Trying To Get To You

Friday, December 22, 2006

Everybody's Doing It: My Top Ten Of 2006

As the sun sets on 2006, I'm thinking that this might be my last post of the year. I'm going to Florida (Boca, to be exact) for a few days for some much needed sun, red meat and scotch.

It was a good, fascinating and uncertain year (I'm talking about myself, not music in general, although those adjectives might work as well). Leaving Island has been great - making my next move happen has been a challenge, and being able to listen to whole albums again without asking, "Can this work for Island Def Jam" has been incredibly liberating for me as a listener.

My top 10 is in no particular order. I can't say that any of these records occured for me as an out and out classic, but who knows how they will continue to reveal themselves over time. (And how I was able to listen to anything all the way through with my itchy iPod trigger finger is both a miracle and a mystery.) Here we go:

Bruce Springsteen: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions – I heard about the project and felt dread; then I heard “O Mary Don’t You Weep” and my face hurt from smiling. I hope Bruce can once again have fun with his own material like he had fun with this. (“O Mary Don’t You Weep,” “Eyes On The Prize”)

Bob Dylan: Modern Times – The first time I ever saw Dylan, I thought he looked like an Old Testament prophet. Now I think he sounds like one, albeit one that has incredible taste in 40’s and 50’s music, and I fully expect to hear him whenever Judgement Day comes. (“When The Deal Goes Down”)

Madeleine Peyroux: Half The Perfect World – Is it an insult in this day an age to say that an album just sounds great and leave it at that? (“River”)

Mastodon: Blood Mountain – Will I ever listen to this again? Doubtful, but it’s a real work of quality and it’ll get me to the next NYC show.

Beck: The Information – Sure, I dis him, and then he comes out with a record I actually like. Bastard. The sucker swings – and it doesn’t even feel that self-conscious. (“Think I’m In Love”)

Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll – If I have to live in a world of post-modern irony, this is the way I like it, served up with a great sense of humor while still managing to convey the joy of rock n’ roll.

The Pipettes: We Are The Pipettes – Makes “novelty record” sound like a true compliment. (“Dirty Mind”)

Mute Math: Mute Math – Radiohead done well and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Everyone is talking Cold War Kids, but these guys might really be the ones to watch. (“Typical”)

Christina Aguilera: Back To Basics - Very inconsistent, but the high points were VERY high. (“Ain’t No Other Man,” “Slow Down Baby”)

Candi Staton: – His Hands - I could listen to hear her sing the phone book. (“His Hands”)

Hard Fi: Stars Of CCTV – It felt lightweight on first listen, and it still kind of feels lightweight, but that doesn't negate it's considerable pleasures. With “Living For The Weekend,” they surprised me. (“Living For The Weekend”)

Albums That I Came To Like:

The Arctic Monkeys
Cat Power (I love her voice; if she can ever get the tunes, valhalla awaits)

Albums I Didn't Love, But I Really Tried Hard:

The Hold Steady
Ray LaMontagne
My Morning Jacket (Is it just me, or do they need to step it up in the songwriting department?)
Neko Case (I kept starting it over and over again, and then found my attention anywhere other than the music.)
Regina Spektor

Albums That I Still Need To Check Out:

Yeah Yeah Yeah's


Neil Young (Ever since he came back to Reprise in the late 80's, he's been given a free pass by a lot of people that should know better; this was a straight up dud, and it shouldn't have been.)
The Flaming Lips
The Raconteurs (I wasn't expecting much, as I think Jack White is pretty overrated, but this record was a snooze. If this is the best that retro power pop can come up with, then stick a fork in the damn thing and call it a day.)

(Indie) Nails On A Chalkboard:

Joanna Newsom
Scott Walker


Emma said...

Good list.

Anonymous said...

Normally i'd get on your case about liking another Springsteen album, but even though i haven't heard it, it's an easy bet. Why? cos he's Bruce Fucking Springsteen, he's got the goods and he's not gonna fuck it up a re-inerpretation of one of his hereos. One of the few who could do that.

the Raconteurs - i disagree. I saw them at Roseland and the one thing that struck me about their performance was that it was guileless. It was fun. they were having fun with out irony, without pressure. It was 2 friends doing what they do best, rock out. I think the songs are good too. they're fun & catchy, nothing more, nothing less and exactly what they say thay are.

Art Brut = transendence

happy holidays. xxoo

Anonymous said...

Just saw the Scott Walker. Couldn't agree more. masturbatory music for psuedo intellectual masturbators

Anonymous said...

that's 'pseudo' ...