoherent...he finally puts it all together and writes what's close to the perfect folk record. Plus, the best folk records (ie. Bob Dylan) were written by people from the midwest and moved to new york city, and their interaction with the city and it's people, which is exactly what he does here. He even starts the album off with a plane ride...and it's subsequent crash. Beautiful. Second, DAIADU, gets nowhere near the praise or love that the folk record does. I guess it's understandable, because folk is "in" within indie circles nowadays, and IWAIM is just that good. But this record, while short of perfect, is still awesome. I think his two album idea was the best decision he's ever made, since it allowed him to focus his predilections onto two separate and complete visions, as supposed to squishing them together on the same disc. But the death motif works here, and Conor definitely knows how to rock out (ie. Desaparecidos). Plus, Easy/Lucky/Free is easily/luckily/freely one of my favorite songs of 2005.
4) Alligator : One of those records that grows on you...on first listen, the low, rumbling orgasmic moan that is the singer's voice, coupled with the medium pace of "Secret Meeting" doesn't strike you as anything special. Until you find yourself hitting the repeat button. Again. And Again. They do rock out every once in a while, but they somehow found a way to turn a guitar into a hypnotic tool that sucks you in, and then they throw in a line like "It's a common fetish for a doting man/to ballerina on the coffee table cock in hand." Brilliant.
3) Illinois : There isn't much I can say about this record that hasn't been said already. He's pretty amazing. The way he blends his personal experiences/feelings with historical events/people/locations is so beautiful that he's probably minted a few history majors with the record. And just try to listen to "John Wayne Gacy" alone in the dark without getting chills. I dare you.
2) Separation Sunday : If Springsteen was 30, lived in Brooklyn and partied 6 nights of the week, he would sound a whole lot like The Hold Steady. Craig Finn is an amazing storyteller (You can't really call him a singer, since he never actually sings), and the music is unapologetically loud, brash and fun. It's a crime not to listen to this record beginning to end, because it's really just one chronologically jumbled yet completely coherent story. Plus, it's about booze, drugs, sex, religion, road trips and young girls. What's not to love?
1) Picaresque : I don't think this really needs an explanation. The songs are epic, the imagery gorgeous, and Colin Meloy's voice...although it may take some getting used to, is impossibly grand. The only two dull spots, "From My Own True Love (Lost at Sea)" and "Of Angels and Angles" would be standouts on any other record.