December 15, 2006

Best of 2006, Part Five: Top Ten Records of 2006

This is it. This is what you've all been waiting for...the best records of 2006! These albums are all totally, utterly wonderful, and they stand up to repeated plays. You should definitely investigate these records; they are artistic statements that will make your life better. 2006 wasn't a sucky year, thanks to these records!

As it stands, this list is a nice little end-of-the-year cap, so we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. We've got some big things in store for 2007, and we hope you'll stick around for them! Thanks for 2006!

We will return on January 8th with plenty of interesting and exciting interviews with the makers of distinctive music. Stay tuned!

10. The Brother Kite Waiting for the Time to Be Right: Big, driving pulsing rock that has a beautiful underbelly and a shimmering haze that makes it impossible to dislike. The band takes the Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb formula and makes a record that's just as good, if not better.
(Clairecords )
Listen To: Various Tracks

9. Westbound Train Transitions: A gathering of English Beat-loving young men gather together and make a record that would make Dave Wakeling proud. In fact, he took 'em out on tour! Big, grand, ska-pop with a heapin' helping of soulful, Motown-styled singing, horns, excellent songwriting and even better production; this record was retro without being retro, and best of all, it's mature and not pandering to a youth market. (Hellcat)
Listen To: Various Tracks

8. Maritime We, the Vehicles: Davey von Bohlen and company finally make the pop record they've been plotting for some time. Finally losing the Promise Ring shadow, this album had loads of moments of pure pop bliss, with hooks galore and catchy melodies. (Flameshovel)
Listen To: Various Tracks

7. Brand New: The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me: Jesse Lacey's heartbreak and inner conflict...emo heartthrobs ditch the emo, ditch the heartthrob, and make a record that's pure emotional torment. This is one hell of a hard record; it's a stunning display of pain and heartbreak, and it's certainly no posture. Not an easy record to listen to, my friends, but a breakthrough record for Brand New. (Interscope)
Listen To: Various Tracks

6. The Keene BrothersBlues and Boogie Shoes: Bob Pollard and Tommy Keene's collaboration = THE rock record Pollard never made with GBV. It's as classic as rock gets, and these two men simply smoke in collaboration. Pollard wasted no time this year proving that GBV's retirement wasn't a result of his creative well running dry, and this is easily his most satisfying collaboration to date. (Fading Captain)

5. Weird Weeds Weird Feelings Album number two for this Austin trio is a vast maturation from their debut album, which made it into our best-of 2005 list last year. Minimalist guitar drones and haunting boy/girl vocals mix together quite nicely with lyrics about love, lose, and lovingly complicated and emotionally demanding basset hounds. Best listened to in whole, alone, sitting in a dark room. (Sounds Are Active)
Listen To: Various Artists

4. Tasmin Archer ON: The return of Tasmin Archer proved to be one of my personal highlights of the year in music, and thankfully the album lived up to my expectations. Mature, well-considered pop music with lyrics that reflect a gentle wisdom gained from years of frustration, ON felt like what it was: a beautiful record from a wise, loving soul. Fourteen years after her big pop hit? Doesn't seem like it. Welcome back. (Quiverdisc)
Listen To: Various Tracks

3. The Submarines Declare a New State!: A boy and a girl get together. Boy helps girl make solo album. Boy and girl becomes a couple. Boy and girl break up. Boy and girl start to write songs about their breakup. Boy and girl start to work together on the material. Boy and girl fall back in love. Boy and girl get married. Boy and girl's friends suggest they release the material that is about their breakup. Boy and girl release one of the year's best records. (Nettwerk)
Listen To: Various Tracks

2. Robin Guthrie Continental/Everlasting: When I reviewed this record, I predicted it to be one of the very best records of 2006, and guess what? It's the end of 2006, and it's still one of the year's very best records. Everything you associate with the name Robin Guthrie is found in overwhelming abundance here; a man alone with a guitar has rarely sounded so brilliant. I had to throw in the EP compendium Everlasting, because it's just as wonderful, if not more so, and it deserves mention. (Darla Records)
Listen To: Various Tracks

1. Boduf Songs Lion Devours the Sun: Hauntingly beautiful music that is oft mistakenly labeled "folk." This is something darker, something much more sinister, and Mat Sweet's songwriting muse dives into the troubled waters of a tormented soul and the mysterious forests of the mind. "Two Across the Mouth" is one of the best songs of the year, too. It's an album best experienced whole, alone, in a dark room. This is the best record of the year, period. (Kranky)
Listen To: Boduf Songs Live on VPRO


grillermo said...

This list will keep me entertained the whole season, thanks!

Chris Yonker said...