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|Staff Picks: Top 15 Of 2006|
Staff concensus, based on the result of the individual staff lists.
By far the most *** kicking release of the year, Converge drop their second guitarist but continue to be one of the most intense bands on the planet. From the brutal opening tracks, to the near ballad 'Grim Heart/Black Rose,' to the almost emocore 'Lonewolves,' this is arguably the most well-rounded album Converge have yet to release. -- John A. Hanson
Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue
The latest addition to Toby Driver's already impressive list of achievements, Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tounge solidifies Driver's position as one of the most forward-thinking minds in modern music. While Choirs of the Eye was a record unlike any other, Dowsing... adopts an even more unorthodox approach to songwriting. With songs ranging in style from ambient, doom metal, modern classical and noise, Kayo Dot have created one of the most interesting records of all time -- Andrew Hartwig
|3|| ||Gnarls Barkely|
Gnarls Barkley kinda came out of nowhere, didn't they? I'm generally pretty much allergic to hype, especially indie hype, so I didn't exactly approach this duo with an open mind. And, sure enough, I heard 'Crazy' a dozen times a day in various media and, feeling thoroughly self-satisfied with another prejucide well-founded, I found myself accidentally loving the damn thing. Soon, I was completely enamoured with Cee-Lo's impossibly high-pitched picture of soul and the "oh god, why didn't I think of that" indie rock-based instrumental tracks Danger Mouse was laying down as if such a mix of styles was commonplace. 'Crazy' may be one of the best singles of this century, 'Gone Daddy Gone' one-ups the Violet Femmes and 'The Boogie Monster' captures a child's fear of the irrational and imaginary to perfection. Some albums are just classics, and St. Elsewhere is already assured of that status - Dave de Sylvia
|4||Yo La Tengo|
I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
Possessing one of the most attention grabbing album titles of 2006, Yo La Tengo's latest effort further demonstrated their ability to play in an enormous range of styles, and still make it into a cohesive work. Sprawling and eclectic, I Am Not Afraid... is probably the most essential indie-rock album of the year --Andew Hartwig
The Crane Wife
Many associate major label debuts by indie bands as a form of selling out. They don't want the uniqeness of the band dumbed down for the masses, or even worse, they don't want to lose the indie chic of being a dedicated fan of a relatively obscure band. But for the Decemberists, their move to a major label has actually improved their sound. Although the minstrel tinged voice has predictably become more mainstream, the Decemberists feature some of their best songwriting yet, and perhaps more importantly, begin to show a breadth lacking in their previous albums. In the three part track "The Island, Come and See, The Landlord's Daughter", the Decemberists surprisingly display a classic rock influence, while the vocal melody in "When the War Came" sounds eerily like a Led Zeppelin song. While there are some typical Decemberist's songs on here like "Yankee Bayonet", they begin to branch out on song's like "The Perfect Crime", and display surprising musical skill in the process. All in all, the Crane Wife is not a story of a band selling out, but of a band growing up -- Jeremy Ferwerda
In the Absence of Truth
Isis' majesty and mastery of the genre fires on all cylinders on this album, eclipsing the already-brilliant albums that were [i]Oceanic[/i] and [i]Panopticon[/i], making [i]In the Absence of Truth[/i] the band's best yet. "Wrist of Kings" burns with a slow fire while the instruments build and take center stage, and then the listener is slammed with such a bold wall of sound that is absolutely stunning, while "Dulcinea" and "Holy Tears" will blow listeners away with their epic, magnificent sound. It did wonders for the band to tour with Tool in 2006 because of the opportunity presented to expose their music to millions, and with each Isis release, the band continues to out-do themselves. Thus, [i]In the Absence of Truth[/i] is a near-masterpiece -- Jom
Usually triple disc albums are crammed full of useless filler but Waits proves that theory wrong. Amongst the epic, triple-disc album Waits showcases his wonderful songwriting skills by creating soft, lonesome songs, whiskey soaked ballads, and loud, boisterous avant-garde rockers -- Chris Jackson
|8||TV on the Radio|
Return to Cookie Mountain
Yeah, it's a pretty stupid title. Nonetheless, TV on the Radio's sophomore album is a pulsating chunk of pop wrapped up in tremulous layers of guitar noise wrapped up in a stylish but one-of-a-kind production aesthetic. Return to Cookie Mountain is not without reference, but the human pieces of the band, especially singer Tunde Adebimpe and multi-instrumentalist/producer Dave Sitek, coalesce to form a Voltronesque monolith of uniquely sculpted guitar rock that's as catchy as it is defined. That sounds stupid, but that's my story and I'm sticking with it -- Robert Crumb
It had to happen, didn't it? With FutureSex/LoveSounds, JT's reached a stage in his career few others have reached in recent year; neither of his solo albums have come close to realising his massive potential, yet he's getting love spanning the length of the culture divide nonetheless. The highly publicised Rick Rubin collaboration turned out to be a damp squib, the Jackson-esque '(Another Song) All Over Again' limping across the finishing line, but the majority, produced by Timbaland and prot?g? Danjahandz, is a triumph. 'SexyBack' is charming, despite being the sonic equivalent of being beaten in the face with a mallet, while follow-up singles 'My Love' and 'What Goes Around' demonstrate his keen fusion of Prince's natural falsetto with Jacko's ear for a honeysuckle melody. FutureSex/LoveSounds is either 100% derivative or just 99%, but he's ripping off his heros better than anyone else right now, and that's all that really matters -- Dave de Sylvia
A crackling radio spits out snatches of Western tunes, accompanied by a cracked baritone. It's 'Post-War' by M. Ward, and it's an absolutely stunning album that feels both old and new at the same time. This isn't necessarily singer-songwriter folk; it heralds back to an older tradition (think Johnny Cash minus the country). In any case, it's superb. Check out 'Poison Cup' and 'Chinese Translation' especially -- Jeremy Ferwerda
Saturday Night Wrist
Saturday Night Wrist is Deftones at their most diverse, interesting, and emotive. Chino's singing is still the highlight, and the songwriting is definitely a step up from their self-titled 2003 release. Nine out of the twelve songs are flawless, two are good but not great, and one is just fucked up -- Nick Greer
Haunting, dark, dreary, and frightening. Walker creates an album that sounds no other musical artist can even attempt to mimic. The music combines eerie beats, sparse orchestrations and Walkers strange vocals all into one. One of 2006's most unique and interesting albums -Chris Jackson
The Trials of Van Occupanther
I gotta say, I was extremely distraught to here that Midlake, a band I had come to love for their quirky synths and lo-fi indie were going to turn there 2006 release, The Trials of Van Occupanter, into a 70's inspired folk rock album, but I was certainly not disappointed. Occupanter is an extremley relaxed opus of strings, acoustics and poetry, that further continues Midlake's journey into 19th century culture. Sprawling pop tracks like Branches and Young Bride make this record a classic -- The Katz Brothers
The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker...
Butch Walker's never been one to evoke a luke-warm reaction- his steadily evolving musical style is about as offensive as pop music can be, and that's not about to change with the release of this semi-concept album, an attempt to stylistically and thematically tread the same ground as David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust did over 30 years earlier- the perils of rock n' roll stardom and the non-existence of redemption through indulgence. Through T. Rex/Bowie aping numbers like 'Hot Girls in Good Moods' to countrified rockers like 'When Canyons Ruled the City', The Rise and Fall... is a record that flows smoothly, only occasionally dropping in quality on the flip side of the record. The choice takes from the album are lead single 'Bethamphetamine', a glammy Lou Reed-type number which reverses the classic riff from Sinead O'Connor's 'Mandinka,' and the haunting Broadway-style ballad 'Dominoes.' -- Dave de Sylvia
|15||This Will Destroy You|
Young Mountain is proof that post-rock isn't quite dead yet. The band does not invent any sort of new sound or make any true advancements in the genre, they simply have the most refined and perfected post-rock sound of anyone around. Each member of the band plays with a confidence that very few bands can boast. They contrast beautiful quiet melodies and a huge wall of sound akin to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but they are a much more cohesive unit --Tyler Fisher
|This is a list :)|
|This turned out really well.|
|Some very good ones up there.|
|Niiiiiice. I like, I like.|
|Christina Aguilera got snubbed.|
|Pretty awful list.Converge might be good.Isis might be good...A few of these might be good/alright,but the list completely loses any credibility when it includes Justin Timberlake.|
|You seem pretty objective yourself with everything rated a '1'|
|I'm nothing but objective....:P|
|[quote]Pretty awful list.Converge might be good.Isis might be good...A few of these might be good/alright,but the list completely loses any credibility when it includes Justin Timberlake.[/quote]|
grr pop music
|This reminds me to fix my code in my list. Sorry about that!|
EDIT: It didn't fix in the staff list :o
This Message Edited On 12.27.06
|This looks pretty good. If I don't get that M. Ward album soon I think I'll explode. It's awesome to see Decemberists rank so highly. |
This Message Edited On 12.27.06
|[quote=Necrophagist]Pretty awful list.Converge might be good.Isis might be good...A few of these might be good/alright,but the list completely loses any credibility when it includes Justin Timberlake.[/quote]|
Have you even heard Timberlake's new album?
I'm guessing not because it would be a massive blow to your already pathetically insecure heterosexuality, right?
|List has no Guardian or Tool. List fails.|
|Cool to see COnverge number1.|
|Am I ever going to be added to the staff list like I was told I would be?|
Good list, except that Converge album is honestly the worst thing I've heard all year.
|[quote=altmer]List has no Guardian or Tool. List fails.[/quote]|
I hope you're joking.
|glad to see converge and this will destroy you on there, i was listening to the young mountain ep as i read the list. crazy.|
|this is indeed a good list.|
|[quote]List has no Guardian or Tool. List fails.[/quote]Nice one|
No wait, you weren't joking
|Needs The Killers :)|
|I think I'm the only one who voted for the Killers. The record is definitely not in the top 15 for all genres this year though.|
|I know :(, I probably wouldn't put it in a 10 best, it's just that I'm in love with them for some reason.|
|I had high hopes for this list and am happy with how it turned out.|
I think people are over-rating this Converge album though. There are at least 3 records in this list that I would see above it, not to mention quite a few that aren't even on here.
|Yeah the crappy thing about our voting method is that Converge got a lot of mid-range votes that add up, but this is probably better than 1-2 people putting it in first place with no one else voting for it, and it would get the same amount of points.|
|That's a decent list.|
|JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE REPRESENT YO.|
|deftones album is the best there, and mastodon should be higher |
|List kind of sucks.|
|Frusciante got snubbed. Good job.|
|I guess its because Im a metalhead, but they missed alot of great metal records hahaha. Overall, A nice overview of every genre. |
|I just spotted the individual lists and i probably like the most music off morrisseys.|
|Crazy is a terrible song...not one of the best singles of any century. It is totally annoying...and I haven't even heard it enough for it to be overplayed annoying, it's just annoying.|
|Great list. I'll make it a point to check out the albums I haven't yet heard.|
|Converge number 1? mm. Bar the shit second half to the album I guess.|
I though I had overated it having it as my number 3!
|um where is Clipse|
|I think Kayo Dot and Converge are the perfect top 2. |
|I am confused. Coverge, #1 of the year? I have bought many albums this year, and cannot help but gape open-mouthed at the snubs. But I'll look at what was included.|
Yo La Tengo
TV on the Radio
All deserve to be there. Each of these albums are great.
What Shouldn't Have Been:
Now, I am not saying that this was a "bad" album. Granted, it was a very good album. Just not good enough.
Honestly, I would give this album a 3.5 out of 5. I think it is nowhere near as good as White Pony. I understand why you included it, though...
What Should Have Been:
Come on. Come on.
I think their new album to be the best of the year.
How could you say no to Bob Dylan?
|yeah i wish i could have had a little say in some of this|
Joanna Newsom - Ys
The Melvins - (A) Senile Animal
Johnny Cash - American V
Prince - 3121
This Message Edited On 01.24.07
|what a list of useless bands. hah! why dont you coksmokers do the top 100 albums of 1986. your all lemons!|
|Ahem, why is converge there?|
Power chords and barely comprehensible vocals don't equal to number one. Something went wrong.
|not bad...i think its near impossible to create a top 15 list from every genre though. nice to see converge on top|
|Nice list, considering, that it involves, a wide variety of music.|
|Ahh damn, didn't realize sputnik had that big of a chubby over Converge back then.|
no devil and god are raging inside of me