The first rule of day drinking is that once you start, you don’t stop or else you’ll crash.

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Top Albums 2006

The whole 2006 list

01 Twilight Singers – Powder Burns

An intense and powerful ROCK album. Lots of searing guitars and think-as-mud grooves, overlayed with memorable storytelling details. There is a great element of arena-rock faÁade layered over the top of the album, providing a grandiose sonic setting for an otherwise very personal look at (an often difficult to manage) reality.

02 Islands – Return To The Sea

An awesome mash-up of clean pop melodies wedded to uncontrolled wackiness, while somehow maintaining a cohesiveness that makes this a very enjoyable album to listen to. Full marks for putting their hands into so many different styles (calypso, rap, psychedelia, prog-rock, country, ….).

03 Deadboy & the Elephantmen – We Are Night Sky

A primal roots-garage-punk album that charges headlong into blues dirges, folk pleas, and foot-stomping bayou boogie numbers. Fueled by a furious hard-rocking guitar/drums overdrive, they keep it interesting by interleaving folkiness, glam-rock, and plenty of swampiness.

04 Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Tremendously textured and rich, the latest from The Voice is a passionate collection of eccentricity and boldness. The stylistic changes are smooth, not forced, and the album has a cohesive and rewarding feel without feeling hemmed in by one musical style. Beautiful.

05 Beck – The Information

Nothing new, yet still sounds fresh as a baby. Surprisingly coherent and concise, given the wild mix of eclectic styles Beck loves so much. A real tour-de-force of what Beck does best: boil “today” down to album length and drop a huge bong-hit over the top.

06 The Little Killers – A Real Good One

Rock-n-Roll racket punched out in two-minute segments complete with hand-claps, foot-stomps and hollering, bratty vocals. PARTY!

07 Two Gallants – What The Toll Tells

A difficult album full of epic songs that revolve around shadowy tortured characters and their circumstances. The song-structures are difficult to latch onto, but the execution and completeness are amazing.

08 The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers

Roundly engaging collaboration album. Perhaps suffers from a “one of his, one of mine” feeling, but gets better with every listen. Impressively deep instrumentation with each song attempting to cross chasms, even if they may be self-created.

09 The Minders – It’s A Bright Guilty World

The Elephant 6 sound lives on, filtered through a great mid-70’s AM radio sound. Loads of shimmery pop-rock relying on basic songs and instruments to capture the ears.

10 Soledad Brothers – The Hardest Walk

The Bros. keep pumping out killer blues-inspired tunes. Stripping off some of the “garage sound”, and adding in more flavors to the mix, allows them the space to get down. Sounding a touch like Skynrd-meets-the-Stones, this album kicks you like that immortal “one last drink”.

Other notables:

Kleptones – 24 Hours

Fabulously complex mash-up, with a touch of everything. If every record released was this good, there’d be no reason to ever take off the headphones. Too damn awesome to be legal.

Flaming Lips – At War With Mystics (5.1 version)

Q: Why, oh why, are all albums not released in 5.1 audio. A fairly ho-hum album is transformed into an amazing, inspiring, mind-blistering masterpiece. A: Only the Lips could pull this off…

Mooney Suzuki – The Maximum Black EP

Pure garage-rock glory. Paisley-popping like the 60’s, glam-rocking like the 70’s. Awesome reissue of a previously “only available at shows” EP.

Persephone’s Bees – Notes From The Underworld

A dreamy mix of 60’s pop and 70’s glam. Excellently performed, not a note seems out of place.

Asobi Seksu – Citrus

Not just a fantastic feedback-drench shoegaze electro-dream-scape, but one also flowing with beatuful pop tunes. Wow.

TV on the Radio – Escape From Cookie Mountain

Very, very hard to comprehend and rationalize, this album is nontheless compelling and interesting in a way few major releases are. Awesome live band, BTW.

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife

Without overreaching, this album manages to be a complex, songwriter-based exploration into both whimsy and darkness. The prog-based organ jams are almost transcendent.

Eagles of Death Metal – Death by Sexy

A party record if there ever was one. Groovy and trashy with some horniness sprinkled on top.

Screamin’ Eric – Shake It!

Retro-rock from Denmark with a nice punk kick-to-the-balls feel.

various – This Time Just the Girls, Vol. 2

Lotsa genres and styles. Even more attitude.

Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend (Legacy Ed.)

Beautiful reissue of one of the all-time classic pop-rock records. The addition of the promo-only Goodfriend companion disk redoubles what a historic marker this album is.


Too late for the list, but definite contenders

The Exploding Hearts – Shattered

Great singles/rarities collection from a great punk-pop band. RIP (sigh).

Les Breastfeeders – Les Matins de Grands Soirs

Great francophone garage-rock via Montreal.

Thee Emergency – Can You Dig It?

Gritty, grimy soul-rock with a powerful kick.

The Little Ones – Sing Song EP

Super-shiny sing-song pop.

The Pink Fits – Fuzzyard Gravebox

A high-energy take no prisoners garage-blues-r&b attack.

Lee Baby Simms – Mystery Loves Company

Cinematic, psychedelic, weirdo-noir instrumentals. Mindbending.