No song of the month for January, instead just bask in the sublime beauty that is the BlackPlastic song of the year...
Without further ado it's time for a round up of all things great 2005. Rather than going for something overly complicated and constructive BlackPlastic will highlight the best artist album, song and mix album of the year along with a list of notable stuff...
Album of the Year:
Arcade Fire - Funeral
A record so fundamentally fantastic it defies explanation. BlackPlastic tries and tries again to cover mainly electronic music on this blog, but music as good as the likes of this and Secret Machines are just too good to ignore. Funeral is one of those records that somehow evokes both the past and the future at the sametime, sounding at once like a childhood lost in the seventies and the year 2056. When singer Win Butler sings "but sometimes, we'll remember our bedrooms, and our parents' bedrooms, and the bedrooms of our friends" on the post apocalyptic 'Tunnels' it is difficult to know what he's going on about yet very, very easy to care anyway.
Funeral is the sound of a new new romantic movement sometime in the future. It evokes visions of children playing amoungst burning cars and the breakdown of society amidst a rebellion. It is the best album ever released in 2005 AD and if it doesn't affect you, you are dead inside.
To buy at Amazon.co.uk click here.
Mix Album of the Year:
Scratch Massive - Naked
Okay, the cat was let out of the bag when BlackPlastic reviewed it last month, but it is so great that it couldn't be kept a secret any longer. Which is not to say it wasn't close, there have been several very strong mix albums this year, but Scratch Massive just managed to edge it. How you may ask? By doing what all the best mixes do - taking the goal posts and running. Many highlights have already been highlighted on these pages already but there are some that haven't, the old-school hip-house of Lidelltown's 'I Make You Dance' for one and Soldout's 'I Don't Want to Have Sex With You' is so great it deserves a second mention.
Best of all, Naked was mixed live at a club in Paris so you know it was just thrown together without any remastering or trickery. The crowd must have been electrified.
Song of the Year:
The Juan Maclean - Dance With Me
It shouldn't be this easy. It shouldn't be this easy to make a piece of electronic music that is so full of feeling, and it certainly shouldn't be this easy to choose your favourite song of the year, yet it is what it is. Since the album, Less Than Human, was released back in July no-one else has stood a chance. A collaborative piece produced by ex-junkie Juan Maclean and super-producers the DFA 'Dance With Me' is just about the best piece of electronic music released in years. A simple piano piece rubs along with a tweaking synth-line and bumping bassline for over 14 minutes, and it is all set off by some fantastically simple vocals courtesy of LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang (who keeps cropping up on the song's of the year - see last year's 'NY Excuse' by Soulwax).
BlackPlastic was recently discussing on a thread over at Rllmuk what this year's Maps was (the beautifully honest, falling-down-the-stairs-almost-album-closer from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's debut Fever To Tell), and this is easily the closest you can get. Amidst an album of abstracter sounds and electronic wizardry 'Dance With Me' stands out as being so considered. If Less Than Human takes its inspiration from robots then 'Dance With Me' is the sexiest machine ever made, just listen to Nancy as she half sings, half says the lines "There's something I've got to tell you / but I don't know where to start / I can't find the words / so let me just show you" before breaking out her real singing voice to sing "come on over and dance with me".
Just feel the honesty. 'Dance With Me' is something truly, truly special.
To buy at Amazon click here.
Albums of Note:
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
The Juan Maclean - Less Than Human
Sigur Rós - Takk...
Soulwax - Nite Versions
Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock And Roll
Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die
Ben Folds - Songs For Silverman
Etienne De Crecy - Super Discount Volume 2
Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Common - Be
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Apparat Organ Quartet - Apparat Organ Quartet
Doves - Some Cities
New Order - Waiting For The Siren's Call
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Whitey - The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is A Train
M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine
DJ T. - Boogie Playground
WhoMadeWho - WhoMadeWho
Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
Tom Vek - We Have Sound
Vitalic - OK Cowboy
Chemical Brothers - Push The Button
Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic
Eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
Gemma Hayes - The Roads Don't Love You
Mix Albums of Note:
Damian Lazarus - Suck My Deck
Erol Alkan - A Bugger Out Mix By...
Freeform Five - Misch Masch
Optimo - How To Kill The DJ Vol. 2
Optimo - Psych Out
Damian Lazarus - Rebel Futurism 2
Songs of Note:
M83 - Don't Save Us > From The Flames (Superpitcher Remix)
Volcano! - Apple Or A Gun
Etienne De Crecy - Fast Track
Doves - Black and White Town
Eels - Old Shit / New Shit
Common - Love Is...
Freeform Five - No More Conversations (Richard X Remix)
The Fiery Furnaces - Single Again
Tiefschwarz feat. Matty Safer - Warning Siren
Art Brut - My Little Brother
Royksopp - 49 Percent (Mixes)
Tom Vek - Nothing But Green Lights
The Chemical Brothers - Close Your Eyes
Test Icicles - Circle Square Triangle
The Cardigans - I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer
Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds
Imogen Heap - Find And Seek
Pop Singles Guiltily Enjoyed:
Amerie - One Thing
Madonna - Hung Up
Jennifer Lopez - Get Right
Sugababes - Push The Button
And a big fuck off to...
I forgot about Ladytron's album Witching Hour and the Willy Mason song Oxygen. And more sutff probably.