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Top 30 Albums Worth Your Dime in 2005… and more

Top 30 Albums Worth Your Dime in 2005... and more

I know everyone is done with last year and ready to move on with 2006, but this will be my final 2005 list. Thanks for putting up with them. This is where I offer up my “Top 30 Albums Worth Your Dime,” most of which were profiled throughout the year in my “Albums Worth Your Dime” column, which will resume in a couple of weeks (the beginning of every year can be slim pickings for great new music). Here you go:

1. M.I.A., Arular
2. Gorillaz, Demon Days
3. The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
4. Kanye West, Late Registration
5. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
6. Elbow, Leaders of the Free World
7. Engineers, Engineers
8. My Morning Jacket, Z
9. M83, Before the Dawn Heals Us
10. The Decemberists, Picaresque
11. Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
12. Spoon, Gimme Fiction
13. Beck, Guero
14. Ryan Adams, 29
15. Danger Doom, The Mouse and The Mask
16. Kaiser Chiefs, Employment
17. Stars, Set Yourself on Fire
18. And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart
19. The Chemical Brothers, Push the Button
20. Slim Thug, Already Platinum
21. Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
22. Amadou & Mariam, Dimanche a Bamako
23. Z-Ro, Let the Truth Be Told
24. Coldplay, X&Y
25. Madonna, Confessions on a Dance Floor
26. The Game, The Documentary
27. Sleater-Kinney, The Woods
28. Joy Zipper, American Whip
29. Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy
30. Royskopp, The Understanding

Artists Who Gave Us Promising Sneak Peeks (EPs, imports, etc.) to 2006 LPs:
The Black Angels, Editors, Sound Team, Stars of Track & Field

“Two Albums Are Not Better Than One” Award:
Bright Eyes
(Connor Oberst released two new studio albums on the same day. And there wasn’t one album’s worth of strong material between them.)

Surprise Music Success:
(Now, just about every band of any size uses the popular Web site as a powerful marketing tool.)

Biggest Hype:
Houston hip-hop
(Between Lil Flip and Slim Thug, or Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, H-Town was the place to beat for rhymes and beats. Will it stay strong in the new year? All eyes are on which MCs will dominate from the country’s fourth-largest city.)

The Best Source for Online Radio:
Seattle’s KEXP,
(New, old, rock, rap. It’s all here, all day. Thank God we can all listen to it now.)

Biggest Comeback of 2005:
Guitars Owned By Neil
(Neil Young and Neil Diamond both returned from a hospital and obscurity, respectively, to reveal some of their best songwriting in years.)

Comeback Prediction for 2006:
Music Videos
(With video iPods on the rise, this short-film artform is poised to make a mainstream resurgence. Heavy on the close-ups.)

Seven Words of the Apocalypse:
Paris Hilton Solo Album Due In 2006

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