In the ongoing look back at summer 2005 let's review the sounds of the season. There was no singular triumphant album that dominated the charts, other than Mariah Carey's Emancipation of Mimi, which has been in the Top 5 since March spawning "We Belong Together," still No. 1 in the singles chart and defined by some as the official song of summer. Though I may have voted for "Wait (The Whisper Song)" from the Ying Yang Twins (see below).
In terms of high profile releases, Coldplay has already gone double platinum with X&Y released in June, though it hardly seems to have set the nation on fire. They remain the butt of many a hipster's jokes. Released in the same month, Get Behind Me Satan from the White Stripes is no longer in the Top 50 album sales. Not that The Stripes need to sell mega millions to keep their loyal fan base.
Despite star power and strong first week sales there were several major artists — Nine Inch Nails, R. Kelly, Weezer and The Foo Fighters — with releases that came and went. Perhaps follow-up singles can breathe new life into their albums. In terms of consistency, The Black Eyed Peas and The Gorillaz were able to stay Top 20 all summer. There's something about being featured in iPod ads, just ask U2.
The Houston sound supplied the scene for cruising the summer streets with Mike Jones and Slim Thug's Already Platinum. Chicago rapper Common had a medium-sized hit with "Go" from Be, which could go on to sell throughout the fall.
Speaking of the fall season, another Chicago talent Kanye West will dominate the September charts with Late Registration (released last week). Then it may be Sean Paul's turn with Trinity (Sept. 27) or even, gasp, Ashlee Simpson's second album coming out in October. Sleeper hits could emerge from Franz Ferdinand (Oct. 4) Broken Social Scene (also Oct. 4) or the newly baptized Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's ode to Americana Howl. One very safe bet will be System of a Down's Hypnotize, the second part of a double album paired with Mezmerize released in May. Mezmerize is one of the most satisfying albums of the year, which leads to the best albums of summer.