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General Discussion => Music: The Universal Language? => Topic started by: Baron Samedi on January 19, 2007, 08:19:03 PM

Title: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Baron Samedi on January 19, 2007, 08:19:03 PM
I was shocked by how many really brilliant albums came out this last year.  Just wanted to see if anyone concurs with me.  I'll post some of my favorites later, but in the meantime, does anyone have any picks for best album of 2006?

If it helps get you started, here are some links to other peoples' opinions:

THE A.V. CLUB

The main "Best Of 2006" Article (http://www.avclub.com/content/node/56476), including the general concensus, and picks from the individual writers.

The best overlooked music of the year. (http://www.avclub.com/content/node/56405)

NPR All Songs Considered
The Best of 06 show (http://www.npr.org/programs/asc/archives/bestof06/). 
Here's where you can hear full tracks from these albums for free.  The main show is primarily listeners' picks, but there are links on the page to each of the editors' personal favorites.

Amazon
Possibly the least useful of the lot, but here it is:

Editors' Picks (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/1000031031/ref=amb_link_3959122_8/102-5942578-6972907)

Customer Favorites (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/1000033161/ref=amb_link_3965192_6/102-5942578-6972907).
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Steve-O on January 19, 2007, 11:04:14 PM
Hmm... A lot of good stuff came out, but I can't think of any albums that really blew me away.  I guess I'd give consideration to:


If I had to pick a winner, it would probably be Lilys.  But that's more because they're a personal favorite than it is because they put out a great album.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Teaflax on January 20, 2007, 07:20:18 AM
Mew - And the Glass-handed Kites: Mew are a Danish band that specialize in lush production, pretty melodies, and incredibly bad hairstyles.  If you like any of those things, this is a terrific album.

Indeed one of the best albums of the year...in 2005.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: WouTar on January 20, 2007, 09:51:16 AM
Thom Yorke - The Eraser

Well how about that, he can still rock by his lonesome.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on January 20, 2007, 10:12:35 AM
Ive been wanting to get one of those all songs considered for a while now.  I wonder if they can ship to an APO
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Steve-O on January 20, 2007, 01:23:11 PM
Mew - And the Glass-handed Kites: Mew are a Danish band that specialize in lush production, pretty melodies, and incredibly bad hairstyles.  If you like any of those things, this is a terrific album.

Indeed one of the best albums of the year...in 2005.

Ah so.  For some reason the tags I downloaded list it as a 2006 release.  Probably because it wasn't released in the States until this year or something.  I see now that it was originally released in October 2005, so I stand corrected.

Thank God we got that cleared up.  It makes a world of difference.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Teaflax on January 20, 2007, 04:18:06 PM
Thank God we got that cleared up.  It makes a world of difference.

Well, yeah - cause it leaves the field more or less clear for Pure Reason Revolution's The Dark Third to be this year's indisputable heir. UK version, that is - the US release is fine, but not quite as five-starry as the European one.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: darthvedder81 on January 23, 2007, 01:51:27 PM
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

Greatest rock band in the world!
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: zaxxon25 on January 23, 2007, 03:36:03 PM
My personal top 10 ... remember, music is the most subjective of the arts.

10. Mojave 3 - Puzzles Like You

Melding the sun-dappled world of 70's folk-pop with a sharply produced pop record that engagingly exceeds the earnest shine of similar outfits like Phoenix.

9. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped

If you're in the freak-out-jam camp of Sonic Youth fans this one probably won't please, but for those of us who appreciate the sub 5-minute version of their tension/release style with a glittery bow this is the perfect present.

8. Psapp - The Only Thing I Ever Wanted

A "kitchen-sink melody" reference here likely refers to sounds you'd hear from your kitchen sink ... a gurgle or splash or clank that forms the percussive or melodic backbone to a particular tune.  Even more amazing is that the songs hang together so deftly that the sampled source material is a secondary consideration.

7. Mylo - Destroy Rock and Roll

A true driving record on par with the best of Daft Punk or Vitalic.  Which means plenty of danceable tunes filled out with lethally sharp hooks, knowing samples and (occasionally) delightful vocals. 

6. Zapruder Point - It's Always The Quiet Ones

The left-field winner of the year.  The tunes are likely not far from the lo-fi verve of the originals, combined with sharp lead vocals, some well-placed backing vocals and even the odd violin here and there it feels like one of those once-in-a-lifetime accidents of energy that just can't be manufactured.

5. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes

The 60's US girl group sound is a favorite of mine, and the Pipettes take the spirit and energy of those tunes and thematically update them for the new century.  The original girl group tropes of undying loyalty or unending crushes are replaced with one-night stands and flirtatious come-ons, one of those rare records where a promising concept gets a proper execution.

4. Tortoise & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Brave and the Bold

Probably the biggest surprise on the list for me, a covers album collaboration by two bands that separately have never been chart toppers for me.  "Thunder Road" was the beacon that lured me here, their storming Springsteen revision is a pure home run. 

3. Jesus H Christ - Jesus H Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse

JHC don't try to shift reality, instead creating their own brand of grounded observational humor that questions our everyday social practices. There's a consistent theme at play here, as the lead singer can't quite believe that men are such willing targets for females intent on achieving their own goals.

2. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Their don't-give-a-crap-what-you-think creative streak has been re-stoked, resulting in an album that darts from 10 minute long krautrock meets Sun-Ra inspired jams to plaintive folk tunes and VU blasts of druggy fuzz.  There are few bands that can handle the sonic shifts as deftly as YLT and if it's all about the moments, you'll find them all here.

1. Futureheads - News & Tributes

While Wire and XTC namedrops are certainly accurate points of reference, lumping these guys in with the rest of the post-punk revival obscures the fact that they indeed are their own band, pounding out original and embracing tunes regardless of
the era.  The guitars are grittier and vocals a bit less polished, but the songs are just as intricately performed and well-written as their wonderful debut.  It's to the point now where I prefer this to the original, something I never would have predicted upon first listen. 
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 23, 2007, 04:23:53 PM
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

Greatest rock band in the world!

2nd

Did ya go to the tour at all?
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: pyro on January 23, 2007, 04:54:04 PM
just off the top of my head...


Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet - Husky..... though not as good as their live debut a few years back, still a pretty good CD

Watermelon Slim - whatever the fuck his album is called, I don't even care what it is, he's a drunker older bluesier Tom Waits

Tom Waits - Orphans

The Residents - Tweedles

Derek Trucks Band - Songlines..... I had some problems about his older ones, but this album was solid and incredible

mc chris - Dungeon Master of Ceremonies


I wish I could think of something that wasn't white guys doing black music.... but the next albums I think of are Gov't Mule "Mr. High & Mighty" and Peeping Tom S/T...


edit - OH! The Coup - Pick A Bigger Weapon  8)
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: SaucyRossy on January 23, 2007, 09:20:20 PM
I am sure I am gonna get flamed for this but my favorite album of the year is 10,000 days by Tool.....
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 23, 2007, 09:33:43 PM
I am sure I am gonna get flamed for this but my favorite album of the year is 10,000 days by Tool.....

actually I haven't heard this yet, I'll take you're word that it is good and I plan to check it out eventually... on a related note what did you think of a perfect circles covers album, I was one of the people that loved it but opinions seem to be split on that album
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: SaucyRossy on January 23, 2007, 09:46:07 PM
I am sure I am gonna get flamed for this but my favorite album of the year is 10,000 days by Tool.....

actually I haven't heard this yet, I'll take you're word that it is good and I plan to check it out eventually... on a related note what did you think of a perfect circles covers album, I was one of the people that loved it but opinions seem to be split on that album

Yeah I liked some of it. I loved that atleast one of the Tapeworm songs was released (Passive), I didn't like all of it though.

I also enjoyed Lupe Fiasco's album this year. That is some really good hip hop, classic feel to it.

Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Conor on January 23, 2007, 09:48:33 PM
I enjoyed the Springsteen Seeger Sessions quite a lot, the expanded version with the five extra songs is worth obtaining.  My top three, in terms of CDs listened to over and over again would probably be:

M. Ward - Post War

The Hold Steady - Boys & Girls in America

and The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine

Which I didn't even check out til the last week of the year and may be the best of the lot. 
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 23, 2007, 09:52:45 PM
I am sure I am gonna get flamed for this but my favorite album of the year is 10,000 days by Tool.....

actually I haven't heard this yet, I'll take you're word that it is good and I plan to check it out eventually... on a related note what did you think of a perfect circles covers album, I was one of the people that loved it but opinions seem to be split on that album

Yeah I liked some of it. I loved that at least one of the Tapeworm songs was released (Passive), I didn't like all of it though.

I also enjoyed Lupe Fiasco's album this year. That is some really good hip hop, classic feel to it.



hmm, I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know any of Lupe F's music, my favorite hip hop albums were (in order) Salem Wreck: Trouble Soon (mix tape), Obie Trice, Ice Cube: Laugh now cry Later, Akon, and Game: Dr's advocate

Edit: now that I think about it, isnt Lupe that dude that sounds like Jameriqui ... that song "crazy" ... not a fan myself but I can understand the new generation apeal
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Steve-O on January 23, 2007, 09:55:04 PM
2. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

I thought about putting YLT on my list, based almost entirely on the amazing title, but I haven't found the time to listen to the whole album yet.  Usually I get through "Pass the Hatchet" and I just say, "Screw it.  They can't top that," and turn it off.

1. Futureheads - News & Tributes

While Wire and XTC namedrops are certainly accurate points of reference,

Really?  I've heard of the band, but hadn't heard them put into that context before.  That changes everything.  I think I'll seek this one out.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: SaucyRossy on January 23, 2007, 09:56:45 PM
I am sure I am gonna get flamed for this but my favorite album of the year is 10,000 days by Tool.....

actually I haven't heard this yet, I'll take you're word that it is good and I plan to check it out eventually... on a related note what did you think of a perfect circles covers album, I was one of the people that loved it but opinions seem to be split on that album

Yeah I liked some of it. I loved that at least one of the Tapeworm songs was released (Passive), I didn't like all of it though.

I also enjoyed Lupe Fiasco's album this year. That is some really good hip hop, classic feel to it.



hmm, I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know any of Lupe F's music, my favorite hip hop albums were (in order) Salem Wreck: Trouble Soon (mix tape), Obie Trice, Ice Cube: Laugh now cry Later, Akon, and Game: Dr's advocate,

Lupe Fiasco is a relatively new rapper...he has had a lot of mix tapes out for awhile but his first studio album just came out.

Check out some of his music....
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=20957761

My favorite song of his on that page is either "The Cool" or "Day dreaming" though "Kick Push" is pretty awesome also.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 23, 2007, 09:59:32 PM
I am sure I am gonna get flamed for this but my favorite album of the year is 10,000 days by Tool.....

actually I haven't heard this yet, I'll take you're word that it is good and I plan to check it out eventually... on a related note what did you think of a perfect circles covers album, I was one of the people that loved it but opinions seem to be split on that album

Yeah I liked some of it. I loved that at least one of the Tapeworm songs was released (Passive), I didn't like all of it though.

I also enjoyed Lupe Fiasco's album this year. That is some really good hip hop, classic feel to it.



hmm, I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know any of Lupe F's music, my favorite hip hop albums were (in order) Salem Wreck: Trouble Soon (mix tape), Obie Trice, Ice Cube: Laugh now cry Later, Akon, and Game: Dr's advocate,

Lupe Fiasco is a relatively new rapper...he has had a lot of mix tapes out for awhile but his first studio album just came out.

Check out some of his music....
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=20957761

My favorite song of his on that page is either "The Cool" or "Day dreaming" though "Kick Push" is pretty awesome also.

okay, I Guess I don't know him yet, I'll check it out
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: SaucyRossy on January 23, 2007, 10:01:30 PM
Yeah let me know what you think of him. His flow is pretty much the same on each song but I am sure that he will get better with his next album.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 23, 2007, 10:09:42 PM
Yeah let me know what you think of him. His flow is pretty much the same on each song but I am sure that he will get better with his next album.


cool, I cant listen to it right now, but I'll let ya know what I think of it. (I hope I'm not hijacking this thread ... but) what other recent or semi recent hip hop albums/ artists do you like?
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: SaucyRossy on January 23, 2007, 10:20:32 PM
Yeah let me know what you think of him. His flow is pretty much the same on each song but I am sure that he will get better with his next album.


cool, I cant listen to it right now, but I'll let ya know what I think of it. (I hope I'm not hijacking this thread ... but) what other recent or semi recent hip hop albums/ artists do you like?

Nas's new album is pretty solid. The Roots "Game Theory", and The Coup "pick a bigger weapon" all three of those are great.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 23, 2007, 10:28:32 PM
Yeah let me know what you think of him. His flow is pretty much the same on each song but I am sure that he will get better with his next album.


cool, I cant listen to it right now, but I'll let ya know what I think of it. (I hope I'm not hijacking this thread ... but) what other recent or semi recent hip hop albums/ artists do you like?

Nas's new album is pretty solid. The Roots "Game Theory", and The Coup "pick a bigger weapon" all three of those are great.

For me the Nas album was just alright and I haven't heard any roots albums but I've seen them perform live and thought they were good. I'll have to check out the Coup as well (man its getting hard to keep up to all these new groups :) )
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: SaucyRossy on January 23, 2007, 10:32:11 PM
Yeah let me know what you think of him. His flow is pretty much the same on each song but I am sure that he will get better with his next album.


cool, I cant listen to it right now, but I'll let ya know what I think of it. (I hope I'm not hijacking this thread ... but) what other recent or semi recent hip hop albums/ artists do you like?

Nas's new album is pretty solid. The Roots "Game Theory", and The Coup "pick a bigger weapon" all three of those are great.

For me the Nas album was just alright and I haven't heard any roots albums but I've seen them perform live and thought they were good. I'll have to check out the Coup as well (man its getting hard to keep up to all these new groups :) )

I have been a fan of Nas for a while so I am alittle biased. The Roots new album is pretty good, depends what kind of hip hop you like, if you like a little more of the hardcore stuff the new Ghostface Killah album is pretty good.

As for the Coup....they are very original....to say the least.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: pyro on January 24, 2007, 10:00:11 AM
Yeah let me know what you think of him. His flow is pretty much the same on each song but I am sure that he will get better with his next album.


cool, I cant listen to it right now, but I'll let ya know what I think of it. (I hope I'm not hijacking this thread ... but) what other recent or semi recent hip hop albums/ artists do you like?

Nas's new album is pretty solid. The Roots "Game Theory", and The Coup "pick a bigger weapon" all three of those are great.

You hear the news last month about The Coup?

Quote
So,
we got on the bus after doing a show at The House of Blues San Diego as part of The Coup/Mr. Lif tour. As the bus took off, I thought that I would go lay in my bunk, listen to my Ipod, and write. But then Zhara, Mr. Lif's friend and the tour's merchandise seller, announced that she had "Anchorman" on DVD. Oh Shit. Will Ferrell or writing? Hot 16s would have to wait tonight...Good Night San Diego! So I stayed up in the front lounge of the bus and, even though I've seen this movie twice, commenced to laugh my ass off. Almost literally, because of what happened next. Shortly after the acapella singing of "Afternoon Delight" by Ferrell et al., a big bump, then another, then plummeting down as we tipped over to the left. I was sitting in the diner-like booth that many of these buses have in the front. I held on to the table with one hand and tried to guard my head with the other, all the while thinking that I was probably about to die. I don't remember seeing everyone flying and flipping around me as it was happening, but Carter's (the road manager) and Wiz's face were covered in blood, and everybody seemed to be laying around hurt. The bus was on it's side, with the entrance door up. I called for people to say there names so we could get a head count of who was conscious or not. Silk E, Q (drums), Riccol (bass), and Metro (Lif's hype man) were trapped in the back lounge because the doors connecting the front and back lounges to the bunks were electrically powered and didn't move with no power on. They ended up ripping and squeezing their way out of a tiny little window and jumped down off the bus as the rest of us got out the front. If anyone had been sleeping in the bunks, they would not have been able to get out. I was the third person to jump off the front of the bus, as I hung down to make the jump shorter, I saw that the front of the bus was on fire. I yelled to everyone, saying to get off the bus immediately because the bus was on fire and it could blow up. We all did. No one was killed. The bus was totally engulfed in flames. For a while no one stopped to help, supposedly because the thought we were "illegal aliens" crossing the border. Eventually some great folks stopped and helped. Silk E has two broken ribs and a punctured lung. Wiz has a broken nose, two deep lacerations to the head, and a shattered knee. Zhara has injuries to her hand and had to undergo surgery. Carter had to get stitches to his head and lip. The driver, Glenn, has a broken jaw. All the first three will be in need of follow-up treatments. We all have aching backs, legs, heads etc. Many of us are on pain killers.

We lost everything in that crash and fire. We were packed to live and do shows on that bus for a month. Most of us had every stitch of clothing we owned on there. We lost clothes, computers, recording equipment, cameras, IDs, phones, keys to cars and homes. We lost cash.We lost all our damn instruments and equipment to perform with. We were and are happy to walk away with our lives. But now we're home. Most of  the band touring with The Coup has kids, rent that won't quit, bills, and holiday expenses coming. We need money, because like I said the band doesn't have the tools that they make a living with. Not only did we lose cash and material things on the bus, but we also were depending on this tour for money to make it through. It may take a year for us to see any money from the insurance company.

I have set up a Paypal account so people can make donations for The Coup. The money will be split between Me (Boots Riley), Silk E, Q, Steve Wyreman (guitar), and Riccol. Mr. Lif is setting one up on his site and when I have that info, we'll let you know.

To make a donation, hit button in the "about" section on the front page of this profile, right below the paragraph and above the "We Are The Ones" video. This allows you to donate even without a paypal account.
If you have an account, ours is thecoupbuscrash@gmail.com.
Thank you in advance to anyone who does this, this is a really crazy situation. I never thought I would would be doing something like this. I also never thought that we would almost die like like that.
We're grateful for anything you can do.
Thank you,
Boots Riley

P.S. Thank you for the messages of love and warmth we've been receiving. It makes a difference.


It's a shame cause they're all also incredibly nice guys.  Saw them 3 times this summer when opening for Les Claypool and talked to their guitarist Steve a couple times and ran into Boots fucking everywhere in Providence, RI.  And their videographer Vince is a cool guy too, we ended up sleeping outside the train station in Providence with him since the place was locked.


Also, Boots told me while in Boston that him and Tom Morello were going into the studio together in September, not sure whatever happened with that though but last I heard it's supposed to come out early this year.  Also x2, the entire touring group was in the studio not long ago.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: darthvedder81 on January 24, 2007, 10:16:32 AM
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

Greatest rock band in the world!

2nd

Did ya go to the tour at all?

Yes indeedy. Caught them for the 2nd Tom Petty show at the Xcel in June (couldn't afford them both!).

12th row center aisle seats. Gotta love the 10 Club.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Baron Samedi on January 24, 2007, 05:50:58 PM
now that I think about it, isnt Lupe that dude that sounds like Jameriqui ... that song "crazy" ... not a fan myself but I can understand the new generation apeal

Crazy is by Gnarls Barkley.  That is definitely on my top-of-the-year list.  I saw them live this summer and they weren't that great. But the disc is brilliant.

I'm sure it will be a little controversial, just because it's *gasp* pop. But it was unique, intelligent, and loads of fun. I mean, using soul in hip-hop isn't a new idea, but it usually comes in the form of a sampled Curtis Mayfield or Gil Scott-Heron sample worked into a hook. Putting one of the most creative hip-hop DJs and producers working today in collaboration with an actual soul singer twists both genres in fascinating ways.

Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo each have a unique style, and they both seem to get equal representation in the final product. It's nice when you get a true collaboration like this, without one person drowning out the others' contributions.

The lyrics are clever as well. Who else could make a concept album about mental illness sell as many copies as this one?

And I've got to respect the fact that they had the nerve to release a disc in 2006 that runs less than 40 minutes. In the days of vinyl, this was nothing strange. But most people today, particularly in this genre, feel like they have to fill up most of an 80-minute disc or the fans will feel ripped off. So they put in their good ideas and fill it out with whatever crap they can crank out by the deadline. This disc is a lean, compact nugget with practically no filler, and it always leaves me wanting more. It's as though someone went to iTunes and bought just the good tracks from one of the best albums of the year.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Petey Wheatstraw on January 24, 2007, 07:47:17 PM
(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000JBXOGC.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V38594017_.jpg)
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: pyro on January 25, 2007, 01:12:07 PM
now that I think about it, isnt Lupe that dude that sounds like Jameriqui ... that song "crazy" ... not a fan myself but I can understand the new generation apeal

Crazy is by Gnarls Barkley.  That is definitely on my top-of-the-year list.  I saw them live this summer and they weren't that great. But the disc is brilliant.

I'm sure it will be a little controversial, just because it's *gasp* pop. But it was unique, intelligent, and loads of fun. I mean, using soul in hip-hop isn't a new idea, but it usually comes in the form of a sampled Curtis Mayfield or Gil Scott-Heron sample worked into a hook. Putting one of the most creative hip-hop DJs and producers working today in collaboration with an actual soul singer twists both genres in fascinating ways.

Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo each have a unique style, and they both seem to get equal representation in the final product. It's nice when you get a true collaboration like this, without one person drowning out the others' contributions.

The lyrics are clever as well. Who else could make a concept album about mental illness sell as many copies as this one?

And I've got to respect the fact that they had the nerve to release a disc in 2006 that runs less than 40 minutes. In the days of vinyl, this was nothing strange. But most people today, particularly in this genre, feel like they have to fill up most of an 80-minute disc or the fans will feel ripped off. So they put in their good ideas and fill it out with whatever crap they can crank out by the deadline. This disc is a lean, compact nugget with practically no filler, and it always leaves me wanting more. It's as though someone went to iTunes and bought just the good tracks from one of the best albums of the year.

I completely forgot about them...  Only downloaded the disc but still thought it was a lot of fun...

Plus they cover the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone", so there's black people doing white music for my list!
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: PsypherPunk on January 25, 2007, 01:55:58 PM
Meat Loaf - Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
Cradle of Filth - Thornography
Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
Peeping Tom - Peeping Tom
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Pak-Man on January 25, 2007, 01:57:08 PM
*BUZZ* Sorry. The correct answer was:

(http://www.weirdal.com/images/solcdmed.jpg)

:^)
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on January 25, 2007, 02:04:09 PM
love that shit, stuck in the drive through was genius
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Baron Samedi on January 25, 2007, 07:49:42 PM
cool, I cant listen to it right now, but I'll let ya know what I think of it. (I hope I'm not hijacking this thread ... but) what other recent or semi recent hip hop albums/ artists do you like?

I don't know about everybody else, but my pick for hip hop album of the year is:

Aceyalone & RJD2: Magnificent City

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I haven't heard the new full albums from Roots, Lupe Fiasco or Rhymefest, so it might not be a fair fight.  But I got the latest Ghostface and Pigeon John (both of which I like), and the new DJ Shadow (which was a bit of a disappointment), and this is for me the best of the lot.

These guys throw off a lot of the crutches and cliches of modern hip-hop to create something as unique as anything I've heard in years.  There are no guest MCs or singers.  There are no skits.  There is absolutely no filler.  The whole disc comes entirely from two people, and it never seems like it needs anything else.

The lyrical subject matter and the musical styles change with such speed and intensity that it's hard to keep up, and the entire 50+ minutes fly by like a whirlwind.  It's impressive enough to see seamless transitions from latin to soul to psychedelia to traditional hip-hop to techno to heavy metal.  But the range of styles isn't nearly as impressive as the freshness and dead-on accuracy they bring to every one of them.

There isn't any way of knowing where they're going from one track to the next, and there isn't a skippable track, or a song that sets the hooks on auto-pilot or goes on any longer than its ideas can sustain it.  This is the kind of hip-hop that gives me faith in the genre.
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: davo on January 25, 2007, 10:01:00 PM
some of my faves:

Goldfrapp-Supernature
The Rapture-Pieces Of The People We Love
Muse-Black Holes and Revelations
She Wants Revenge-s/t
===============

favorite singles this year:

Ladytron Destroy Everything You Touch
Shiny Toy Guns  Le Disko
Paul Oakenfold Faster Kill Pussycat
The Presets Are You The One?
Beck Nausea
Rob Zombie Foxy Foxy
Raconteurs Steady, As She Goes
gnarls barkley-crazy
justin timberlake-sexyback
uhh..and a bunch more
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who i find interesting lately:
MSTRKRFT
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Minnesota on January 28, 2007, 04:40:21 AM
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

Greatest rock band in the world!

2nd

Did ya go to the tour at all?

Yes indeed. Caught them for the 2nd Tom Petty show at the Xcel in June (couldn't afford them both!).

12th row center aisle seats. Gotta love the 10 Club.

Well ain't that a bitch, I'm not the biggest Pearl Jam fan on the board?! A 12th row member gets you my respect!

Also, pearl jam didn't play an encore and priced me into the nose bleeds... true I had access to ten club member seating but the price was ludicrous (and the "floor seating" sucks anyway) ... ugh pearl jam has some serious fan mending to do after that debacle :(

PS. I was at the 2nd (sigh) "Tom Petty show" as well and what little music Pearl Jam did get to play was some of there best, highest, energy ever!... unfortunate that they had to get booed for it (I did participate in the booing however)
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Baron Samedi on January 28, 2007, 05:06:46 PM
Good suggestions, all.  I'm going to add a few that haven't come up, just to see if I can get any "yea" or "nay" reactions.

BT: This Binary Universe

It's nice to see him continuing on the path he started with Monster. I loved that album, and this one sounds even better. It still holds together as an whole, but he's really able to stretch out and cover a lot more creative territory now that he's not constrained by the limits of a film score. There are so many styles in there, often within the same track, that it's hard to even know how to classify it.

The album comes with a CD and a DVD; BT mastered the original album in 5.1, which comes on a DVD, but he also includes a stereo mix on CD in case you don't want to listen to it in front of your home theater.  Listening to the DVD mix really is worth the effort, though.  He makes fantastically good use of the surround-sound technology.  Also, I loved the little short films that went with the DTS mixes on the DVD. I won't go calling it the next Koyaanisqatsi, but they were quite artfully done and, for the most part, enhanced the music nicely.

As a whole, this album the most consistently engaging 75 minutes of electronica I've heard in a good long while.  My experimental album of the year.

Donald Fagen: Morph the Cat
This is an album that didn't get much publicity.  I'm a huge Fagen/Steely Dan fan, to the point that I'm usually camping out in front of Best Buy (metaphorically) a month before they release anything.  But I hadn't even heard about this one until a couple weeks after it had been released.

Now I realize that my own obsession with Fagen is, to a large extent, personal.  I mean, I think there are things he's done that are categorically brilliant, and anyone that has any interest in music should have Countdown to Ecstasy, Aja, and The Nightfly in their collections.  But I'd never try to push my own completist-level fandom on anyone else.  So when Fagen or Steely Dan put out a new disc, I usually get it, love it, and keep it to myself.

The first time I listened to Morph the Cat, that's about how it appeared--another solid Fagen album to keep me happy for a couple years until their next release.  But then I kept listening, and subsequent spins revealed depths to this disc that even Donald himself rarely reaches.  After a couple months I realized that this is unassuming, unpublicized little entry into the catalog was probably the best thing he's made since at least 1982's The Nightfly.

Musically, it's still the funky, understated jazz fusion that is his specialty.  But he's dispensed with some of the patterns he's fallen into in his last few albums and given his music a simmering tension, and a tight, subtle groove that matches anything in his best work.  And of course, the consummate musicianship and the every-note-in-its-place perfectionist production qualities (for better or worse) are as tight here as anything he's made since the '70s.

Lyrically, he's never been more intimate or personal.  There are songs on here about aging, politics, and life in post-9/11 America, that are unusually pointed for someone as ordinarily obtuse as Fagen.  And although his meanings are still obscured by his trademark wry, subversive wit, obscure allusions, metaphor and allegory, he actually puts short explainations in the liner notes next to they lyrics, so that it doesn't take teams of scholars to figure out what the heck he was talking about.  It's about as transparent and personal as I've ever seen him.

In short, even for a fan this album really surprised me.  It's the best thing he's done in decades (and that's going up against some solid competition).  In fact, if I were going to introduce someone for the first time to Steely Dan/Donald Fagen, this album wouldn't be that bad a place to start.  And if that doesn't say something impressive about a work produced 35 years into an artist's career, I don't know what does.

Anouar Brahem: Le Voyage de Sahar

For me, every time Brahem releases an album, it makes for a good year for music.  He's not nearly as prolific as most of his peers, but when he does get around to putting a disc out he's always got a good reason for it.

This disc was recorded with the same trio as his last album, with Brahem on oud and two other musicians on piano and accordion.  But whereas the last album had a somewhat piano-centric compositional style, this disc has an organic, democratic mix of the three instruments.  I can't say it's objectively a better choice, but moving the harsh piano sound deeper into the mix makes it (for me) significantly more accessable.  Le Pas du Chat Noir took quite a while for me to appreciate, and this disc had me hooked almost immediately.

Every one of the musicians on this disc is an absolute virtuoso, but there's no sense of competition.  And although they will go fast in places, there are no ego-driven displays of pyrotechnics.  The instrumental lines fade in and out, with any one musician going from lead, co-lead, accompanist, and dropping out completely, in a way that serves the music so well you must pay very close attention to even notice. 

The result is a haunting, intimate performance in which the communication seems so direct that it's surprising to occasionally step back and realize that these emotions are being produced by something as common as musical notes.

2006 marks the 15th year that Brahem has been producing discs available in America.  In that time he's made 7 discs, of which I have 6.  I keep waiting for him to make something (other than his soundtrack compilation) that isn't absolutely essential.  The wait continues.

Saint Etienne: Tales from Turnpike House

A concept album about a day in the life of a Londoner, this is another album I've listened to a seemingly infinite number of times this year without coming to the end of my fascination with it.  This is a very English album, and a very glossy one.  It's immaculately produced, and if you like rough edges to your albums, this isn't the one for you.  But from the first delicate notes to the last two tracks (which form one of the most chillingly satisfying endings to any album I've ever heard), I'm sucked into the world it creates.  I can never listen to the first track unless I have 50 minutes to spare, because I just can't seem to hit "stop" once I enter the London that this album creates.  A truly immersive experience.

Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass

I have a great deal of respect for this group, and I love the two albums of theirs that I've had for several years.  But whenever they release a new album, it never seems to make it to the top of my "things to buy" list.  So I was interested when I heard about their new album, but I never seriously intended on picking it up.  Then I heard the entire first track on the All Songs Considered website.  It was the most intense 11-minute jam I've heard in ages.  It was full of burning, swirling energy that would have overwhelmed a lesser band, but was held in perfect control by this group.  My jaw dropped, I sat stunned through the duration of the track, and the second it was over I went to Amazon to place my order.

The entire album is just as good.  It covers a great deal of stylistic ground, and showcases these masters of indie-rock at the top of their technical and creative game.  Yo La Tengo is sort of the antithesis of Saint Etienne, but if you do like rough edges in your music, this album is just as stunning as my previous pick in a very different way.

John Legend: Once Again

John Legend drops any pretense at hip-hop and makes a straight soul album.  My pick for make-out record of the year.  There are a couple skippable tracks here, a lot of seriously good songs, and a few absolute five-star classics.  If you wish that Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye were still around, this will come as close as you could reasonably expect to fulfilling your wish. 

And (although I'm usually pretty anal about preserving the integrity of the album) if you don't feel like buying the whole disc, do yourself a favor and download P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care) from iTunes.  Play it for your significant other.  More potent than a bottle of wine, and much cheaper.  You can thank me later.

The Flaming Lips: At War With the Mystics

This album got a lot of crap because it's not as much of a revelation as Yoshimi or The Soft Bulletin.  But if this is a step down, it's only in the same way that Physical Graffiti was a step down from Led Zeppelin IV.  An album doesn't have to be up to the standards of one of the greatest album of a decade to still be freaking great.

In this case, they decided to try some new things.  There was a lot more variety on this disc than would have worked on either of their last two, and considering how many targets they aim for, the success ratio was very good.  There's about half a song on here that's really annoying, and the rest ranges from quite good to brilliant.

And they still do one of the best live shows in the world.  I saw them this summer and they blew The Who off the stage.  That may explain part of the affection I have for this disc.

John Mayer: Continuum

John Mayer explores his Clapton fetish, and in so doing makes a disc that I like more than just about anything Clapton himself has ever done.

I know there are a lot of very polar opinions about John Mayer, so some people won't agree with me on this one.  I can't argue, as I spent some time in those peoples' shoes.  I got his first album as a birthday gift, and the first 10 times I heard it I assumed that my friend was playing a joke on me.  But after about 6 months, I finally got it.  After that, he grew on me in ways I never would have guessed possible.

This new album has pretty much everything I've ever liked about him without sounding anything like a rehash of his last two studio albums.  It's not the album of the year, but I never thought he'd last three discs without turning stale, and he really proved me wrong.

Basement Jaxx: Crazy Itch Radio

These people are still making the type of club techno that should have gone out 10 years ago.  And for some people, maybe it did.  But these particular group does it with such an irresistable sense of fun, of joie de vivre, that it's impossible not to like.  If nothing else, this is my workout album of the year.  There's so much energy here I can run for an hour without even noticing whenever this album is on.

The Decemberists: The Crane Wife

This is on just about everyone's top-ten list this year, so I guess there's not much to say about it that hasn't been said.  It really did surprise my by living up to its hype, though.  It reminds me of the book Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, in that it works both as a clever pastiche of several other styles of music, and as the most seriously interesting thing to be done with these styles practically since they were invented.  And it's not only technically amazing, but viscerally overwhelming.  The album goes from hilarious to chilling to poignant at the drop of a hat, without ever missing it's mark by a millimeter.

That's it for now.  Anyone agree or disagree?  Did I leave anything out that hasn't already been mentioned?
Title: Re: Best new album of 2006
Post by: Wheaty Petestraw on January 28, 2007, 08:06:29 PM
Overall, 2006 was a pretty forgettable year for music.. however, my choice pick goes to:

Psycroptic - Symbols of Failure

Often times with death metal, the production is flawed to the point where you can't hear the instruments clearly enough. This is most certainly not the case with Australia's Psycroptic. Technical and brutal as hell, this band needs to be heard by more people - especially those foolish enough to mistake Tool for a metal band or who think that Blood Mountain was the metal album of 2006.

Other special nods go to:
Dim Mak - Knives of Ice
Spawn of Possession - Noctambulant

2007 is shaping up to be one hell of a year too, with new releases by Odious Mortem, Severed Savior, Decrepit Birth and Disavowed. There should also be new releases at some point by Deeds of Flesh, Nile, Macabre and Cryptopsy.