10 Years On: Timeless Classics from 2005

From a hip-hop floor filler to a band's worst album that spawned a fan favourite sing-a-long, we take a look at nine golden records from a decade ago. 

Joel's Choices

Kaiser Chiefs – Employment

Watching the people get lairy, predicting riots and single-handedly bringing guitars back into the proper mainstream of British music: Kaiser Chiefs showed that the everyman could still make the big time – if the everyman in question can write a ludicrously catchy tune and play it with boundless energy. 'Oh My God', 'I Predict A Riot', 'Everyday I Love You Less and Less' and 'Modern Way' saw the band become near-ubiquitous, shooting them up festival bills across the continent.

Gorillaz – Demon Days

'Gorillaz', 2001's debut self-titled album which propelled the mysterious cartoon pretenders to pop stardom, was an accomplished record. It had hooks galore and singles ('Clint Eastwood' and '19-2000') to drive it right into the public glare. But there is no mistaking the musical step up that Demon Days brought four years later.

Stepping out of the hype created by the ultra-modern concept of a band that isn't formed of people at all (no way!) demanded that the music on the second album be beyond brilliant. The fact that ex-Blur man Damon Albarn managed it and then some, may not seem like a surprise in hindsight, but at the time 'Demon Days' exceeded most people's expectations. From the effortless cool of 'Feel Good Inc' and 'Last Living Souls' to the crazed energy of 'All Alone' and the back-door reintegration into the limelight of Shaun Ryder on 'DARE', this was an album that built a level of creativity that few others manage in the mainstream charts.

Coldplay – X&Y

The trouble with X&Y is that it wasn't actually all that good. Coldplay's debut album, 'Parachutes', had been a beautiful, softly-strung piece of indie pop, before 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' stadium-toured its way to the very top table of European stars. 

But then came 'X&Y'. Coldplay deserve credit for not standing still and it arguably all paid off when 'Viva La Vida' headed them back in the big time, with a sound that had been embryonic on its less successful predecessor. The album's stirring ballad, 'Fix You', was easily X&Y's stand-out track, one that is strongly remembered amongst Coldplay's essential soundtrack.

Luke's Choices

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

Lovingly indie, and yet both punk and sombre, Silent Alarm twists and turns like your favourite worst nightmare. It's exploration of sex, boredom, consumption and our future turned the angst of millions of teenagers up and down the country into something they could shout; something they could dance too. Unashamedly loathing of rockstar culture, Bloc Party achieved as much as The Libertines, but without half the casualties.

Arcade Fire - Funeral

It's an impressive feat being able to cloak death in a lust for life, but that's exactly what Arcade Fire's debut album did. Everything from its title to songs about lost loved ones (the band suffered a number of family deaths during its making process), suggests it would be an album of solemn reflection.

And in some parts it is, but even more striking is its pure optimism ("I am waiting till I don't know when / because I'm sure it will happen then"), and its galvanising cry to seize the day ("Children, wake up … before they turn the summer into dust"), that made Funeral reach a corner of people's hearts that very few albums ever see.

The Cribs - The New Fellas

Unlike my previous two choices, we knew what we were getting into when The Cribs' second album dropped: ripped jeans, raw guitars, screeching vocals. But that doesn't mean we weren't prepared.

Before we'd barely got our bearings after being batted out into space on 'Hey Scenesters!', we were chugging along to 'I'm Alright Me', before being spat back out by 'Mirror Kissers'. And we were only four songs in! Chaotic, thrilling and passionate, it was an album of nothing, if not youthful excitement. Now, who said duff-notes couldn't be embraced?

Cynthia's Choices

The Chemical Brothers - Push The Button

Winning 2 Grammy Awards 'Push The Button' spawned singles such as 'Galvanise' featuring Q-Tip, 'The Boxer' featuring the established Tim Burgess, and 'Believe' with Bloc Party's Kele Okereke. Released during a time where critics were comparing electronic albums to the then anti-climatical releases of The Prodigy & Fatboy Slim, 'Push The Button' was complimented for being a dynamic release, described by the Rolling Stone as "an album full of beat-wise psychedelia".

Of the 11 tracks on the album, all but 3 were used in various form of media such as TV shows like The O.C, various high-profile video games, promotional use by Sky Sports News, and the 2007 stoner classic film Smiley Face. 'Galvanise' itself was even featured in part during the music evolution section of the opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics, a testament to the tracks importance in the landscape of British Electronic music.

(You can see The Chemical Brothers at Creamfields or Bestival in the UK, and at Electric Zoo in the US)


Fall Out Boy - Under The Cork Tree

For a band that was seen as an important part of the "Emo Pop" explosion (a term still regularly debated by music journalists and fans alike) 'From Under The Cork Tree' was the band's breakthrough mainstream success, with both the album and released singles earning many accolades such as No18 in the 'Top 100 best-selling albums of the year in US' record, as well as No43 in IFPI's 'Top 50 Best Selling Albums of 2005 Worldwide" report.

Single releases included the infectious 'Dance Dance' and every emo teens favourite angst sing-a-long 'Sugar We're Going Down'.


Missy Elliot - The Cookbook 

While usually working on a large percentage of her material with producer Timbaland, 'The Cookbook' was seen as one of the most direct Missy Elliot experiences ever, where Timbaland only worked on two tracks on a album peaking at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.

Featuring releases such as heart-breaking "Teary Eyed" and defiant "We Run This", it was the dance inducing "Lose Control" that would become the signature track of this album, dubbed by many to be the ultimate rap track of the summer, along with a music video that was the 2nd most played video on US television.

(You can catch Missy Elliot headlining the Sunday of Bestival in the UK).

Thanks for reading! What was your favourite track or album of 2005? Tweet us at Festicket.



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