Friday, February 02, 2007

Best Music of 2006

The top 5 reasons to obsess over "Best of" Lists:

1. They contribute to the illusion that messy life can be quantified.
2. Art as science. You can't beat it.
3. Admit it. We all want to be #1. Or at least Top 10.
4. They give us something to grouse about. In fact, I'm considering moving this reason into the Top 3. What do you think?
5. They keep our counting skills finely honed.

So here's the list of the Top 100 albums of 2006 from Paste Magazine:

Best-of lists are notoriously problematic. Despite their flirtation with math/science in the form of numerical rankings, there is a vague arbitrariness pervading even the most meticulously constructed example. The difference between spot #47 and #93 might as well hinge on how seamlessly an editor's fast food breakfast is digesting that particular morning. Still, we make our lists, if only to have an excuse to let our minds wander back over the year and remember which pieces of art caused us to forget the world, or simply appreciate the complexity of it.
Sometimes, after walking into the Paste office's music library and seeing the mailbins piled four-high and spilling over because the vast rows of shelves have filled up yet again (weren't they just cleared off?), I wonder if the world really needs any new music. Maybe every artist should just take a few years off so we can all get caught up on our listening. But then I look over this list and find myself amazed at how many great records have come out in just one year's time. Because it's true: You can never have too much of a good thing. And let's be honest. Some records are gooder than others.

-Jason Killingsworth

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1. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
2. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
3. Joanna Newsom - Ys
4. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
5. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
6. Cat Power – The Greatest
7. Midlake - Trials of Van Occupanther
8. Gomez - How We Operate
9. M Ward – Post War
10. The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
11. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
12. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
13. Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
14. Beck - The Information
15. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
16. Pete Yorn - Nightcrawler
17. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
18. Califone - Roots & Crowns
19. Joseph Arthur - Nuclear Daydream
20. Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
21. Paul Simon - Surpise
22. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
23. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
24. Mates of State - Bring it Back
25. Luke Doucet - Broken and Other Rogue States
26. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
27. Hem - Funnel Cloud
28. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
29. Jackie Greene - American Myth
30. Van Hunt - On The Jungle Floor
31. My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse
32. Kate York - Sadlylove
33. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
34. Johnny Cash - American V
35. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
36. Damien Dempsey - Shots
37. Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning
38. Roman Candle - The Wee Hours Review
39. Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies
40. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
41. Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae
42. Nellie McKay – Pretty Little Head
43. The Thermals - The Body, the Blood, the Machine
44. Liars - Drums Not Dead
45. Willie Nelson - Songbird
46. The Roots – Game Theory
47. Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child
48. Built To Spill - You In Reverse
49. Phoenix – It’s Never Been Like That
50. Jeremy Enigk - World Waits
51. Damien Jurado - Now That I'm In Your Shadow
52. Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers
53. Pernice Brothers - Live a Little
54. Calexico - Garden Ruin
55. The Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
56. Benevento Russo Duo - Play Pause Stop
57. Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra - Boulevard de l'Independence
58. Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye
59. Ratatat - Classics
60. Josh Rouse - Subtítulo
61. Jim Noir – Tower of Love
62. Guillemots - Through the Broken Window
63. Hot Chip – The Warning
64. Nicolai Dunger - Here's My Song
65. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
66. Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
67. Bill Mallonee – Permafrost
68. Archie Bronson Outfit - Derdang Derdang
69. Danielson – Ships
70. Tobias Froberg – Somewhere in the City
71. KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
72. My Morning Jacket - Okonokos
73. Ray Lamontagne - Till The Sun Turns Black
74. Thom Yorke – The Eraser
75. John Mayer - Continuum
76. Swan Lake - Beast Moans
77. Brazilian Girls - Talk To La Bomb
78. Peter and the Wolf - Lightness
79. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
80. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
81. T.I. - King
82. Be Your Own Pet - Be Your Own Pet
83. Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
84. Todd Snider - The Devil You Know
85. Starlight Mints - Drowaton
86. Los Lobos - The Town and the City
87. Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light
88. James Hunter - People Gonna Talk
89. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
90. The Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics
91. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
92. Girl Talk - Night Ripper
93. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
94. Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
95. The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely
96. Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
97. Figurines - Skeleton
98. Viva Voce - Get Yr Blood Sucked Out
99. The Dears - Gang of Losers
100. The Old Ceremony - Our One Mistake

And here's a fun one: the Blogger Best Of list. Someone with way too much time on his/her hands trolled the web, looking for all the "Best Music of 2006" lists on individual blogs, then came up with a composite rating. And here it is:

1 - TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
2 - Decemberists, Crane Wife
3 - Joanna Newsom, Ys
4 - Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
5 - Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
6 - Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
7 - Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
8 - Thom Yorke, The Eraser
9 - Destroyer, Destroyer’s Rubies
10 - Cat Power, The Greatest (*)
11 - Knife, Silent Shout
12 - Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not (*)
13 - Hot Chip, The Warning
14 - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
15 - Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
16 - M. Ward, Post-War
17 - Bob Dylan, Modern Times
18 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
19 - Midlake, Trials of Van Occupanther
20 - Sunset Rubdown, Shut Up I am Dreaming
21 - Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
22 - Camera Obscura, Let’s Get Out of This Country
23 - Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
24 - Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
25 - Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
26 - Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
27 - Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
28 - Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
29 - Islands, Return to the Sea
30 - Lily Allen, Alright, Still
30 - Thermals, The Body, The Blood, The Machine
32 - Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
33 - Junior Boys, So This is Goodbye
34 - Girl Talk, Night Ripper
34 - Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/Lovesounds
36 - Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Block
37 - Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
38 - Final Fantasy, He Poos Clouds
39 - Josh Ritter, The Animal Years
40 - Silversun Pickups, Carnavas
41 - Beck, The Information
42 - Built to Spill, You in Reverse
43 - Roots, Game Theory
44 - Liars, Drum's Not Dead
44 - Tapes ‘n Tapes, The Loon (*)
46 - Phoenix, It’s Never Been Like That
47 - Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics
48 - Asobi Seksu, Citrus
49 - Califone, Roots and Crowns
50 - Mogwai, Mr. Beast/Zidane (**)
51 - Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards
52 - Killers, Sam's Town
53 - My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade
54 - Mastodon, Blood Mountain
54 - Pipettes, We are the Pipettes
56 - Strokes, First Impressions of Earth
57 - Mates of State, Bring it Back
58 - Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor
59 - Mew, And the Glass Handed Kites
59 - Rapture, Pieces of the People We Love
61 - Guillemots, Through the Windowpane
62 - Wolfmother, s/t
63 - Pearl Jam, s/t
64 - Man Man, Six Demon Bag
65 - Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Letting Go
66 - Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
67 - Scott Walker, The Drift
68 - Love is All, Nine Times That Same Song
69 - Danielson, Ships
70 - Blow, Paper Television
71 - Kooks, Inside In/Inside Out
72 - Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, The Dust of Retreat
73 - Format, Dog Problems
74 - Shearwater, Palo Santo
75 - Damien Rice, 9
76 - Mountain Goats, Get Lonely
77 - Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome
78 - Beatles, Love
78 - Black Keys, Magic Potion
80 - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas/Isobel Campbell, Milk White Sheets (**)
82 - Cansei de Ser Sexy, s/t
82 - Tom Waits, Orphans
84 - My Brightest Diamond, Bring Me the Workhorse
84 - Ratatat, Classics
84 - Scritti Politti, White Bread Black Beer
87 - Sparklehorse, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
88 - Johnny Cash, American V: A Hundred Highways
89 - Scissor Sisters, Ta-Dah
90 - Sufjan Stevens, The Avalanche
91 - Jarvis Cocker, Jarvis
92 - J Dilla, Donuts
93 - Annuals, Be He Me
94 - John Mayer, Continuum
95 - Calexico, Garden Ruin
96 - Keane, Under the Iron Sea
97 - Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Knives Don't Have Your Back
97 - Juana Molina, Son
99 - I'm From Barcelona, Let Me Introduce My Friends
100 - Ben Kweller, s/t

1 comment:

john r. williamson said...

I appreciate these best of 2006 lists--particularly the one Jason made. Greg Brown's "The Evening Call" struck me as important, as did my own cd, "portable shrine". I was sorry not to see either of these albums on these lists. Everyone needs to hear these albums and few have!