finally, a little over a month into the new year i can get this monkey off my back. i listened to a lot of music last year... but these were my favorites. i will soon post my favorite songs of the year that are not included in one of these albums, hopefully with mp3 links for you all. :) music!
10. Fujiya & Miyagi – “Transparent Things”
I can listen to this one walking, studying, sleeping, anytime. It's got a great driving-rock heart for all its electronic showing. The hushed vocals fit in perfectly here, blending in like just another piece of the puzzle. All in all, it's a groove-heavy album you'll find me listening to a lot in the next year.
9. The Flaming Lips – “At War With The Mystics”
The Flaming Lips come back with something filled with less fun-n-games than we may have come to expect, but Wayne and company’s newest has much more to offer than cool bloops/bleeps. Political undertones aside, the opening two tracks (“Yeah yeah yeah song” and “Free Radicals”) are two of the best opening tracks of the year. The zany Flips at their best and most freely produced.
8. The Pipettes – “We Are the Pipettes”
No, the sixties aren't back. These aren't 60s girls, dreaming of the one they love, tripping over themselves, and making us feel sorry for half of the planet. These are women. They aren't taking of it either. "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" was one of my favorites of the year. This trio of brits has some serious bite. The sounds might take you back in time, but the spirit with plant you firmly in the 2000s. Welcome, Pipettes.
7. Califone – “Roots & Crowns”
This album begins and ends with “The Orchids”. The song has truly worked its way into my life over the last few months. Tim Rutili’s rusty vocals bring to his band’s dusty, kitchen-sink folk an aged wisdom, preaching the gospel of restraint in every trailed-off line or downcast dirge. God bless you Califone.
6. Band of Horses – “Everything All The Time”
I thought this album got a little dry half way through. I thought it lost the pop sense that carried its first few songs. I was wrong. Upon listening recently over the last few weeks I’ve warmed up to the second half, especially the closer “St. Augustine”. I realized that to keep this album off my list would mean putting at least 4 or 5 songs in my list of favorite songs not from a top 10 album. So here you are Band of Horses.
5. Islands – “Return to Sea”
Thankyou Mr. Diamonds. : )
4. Mew – “...And the Glass-handed Kites”
This album caught me by surprise so much. I couldn’t believe for a long time that I was actually listening to lyrics like “We are the defenders of jazz ballet.” Seriously. The music was just too good for me to forget it throughout my rotation of 2006 albums. “Special”, “The Zookeeper’s Boy”, and “A Dark Design” are all top-notch songs with great rhythm tricks, timely dissonance, and pop payoff.
3. TV on the Radio – “Return to Cookie Mountain”
I knew this album would get me from the moment I first heard the opening muted horn section. It sounded like the deconstruction of music. The vocals tend to be a little more reserved on this album, letting their song-craft speak louder. It’s art-rock at its finest – reminding me that I haven’t heard it all.
2. Sonic Youth – “Rather Ripped”
Sonic Youth, this is the album by you I’ve been waiting for. I’ve grown into “Daydream Nation” and older era SY, getting accustomed to five-minute jams in between hooks, and then you drop this song-heavy album on me. Thurston Moore is the best 50+ rocker. Evar.
1. Peter, Bjorn & John – “Writer’s Block”
There’s not much I can say about this. It blew me away unlike nothing else has since Broken Social Scene’s “You Forgot It in People”. An entire album of seriously focused pop hooks that somehow came out absolutely loose and natural. “Objects of My Affection” is a great anthem for living! “Let’s Call it Off” is superb in its sour-turn groove! PB&J won me over with “Young Folks”, but had much more melody and off-kilter Bowie-esque pop than I could handle. This is the kind of album I dream of.