Thursday, December 14, 2006

Top 19 list of 2006 (Why 19...Why Not?)

19. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
Beirut is without a doubt unique. Original, and talented but not something you will always be in the mood for.
If you like: Hard to say....
Favorite Song: "Postcards from Italy"

18. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I'm Dreaming
Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug delivers this semi-Wolf Parade album. Not quite as good but it definately contains a few very strong songs.
If you like: Wolf Parade, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, David Bowie
Favorite song: "Stadium and Shrines II"

Birdmonster - No Midnight
Birdmonster's debut contains quite a few gems. While the EP had two powerful songs, this album start to finish is not quite as solid.
If you like: Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids
Favorite Song: "All the Holes in the Walls. "

Mates of State - Bring It Back
Bring It Back's bouncy organ pop will undoubtedly have you bopping your head and praying no one sees you goobing out to classics such as "Think Long" or "Punchlines."

If you like: Stars, New Pornographers.
Favorite Song: "Punchlines."

Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites

Even before Pitchfork said it, I have hated this album cover. However, remember the old saying. This "cover" is overruled by what is inside. Deep, layered instrumentation with a rangy solid voice provides a solid album.
If you like: Sigur Ros, Radiohead
Favorite Song: "The Zookeeper's Boy"

Arizona - Welcome Back Dear Children
Blogger's favorite Arizona mixs sounds of Radiohead with the Shins to debut a stellar album with highlights such as "Waking Up," and "Some Kind of Chill."
If you Like: Radiohead, Shins, Sigur Ros.


The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth

A great Strokes album. Casablancas sings straight into the mic on these tracks and ends up with a couple of the best Strokes songs ever.
If you like: Strokes...Surely you've heard of em.
Favorite Song: The best Strokes song Ever.."You Only Live Once"

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
This was my first Hold Steady to hear. Pretty impressive. Just got it so it could move up my list. The singer's voice is decent but lyrics and instrumentation make up which was similar to Arcade Fire's Funeral. (not that it sounds like that just that his Arcade Fire's singer does not have the greatest voice.) This album almost has a Southern Rock feel.
If you like: Jerry Joseph & the Jackomormons, Cleotis, Any southern rock. Favorite song: "Hot Soft Light"

Colour Revolt - EP
Okay, so maybe I'm partial because they are from Oxford, but these guys definately have potential to do amazing things. This album has layered melodies that are dirty around edges. Jess's untamed voice carries the band with his note hitting melodies that segway into scary controlled screaming that really brings a unique sound to the table.
If you like: Modest Mouse, and Bands more on the edge of hard rock....
Favorite song: "Mattresses Underwater."


Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That

This is the first Phoenix Cd i have heard, and I must say I am impressed. This poppy number will undoubtadely satisfy.

If you like: The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie
Favorite Song: (tie) "Long Distance Call", "One Time Too Many"

Cat Power - The Greatest

Never thought I would have a chic singer in my top ten. Not that I am sexist, I just don't really do chic music. However, before I even knew she was hot, I was all ears. Between her voice and the instrumentation of the horns and deep piano riffs, I can't stop listening.

If you like: Good music
Favorite song: "Living Proof"


Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
I had this album in the top four but decided to bump it up. Admittingly, if this album had just come out, it would probably still be there. This is Belle and Sebastian finest in a long time and is probably in a tie for second in all time B&S albums.

If you like: Belle and Sebastian (surely you know them, but if not compare them to a new age Beatles or Beach Boys)

Favorite Song: "Another Sunny Day"


Midlake - The Trials of Vann Occupanther

Midlake brings back a 70's Simon and Garfunkle sound while keeping in the "indie" genre to create a solid album from start to finish. Layered music with a ranging beautiful voice.

If you like: Simon and Garfunkle, Radiohead.
Favorite Song: "Roscoe"


TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

I honestly did not like the critically acclaimed last album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, but this one blows it out of the water. TVOTR two vocalists bring out the highs and lows harmonically backed by amazingly funky tracks that create a fun, exciting album. Originality is a word that comes to mind.

If you like: Rock, with a touch of hip hop beats with melodic singing. (Similar to The Roots).

Favorite song: "I Was a Lover"


Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards

Here is one where Pitchfork's tune was off this day. When combine "We Used to Vacation" "Hang me up to dry" "Robbers" and "Hospital Beds," the score equals at least an eight. These tracks are top notch while the others complete the album. Granted it has one or two weak tunes but all in all great album.

If you like: Black Keys, Black Crowes.

Favorite Song: "We used to Vacation"

Built To Spill - You in Reverse

Classic Built to Spill. Starting off strong with "Goin Against Your Mind" and cleaning up with my second favorite, "The Wait" Doug Martsch brings his strongest album in his later BtS years.

If you like: Destroyer, Flaming Lips.

Favorite Song: "Goin Against Your Mind"


The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Wow, is all I can say. Especially for the Decemberists this is their big one. I really did not even want to give it a chance, but thankfully I did. From start to finish, pure gloriousness. The Decemberists always take me back to Irish pub days for some reason where men wore kilts and rode horses. (random thought) Anyway, buy it.

If you like: Neutral Milk Hotel....or just good music.

Favorite song: "01 - Crane Wife"


Band of Horses - Everything All the Time

What an album...I know what you are thinking...unoriginal. Well the more I listen to it, the less it sounds like My Morning Jacket. This is a classic that ranks up there with Clap Your Hands debut last year. Just go buy it if you haven't.
If you like: My Morning Jacket, Jane's Addiction

Favorite Song: "The Funeral"

01.......Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies

Absolutely genius is all I can say about Dan Bejar (member of supergroup New Pornographers.) Bejar's is today's Dylan. (I know its bold but oh well.) Everything about this album is perfect: The lyrics, the singing, the harmonic voice singing, the leads, the rythm, the piano, and the drums. Everything significantly contributes to create a perfect album.

If you like: David Bowie, Built to Spill, Velvet Underground, New Pornographers.
Favorite Song: Rubies (i guess its hard to pick one)

Please Feel free to post you top ten list under comments or post your thoughts.


The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics....apparently I am a Mystic. Come on guys what happened.

Tapes n Tapes - The Loon ...this album is just not that good. The bloggers wanted to be the first one to bring these guys up for some reason and pitchfork thought they were good. What am I missing.....

Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche..I guess it is overexposure. Although I love the guy I am so over him right now. I need a break.

Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA.....At first I thought this was okay but now I think it is weak.

Grizzly Bear - Yellow House....I mean I love the song "On a Neck, On a Split" but that is about as far as it goes

Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse....the only blessing I found was "Gravity's Gone" and that it reminded me how good Dirty South really was.

AND FINALLY: Two Albums that deserve to be in last years top 5

The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
This would have been in my top five. What a gut wrenching album, written just after Darnielle's abusive father dies.
Strange voice but classic songwriter.

Favorite Song: This Year

The National - Alligator
Quite possibly one of the best albums I have ever heard. This would have been tied for number one with Clap Your Hands last year. Absolutely amazing.
Favorite Song: Secret Meeting


Shuffjan said...

im gonna first start off with my biggest disappointments:
1. Gomez - How we operate - this album single-handedly knocked them out of my top bands... im still pissed about this album... what a bunch of sellouts... i seriously hope they grow some balls and come back with a better album... and to top it all off, the album art had to be done by a blind 3 year old... TERRIBLE
ok, sorry... had to get that out
2. The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics - was REALLY looking forward to it and was TOTALLY let down
3. The Widespread Panic Band - ... who?...
retire guys... please

my favorites:

1. The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
I listen to the entire album at least once a week… awesome stuff
2. Cat Power - The Greatest
Incredible… if you don’t like this album you simply don’t have a good taste in music… I seriously think Marilyn Manson even owns this album
3. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
Solid album from beginning to end… you just have to block out all the MMJ comparisons
4. Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That
The album just keeps growing on you and Long Distance Call definitely gets 2nd best song of the year

5. Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
I find myself waking up many mornings singing one of these songs

6. Birdmonster - No Midnight
The title track just may be my favorite song of the decade

7. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
I thought the album could have stood on its own, but instead it’s the red headed step child of Illinois… could have done without the 20 different versions of Chicago… kinda ruined it for me
And it has nothing to do with this one, but a “Christmas album”… give me a break

8. Built To Spill - You in Reverse
I really want to see these guys live

9. Color Revolt – EP
They definitely have a future

10.Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Did not get very many good reviews… people knocked them for putting out the same type of music that they always have… personally I don’t have a problem with that… awful name, artwork, and im never a fan of double albums, but I liked this one… the 2 CD’s are totally different and definitely deserve a listen if you liked Californication (which I loved)
10. Mates of State - Bring It Back
As Case would say “eh”
I guess its ok…Its got some good songs that I enjoy hearing when they come on… but im not a huge fan… the Casey Butts look alike does not have a great voice and neither does his hot (I think?... I really can’t tell from the pictures) partner… but then again that has never ruined an album for me before

Albums that I just did not care for:

Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Just don’t care for them as a whole

Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
Live –yes… on a CD – no thanks

The Black Keys – Magic Potion
Again, Live – absa-freakin’lootley!... on a CD… im gonna have to pass… there definitely could be worse though

Anonymous said...

Agree with you on The National - missing the boat on them last year is inexcusable. One of the best albums, front-to-back, that I own.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm...a few interesting picks. we use a different selection process, so i'm not going to comment on them too much since i'll be posting my list in the next week or two and don't want to give anything away quite yet. a couple did stand out to me though.

first off, the belle and sebastian album wouldn't make the cut for me. not unless i made a top fifty list. it just doesn't compare to their early stuff in my opinion. maybe i should listen to it a few more times, but i'm not a huge fan of them anyway.

i would bump both mew and the hold steady up, and i'd knock destroyer down a few notches. it's a really good record, but not deserving of the top slot.

you left one out completely that i know i gave you which should easily fall within the top ten if not the top five. you'll just have to wait to find out what it is.

other than that, not bad choices. oh, shuff, don't knock the christmas album until you've tried it. no, it's not something that you're going to listen to every day, but who else could have pulled something like that off at all?

David McPhail said...

My first comment is one you have heard many times.
1. First Impressions of Earth is probably the most disappointing album of all time. It is just not good.
2. Mates of State - loved this album. Probably my number 3.
3. The Built to Spill album would be my number 2. Amazing album.
4. Band of Horses would be 1.
5. Shuff, the Christmas Album is actually very good.
6. The Black Keys ablum was a huge letdown. Rubber Factory was fantastic. This new stuff sucks.
7. Loose Fur- very disappointing.
8.The National - great album
9. Belle and Sebastian - if you like them, it is a great album. I completely understand people who don't dig it.
10. TV on the Radio - good album.
11. Arizona - didn't like it.
12. Can't wait till January..the Shins, Clap Your Hands, Bloc Party and Modest Mouse soon thereafter...Wow!