I had been meaning to a blog for at least a couple of years now, and last year I put together a list of my favourite albums of the the year, but obviously didn't get around to posting it ... largely due to the lack of a place to post. So, I thought before I put together my best of 2007, I would post up my favs from 2006.
I took my list of about 20 - 25 albums and peared it down to a list of 15, that, a year later, are my favourites from 2006. Please feel free to tell me all the ways in which I'm wrong in the comments.
15. Patrick Watson Close to Paradise
It's kind of a weird album, but since coming across it it has really grown on me. Sounds in spots like Coldplay, M.Ward, the Beatles, and most of the time that's a flattering compliment.
Tracks: Close to Paradise, Luscious Life
14. Cold War Kids Robbers & Cowards
Robbers & Cowards had some of my favourite songs of last year, but for me, it was really, really uneven. Part of that could probably be attributed to the fact that this album was a mish-mash of a couple of different EPs.
Tracks: Hospital Beds, Hang Me Up to Dry, We Used to Vacation
13. Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
The female voice from the New Pornographers really shows off her voice and highlights why I tNPs have been one of the most successful Canadian bands over the last few years.
Tracks: Margaret vs. Pauline, A Widow's Toast
12. Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor
Great hip-hop album, that has worn well, although the beats that Roger's Sportsnet decided to rip (Intro and Kick,Push) have begun to annoy me to no end. However, I'm still excited for his upcoming release The Cool out Dec. 18/07. I'm anticipating it'll be one of the better rap albums of the year.
Tracks: Kick Push, Hurt Me Soul, He Say She Say
11. Tokyo Police Club A Lesson in Crime
For an album that is under 20 minutes total, it made quite an impact on me with its quick, punchy, punk/rock songs. It kind of reminds me of all the reasons I got hooked on bands like Blink-182, Goldfinger, etc. during my punk phase in high school. They have a great Daytrotter session that is worth looking up.
Tracks: All of them, if you like that punky sort of thing.
10. Land of Talk Applause, Cheer, Boo, Hiss
After seeing LoT open for Shout Out Out Out last year, I felt compelled to buy their EP, which was outstanding. While their live show wasn't real polished (likely because they had formed fairly recently before I saw them), they really impressed, and are certainly a band to watch.
Tracks: Seafoam, Summer Special, Breabaxx
9. Justin Timberlake Futuresex/Lovesounds
I'm comfortable enough with my sexuality to admit that he did, in fact, bring sexy back. Also, that video with ScarJo was wicked hot.
8. Lily Allen Alright, Still
Too be very honest this might have been my favourite album of last year if: 1. she had've put on even an average show when I saw her at Lee's Palace last fall; 2. if she didn't wine so much; but maybe that's part of her charm.
Tracks: Smile, LDN
7. Band of Horses Everything All the Time
I think the bass line in 'Our Swords' is really what hooked me on this album (2 parts rock, 1 part country twinge, 1 part beautiful vocal harmonies) , and in retrospect in might even deserve a higher spot on this list. That said, I've already spent a lot of time formatting this...
Tracks: Our Swords, The Funeral, Great Salt Lake, St. Augustine
6. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur Coat
Despite absolutely hating the cover of the Travelling Wilbury's 'Handle with Care' the rest of the album has got me back into enjoying some country infused rock/pop. If your dad likes Shania Twain (like mine) do yourself a favour, give him this album so you can put an end to Shania during the holidays.
Tracks: Run Devil Run, The Big Guns, Melt Your Heart
5. Camera Obscura Let's Get Out of this Country
Besides having the best album title of the year the Scottish indie-popsters put out maybe the catchiest album of the year. Something that is easy to sing along with, and coincidentally annoy the hell out of anyone who has to wake up hearing you sing these songs, over, and over, and over.
Tracks: Lloyd I'm Ready to be Heartbroken, Let's Get Out of this Country, I Need All the Friends I Can Get
4. Beriut Gulag Orkestar
If you feel you are in need of a death march through Eastern Europe, then this is the album for you. If not, maybe stay away. I wonder what that says about me if Beirut is one of my favourite bands right now?
Tracks: Mount Wroclai (Idle Days), Rhineland (Heartland), After the Curtain
3. Midlake The Trials of Van Occupanther
I'm not really sure what to say here except, great album, great lyrics, weird album cover.
Tracks: Roscoe, Young Bride, Van Occupanther
Sidenote - Team 9 produced a really wicked mash up of Midlake w/ Jimi Hendrix called 'Roscoe Eyes' available at the bottom of this page.
2. M. Ward Post-War
M(att) Ward has produced, written, and collaborated with a whole slew of important people. See his wikipedia page. He is one of the most respected singer/songwriters around, and his album - influenced by music of the 40s and 50s (that's where the title comes from) - is maybe my second favourite singer/songwriter album of the last 10 years (Hayden's Everything I Long For is number 1).
1. TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain
There really isn't a genre, or even group of genres to describe the sound of TV on the Radio, but whatever it is, its pretty cool. Its not going to be everyones favourite, they're never going to have a big radio hit (unless they already do and I'm completely wrong), but I'd imagine they'll continue to do well among people (like me) who look for something new and completely different from their music.