As is customary for me, here are my “best of” lists for 2005. These are the records, songs and live performances that meant the most to me over the past year.

Best of 2005 – Albums

A note: not all of these albums came out in 2005; this is a list of what albums meant the most to me in 2005, not an attempt to objectively assign champions.

Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
Christopher Bissonnette – Periphery
Deepspace5 – Unique, just like everybody else
Mat Kearney – Bullet
Fennesz – Venice
Eluvium – Talk Amongst the Trees
Ohmega Watts – The Find
YSG Timothy – A Black Guy Named Tim
Listener & EQ – Ozark Empire
Sara Groves – The Other Side of Something
Buddy Miller – Universal United House of Prayer

Best of 2005 – Recent additions

These are records that I got just recently and thus haven’t had time to really hit me fully, but are records I expect to be excellent:

Daniel Lanois – Belladonna
Half-Handed Cloud – Thy is a word and feet need lamps
Half-Handed Cloud – halos & lassos
David Crowder Band – A Collision

Best of 2005 – Songs

Some individual songs that I really was struck by in 2005:

Imogen Heap – “Hide & Seek”
Kirk Franklin – “Looking for You”
Sufjan Stevens – “Come Thou Fount”
Half-Handed Cloud – “To Love Like The Father & Son Love Each Other” and “We’re Very Greatly Loved” (free mp3 downloads courtesy sounds familyre)

Best of 2005 – Live Performances

I didn’t get to see that much live music this year, but these shows stood out in what I did witness:

Sufjan Stevens live at the Majestic (Detroit, MI)
Sara Groves live at Maranatha Bible Conference (Muskegon, MI)
Terrence Parker DJ set at the Detroit Fuse:In Festival (Detroit, MI)
Ohmega Watts live at the Blind Pig (Ann Arbor, MI)