The Audio Diva 2000's: Graduation, Higher Education & Emancipation [2005]

Monday, December 21, 2009

2005 was a monster year for me as I graduated high school AND started college. In a sense, 2005 was all about me getting a higher education, and well...I sure as funkle did. I experienced Senior Week with toga dress-ups and the Senior Prank (toilet papering the lame), and I was the only one of my friends bold enough to do Senior Skip Day. I also experienced prom, and it's an experience I'd like to forget due to my knot-head date (he asked me, and no one else was asking so what the hell?). Yet all in all, I closed out my adolescent years quite grandly as I ditched the retainer and threw the cap up in the air and gave a big double pink polished middle fingers to high school....

Then came freshman year of college, which was like being doused with a bucket of ice cold water and thrust out into the Antarctic winter without a parka. It was intense. I experienced two roommates who were seriously the Devil's Disciples, I received my first D ever (Government...I was kind of distracted in there by someone of the opposite sex) and I also learned how to wash clothes, got drunk for the first time (the balcony was swaying on its own, I swear) and not to eat the emapandas in the cafeteria (rat meat). So many good (and horror show) times, that the whole experience warrants a novel...

2005 was massive musically, for me, as I received my first MP3 player and thus the revolution is now digitalized. It was a red iRiver (do they make those anymore?) and it was slick. Played and operated like a dream...till my computer blew it out come 2006. Bummer.  Still, it was the MP3 player that got me through my first semester of college and it was jammed packed with tunes, from Nikka Costa, Vivian Green, Rob Thomas, Madonna's Confessions and of course, Faith Evans' glorious The First Lady effort. Also for a moment in time, Green Day's American Idiot opus became THE album of the moment, as practically everyone in the dorms were playing that album along with Kanye West's Late Registration. The Pussycat Dolls' gave the catch phrase of the year ("Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?") and Shakira made kitchen tables sexy by slithering on it during the "La Tortura" video. In 2005 we saw the emergence of Keyshia Cole, Rhianna and Chris Brown...unaware of what would happen a few year later between the last two.

Also not a day went by in my dorm's cafeteria where Fall Out Boy's "Dance Dance" wasn't blasting in the morning while eating french toast sticks and grits. Other "college minded" tracks cropped up such as KT Tunstall's quirky good, "Black Horse and A Cherry Tree", Leela James' infectious "Music" and that creepy James Blunt track, "You're Beautiful". RENT, the film and the soundtrack, was the big musical in my world at that time and not a day went by that I played "Seasons of Love", just to annoy my hateful roommate further. Sweet justice.

The Big 3 of 2005

Mariah Carey
I'd be lying to say that 2005 wasn't the year of Mariah Carey. As well as the year that finally my janky high school friends realized that Mariah Carey wasn't totally off her rocker and was cooler than sliced pumpkin bread. After having a rocky start in the 00's, The Emancipation of Mimi, was Mariah's return to form, as she delivered a cohesive set of tracks that included "Shake It Off", "Get Your Number" and my favorite, "Say Somethin'". "We Belong Together" rocketed the album to chart topping success and gave Carey a comeback that she richly deserved.

Natasha Bedingfield
True. "Unwritten" literally smothered you due to it being the 21st Century's motivational song in route of Des'ree's "You Gotta Be", but in 2005 when Natasha was walking down the street with some walking boom-boxes in her debut music video for "These Words", it reeled me in. Thinking that she could only flash in the pan once, I was pleasantly surprised at how Unwritten, the album, plays out. The themes seem ripped from my own journal, and the melodies were infectious enough to neatly wrap this album with a satin bow. "I Bruise Easily" still remains to be Bedingfield's most beautiful musical creation. 

Mary J. Blige
Some experienced growth with What's The 411? and My Life. And well, The Breakthrough was kind of My Life for the 21st century mind.  It was that album that got me through my first semester of college towards the end of  '05 into 2006. Whenever I played it, instantly, it kept me going, no matter what downer mood I was in. With the sparkling lead off single, "Be Without You" into such motivational tracks like "Take Me As I Am" and "Good Woman Down", this was one of Blige's finest hours, and an hour she's having a hard time retrieving again.

Top 15 of 2005
1. Say Somethin' - Mariah Carey
2. Be Without You - Mary J. Blige
3. I Bruise Easily - Natasha Bedingfield

4. Get Together - Madonna 
Confessions on a Dance Floor was experiencing Madonna back at her old 1983 tricks and what blast of nostalgia and modern discotheque it was. "Get Together" was a fantastic surge of sound, and even better than "Hung Up" and "Jump", in my humble opinion. It's eerie yet spirited.

5. I Don't Need It - Faith Evans
6. La Tortura - Shakira and Alejandro Sanz
7. This Is How A Heart Breaks - Rob Thomas
8. Lose Control - Missy Elliott ft. Ciara
9. Music - Leela James

10. Holiday - Green Day 
Geez...this song is F-U-N. This was the song that made me pursue purchase of American Idiot and a purchase that was once the odd man out in my collection. Seriously, a sista like me couldn't get behind this song? Well, I did, and I used to blast this song and pump a rebel fist whenever I had stolen moments alone in my dorm room...

11. We R In Need Of A Musical Revolution - Esthero
12. Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
13. Testify - Common

14. Sow Into You - Roisin Murphy
When I was first introduced to Roisin Murphy it was through this horn peppered funk workout. Unaware of her Moloko days, Ruby Blue brought me into Roisin's world, and I have never looked back since on the Irish songstress. This song is just a swiveling piece of modern funk that is just itchy infectious.

15. Can'tneverdidnothin' -Nikka Costa

1 comment:

  1. 'Say Somethin' is my favorite song from 'Emancipation' and how could we forget 'The First Lady' and 'The Breakthrough'. There were a lot of great albums in 2005.


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