While waiting for one of my real-life trolls to summon me for holiday carousing, I polished off this list of "superlatives" for the year 2005. Feel free to reply with any of your choices...
Favorite Group: Goldfrapp (duh)
Favorite Female Artist: Imogen Heap
Favorite Male Artist: Patrick Wolf
Favorite New Artists: First and foremost, Patrick Wolf, whose second album Wind In The Wires was made for me, with my rabid Anglophilia and Cornish heritage. Somebody make this kid a worldwide indie star, please! He is in it for long haul. Others newbies or folks who realized their full potential were: Antony and the Johnsons, Richard Hawley, Mozez, Lorraine (debut coming in 2006), Rachel Stevens, Sufjan Stevens, The Music Lovers (new CD coming in 2006), and Kubb (Harry Collier).
Album Cover Of The Year: Goldfrapp’s Supernature. No one even came close. See image below.
Cover Song Of The Year: Mary J Blige, on the strength of her voice and interpretation, takes U2’s “One” into new realms. Amazing.
Favorite Oldie Of The Year: Scott Walker, “It’s Raining Again” – I heard this on a booming sound system at the late great Let It Be record store in Minneapolis. Bought it on the spot.
Best Scott Walker Imitation: Richard Hawley for his wonderful Cole’s Corner CD. I had no idea how well Hawley could sing! We at Xolondon Towers like all songs that sound like Scott Walker music. ’04 was Divine Comedy, so who will it be next year? I have an idea…
Guilty Pleasure Album: A tie between Bodies Without Organs’ Protoype and Mariah’s Mimi CD. Fly like a bird, Mimi!
Best Lyrics Of The Year: Fiona Apple wins this for her whole Extraordinary Machine CD – you don’t even need to hear the music to love it. Sufjan Stevens gets special mention for his wrenching “Casimir Pulaski Day,” as does Martha Wainwright for her manifesto “Bloody Motherfucking Asshole,” which was more frustrated than angry. In a category by itself is Kate Bush’s soothing “Nocturn.”
Best Song Title: The winner is The Cardigans “I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need To Be Nicer” but we’ll also cheer for Martha W’s “Bloody Motherfucking Asshole” and Copeland’s “Choose The One Who Loves You More”
Coffeehouse Music Of The Year: Mozez, for his lovely So Still CD. I don’t mean that as snarkily as it reads. I like that album a lot… with hot tea (cream/sugar) and a pumpkin scone.
Decade Of The Year: the 1980’s (duh) It took awhile for artists to get this right. Among those who did were Lorraine, Nightmare Of You, and Rachel Stevens.
Bimbo Of The Year: Stiletto-tottering, top-heavy Mariah Carey, for dressing like a 16 yr old ghetto sluttress, despite getting more bloated on anti-depressants each week. One boob faces east, one boob faces west. Tally ho!
Himbo Of The Year: Martin, blondie lead singer of Bodies Without Organs. Look for him singing into a pillow on his tour of saunas and “gyms” across Europe. But wait, he’s married!
Biggest Ripoff Award: Jose Gonzalez, whose lovely song “Crosses” is a complete theft of the sound of Kings Of Convenience. I like it, but please, he’s even Norwegian! Runner-up is Copeland for sounding exactly like The Postal Service on some of their tracks (namely “Sleep”), which is not a bad thing really.
Grinch Of The Year: A tie between Mutya of Sugababes, for quitting the group just as the new CD was really topping the charts. Selfish cunt! Meanwhile, frosty Alison Goldfrapp proved she takes journalists’ bait every time. She had nothing but negative things to say about most of her female peers. I LOVE her music, but she needs learn that there is a difference between being candid and being unkind.
Most Welcome Disappearance: J-Ho, thank God. Her creepy little cadaver of a husband must have her doing dishes.
The New J-Lo Award: goes to Bitchin' Gwen Stefani for her I-am-a-chola-girl / I-am-15-and-talk-like-it delusions. Grow up Gwendolyn.
Genre I Used To Love That Finally Went Poop: R’n’B is a disaster zone that even John Legend couldn’t save.
Worst Song Title: Tori Amos, “The Power Of Orange Knickers” – that title is so fucking self-conscious (though the song is not as bad as the title).
Scapegoat for Trendiness I Hate: [duh, trolls!] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Worst Lyrics Of The Year: Gee, anything by Coldplay or maybe Madonna. That does not mean I hate the music or the artists, but let’s call it like it is.
Most Hated Song: Wow. There really is only one answer: Jessica Simpson’s atrocious cover of “These Boots Were Made For Walkin’”
Favorite Remix of The Year: Without a doubt, Stuart Price’s Thin White Duke mix of Killer’s “Mr. Brightside” – phenomenal!
Producer Of The Year: Stuart Price for Madonna's CD, made in his attic, along with tracks by New Order and several remixes.
Wundkerkind Of The Year: A tie between Imogen Heap and Patrick Wolf for making their albums almost entirely by themselves. Two geniuses working from the heart. Runner-up to Sufjan, of course.
Worst Haircut: Paul Weller. How he manages to look 65 and 25 at the same time is beyond me, but he does it.
Favorite Clubby Track: Not a remix per se, but a true club track would be the incredible collaboration between Estelle and Ben Watt on “Pop A Cap In Yo Ass” – a perfectly written spoken-word track about small-time London thugs, told from the perspective of one of their baby mamas.
Favorite Video: Goldfrapp’s sweet and funny dog-filled “Number 1” was terrific. Finally a sense of humo(u)r…
Worst Video: Anything starring Mariah Scarey, who needs to fire Every. Single. Person. around. her.
Best Comeback(s): If Madonna counts as a comeback, then it’s her. Kate Bush released some of her finest songs ever, even if the full album was not perfect. Also surprising me were a-ha, Depeche Mode, Andy Bell / Erasure, Saint Etienne and New Order. On the radio, the divas Mariah and Mary J. turned out some of the best songs of their careers, after total turkeys last time around.
Biggest Disappointments: Take a seat and get a coffee…what a pooper of a year! My number one disappointment was early in ‘05: Tori Amos's The Beekeeper – a meandering, midtempo mess. Tori has completely lost any energy or spark in her work. The “Sleeps With Butterflies” single is actually beautiful, but the album falls flat. She’s too comfortable. And the rest? I know there will be plenty of disagreement here, but this is my opinion, trolls. Each of these records has something good on it and I didn’t sell all of them, but I don’t play them either: Paul Weller, Ryan Adams (the 2 CDs after “Cold Roses”), Robbie Williams, Jimmy Somerville, Athlete, Aimee Mann, Craig David, Starsailor (I didn’t even buy it!), Tracey Thorn single (hugely dull! God bless her!), Alfie “Crying At Teatime” (they broke up when I didn’t like this album!)
Live Show Of The Year: Arena: Depeche Mode / Club: Ryan Adams (I didn’t see very many live acts this year though).