Dec 17, 2006

Best 40 Albums of 2006

2006 will go down for me as the year of Spencer Krug. Wolf Parade's "Apologies to the Queen Mary" was my pick of 2005 and my favourite songs off that record were Spencer's, although i loved Dan Boeckner's input as well. So for Spencer to be involved in two of my favourite albums of the year gone by makes him my man of the year.
So before i get to my list a few observations I'd like to make-
  • I have only been writing for a couple of months so I'd love to thank anyone out there who has dropped by or left a comment, I really appreciate anyone finding the time to read this.
  • A lot of bloggers seem to debate over best vs. favourite, they seem to be the same to me, your favourite records have to the best, just stick to what you love i think.
  • I have seen a lot of shows this year but without doubt the best i saw was Broken Social Scene at the Metro, just a life changing show for me. Other ones I enjoyed were Sleater-Kinney, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Dears, TVOTR, Death Cab For Cutie, Okkervil River, Jason Molina, Animal Collective, Midlake, Band of Horses and New Pornographers.
  • I haven't included EPs on this list, so Voxtrot, Little Ones, Lovely Sparrows, Tokyo Police Club and Born Ruffians didn't make the cut.
  • I decided to start at number one and work my way down and have kept the comments relatively short, I have also included an MP3 of perhaps a lesser known song off the top ten albums.
  • The first 3 on the list, to me are landmark albums that will stand the test of time and will continue to resonate for many years to come.
1- Shut Up I Am Dreaming-Sunset Rubdown
Hands down best of the year, will listen to this in 20 years, perfection, Spencer Krug has managed to create a record which sounds like no other, lyrics of amazing complexity and humanity, music that takes your breath away, and yet you get the feeling he could do it in his sleep, lucky bastard.
mp3: Swimming.

2- Return to Cookie Mountain-TV on the Radio
A beast of a record, soulful, funky, eye opening, a band that wants to make sure you are listening, Tunde's vocals will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
mp3: Blues From Down Here.

3- YS-Joanna Newsom
Breathtaking, ambitious, a quantum leap for the harpist, only 5 songs but they contain a complexity which is rare today, some are put off by her voice, don't count me in that group, and she's here in January.
mp3: Emily.

4- Some Echoes-Aloha
Sumptuous, intelligent pop rock, near perfect melodies, gets better with every listen, this band should have a much bigger profile, just love them.
mp3: Weekend.

5- Gang of Losers-The Dears
Welcome to Murray Lightburn's world, he offers a gateway for people who feel a disconnection with the refuse that is popular culture, epic songs of love, hate and regret.
mp3: Bandwagoneers.

6- Be He Me-Annuals
Absolutely stunning debut album, deserving of all the acclaim, layer upon layer of lush melodies, infectious grooves and great variety.
mp3: Father.

7- Everything All the Time-Band of Horses
Another great debut, although from experienced musos, will break your
heart with its beauty, contains "The Funeral" which is enough in itself for me.
mp3: St Augustine.

8- He Poos Clouds-Final Fantasy
Owen Pallett is a treasure, music that is indescribable, don't ever get comfortable with his music as you never know what he has in store for you, his strings will move your heart.
mp3: He Poos Clouds.

9- The Trials of Van Occupanther-Midlake
Midlake jump from skewered rock to lush anthemic songs that hark back to another era, if you don't feel better after listening to this record then I can't really help you.
mp3: Head Home.

10- Destroyer's Rubies-Destroyer
In a sane world Dan Bejar would be listened to on every radio station in the world, to say this isn't even his best work says something about his back catalogue, who else would open a record with the nine minute epic that is "Rubies", a song writer without peer.
mp3: European Oils.

11- Beast Moans-Swan Lake
Much anticipated, a meeting of 3 unique talents, a little uneven, but the middle section is as good as you will hear, challenging, dense, rewarding, could rise up the list in time.

12- The Crane Wife-The Decemberists
Their major label debut sees them retain their idiosyncratic charms, ambitious and clever, "The Crane Wife" cycle will move even the most cold of hearts.

13- Return to the Sea-Islands
The Unicorns are dead, long live Islands, pop songs that are so creative i have never tired of them, another Canadian treasure to enjoy.

14- Post-War-M.Ward
His best work yet, fully fleshed songs, running the full gamut of folk, country and rock these songs will have your heart and mind and feet all fully engaged.

15- Fox Confessor Brings the Flood-Neko Case
If there is a finer singer then Neko, i would like to meet that person, her country rock songs soar underneath her majestic voice, can't wait for the tour.

16-Skelliconnection-Chad Vangaalen
The Calgary native lives in his own world but has created something special with his blend of electronica, folk and pop, i feel his next one will be a masterpiece.

17- Gulag Orkestar-Beirut
Young American channels Eastern Europe and comes out smiling, beautiful and honest songs that feel like they are timeless.

18- You in Reverse-Built to Spill
The icons of guitar rock prove they still have plenty to offer, epic songs
with Doug's trademark riffs that still deliver, glad to have my band back.

19- Tell Me-Catfish Haven
Tell me what year this was made, doesn't matter, this just has to make you smile, George Hunter can sing with the best of them.

20- Ships-Danielson
Listen to this over and over and then tell me if you can remove it from your head, strange and beautiful all at once, Daniel Smith is a unique voice.

21- Gypsum Strings-Oakley Hall
Country comes to big city, a blend of guitar noise and country rock, amazing riffs and great interchange of vocals between Rachel Cox and Patrick Sullivan.

22- The Body, the Blood, the Machine-The Thermals
Oh if all music was this impassioned, this intelligent, power punk for a jaded world, would kill to see them live.

23- Get yr Blood Sucked Out-Viva Voce
Intoxicating blend of garage rock, blues, folk and pop from a two-piece that sounds double in size, and Anita Robinson's vocals will make you swoon.

24- Boys and Girls in America-The Hold Steady
Although not as great as Pitchfork made out, The Hold Steady carry the torch for intelligent, literate rock which isn't creating new sounds but still makes you want to dance.

25- Broken Boy Soldiers-Raconteurs
Time to make this your full time band Jack, honest hook-ridden songs that remind us what a talent Jack White is, oh and Brendan Benson doesn't do a bad job either.

26- Yellow House-Grizzly Bear
Deserving of all the acclaim it is receiving, Grizzly Bear make hypnotic music which demands your full attention, a couple of weaker tracks are outweighed by the great ones.

27- Meek Warrior-Akron/Family
Strange and beautiful, harmonies to die for, sounds like no other.

28- So Gone-Evangelicals
Only just discovered this, the Oklahoma trio have crafted a delightful pop record that will grow upon you with every listen, a band going places.

29- Granddance-Dappled Cities Fly
Australia's best band release Australia's best record, simple as that.

30- The Letting Go-Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Not the finest work from the songwriting genius but still is better then most
music released this year, unique and oddly beautiful as usual.

31- Micah P Hinson and the Opera Circuit-Micah P Hinson
Could be the next Will Oldham, this 24yo Texan has a great story to tell and
he tells it beautifully, stirring evocative music.

32- The Greatest-Cat Power
The perfect voice returns with band in tow, not as heart-breaking as previous releases but more joyous and soulful.

33- Robbers and Cowards-Cold War Kids
Great debut for this much written about band, contains "Hospital Beds", which is enough to make this list, bluesy passionate rock, augurs well for the future.

34- Bitter Tea-Fiery Furnaces
The brother and sister are creating music which sounds like no other, if only someone would edit their records, but there are gems through out.

35- Two Thousand-French Kicks
Escaping the hype, this New York band doesn't reinvent the wheel, they just deliver finely crafted pop rock with good hooks.

36- Ladyhawk-Ladyhawk
Southern rock from Vancouver, contains "The Dugout, one of the year's catchiest songs, these lads can rock with the best of them, Duffy Driediger's voice is amazing too.

37- Fading Trails-Magnolia Electric Co.
The amazingly prolific Jason Molina delivers another fine record.

38- Get Lonely-Mountain Goats
Hard to follow "The Sunset Tree", but John Darnielle still managed to create a very fine record with his trademark lyrics and unique delivery.

39- Oh No Oh My-Oh No Oh My
Catchy pop gems, similar to CYHSY, this now Nashville based band looks to have a very bright future.

40- Welcome Back Dear Children-Arizona
Eclectic, diverse record, delightful rhythm and melody, with great vocals, very promising debut.

  • these records i also enjoyed in some way in 2006 but didn't make my final list-
Drum's not Dead-Liars
Avatar-Comets on Fire
What the Toll Tells-Two Gallants
Song of the Blackbird-William Elliott Whitmore
Roots and Crowns-Califone
The Sun Awakens-Six Organs of Admittance
Happy Hollow-Cursive
Awoo-The Hidden Cameras
Springtime Can Kill You-Jolie Holland
Carnavas-Silversun Pickups
Mr Beast-Mogwai
Rabbit Fur Coat-Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
Swift Feet for Troubling Times-Ohbijou
All This Time-Heartless Bastards
A Hundred Miles Off-The Walkmen
Appreciation Night-Bound Stems
Just like the Fambly Cat-Grandaddy
Are We Not Horses-Rock Plaza Central
Head Home-o'Death


  • At December 17, 2006 , Blogger Oz said...

    I was actually quite disappointed with the Dears new album. I absolutely loved their previous work but this one didn't do anything for me.

    TVOTR was my show of the year though the Popfrenzy Boat show was also another great show (sadly BSS was on the same night so I couldn't go to both).

  • At December 17, 2006 , Anonymous Sean said...

    that's a lot of Canada on there.

  • At December 17, 2006 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Yeah there is, i think i could go the last 4 years with a canadian album on top, BSS, Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown. With new Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade it might happen again in 2007.

  • At December 18, 2006 , Blogger Eric said...

    That is a great list. I agree with many many of the choices, but think you need to give The Hold Steady a few more listens. Its a grower of an album.

  • At December 18, 2006 , Anonymous geoff said...

    amazing list wayne. though only 1 australian album in the top 40?

    keep up the great work, you have introduced me to lotsa great stuff these last few months.. cheers!

  • At December 18, 2006 , Anonymous James said...

    Wow! That's pretty extensive Wayne! Lots of great albums on that list and some I've yet to hear so thanks for the recommendations.

    I'll still working on my Top 5's of the year.

    Canada certainly have been making waves these past few years! But there's also been lots of Aussie talent about which is great!

  • At December 18, 2006 , Blogger Wayne said...

    thanks for comments guys- i think the hold steady will rise in time, so will the neko case, that is really growing day by day as well. I would like to have included more Aussie bands, but honestly i'm not hearing a lot of greatness out there, maybe I'm listening to the wrong records, although a new AIH album would please me. Also i only included albums that i actually own, i've seen ones on other lists that i haven't got round to buying. Isn't it hard to buy and/or listen to everything?

  • At December 19, 2006 , Blogger Rachel said...

    Great list Wayne, and I couldn't agree more about "sticking to what you love" That is so important and sometimes I think people forget that or feel pressured to put what is "popular".

    There are some picks I haven't heard of on here, Skelliconnection-Chad Vangaalen and Granddance-Dappled Cities Fly. So when I get home I will have study up. :)

    Thanks and great work.

  • At December 19, 2006 , Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

    Nice work man...I think we're going to be the only two with SR on top, but in my opinion there wasn't even a question. I'm still not sure how it isn't an obvious top 5 on everyone's list, but oh well,to each his own. Great stuff tho.

  • At December 19, 2006 , Anonymous RO said...

    wow, great list. i would have to agree with ur gig list too. I was at the BSS gig and is definitely my no. 1 for this year, followed by sleater-kinney, then mates of state.

    all we need now is for wolf parade and the arcade fire to tour here.

  • At December 20, 2006 , Blogger The Perm & The Skullet said...

    Alot of great albums on that list. Love the Sunset Rubdown and Swan Lake calls and glad someone mentioned Oh No Oh My.

  • At December 23, 2006 , Blogger Taylor said...

    Very nice list. Love the blog name also, keep up the good work!

  • At December 23, 2006 , Anonymous Covert Curiosity said...

    You got some excellent choices here man. I especially like your #1!

    Have a good one


  • At December 27, 2006 , Anonymous Nicholas J said...


    great picks! i'm glad we could overlap on a few items. thanks for your kind words over at All Things Go.


  • At March 12, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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  • At June 06, 2009 , Blogger timurtashoca said...

  • At November 16, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice blog .... I read all post, I like it. Thanks web master



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