The years of 2004/2005 were a period of musical maturation for me. It was during this period that I transitioned from being a metal head to a fan of indie rock. That is not to say that I still don’t enjoy the musical headbanging of Iron Maiden, System of a Down, or Primus. But below is a listing of 5 albums that came out during this two-year period that had a tremendous impact on my life, and provided me with a soundtrack for the ages.
5. The Garden State Soundtrack (2004): This album is indie rock 101. If you want to know what indie rock is all about, this is the first album you buy. With the variety of artists and the impeccable song selection, the Garden State soundtrack showcases some of the best indie rock artists out there with some of their best songs. This album introduced me to The Shins, Iron & Wine, and reminded me just how amazing Simon and Garfunkel are. If that was not enough, it has one of the best songs of the decade, Frou Frou’s Let Go.
4. System of a Down Memorize/Hypnotize (2005): See I have not totally forsaken my metal roots! This double album release in 2005 kicks some serious butt. One problem I did have with this album was how it was released. In 2005 Memorize was released in the first part of the year and Hypnotize was released at the end of the year. So when you bought Memorize you were listening to an incomplete album, which was very awkward. But now you can listen to them as they were meant to be, back to back. Once again, System of a Down provides you with thought provocating lyrics and their own unique musical style. No other band in the world sounds like System of a Down.
3. Bloc Party Silent Alarm (2005): Listening to this album for the first time, I was struck by how cool Bloc Party sounds. They just have the “it” factor. With drummer Matt Trong’s infectious drumming and singer Kele Okerke distinct singing style, Silent Alarm still sounds fresh. Plus it has one of the best opening track songs I have ever heard in my life with “Like Eating Glass”. Currently Bloc Party is on hiatus, but here’s hoping that this ends soon.
2. Paul McCartney Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005): It’s my list so of course The Beatles have to be somewhere on the list. Not including his work with the Beatles, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is one of the best things Paul McCartney has ever done. It is in my top 3 solo McCartney albums ever produced. (Right next to Ram and Flaming Pie) The songs on this album showcase McCartney’s versatile musical style, and showed the listening public, that even in his mid-60s McCartney can still put out that one great album.
1. The Arcade Fire Funeral (2004): Next to the Beatles and Nirvana, I consider the Arcade Fire one of the greatest bands ever to pick up musical instruments. This was the album that got me out of metal music. One of the great aspects to Funeral is that you can either listen to a single song, or the entire album and get something out of it. I do recommend listening to the entire album for the best possible music experience. There is not a bad track on this album. The Arcade Fire approach their subject matter on this album with such a delicacy that many bands have copied, but few have even come close to what they accomplished on this album. Funeral is a masterpiece. There is not a bad song on the album and this is a must own for any serious music fan!