Author Topic: Best new album of 2006  (Read 8967 times)

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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2007, 01:57:08 PM »
*BUZZ* Sorry. The correct answer was:


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2007, 02:04:09 PM »
love that shit, stuck in the drive through was genius

Offline Baron Samedi

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #32 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.

Offline davo

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2007, 10:01:00 PM »
some of my faves:

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

who i find interesting lately:

Offline Minnesota

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2007, 04:40:21 AM »
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

Greatest rock band in the world!


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)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 04:43:29 AM by Minnesota »

Offline Baron Samedi

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #35 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?

Offline Wheaty Petestraw

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Re: Best new album of 2006
« Reply #36 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.
my entry made my girlfriend laugh a few times, the best I can hope for really.

I'd say Whalberg definately qualifies as really good.