428 - 2005-Music--In-Review

**Summary for the lazy:** 2005 wasn’t a great year for interesting new music, but there were a few gems in there. I also found out that some artists I’d heard of, but never listened to, are very good. Also of note is that I seem to have become a grumpy old man in my early 20s. **The Good** Being people who are relatively new, in that they may not have first appeared in 2005, whom I first heard of this year
1. **Bloc Party** (Silent Alarm) — this album came out in February, and still gets a reasonable level of playing time. Unlike the other bands who came to my attention during this time — The Bravery and the Kaiser Chiefs come to mind as bands best forgotten – Bloc Party are still worth listening to. I look forward to their next album.
2. **Patrick Wolf** — I first heard of Patrick Wolf when I was in Holland for Lowlands. My friend Dirk recommended that we take a listen to this singer/songwriter, and it was well worth our time. We saw him live at Lowlands too, one of the highlights of the festival this year.
3. **Editors** — Another band recommended by Dirk. They remind me of Interpol and Joy Division, and have produced an album that is a good listen, if a bit samey.
4. **Diefenbach** (Run, Trip, Fall) — My flatmate Tom and I saw this band supporting Mylo. I bought their album at the gig. I’ve long since stopped listening to Mylo, but Diefenbach still get regular outings on the drive to work.
2. **Patrick Wolf** — I first heard of Patrick Wolf when I was in Holland for Lowlands. My friend Dirk recommended that we take a listen to this singer/songwriter, and it was well worth our time. We saw him live at Lowlands too, one of the highlights of the festival this year. 4. **Diefenbach** (Run, Trip, Fall) — My flatmate Tom and I saw this band supporting Mylo. I bought their album at the gig. I’ve long since stopped listening to Mylo, but Diefenbach still get regular outings on the drive to work. **Old but New** Being great bands who I knew existed prior to 2005, but I had not listened to their music before. Some of these are somewhat surprising.
1. **Nick Cave** — a favourite of my girlfriend, she drew me into Nick Cave. It took a while for me to truly love the guy, but once you’re there, it’s great. Each song is a story, inventive and engaging and rewarding repeated listening as you see more depth in the lyrics each time.
2. **The Cure** — yes, many of the songs were familiar, but I’d never bought an album and taken time to listen to the songs. Far better than I imagined.
3. **The Clash** — I bought London Calling on a whim in Fopp and was surprised to find an album that was quite so plain enjoyable to listen to.
2. **The Cure** — yes, many of the songs were familiar, but I’d never bought an album and taken time to listen to the songs. Far better than I imagined. And others I’ve found: **DJ Shadow**, **Portishead**. **Inexplicably Popular** Being bands and singers that are popular this year; however, how they managed it with such lack of originality, talent, song writing skills or a combination of all three makes me feel sad.
- **Arctic Monkeys** — here’s one I really don’t get. These guys apparently got popular via their website — rather than big label pushing — and had a number one song before I’d even heard any more than their name. Later, I heard their song a few times in clubs; I thought it was nothing special. Last night, however, I heard their number one song for the first time on the radio. I’m aghast at how these guys have managed to be so popular. The song was dire; uninteresting and uninspired. An exercise in how you don’t need a record company to over-hype you.
- **Kaiser Chiefs** — somewhat fun the first song around, but the album was boring and I don’t understand the appeal any more.
- **James Blunt** — monotonic drivel, yet number one for a large amount of time in the album chart. I’ve apparently heard three different songs by the guy, I’m not sure as they all sounded identical to me.
- **Magic Numbers** — see Arctic Monkeys; more uninspired clap trap that has somehow weaned itself into peoples’ affections.
In no particular order, other music-related things that sadden me: **X-Factor** and other reality TV singing rubbish, **Will Young**, new Hip Hop, yet more uninspired dance music, most FM radio stations, most other popular music. Here’s to 2006 being an improvement!

.:.