Top Albums of 2006

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Ghostface Killah | Fishscale - He ain't been this hungry since Supreme Clientele. I might have given up on hip hop if not for this record. It's that good. If you you would have told me waaay back in 1993, when I was listening to Enter The Wu-Tang non-stop, that Ghost would have been the Wu's most prolific and consistent MC, I would have never believed you.

Goldfrapp | Supernature - I'm totally late to the Goldfrapp party, but now I'm trying to cut to the front of the line. This is the record I probably listened to the most this year. There's a wealth of different electro grooves on this record, enough that something new will grab you every time you listen to it.

The Changes | Today Is Tonight - A late edition to the list. I just got this CD last month but it's been in heavy rotation since. Part Fountains of Wayne, part Tahiti 80, part Cars...If you like pretty pop records that hit you over the head with killer hooks, you need to buy this album.

Morrissey | Ringleader of the Tormentors - THIS is the record I wanted two years ago when The Mighty Mozzer made his "comeback." You Are The Quarry, to me, sounded like Moz trying to be all things to all people. This record showcases a more confident and focused Moz, all the while giving his band a bit more room to do their thing. This album will age really well and be looked back as one of his best when it's all said and done.

Camera Obscura | Lets Get Out of This Country - I hate twee but the appeal of this record is undeniable, from the Motown leanings of "If Looks Could Kill" to the pure pop genius that is "LLoyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken." Detractors say this sounds too much like Belle & Sebastian, but I don't really listen to them, so it sounds fresh to me.

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William Orbit | Hello Waveforms - Perhaps the most enjoyable album to listen to out of the entire bunch listed here, for no other reason than nothing else you hear this year can come close to the tunes floating around in Billy Bubbles' head. Just gorgeous. I can guarantee you that this record is much more enjoyable than any "chill" compilation that you have. In the interests of full disclosure, I used to help manage William, so I am a bit biased.

Maximo Park | Missing Songs - A collection of odds n' sods that I enjoy much more than the record they came from. Hey, I have to indulge my b-sides fetish somehow. "Fear of Falling" and "Stray Talk" are better than anything on A Certain Trigger.

Silversun Pickups | Carnavas - I think DCeiver put it best in this year's Top 40: "The rest of you music bloggers and your darling, pointyheaded folk princes and twee-pop bullshittery bore the fucking hell out of me. So: here's a rock band, bringing actual rock. Listen to them." That pretty much says it all.

Art Brut | Bang Bang Rock n' Roll - I played "Good Weekend" for as many people as I could this year. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a song that is more fun to listen to. The same thing can be said for this album. And their live show.

Editors | The Back Room - A slow burner that definitely didn't grab me on the first few listens. But seeing them live made me listen to this album with a new outlook. It suffers a bit from a lack of dynamics, but the tunes are there if you give it a chance.

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Uncle Grambo said:

Silversuns ... so best. Eff the haters, that's one of my fave records of the year, too. Great list. I had almost forgot about that Editors record.

B.B. Fett said:

Nothing on "Ringleader" touches the best songs from "Quarry," though.

"First of the Gang to Die" is one of the best Moz songs EVAH.

ckelly said:

Hey thanks, you just made my day with this list -- perfect timing. don't laugh but i just got a giftcard to Itunes and had no idea what to spend it on because I lost touch with music sometime around Bandwagonesque. So now you've pointed me in the right direction. Hell, I didn't even know Morrissey was still alive...

david said:

Editors and Art Brut were 2005.

Both domestic versions came out this year.