Explanation: We used a weighted points system in order to determine the top 20. We took each of the staff member's top 20 lists, and assigned point values for each album based on its ranking. A number 1 album got 100 points, a #2 got 90 points, and on down the line with lower albums receiving less relative weight. A complete scale can be seen below. The albums were then placed in Excel, with each staff member's weighted score next to it. After those points were summed, we sorted the data and came up with AP.net's top 20 overall albums for 2005 based on what our staff liked. Enjoy.
-Scott and Rohan
1. Thrice - Vheissu
Thrice went out on a giant limb and released what some may call the definitive album of their career. Vheissu came in as number 1 on Jared's and Gabe's lists, as well as 2nd on Jason's. Emotional, moody, and full of passion, Vheissu tops the list.
2. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
This was the year that indie managed to cross over into mainstream appeal more than ever. Sufjan's soothing voice and his diverse folksy instrumentals made this album too unique to pass up for many of our staff members. Illinois was all over the top 10 of most lists, earning the coveted top spot on Drew's list, and finding itself on lists that otherwise had virtually no indie on them. Sufjan's crossover appeal earned him the number 2 spot.
3. Minus the Bear - Menos El Oso
Minus the Bear's infectious guitar workings and grooving songs made it yet another smash indie hit across our staff. Topping Pat's list and finding itself amongst many other top 5s, Minus the Bear comes in at number 3.
4. Gatsby's American Dream - Volcano
Innovative, technical, and often unpredictable, Gatsby's American Dream blew away people with a concept album that defined the core of human emotion. Volcano made listeners dance, sing-along, and re-think song structures. Coming in at number 1 on both Scott and Garett's lists, Gatsby's American Dream takes the number 4 spot on our list.
5. Acceptance - Phantoms
Phantoms is an absolute pop rock masterpiece. With gorgeous, bold vocals, infectious melodies, driving guitars, and incredible production, it was damn near impossible for anyone to dislike this album. Finding itself in Jason, Rohan, Scott, Jon, and Greg's top 10s, Phantoms takes its place at number 5 on our list.
Though many had their reservations regarding Death Cab For Cutie's major label debut, few were disappointed when they placed Plans in their stereo: with earnest, sincere vocals gracing mellow and tranquil soundscapes, Death Cab did not let us down.
7. The Starting Line - Based On a True Story
On their much anticipated follow up to Say It Like You Mean It, The Starting Line delivered with the album we had all been waiting for. Even with the slightly heavier undertones and more mature sound, Based On a True Story satisfied our need for sing-along choruses and cavity-inducing, sweet-as-sugar melodies.
8. The Decemberists - Picaresque
With their majestically poetic indie-rock, The Decemberists take the 8 spot on our list. Often eerie, sometimes gentle, but always beautiful, The Decemberists have gained critical acclaim from fans of all genres this year.
9. Copeland - In Motion
Coming in at 2nd on Rohan's list, Copeland kicked things up a notch on In Motion, perfectly fusing angelic, ethereal vocals with straight ahead rock; crushingly beautiful and exceptionally soothing, In Motion found its way to 9th place on our list.
10. Cartel - Chroma
Cartel rounds out the top 10 with their highly infectious brand of pop-punk. Vocalist Will Pugh has one of, if not the best voice in the genre. With big hooks and even bigger vocals, Cartel was an easy choice for Rohan at number 1 and found its way onto many other staff member's lists.
18. The Receiving End of Sirens - Between the Heart and the Synapse
19. Nightmare of You - Nightmare of You
20. Panic! At the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
21. Bayside - Bayside
22. Jack's Mannequin - Everything In Transit
23. Sigur Ros - Takk
24. Circa Survive – Juturna
25. Mae - The Everglow
26. A Wilhelm Scream - Ruiner
27. Comeback Kid - Wake the Dead
28. Propagandhi - Potemkin City Limits
29. The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute
30. The Junior Varsity - Wide Eyed