Here's my quick review of some of the albums I bought this year:
Coldplay: X&Y-- If you don't have this album buy it. Album of the year. Coldplay achieves the heights they had hinted at during their previous albums
Embrace: Out Of Nothing-- This album was actually released in 2004, but it took a year to make it to the states. This is another album you must own. In some ways they pass Coldplay with the heights they achieve in this album. It is the kind of album that will stay in your head long after it is done playing.
The Church: El Momento Descuidado-- acoustic album that catches the Church performing their best songs from their 17 album catalog. Very intimate performance. Great album to play to candle light. Beautiful "Van Gough" style art work on the cover
Billy Corgan: The Future Embrace-- Lots of old Smashing Pumpkins fans will not dig this. No real guitar work, mostly synth. So you got to give credit to Corgan for making an album that he wanted to make. You can tell this is the real Billy Corgan. He could have embraced any style he wants to, and choose electronic.
Depeche Mode: Playing the Angel-- Not their best, but it does grow on you. "Precious" is a great song.
Rob Dickinson: Fresh Wine For the Horses-- A late entry this year, but overall good. In case you don't know, Rob is the singer for the late "Catherine Wheel". He doesn't rely on the feed back of guitars like he did in Catherine Wheel, instead just good song writing.
Echo and the Bunnymen: Siberia-- It's OK. Not their best.
Erasure: Nightbird-- catchy pop songs. Very gay.
Fine China: Jaws of Life-- Stinks when you compare it to their last album "You Make Me Hate Music"
Garbage: Bleed Like Me-- Nothing on this album will surprise you, but overall it is pretty solid if your a Garbage fan
Gorillaz: Demon Days-- With the success of this album, I would be surprised if Damon Alburn reforms "Blur". Since Alburn is the brain in this one, he deserves credit for perfectly mixing Brit-pop with a little rap and trip-hop. Definitely one of the better albums of the year.
Joy Electric: Ministry Of Archers-- I'll come out and say it, Ronnie really dropped a bomb on this one. I don't mind experimenting, but this just doesn't do anything for me. Why Ronnie Martin wrote a song about a terrible archer, I'll never know. I found the songs on this album hard to relate too on any level.
Kevin Max: The Imposter-- This is definitely Max's best work--even if you like DC Talk. Max is really developing to be a outstanding solo artist.
Moby: Hotel-- Less electronic, but still really good. I appreciate Moby for adding a bonus ambient disc on this album
New Order: Waiting for the Sirens Call-- A pleasant return for New Order. The album drags in some places, but this band that has been around for 30 years still writes some of the best britpop around.
Oasis: Don't Believe the Truth-- Worst album of the year. A lot of the critics say that this is their best since their heyday, but I can only find one redeeming track on it. This should be a curtain call.
Over the Rhine: Drunkard's Prayer-- They can write some songs I really dig, and others I don't care for. This one is mostly good. Another good album to talk and listen to by candle light.
Sigur Ros: Takk-- surprisingly good follow up to their last album (). Sigur Ros has a very unique artist vision for their music. Clearly lyrics are not important here. Where Sigur Ros will take their music next is anyone's guess.
Starflyer 59: Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice-- A rather soft album, doesn't have the kick and distortion of Jason Martin's previous work. He can do better.
Tears: Here Come the Tears-- With the singer and guitarist of Suede reuniting, it promises a killer of an album. Unfortunately it doesn't deliver. Their is no trash, glam, or raw animal energy. Instead, it is the same "safe" sound that caused Suede to break up.