Best Of Lists 2006 (Part 3): My Album's of the Year (30-1)
This is my to top 60 albums (non hip-hop) part 2, enjoy. (Artwork by Eric Adler)
30. Beach House - Beach House (10/06) Absolutely beautiful debut from this Baltimore duo, graceful drone and soft dreamlike melodies galore. Perfect winter soundscape!
Master of None (mp3)
29. Annuals - Be He Me (10/06) Solid release from these newcomers, showing a lot of diversity in their style, and I look forward to more great releases from them.
Carry Around (mp3)
28. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine (8/06) Aggressive take on dance punk, and lyrical content as well.
A Pillar of Salt (mp3)
27. Headlights - Kill Them With Kindness (8/06)
Great format that a lot bands are following, Keyboards + female singer = greatness!
26. Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime (4/06)
This Canadian group make it look to easy, forming in the spring on 2005, playing some local shows that summer, releasing an ep on 1/06, and by 4/06 (one year later) release a great debut LP. Perhaps EYE Weekly summed it up best when they wrote "[Tokyo Police Club] are undeniably catchy and raw, marrying danceable hooks with talk of robot masters and global emergencies, providing an upbeat soundtrack to our troubled times."
Nature of the Experiment (mp3)
25. The Black Keys - Magic Potion (9/06) Great release from this duo. Their sound fills the room, and it is harder to image that it comes from just two instruments. Their Magic Potion allows them to channel Jimi Hendrix, and the results are amazing.
Modern Times (mp3)
24. Danielson - Ships (5/06) Daniel Smith's voice is unique, and you are either going to love it or hate, but his passion you cannot debate. A great performance at pitchfork over the summer really sold me on this album, and their costumes are very original!
Two Sitting Ducks (mp3)
23. Ratatat - Classics (8/06) This is wonderful dance album full of beats and sounds to fill the dance floor. In recent interview in Fader they were asked "At it's widest, what's playing on Classics?". The answer was "70 tracks". Incredible!
22. The Long Winters - Putting Days to Bed (7/06) According to their website: "John Roderick writes songs that make you feel like you’ve been talking to someone really interesting in an airport for the last hour and, although you know you’ll never see them again, you just told them your whole life story and a part of you will love them forever". They also rock with what they call "guitar pop rave-ups".
21. Lily Allen - Alright, Still (7/06) This myspace diva has become an overnight success, but she has the skills to back it up. She is going to blow up when her album hits the states!
Everything is Wonderful (mp3)
20. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House (9/06) "The album was self-recorded during an idyllic summer. The makeshift studio was provided by Droste's mom's living room in a yellow house just off Cape Cod". Their music want to sound homemade, but there is deeper quality to that is magical and a little scary at the same time.
19. The Knife - Silent Shout (7/06) I almost slept on this album because of their freaky photos, but last month I thought twice and love every funky dark disco moment!
We Share Our Morther's Health (mp3)
18. Electric Presidents - Electric Presidents (1/06) Incredible home recordings from Ben Cooper and Alex Kane, this album is breath-takingly warm and familiar at times, and cold and distant at others. In fact, this album would make a good wife now that I think about it.
Good Morning, Hypocrite (mp3)
17. Matt and Kim - Matt and Kim (10/06) Young duo (and couple) out Brooklyn NY make energetic dance-punk with just drums and keyboards.
Yea Yeah (mp3)
16. Alias & Tarsier - Brookland/Oaklyn (5/06) Beautifully dark and moody, this duo has found the perfect blend of beat and beauty to transcend anything the trip-hop movement of the nineties could have even imagined.
Last Nail (mp3)
15. The Fratellis - Costello Music (9/06) Barry, Mince, Jon Fratelli have put out a piece of pop-punk perfection. 'Mon the Fratellis!
Creeping Up the Backstairs (mp3)
14. The Octopus Project and Black Moth Super Rainbow - The House of Apples and Eyeballs (10/06) Absolutely fresh and creative extremists team up to create a disc full of very inventive beats and sounds.
13. Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar (5/06) Nineteen and so creative and mature, Zach Condon has made his debut a masterpiece. He will follow it up with a solid ep next month. He has greatness in his future.
Postcards from Italy (mp3)
12. Arrah & The Ferns - Evan is a Vegan (8/06) Organ, banjo, horns, and Arrah great voice, this band is basically a group of friends just having fun. According to Amazon, they started as a whim at an open mic night. What a great whim it was!
Apple for Evan (mp3)
11. CSS - Cansei de Ser Sexy (7/06) Bouncy brazilian bounty of beats bending from the breaks and making you beg for more!
Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above (mp3)
10. The Grates - Gravity won't get you High (8/06) It was the year of the female vocalist, three in a row! Patience Hodgson brings an amazing amount of energy to her music, and a great voice as well. This Australian trio has prepared a hand-written bio that is quite funny.
Science is Golden (mp3)
9. M. Ward - Post-War (8/06) Hearing the title of this album I thought "Oh man, another collection of protest songs!", but that is not the war that M. Ward is talking about. He is talking about a more personal war. His voice floats gracefully over guitar, and brings all conflicts to an end.
Chinese Translations (mp3)
8. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller (9/06) I've liked Ben Kweller's work for a couple years now, but I had no idea he was capable of putting together a record like this one. It is simple pop perfection from track 1 to track 11, and covers love, personal growth, heartache, and war. He has also had a great voice, but now he has become a great song writer.
Penny on the Train Track (mp3)
7. Jim Noir - Tower of Love (8/06) This one took a little while to settle in before I was completely sold, but I am sold now. I've seen comparisons to The Beatles, Beach Boys, etc, but Noir really utilizes all influences and genres while making music. I'm not going to say he is better then those artist, he simply has more to draw from.
My Patch (mp3)
6. Peter, Bjorn & John - Writer's Block (6/06) This genre mixing trio from the music rich Sweden, start with a classic surfy-beachy sound and then add some modern technology for a great result. It's the genius of the new indie-swed-pop!
The Chills (mp3)
5. Kelley Stoltz - Below the Branches (2/06) The bedroom recordings of Kelley Stoltz sound as if his bedroom transported by to the 70's, and he was somehow allowed to bring back these thirteen hidden gems from artists now gone and forgotten.
Memory Collector (mp3)
4. The Blow - Paper Television (10/06) Maricich and Bechtolt's brilliant attempt to create pop music. Bass, blips, keyboard, creating a full sound to accompany Maricich's confident lyrics. A great album for dancing, driving and dating.
The Long List of Girls (mp3)
3. Benoit Pioulard - Precis (11/06) This album essentially one piece of music, each is connected to the next, and the effect is amazing. Graceful soundscape mix with pop statement to create near perfection!
2. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife (10/06) Coming into this year this album was the most anticipated for me personally, and Colin Meloy and company did not disappoint. On their major label debut, The Decemberists tell an epic story of a deperate soul looking for love, rescuing a crane, and a magic journey.
The Crane Wife 3 (mp3)
1. Page France - Hello, Dear Wind (9/06) My obsession this year has been with Page France and Micheal Nau, and I simply can not stop listening to this album. The wonderful part is that I can play it anywhere, clean and simple, beautiful and passionate, everything I have ever wanted in a album.
Stay tuned for the Top 10 songs of the year next week...