Guess what? You’re old! Yup, you’re just a big ol’ sack of of dusty bones covered in cobweb skin with a team of crows manipulating your movements so you still look alive. Want proof? Take a gander at this collection of 16 albums turning 10 this year. By the time you get to 50 Cent’s The Massacre, you’ll notice that several cats have been eating your face.
Lug along that oxygen tank, it’s time for some uncomfortable 2005 nostalgia!
Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
It doesn’t get much more 2005-y than this, eh? During the commercial crossover emo boom of the mid-aughts, Panic! At The Disco reigned as the genre’s most unapologetic dandies. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out found the band at the peak of their dorkout powers and also at their most unapologetically ridiculous. (My Chemical Romance looked like the goddamned Hold Steady next to P!ATC.) The next step was deciding to somersault out of their New Romantic meets Fueled By Ramen schtick and try their hand at channeling The Beatles. Judging by the response, the aforementioned next step was one placed directly on a land mine.
Rihanna – Music of the Sun
Holy shit, were we ever so young? It’s been ten (10!) years since Rihanna came into our hearts with “Pon de Replay” and the unleashed multiyear tidal wave of amazing singles. Do not, my friends, become addicted to quality RiRi tracks. It will take hold of you and you will resent their absence! Anywho, this was a kinder and gentler 17-year-old Rihanna that would slowly morph from agreeable dancehall pop purveyor to terrifyingly awesome hit factory with expert precision.
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
Quite possibly the Arts & Craftiest release ever put out by Arts & Crafts, this self-titled release from Canadian indie’s Alpha Flight equivalent scored the usual spunkblast of critical raves even with loud grumbling that it wasn’t as good as You Forget It In People. (Music fans can be a moany bunch.) Fast forward to 2015 and it’s been a half-decade since BSS has cranked out a full-length. At the moment, the band (as a combo proposition) has been plunked in suspended animation only periodically reemerging for the occasional Field Trip appearance.
Missy Elliott – The Cookbook
Speaking of acts that have gone ages between records, hello Missy Elliott! Naturally, Missy can release her follow-up to 2005’s The Cookbook any damn time she pleases, but we’re simply greedy for more. This full-length, which is notorious for being uncharacteristically light on Timbaland team-ups, has never been rated as highly as the likes of Miss E… So Addictive or Under Construction, but what could be? It’s still entertaining, daring and full of worthy entries into the Misdemeanor canon. How crazy is it that we used to get new Missy cuts ON A REGULAR BASIS? Geez, we sure were spoiled.
Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
Who needs Deez Nuts when you’ve got the majesty of “These Words”? Presumably a lot of people, but let’s talk about Natasha Bedingfield anyway. Released in 2004 in the UK, North America required a year’s worth of preparation for this debut offering arrived on our shores. (WOULD OUR CONTINENT EVER COME DOWN FROM DANIEL BEDINGFIELD FEVER???) The North American version underwent some retooling before arrival with little touches like D12’s Bizarre getting swapped out for Estelle as the featured guest on “Drop Me In The Middle” taking hold. So much for “Bizarre’s here all night.” Anyway, this is the first time you’ve spared a thought for Natasha Bedingfield since Emma Stone received a birthday card in Easy A.
Daft Punk – Human After All
Revisionist history would lead you to believe Daft Punk have always delivered, but that isn’t entirely true. Paris’s premier robotic export released Human After All to lukewarm reviews in 2005 with most of the evaluations ending with the critic oozing snark about the title proving prophetic. Human After All was essentially hamstrung by having to follow the masterpiece that was Discovery and an uneven effort sure as sugar wasn’t going to be welcomed with open arms. Thankfully, a legendary run of live shows over the next two years got everything back on track.
Kanye West – Late Registration
Remember when you could say the words “Kanye West” and not have everyone jump down your throat cleats first with an opinion? Simpler days. Granted, the “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” business went down days after this thing came out, but Late Registration is still largely a document from the pre-crucifixion era. (Preezus?) This is the one with “Gold Digger” and “Heard ‘Em Say” on it, in case you forgot. Kanye would “graduate” two years later.
Nickelback – All The Right Reasons
“Look at this photograph…” Go ahead, grunt along to the lyrics. You know them all. They’ve been imprinted in your brain from countless wedding reception slideshows and funerals for cousins that died in meth-kissed ATV accidents. As the punk-funk and electroclash gold rush hype continued to get smaller in the ’00s rear view, Nickelback confirmed that they are unkillable rock beasts capable of cranking out something like All The Right Reasons in any era and make oil baron levels of cash while doing so. Do you think Chad Kroeger loses sleep over beardos complaining that his output is trash? He jet-skis on their tears and lets turds like “If Everyone Cared” foot the bill.
M.I.A. – Arular
The pre-truffle-fry era! Following up on the momentum of 2004’s Diplo-assisted Piracy Funds Terrorism, Maya Arulpragasam made her proper studio album introduction with the genre-blurring LP Arular. Awards were nabbed, M.I.A. scored full-on star status and you spent an alarming amount of time combing through the classifieds for a Roland MC-505. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag from M.I.A. ever since, but that’s alright. Give us the occasional “Paper Planes” or video for “Bad Girls” every once in a while and we’re a-okay.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
Let’s move from Arular to angular. Remember when that term was a mandatory tool of hack music writing? Bloc Party were the big swinging dicks of angular. Silent Alarm was heralded as the latest greatest debut in the indie arms race with Kele Okereke and the boys destined to pack your local hockey arena. It didn’t pan out that way (we blame the “BECAUSE EAST LONDON IS A VAMPIRE!” bit on “Song For Clay (Disappear Here)”), but Silent Alarm still holds up as a jittery ANGULAR™ slice of post-post-punk that does well for itself in any era. In case you missed it, Kele’s been keeping busy as a dance-soaked solo act.
Madonna – Confessions on a Dance Floor
Look! It’s the last Madonna album you bought! We’re being a tad harsh here, but it’s not like Hard Candy, MDNA or Rebel Heart are held in particularly high esteem. This is one with the mighty “Hung Up” plus other sparkling dancefloor-ready jams. Does Madge still have Stuart Price’s number? They were good together.
50 Cent – The Massacre
Good ol’ 2005 50 Cent. It was that magical time where Fiddy could simultaneously do no wrong (1.14 million copies of The Massacre sold in its first week) and everything wrong (the album was largely dog shit outside of “Ski Mask Way”) in the same year. That’s quite the feat! Also an impressive feat: Tying Tony Yayo’s name to an album that went quintuple platinum. The Massacre was no Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and that set the great Fiddy relevance erosion into effect. It’s a shame because 50 Cent: The Guy seems to be upping his charm meter by the year even though his last album sold roughly nine copies.
Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
Here’s a file photo of everyone that’s been waiting patiently for the next instalment in Sufjan’s Fifty States project:
Gorillaz – Demon Days
It’s fun how we all seemed to agree that Damon Albarn is a million shades more lovable as 2D, eh? Demon Days served as a document declaring that Gorillaz weren’t just a one-off (nothing wrong with one-offs) and we got to see Shaun Ryder’s bloated head pop up in the video for “Dare,” so bless their animated hearts. A new album’s supposedly in the works with a 2016 release looming. Full points to Murdoc for leading such a wild lifestyle while managing to keep a relatively youthful appearance.
Cadence Weapon – Breaking Kayfabe
In 2005, Rollie Pemberton joined the illustrious world of Neil Tennant, Martin Fry and that guy from Gay Dad as music writers professionally plying their trade as a proper act. Breaking Kayfabe not only introduced the world to Cadence Weapon, but it placed the spotlight on Edmonton (howdy Oliver Square!) as one compelling berg. An official gig as the city’s Poet Laureate was only a few years away. For those of you that like to keep track of these sorts of things, Cadence Weapon is now based out of Montreal.
Lindsay Lohan – A Little More Personal (Raw)
“DAUGHTER TO FATHER! DAUGHTER TO FATHER!” 2005 was a fantastic year for anyone clamouring to see Lindsay Lohan to dive headfirst into an angsty follow-up to her pop-minded debut, Speak. Critics panned the shit out of this thing (“The red flags run rampant in this album, which has all the personality of HAL 9000,” notes PopMatters.) but now you can hear Lindsay taking a clumsy-ass karaoke swing at Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me”! Granted, she lands on her ass, but you weren’t listening to this thing for the kindest of reasons anyway.