Friday, January 05, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2006

It's early 2007, so it's time for me to list the best albums of 2006 and a bit of comment on each of them.

Here's the list in alphabetical order (it's almost impossible for me to quantify my liking of an album hence no 1-10 list):

Alright, Still - Lily Allen
She's the chav princess, the female equivalent of Mike Skinner. When she sings/raps, she just takes daily happenings. Her sound is fresh and very poppy but if you listen careful you can hear that she actually knows what she is singing about. LDN is by far one of the best songs about London.
Listen to: Smile, LDN

Black Holes and Revelations - Muse

It's the Matt Bellamy circus show again. He sings about love and spaceships (in the same song), while showing off his amazing piano and guitar skills. Even though the album starts out a bit Radiohead, by the end of it it's more Rush. Long live ProgRock!
Listen to: Starlight, Supermassive Black Hole, Knights of Cydonia

Inside In/Inside Out - The Kooks
A couple of art school boys, an ex-boyfriend of Katie Melua, a bit of swagger and you have The Kooks. Their songs are happy happy go-along and it makes your head bop to the tune. It really sounds like spring / summer and their live performance isn't bad either.
Listen to: Naive, She Moves In Her Own Way, Ooh La

Razorlight - Razorlight
When I first heard their first album, I though Razorlight was just an overrated band with Johnny Borrell an attention seeking front man. My thought of Borrell remains the same but the band showed class with their second album. They dug deep and found what they are good at and used it. But with Borrell around, we can only guess how long this band is going to be around.
Listen to: America, In The Morning, Kirby's House

Sam's Town - The Killers
I loved their first album, it really sounded like English 80s. With the second album, Brandon Flowers and his friends looked at their roots and realised it isn't Birmingham like Duran Duran, but it is Las Vegas, USA. So they looked at their own country and made an album that sounds very different than the first one. From Duran Duran to Springsteen in a couple of years, that's an achievement.
Listen to: When We Were Young, Bones, Read My Mind

Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers
After 4 years gone, these veteran rockers knocked on Rick Rubin's door and recorded a double album with lots of great songs in it. Even though Flea is one of the best bass players in the world, this one isn't about him, it's about Frusciante. He came to RHCP very young and was basically just copying Hillel Slovak but now he has matured and is definitely on par with Flea and the rest of the Peppers. His guitar playing is just awesome, as are his songs.
Listen to: Dani California, Torture Me, Tell Me Baby, Animal Bar

St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley
The album with the song of the year (Crazy). We all know the genius that DJ DangerMouse is (if you haven't listened to The Grey Album yet then you are waaay behind). This time he teams up with Cee-Lo and just pulls out amazing stuff. It's not rap, it's not hip-hop, it's not electronica. It's soul. Actually lots and lots of soul.
Listen to: Crazy, Smiley Faces, Gone Daddy Gone

Twelve Stops And Home - The Feeling
There was a time when listening to soft rock is a guilty pleasure. Actually it still is. Using that then The Feeling should be sentenced to life in prison as their album is nothing else but just soft rock with influences from the biggest of them (10cc, Foreigner, etc). But this guilty pleasure is just what it is, a pleasure.
Listen to: Sewn, Never Be Lonely, I Love It When You Call, Fill My Little World

Under The Iron Sea - Keane
The opening bars of Is It Any Wonder? is exactly what the Keane's second album is about. You're thinking "hey, they use guitars now" or "hey, is that The Edge from Achtung Baby?" before realising that Tim rice-Oxley plugged his piano to a bunch of sound effects and he made this album sounds like Achtung Baby. A little help from Brian Eno doesn't hurt either. The still don't use guitars but they rock!
Listen to: Is It Any Wonder?, Crystal Ball

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - Arctic Monkeys
Most critics will claim this album as the best of 2006. It broke records as the best-selling debut just by virtue of word-of-mouth (or is it word-of-emails or word-of-chatting?). After listening to this songs, not a lot of people would have guessed that this band consists mostly of teenagers. Yep, teenagers made one of the best albums in 2006. The line "dance like a robocop from 1984" inspired Peter Crouch to do his robo-dance even though these lads weren't even born yet in 1984! Since then the bass player has quit but if Alex Turner continues writing songs like these, he'll end up up there with the likes of Bono, the Gallaghers, and David Bowie.
Listen to: I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor, View From The Afternoon, Fake Tales From San Fransisco, Mardy Bum

What are yours?


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