Okay, it’s official: The music blog world’s year-end rituals have burst the bounds of rational exchange and have become a full-on listmaking orgy. For that reason, I am going to do this with minimal fuss & exchew illustration and justification.
Zolius: Top 20 Albums of 2006
Not likely to surprise regular readers very much (with a few exceptions), what follows are the albums that captured my attention most strongly or longest in 2006. How they overlap with what is according to some cosmic metric “best” or “most important” is a matter of conjecture. Dozens of others bubble beneath the no. 20 mark (from Howe Gelb to Kode9 & the SpaceApe to Agalloch to Eric Chenaux to Bob Dylan to Charlotte Gainsbourg to Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Raw Materials) and thousands of others I never got to hear.
1. Joanna Newsom, Ys
2. Matmos, The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast
3. Destroyer, Destroyer’s Rubies
4. Ornette Coleman, Sound Grammar
5. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
6. The Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
7. Xiu Xiu, The Air Force
8. Final Fantasy, He Poos Clouds
9. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
10. Anthony Braxton/Wolf Eyes, Black Vomit
11. Junior Boys, So This is Goodbye
12. The Mountain Goats, Get Lonely
13. Richard Buckner, Meadow
14. Scott Walker, The Drift
15. Matthew Shipp, One
16. Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor
17. Beyonce, B’Day
18. Lily Allen, Alright, Still
19. Rosanne Cash, Black Cadillac
20. Tom Ze, Estudando o Pagode
Zoilus: Singles of ‘06
Using the old-fashioned definition of “single,” plus a few allowances for MySpace, iTunes and YouTube, here in no strict order are some of the tracks that I bobbed, strolled, danced, shouted, laughed, sighed and (in the case of the first, my genuine no. 1) cried to in 2006. As for favourites songs? That’s just beyond my ability to calibrate at this point. They shuffled a lot in this most changeable of changeable years.
The Mountain Goats, Woke Up New; Beyonce, Irreplaceable; Lupe Fiasco, Kick, Push; Prince, Black Sweat; Willie Nelson, Cowboys Are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other); Ne-Yo, So Sick; Clipse, Ride Around Shining; Lily Allen, Alfie; Simon Bookish, Terry Riley Disco; La Plage, Coupe de Boule (Zidane); Justin Timberlake feat. T.I., My Love; Lil Wayne, Georgia … Bush; Cansei de Ser Sexy, Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above; Christina Aguilera, Ain’t No Other Man; Cham, Ghetto Story; Ghostface Killah, Shakey Dog; Gary Allen, Life Ain’t Always Beautiful; The Raconteurs, Steady as She Goes; Nelly Furtado feat Timbaland, Promiscuous; Neil Young, Let’s Impeach the President.
Elsewhere, some online 2006 mixes you should hear: Sean’s always-indispensable best-songs list; Marathonpacks’ four-volume year-ender; and Paper Thin Walls’ collective mixes, which notably includes T-dotopian songstress Laura Barrett’s Robot Ponies (and a little interview between her & Douglas Wolk about the song). I feel like I have to count Laura’s EP as a 2005 release, but if I hadn’t, it would be on my list too. As it is, her 2007 release on Ta-Da! is atop my roster of anticipated records for 2007.