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The Top 20 Greatest Albums Of 2006

2006 . . shit? yes. But not so much if you had these 20 record in your life.
1Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am....

Ok, so it wasn't the life changing, mind-blowing, pant-shittingly brillant masterpiece the press made it out to be. But since I first bought it back in January this CD has never left my stereo. This record has soundtracked several big events in my life this year. It was played on the last day of my senior year, at my prom, at almost every single drunken house party and every long bus ride to college on a morning. It isn't the greatest debut of our generation, it's not even that worthy to be at the top of this chart, but in a year which has seen the charts overload with Indie Pop posers (The Kooks, The Fratellis) and middle class yuppie-rockers (The Feeling, Orson, Razorlight), Arctic Monkeys are a band to believe in. Even if their next record is a complete commerical shambles you know that Alex Turner and his boys won't give it up just yet. This band are for life, Alex Turner would rather sit arond writing song about being skint and single then try to get played on Radio 2 anyday. This record can tell you more about British life in the 21st century then any BBC documentry or broadsheet article ever could, because these songs are from people who have being there and lived it, and thanks to that, everyone from the Indie kids to the Chavs, to the students and the lager louts, to even the office workers embraced it. The term 'flawed masterpiece' has never seemed so appropriate.
Download: A Certain Romance
Black Holes and Revelations

Loud, bonkers and Stadium-bound. Yep, just like every other Muse album then. But 'Black Holes . . .' really did push open a few new doors for Muse. Whether it be twisted space funk ('Supermassive Black Hole'), intergalactic love ballads ('Starlight'), haunting Electro-Pop ('Map of the Problematiqu?') or even just some good old wacky Prog Rock ('Knights Of Cydonia'), there's something for everyone to love here. Not a bad for a 'Radiohead cover band' eh?
Download: Knights Of Cydonia
3The Rapture
Pieces Of The People We Love

Whilst their debut album 'Echoes' was more of a clattered, messy affair that turned away more fans then actually brought in, it's follow up was a funky, sassy, multi-coloured slice of New York cool that left the other Electroclash copycats playing catch-up.
Download: The Sound
4The Spinto Band
Nice And Nicely Done

Think about what would happen if you mashed-up Weezer's 'The Blue Album', some of The Flaming Lips' poppiest moments, some Pavement-style Lo-fi fuzz rock and - most importantly - some choruses that would make The Beach Boys green with envy. Yes, that great!
Download: Oh Mandy
5The Strokes
First Impressions Of Earth

No longer New York's coolest Garage rock gurus, now New York's coolest kings of comebacks. This time last year The Strokes were that washed-up Indie band who had a few big hits back in, what was it, 2001? then along came 'First Impressions Of Earth'. Not only did it shake off the group's second album hangover, it showed the world a band that was no longer scared of moving forward into the future.
Download: Juicbox
6 Albert Hammond
Yours To Keep

The Strokes' curly-haired, chain smoking Guitar hero showed the world two things this year. Not only that his band can write more then one type of song, but also that The Strokes have more then one lyrical mastermind behide the scenes. Yours to keep eh? go on then you might as well.
Download: In Transit
7 The Killers
Sam's Town

Out: Robotic Glam-tinged Britpop
In: Springsteen-aping Stadium Rock
Download: For Reasons Unknown
8The Automatic
Not Accepted Anywhere

Genre-hopping, urgent, catchy and cheesier then an explosion in an edam factory. 2006's greatest guilty pleasure then.
Download: By My Side
9Belle And Sebastian
The Life Pursuit

Still Scotland's finest band (sorry Franz, go home) and possibly the only Indie band around today you could get your Grandma to listen to (she wouldn't like Keane - no one does).
Download: Another Sunny Day
10Gnarls Barkley
St. Elsewhere

Final proof that Danger Mouse really cannot do anything wrong, and if you don't like 'Crazy' you really are dead inside.
Download: Crazy
11Thom Yorke
The Eraser

'Kid A's ghostly predecessor or just a shallow stop gap until the next Radiohead record? Whatever your opinon on 'The Eraser', it's still a clear sign that our Thom hasn't lost his creative edge just yet.
Download: Harrowdown Hill

So how did Kasabian shake off the 'baggy-rock revival' tag? by release an album of arse kicking Glammed-up Techno Rock! that's how.
Download: Shoot The Runner
13Amy Winehouse
Back To Black

Two years ago she was the gravel-voiced queen of Coffee table Jazz. In 2006, she's the booze-guzzling, foul mouthed eye-liner addict that's made one of the greatest, coolest, dirtiest and sexiest solo albums of 2006. Can't really say that about Paolo Nutini now can we?
Download: Rehab
14Graham Coxon
Love Travels At Illegal Speeds

Whilst Damon's still hiding behide his cartoon alter egos, Coxo's still blasting Pop Punk perfection that's as unloveable as it is challenging.
Download: Standing On My Own Again
15 Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegane
Ballad Of The Broken Seas

The former Belle and Sebastian beauty and the whiskey-guzzling former Guitarist from Queens Of The Stone Age, it shouldn't have worked - but oh boy it did.
Download: Saturday's Gone
Through The Windowpane

Folk, Indie, Pop, Ska, Big Band, the Kitchen sink. 'Through The Windowpane' was the album that kept on giving. 2006's most over looked album? pretty much.
Download: Trains To Brazil
17Be Your Own Pet
Be Your Own Pet

What happens if you put four 17 year olds in a room together with several crates of ale, a bunch of battered instruments and love of 58 second long songs? I think you know the answer to this one folks.
Download: October, First Account
18Hot Chip
The Warning

Geeks in music, they often form crappy Pop Punk bands or unlistenable high school Metal acts, true? ha! no, they form funky Electro-Pop bands and release albums that are so dancable they should carry health warnings.
Download: Over And Over
19TV On The Radio
Return To Cookie Mountain

It was experimental, crazy and featured the one and only Mr. David Bowie . . . nuff said.
Download: I Was A Lover
20The Long Blondes
Someone to drive you home

Hailing from the same grimy hell hole as the Arctic Monkeys, The Long Blondes have put a touch of glamour and sex into British music at a time when if you won't singing about chip shops or ritzy disco you couldn't get no where in this country.
Download: Lust In The Movie
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