*(Used to Be) New and Improved: Favorite of '06
(note: tracks have been taken down to save bandwidth. sorry. I can send any upon request.)
I've decided to repost my 'Favorite Albums of '06 '...but this time with Mp3's. As before, keep in mind this is labeled 'My Favorite' avoiding any sort of argument in regards to the the placement and 'quality' of each album. Without further ado:
My 25 Favorite Albums of 2006
25) John Mayer - Continuum
This album was to good to leave out but admitedly too mainstream/college dorm room too honor it for it's true worth
24) Belle & Sebastian - The Life Persuit
Not their best album, but in the fashion of Dear Catastrophe Waitress with amazingly catchy tracks like "Funny Little Frog" "Suki in the Graveyard" and "For the Price of a Cup of Tea"
23) Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Letting Go
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy aka Will Oldham never really lets you down, and this is just another prime example of that.
22) The Decemberists - Crane Wife
Unfortunately the Decemberists weakest album is also their most popular (ie: The Colbert Report, etc). The band has clearly grown instrumentally but there wasn't enough classic tracks like "The Crane Wife pt. 1" to save itself.
21) Neko Case - The Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
I was unemployed for the beginning of my summer and as a result spent a lot of time in Starbucks, where Neko Case's most solid album to date rubbed off on me.
20) Damien Rice - 9
I don't know if I'm being to harsh on ol' Damien or not harsh enough. O was an instant classic which set huge standards for Rice that weren't completely met. Some songs caught me offguard which outdid most tracks this year such as "The Animals Were Gone" and "Grey Room", the album's closest thing to O. Others sucked, especially "Me, My Yoke, and I". Lyrically he's gotten wittier, but it wasn't quite worth the wait.
19) Wolfmother - S/T
Hmmmmm. A lover of classic rock discovers a band that pratically worships Zeppelin and Sabbath. Plays it in his car and his father (who grew up 'back then') loves it too. This band was too good to come off as a mockery or cheap immitation of good rock (ie: The Darkness). Who didn't like 'Woman'.
18) Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Despite recent reported poor live vocal performances, this album was, dare I say, perfect.
17) The Black Keys - Magic Potion
Thrilling and spine-chilling blues rock that would've sounded even better if my car stereo could get louder.
16) Mogwai - Mr. Beast
I've loved Mogwai for years and this album was no exception.
15) Lady Sovereign - Public Warning
The British, White, Teenage version of Missy Elliot. Simply original, simply fun, and simply irresistible.
14) Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo
This album deserves to be played at every house party ever. Enough said.
13) Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
One word: Fun.
12) The Knife - Silent Shout
Honestly, this album should be ranked a little better, but I didn't give it enough attention this year, thus, it hasn't had time to grow on me.
11) Jenny Lewis - Rabbit Fur Coat
I avoided this album for the longest time because of the hype and because of the indie goddess aura that surrounded her. I'll admit, she's not quite the same without the rest of Rilo Kiley, but there was some great tracks, influenced by some of the greatests.
10) Thom Yorke - Eraser
This is essentially the best Radiohead b-sides that were never made. It happily will tie me over until (hopefully, fingers crossed) next year's Radiohead release. After watching a live performance they did on TV today, I realized they have never failed to make a solid album, ever. Oh, and The Eraser's "Harrowdown Hill" might be one of the catchiest songs Yorke has ever written. Unfortunately, it's missing Jonny Greenwood, which is an overlooked quintessential element of the band.
9) The Black Angels - Passover
After seeing them Live at Seattle's annual Block Party I couldn't get enough of this Velvet Underground/Brian Jonestown Massacre inspired band.
8) Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I'm Dreaming
Not quite Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary, but then again, that's one of my favorite albums, ever. Regardless it's musically more creative than anything Spencer Krug has done with WP.
7) Emily Haines - Knives Have Your Back
I'm going to admit it: I like this album more than anything put out by Metric...generally speaking. Who can't love a song that starts off "Bros before hos..." ? The strings that accompany this album is icing on this cake.
6) Tapes n' Tapes - The Loon
This album got huge this year, atleast blog-wise, but my copy has a release year of 2005. Was it re-released? I saw it on Pitchfork's list and decided that such a list was legit enough. "Insistor" hooked me in, and the rest of the album kept me wanting more.
5) Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/Lovesounds and Nelly Furtado - Loose
Yes, this is actually two albums, but guess what? It's also my list. Both albums were Timbaland produced gems which regained my faith in pop music and helped me realize not just Pharell could pop out great hits. FS/LS completely remade Timberlake and made him one of the biggest celebs of 2006. Loose gave us "Promiscous" and "Maneater" which in itself was enough for some decent props*. Months back I read Nelly Furtado's list of favorite recent songs in the Rolling Stone, one of which was the then unreleased "Sexyback". After a few days (or was it weeks) I got my hands on it and thought it was terrible, hoping it was a rough demo, because let's admit it, that's what it sounds like. Who would've thought it would've caught on and grown on us sooooo much.
4) Cat Power - The Greatest
Other than being infatuated with the woman herself, and seeing her perform nervously solo this year (missing her second performance due to an unexpected snowstorm) The Greatest was marvellous. When the single "The Greatest" leaked I couldn't get enough, and when I heard the rest I was stunned. "Lived in Bars" was another one of those 'grow on you' tracks, with heartfelt/heartbreaking lyrics like "There's nothing like living in a bottle, and there's nothing like ending it all for the world" as well as the (probably) Kurt Cobain inspired "I hate myself and I want to die". This album sounded great stripped down live. Thank God for her iTunes and KCRW sessions that tied me over once I listened to The Greatest one too many times.
3) Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
It helped these guys had the local appeal, loose personal ties, etc. It also helped these guys came out of the blue with undeniably solid music. I accidentally left this CD in my dad's car one day, and a week or so later he puts on "Funeral", cranks it up, and tells me "these guys are gonna get big". Oh dad, how right you were. The only unfortunate thing about this album was I got this CD last December (aka one year ago) from a Sub Pop intern and failed to give it a listen until after the blog craze started earlier this year. Great album, great vocals, great mix of 'rockin' and slow tracks, banjo and all.
2) The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
This track is like listening to the best genres of music from the past four decades all at one time. There's a little White Stripes, a little Steve Miller, a lot of Zeppelin and Sabbath, some Allman Brothers. The list just goes on from there. This was the album The White Stripes should've put out instead of their dissapointing Get Behind Me Satan that failed to showcase Jack White as one of the best guitarist of modern music (which he in fact is). This is perhaps the only album, besides #1 #3 and #17, to literally get turned all the way up in my car.
1) Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Show Your Bones
This album leaked pretty early, so I managed to ahold of it and write a review for my school's newspaper (my first ever) and I fell in love with it. Why? Because I probably heard it 20+ times in the day or two it took to write it. If there is any album that got better with every listen, this was the best example of that. Not to mention it sounded better the louder you cranked it. It wasn't as crazy, nor drug induced this time around, but props regardless. I can't believe I just said props (*again).
Biggest...Props...to the Unmentioned:
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes. I forgot to mention Joanna Newsom's Ys. This was probably the biggest and best albums of the year I flat out neglected, regardless of stumbling across an advanced copy. Legendary Van Dyke Parks definitely helped shape Joanna into something I could like and appreciate. Before now, I just couldn't stomach the harps and squeaky vocals. I just flat out never gave this an entire listen, besides it being ambience in my friend's house a few times.
It's hard to admit this but...
I never heard a ton of albums I should have, which consequently affected the outcome of my list. Here's what I missed, and what I plan to catch up on:
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Voxtrot - Raised by Wolves
Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - Under the Covers, Vol. 1
The Go-Betweens - That Striped Sunlight Sound
Badly Drawn Boy - Born in the U.K.
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
Oh No! Oh My! - S/T
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Camera Obscura- Let's Get Out of This Country
The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
A Hawk And A Hacksaw – The Way The Wind Blows
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Liars - Drums Not Dead
Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards
Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
*(Used to Be) New and Improved: Favorite of '06