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|Top 10 Of 2006|
In the Absence of Truth
In The Absence of Truth is a perfect example of a band evolving enough to sound completely fresh but not so much that the sound is unrecognisable. In addition, nearly every second of the album is enjoyable and interesting. While the album's 9 songs are generally fantastic by themselves, the album has even greater success when it is experienced as a whole.
While Converge's last LP, You Fail Me, was a disappointment for some (personally, I liked it a lot), it's hard to imagine any fan of extreme music being disappointed by the band's sixth LP, No Heroes. With songs from 58 seconds to 10 minutes and everything in between, No Heroes displays the mastery of a band who have been together for over 16 years. And, if 16 years into their career, Converge are making records as fantastic as No Heroes, the future is incredibly bright.
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.
Joanna Newsom is truly an artist like no other. Existing in the realm of "freak folk" alongside artists like Devendra Banhart, Newsom's choice to use the harp as her main instrument (not to mention her unique vocal style) sets her apart completely. Ys is the follow-up to 2004's The Milk Eyed Mender and shows an enormous leap in terms of songwriting and arrangement. While her first record consisted of short folk songs, Ys' songs all approach (and sometimes exceed) the 10 minute mark. Featuring orchestration by Van Dyke Parks on 4 of its 5 songs, Ys shows enormous progression that even Newsom's most loyal fans could never have anticipated.
Continuing the direction Mogwai hinted at with Happy Songs For Happy People, Mr. Beast is an album of shorter, more conventional rock songs. Featuring a greater presence of conventional instruments (though there are still plenty of electronics), fantastic artwork and a guest performance by Envy vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa, Mr. Beast is truly one of Mogwai's great achievements.
Drum's Not Dead
Relocating to Berlin seemed to do a world of good to former New York band Liars. With a seemingly hyperactive creativity, Liars released their third album, Drum's Not Dead, in early 2006 with an accompanying disc of short films made by the band. The album itself is a concept record that centres around two characters and their battle in the creative process. For a band who looked like they were in a pretty bad spot so early in their career, Liars now seem to have the world at their feet.
|7||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.
While he may not quite be deserving of comparisons to Dylan just yet, M. Ward's latest full-length has demonstrated his considerable ability as a songwriter. Charming and prolific, Ward is one of the most talented singer/songwriters to emerge in this decade. Special mention goes to the album's opener, "Poison Cup", which is undoubtedly one of the best songs written in the past 10 years.
American V: A Hundred Highways
Though he only lived to record the vocal tracks for this album, I think Johnny Cash would have been pretty pleased to hear the end result of what is most likely the last studio album of his enormous career. Cash's chosen songs are almost all about death and the music added to them by Rick Rubin is warm and subdued. Cash himself gives some of the most emotional performances of his career.
25 years into their time together as a band and Sonic Youth are still writing fantastic songs. Much less of a noisy experimental album than a pop one, Rather Ripped is the first Sonic Youth album since the recent departure of Jim O' Rourke. While fans of early Sonic Youth may be dissapointed by Rather Ripped, the quality of the catchy pop songs on offer is almost undeniable.
|I desire Rather Ripped.|
Thom Yorke - The Eraser, mewithoutYou - Brother, Sister, The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes, These Arms Are Snakes - Easter, Sarah Blasko - What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have
Most Surprising Album of the Year
Underoath - Define the Great Line
Joanna Newsom - Ys
maudlin of the Well - Bath
Most Disappointing Albums of the Year
The Streets - The Hardest Way to Make An Easy Living
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Most Anticipated Albums of 2007
Circle Takes the Square
The Arcade Fire
|now thats a good list|