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The Year in Albums: The Top 50 Records of 2005

Kanye West was right on time; the Stones returned with a bang; the White Stripes beat the devil; and Fiona Apple made it extraordinary

Posted Dec 29, 2005 7:29 PM

30 Foo Fighters
IN YOUR HONOR RCA

Judicious pruning of these two discs — one of ten electric howlers; a second of ten more new songs, minus the fuzz and screaming — to a single CD would have made for a more powerful hour of Honor. The Beatlemaniac in ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl runs riot, with grace and melodic detail, on the unplugged set. The amplified half could have used more power-pop-with-spikes like "Resolve," which answers the nagging question: How would Nevermind have sounded if it had been made by Cheap Trick?

29 Franz Ferdinand
YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER Domino

After these fun-loving, tight-trousered Scottish boys became hipster pinups with their excellent 2004 debut, everyone was looking for the next Franz Ferdinand. Turns out they were just looking for Franz's second album, which streamlines their abundant charms — namely those ramshackle disco beats that frame Sixties Brit-pop melodies and the pleasure principle that's never more evident than on the excellent single "Do You Want To?" Singer Alex Kapranos narrates twentysomething dramas on oblique rockers like "Walk Away," but he's more like a saucy host than a spotlight-grabbing frontman, overseeing arty dance-rock that seems so simple you wonder why no other young band can match it.


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