by carl wilson

Year-End Clearance: Top 20 Albums + Singles

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.

In Depth | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, December 20 at 7:54 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)



Hey, great year-end list. Stuff on there that I wanna hear like the Braxton Wolf Eyes or the Lily Allen or Scott Walker plus that's about where I'd put Bejar's latest myself. Damn it was a killer record. I saw him play out in Vancouver to launch it then as luck would have it again the next night in Victoria and both shows were phenomenal. The Van show was so professional and impeccable (even when it got whiskey-soaked) and the Victoria show was really like the homecoming rowdy show with everyone in the audience trying to sing along.

Why no TV on the Radio on the top list? Was that album not completely fucking flawless or no? The Knife? The Killer Mike album -- I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind -- SO GOOD!!

The Clipse gets lotsa love everywhichway, and the b-sides fuck me up, I can't get nuff of Keys Open Doors, Trill, and Ain't Cha, because by the time the record came out I was already tired of the A-side hits... but fuuuuck, the Young Jeezy record is NUTS good. Jim Jones album was NO disappointment. Project Pat holds his own yessir. Young Dro record was SURPRISINGLY GREAT!!! Mick Boogie put out some glamorous mixtapes, too, especially for those boys like T.I., Dro and so forth. More Fish is way way good for a second Ghost album, yess fuck. Lil Boosie's Bad Azz was a frickin unheralded KLAAZZZIK!!! Check it for the track "Sexy Lady" where he talks about advice on what to do when you take your girl to the "city of Ontario" -- Prince Po's Pretty Black, shisss good underground NYC hit-fuck (I'm killin time here before openin presents! Xmas fever) You didn't like or mention Roots album Game Theory? Pretty decent. Expectin big things from Peedi Peedi next year, a- ha. Rick Ross album was a poop, a big poop. Disappointing as hell.
Melvins album A Senile Animal -- fuck around that was a monster no doubt, shit everyone not.
Latest Squarepusher -- utter genius. New Clark 'Body Riddle', electronic masterpiece. Grizzy Bear!! Nother Warp mastermonsterpiece. Yeaaaah!

Velvet Underground acetate was my number one!! I asked people to pool their money and buy it for me and they did!! I'm the winner. I win. The fidelity is on top of everything number one with a bullet, boy!!

Posted by Lee on December 25, 2006 5:25 AM



I liked four songs (maybe five? I forget) on Lily Allen's album a lot. (Especially "Little Things," the one where she bites Cat Stevens.) The rest I found totally forgettable. Incidentally, I saw her first-ever U.S. show, at the Miho Ballroom in New York, and it was the worst show I saw all year. She came off as charmless trendoid who couldn't be bothered to put even the slightest bit emotion or energy into her performance. So that definitely colored my feelings about her. My conclusion: she's way-overrated, and I'll be surprised if we hear much from her again. Not much real talent there.

Posted by Jody on December 23, 2006 9:02 AM



Finally, someone who puts Lily Allen in their top releases of 2006 list. She put out a ridiculously infectious pop album and given all the blogger accolades, I'm wondering why a lot of bloggers are failing to recognize her in their top releases of 2006 lists[she'll be on my list]. Kudos to you sir.

Posted by mike on December 22, 2006 10:39 PM



I loved the Tom Ze album, but left it off my list because it was from 2005. Had to create another list just so I could pump it up (2006's Best Albums that were really from 2005.)

I'm gonna have to give the albums from Xiu Xiu and Richard Buckner another chance. Unlike past work of theirs, these didn't stick with me for some reason.

Posted by drake on December 22, 2006 5:25 PM



I just didn't have the energy to rustle through my memory to figure out best shows, Graham, though what comes to mind are: the Bummer in the Summer festival in general; the Joanna Newsom concert at Pop Montreal; Konono No. 1 and (in a different show) Amadou & Mariam at Harbourfront this summer; the Mountain Goats show at Lee's; Matmos at the Music Gallery; Tagaq at the Lula Lounge; Tony Conrad at the Music Gallery; Sonic Youth at Kool Haus; Pyramid Culture/Final Fantasy/NHS Cancer Benefit at the Boat; Extermination Music Night 2 at the bread factory with Feuermusik, Rozasia and Anagram, the Joe McPhee "company" night at Arraymusic; the Wavelength show with Yah Mos Def and Tomboyfriend; the Wavelength show with Jon Rae & the River and Garbage!Violence!Enthusiasm this summer; the Wavelength show with the Blow (was that this year); the YACHT & friends' technology show at Sneaky Dee's; various Laura Barrett shows; the Jandek show, in a sense; the Bad Bands Revolution launch show in CMW; the Destroyer show at Lee's (but *not* the Magnolia Electric Co. half of that show); Gogol Bordello at the Drake; Neko Case's show at the Rivoli back in January (I think it was Jan, not December, right?); last week's Howe Gelb show; and no doubt a bunch that I am forgetting.

Oh man, I just thought of one - Rob Mazurek's Sao Paulo Underground at the Guelph Jazz Fest. And that record could even have gotten into my records list. Ah, well.

Posted by zoilus on December 21, 2006 10:55 PM



No best shows?

(Is the Ornette Coleman really that good? I haven't listened to it yet.)

Posted by Graham on December 21, 2006 8:46 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson