Top 10 Albums of 2006
1.) Joanna Newsom - YS
No surprise here, you all know my feelings on this album. Joanna has cemented herself as the greatest female singer-songwriter of all time. YS has single-handedly transformed the landscape of music, catapulting her into the best among the best of her contemporaries. Now with full control over her vocal range, she finds herself also responsible for the best lyrics of 2006. No other singer-songwriter in their 20s can hold a candle, a harp (or a fucking guitar for that matter) up to this dame.
2.) Jóhann Jóhannsson- IBM1401 - A User's Manual
Unfortunately for you, this album has not even been mentioned on the Feldheim. At #2 it's a good place to make it's debut. This Icelandic composer has composed his way into the soul of every listener with a heartbreaking and emotional record that is just about as moving as anything else I've heard in a long time. An exploration into the relationship between man and machine, it is a touching tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson's father.
3.) Liars - Drums Not Dead
The Liars decided to bring back a little Rock & Roll for your cerebral cortex in 2006. The Liars cemented their status as one of the most intriguing and vital bands currently making music. Drums Not Dead is a perfect harmony of rhythm, melodies, and vocals......a creative work that will pass the test of time, and finds a way to always sound good........always.
4.) Mogwai - Mr. Beast
Not by any stretch of the imagination the best Mogwai album, but that doesn't even matter. Mogwai are one of the most powerful and awesome bands that has ever existed. Their unique sound and ambitious songwriting will always hold a place in my heart, and they definitely deliver on this record. Vocals return, but instrumentals prevail. Mogwai continue to stay true to who they are and what their music is all about, and we all owe them our thanks.
5.) Xiu Xiu - The Air Force
Walla walla walla walla walla walla hey.
Jamie Stewart is haunted. Don't believe me? Either ask Ritter or give this album a spin. Stewart blends pop, electronica, and gayness? in a way that lets you know what he's thinking and what his dreams (nightmares) consist of. A provocative and powerful album, this one cannot escape mention for 2006. Stewart's most accessible album to date, he is beginning to master his craft, and continues to deliver music that will molest your mind.
6.) The Knife - Silent Shout
Expect a post later on about the importance of the middle class to music. Countries like Sweden, Iceland, and Finland have a large middle class, so expect more and more great music from their neck of the woods. Sweden delivers with a sibling punch of hypnotic electronica that will leave you dazzled. At times haunting, and at others fun, this album is full of hits and has no misses. A departure from their previous album, it's going to be interesting to see where these Swedes take their Machinedrums and vocoders.
7.) Califone - Roots & Crowns
Rutili being Rutili. Simply stunning.
8.) TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Although I do think this album is overrated, there is no doubt it is great. A solid work from a band that seems to fill a certain space in today's music that no one else can.
9.) The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
One of the more misunderstood and underappreciated bands, The Fiery Furnaces are a band to be reckoned with. Perhaps a bit ahead of their time, Bitter Tea finds itself swept under the rug of hipsterdom. Fear not young hipsters, give it a couple spins and you will begin to realize the brilliance that spews forth.
10.) Danielson - Ships
If you love pop, then you will love Danielson's Ships. An inventive blend of pop with a solid cast behind him. Danielson's godloving doesn't offend the Richard Dawkins' of the world, and manages to make you feel good (or god).
Notable Mention at 11 (Sorry Lucas)...
11.) Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Bejar is at it again, and he delivers with a mesmerizing album of pop brilliance. If it wasn't for some of the weaker tracks, this album would be up in the single digits.