Sunday, December 10, 2006

2006 Tops.

You will begin to see in the next few weeks a numerous amount of "Best of 2006" lists popping up all over blogs, magazines, and other sorts of publications. It's inevitable. It's what we live for. Last year, if I recall correctly, I did two separate ones...a "guilty pleasures" list, and "best albums" list. This year, time will probably only permit me to do one, and that's the "Best of 2006." I suspect Ally is working on hers as well. I want to get mine out of the way. I'm going to do ten of my favorites. There are probably more, but these are the ten I keep coming back to and have decided I simply cannot live without. You're going to notice a pattern in these, I'm sure. Enjoy.


The Believer by Rhett Miller
It's no secret that I'm obsessed with Rhett Miller. One of the highlights of my year was getting to meet him before he played in Central Park when I was up in NY this past June. The dude just speaks to me, and even though this album is much poppier than any material he put out with the Old 97's, I can't help but love it...because it's him. Same half-drunken voice, same heartaching lyrical content, same rockin' guitar riffs. My favorite tune? Probably a toss-up between "My Valentine" and "Fireflies."


Chemical City by Sam Roberts Band
If Canada weren't so effing cold, I would probably move there just so I could be surrounded by bands of this caliber all the time. I had the pleasure of catching this band live with Ben Kweller this year, and my God, they are just something else. The music gives me this hopeful feeling, and you can actually feel the blood, sweat, and tears that these guys put into their songs. I could listen to "Bridge to Nowhere" on repeat all day long and never tire of it. I have a feeling that this band is going to totally blow up soon, and I'm glad I'm already acquainted.


Everything All the Time by Band of Horses
There's nothing about this album that I don't like. Ben Bridwell's vocals are distinctive and engaging, and the music is very powerful behind it. My favorite song is "The Funeral," which, if I had to pick a "Best Song of the Year," it would definitely win that title. This album is appealing to music lovers across many genres, and is appreciated by lovers of new and old alike.


Anti-Anti by Snowden
Ah, finally, a band from Atlanta that's getting all kinds of national press because they don't suck! The album doesn't either. Even though I've seen them play these songs out live more times that I can possibly count, I never get sick of them because they're awesome. "Filler is Wasted" is probably my favorite, in addition to the title track. I mostly like it when I'm in the car and can play it loud. Yay for them.


Friendly Fire by Sean Lennon
Picking up where I'm sure his father would've left off if given the chance, Sean Lennon has managed to bring about intriguing instrumental sounds to couple with his somewhat high-pitched vocals and complicated lyrics. Listen to "Dead Meat" to get a grasp on it. This is a match made in musical heaven that makes it's way onto my iPod more than most everything else. The dude lives up to his genes. I'm sure Julian is less than thrilled about that...


Dying to Say This to You by The Sounds
Oh man, this might be the only reason I miss going to the gym...because I would listen to this on repeat. It's the only album (besides Panic! At the Disco) that can make me run faster, lift more, and push harder. There's some anger behind the content that shows through in the album, but it's done in a poppy/dance tone that makes burning energy fun to do. Check out "Hurt You" and "Ego" if you wanna get your tush in gear. I promise, it works.


Ben Kweller by Ben Kweller
Love love love Ben Kweller and his innocent and unsuspecting attitude. Easily one of the best live shows I've seen this year, probably because he has this awesome album with new material. I cry when I hear "Magic," and I feel like I can change the world when I hear "Penny on the Train Track." That's in addition to the sing along I manage to somehow burst into when I hear "Sundress." I'm sorry I didn't know about him earlier in life.


Black Holes and Revelations by Muse
Matthew Bellamy's "my pants are too tight and I'm probably not producing any sperm" high-pitched vocals are calling to me on this one. They're telling me to drop everything and dance, and to be mad at the state of the world. They're telling me that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and that this album is paving the way. "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Starlight" are my favorites, and though this album will probably not stand the test of time, it's certainly been with me since I acquired it.


Knives Don't Have Your Back by Emily Haines
Being a huge fan of Metric, this album belongs in my collection as a given, but it didn't get there by default. It's haunting tone and wicked piano skill twist my emotions like the third turn of the Mindbender at Six Flags. Yet, another reason Canada seems appealing...this songstress' soft vocals will sing you into a calm state with her lullably-like demeanor, and you'll love every minute of it. "Doctor Blind" got me hooked on her solo stuff.


The Dust of Retreat by Margot and the Nuclear So and So's
And lastly, the album that is perpetually stuck in my CD player. Despite two cancelled live shows in Atlanta, I happened to catch them before all of you even knew who they were (thanks Jason!). Yes, I knew who they were before you decided to love them. There's evidence floating around, so you can research it if you don't believe me. This collection of songs sends me into a whirlwind of emotion that I cannot even begin to describe. Every song is full of power and obvious talent. What else would you expect from an 8-piece band? A side of biscuits?
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