2005-Another lull, sort of. Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better was a damn fine album, and solidified their reputation as a solid poppy rock band. Jack Johnson sneaked into my consciousness with In Between Dreams, and while I like it, it's not enough to make the cut. Black Eyed Peas released Monkey Business, which was a commercial success, and while I like the album, it's just not good enough. TO be honest, Elephunk was a little better, and they get mentioned simply because they were so fucking big. Hot Hot Heat released Elevator this year. The album is smart and fun, and the lead singer is just about the cutest guy you've ever seen. You want to pinch his cheeks. Seriously. He's Little Lord Fauntleroy on the left, there.
But the winner has to be a band you've never heard of: The Detroit Cobras. Their album Baby is garage rock at it's finest: hard, angry cover tunes (with a few originals thrown in), and Tied & True is an amazing follow up. Indie bands are awesome.
2006-Big things this year. The Fratellis gave us Costello Music, with Flathead, which almost single-handedly justifies Apple's use of music in its ads. Apple boosted Feist, too, you'll remember. Prince released 3121, a great funk album, and Black Sweat is maybe the sexiest thing ever. Probably not, but that's the kind of bold statements that get you noticed. Gnarls Barkley came out of nowhere with St. Elsewhere, and while Crazy had promise, the other tracks are a bit disappointing, though still solid. Sam's Town is a great follow up to Hot Fuss, but it's not quite good enough to make the cut. I'm gonna choose two albums for this year: Back To Black by Amy Winehouse, an amazing follow up to Frank, and Long Way Around by the Dixie Chicks. It was a great big fuck you to rednecks everywhere. And as a bigger fuck you, it expanded their audience exponentially. They are brave, intelligent women, and they put up with a lot of shit. Watch "Shut up and Sing". It's awesome, and makes the album that much better. On a personal note, fiddler Emily Robison is getting divorced, which is a drag (call me if you read this!).
2007-The White Stripes redeem themselves with Icky Thump, and that almost gets the gold. Cuff the Duke catches my eye with Sightlines of the City. Cool alt-country. And Bedouin Soundclash defy the odds by being a very good reggae band (though pretty ska-infused), despite the fact that they're 2/3 white and from Montreal. But it was a breakout year for female Canadians, and so they get it. Feist kicked everyone's ass with The Reminder, and that gets a nod. And Tegan and Sarah aren't far behind internationally with The Con. So Jealous is a great album, and The Con follows it up beautifully, that one takes the year. I have a crush on Tegan and Sarah. And yes, I know they're gay. Independent of that, it's a beautiful record. Check it out.
2008-Bonus Time! So far, it's a tossup. Foxboro Hot Tubs are in reality Green Day, but playing some fun garage rock. Stop Drop & Roll!!! is great. And Adele is another wicked soul singer from Britain. Check out 19.
There you go. It nearly killed me, but it was worth it. I hope you found it interesting. If not, tough. My blog. I'll rip into the jeebnuts a little later tonight.