Albums of the year 2005
Danuta Kean – Associate Editor:
1. The National – Alligator
Best album of the year. Dark, emotionally spare lyricism married to melodies that raise the spirits sunwards only to drop you crashing like a stone to the ground, bitter and angry, whether raging at estranged lovers or failed politicians
2. Devendra Banhart – Cripple Crow
The light to The National’s darkness. As though the bastard son of Manu Chao and Donovan, the troubador pixie plays childlike melodies with an edge. He also has the best vibrato in the business.
3. Aidan Smith – Fancy Barrel
Pared down talent marries clever writing to irresistible melodies with echoes of Belle & Sebastian, the Small Faces and Love.
4. Kate Bush – Aerial
Two cds, one emotionally and musically complex the second does for concept albums what Strictly Come Dancing did for ballroom. I defy anyone not to feel uplifted by the sheer poetry of it.
5. Gorillaz – Demon Days
As sharp as a well made suit and twice as cool. ‘Nuf said.