All right, here is the second part of my year-end music wrap up--my top albums. Not necessarily in any order and I am sure there are many deserving albums missing, but these are the albums that I bought and couldn't stop listening to. It might skew a little more towards the second half of the year, but that's mainly due to my increased spending budget in the latter half of the year.
I would like to give a shout out to Datarock which unfortunately did not come out this year and thus could not be included.
and now the main event:
Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Just try to ignore the power of the Wolfmother. You can't. Period. Led Zep meets Rush in a Black Sabbath blender. All you other rock bands should bow down.
Juana Molina - Son
I find Juana Molina completely fascinating. At first her story isn't overly original, a TV actress decides to start releasing albums of original songs. You probably have an opinion just from hearing that, but this Argentinean former sitcom actress is producing some of the most original and breathtaking music around today. Singing in her native Spanish, she accompanies herself with acoustic guitar and electronic loops and samples. The end result can be ethereal and otherworldly.
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Do you own a TV? You've heard these songs from the beginning of the year through Target's holiday campaign practically every song has been licensed for a commercial, but even without that you would be tapping your toes to this incredible group of songs.
Thom Yorke - The Eraser
He won't call it a solo album, but this release from Thom Yorke shows a few things. First that he is an excellent songwriter and that Nigel Godrich's production is top notch and you can see the influence he has on the end result of the Radiohead releases. Second, even though he is an accomplished songwriter, this gives a sense of the collaboration that happens within Radiohead and the magic that results. Finally, that he is a master at creating a dark, paranoid atmosphere that keeps pulling you back for more.
Working For A Nuclear Free City - Working For A Nuclear Free City Read my previous post if you want to know more, but this album continues to transport me back to my post high school years and the whole Madchester scene and all it's related extensions.
TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
No one sounds like this. Period. After 3 years, TVOTR are still one of the freshest sounding bands around. They rock, they groove, they harmonize better than practically any band than I can remember. Buy this record
Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass is Always Greener
Again I have talked about this album previously, but Barbara Morgenstern continues to improve and become a more accomplished songwriter and producer as her discography grows.
Fujiya and Miyagi - Transparent Things
is it white boy funk? is it a neu revival? maybe it's both. a nice hybrid of influences that ends up sounding like more than the sum of its parts. A great album for the bus. It's just upbeat enough to keep me going but mellow enough to zone out and forget my day.
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Say what you will about Craig Finn's voice, but the Hold Steady are one of the most relevant bands out there. Stories of love, loss, and drug use that are as honest as you can get. Forget the after school specials and MADD, just make all the junior high kids listen to The Hold Steady.
Cat Power - The Greatest
what is it about memphis that brings our the best in so many musicians? after half a century the memphis sound is still a force to be reckoned with and combine that with Chan Marshall's real life issues's this past year and you have a classic album in the making.
Various Productions - The World Is Gone
what more can I say, read my previous review, but Various Productions take bits and pieces from multiple sources and create something that is unique and their own. dubstep, post-apocalyptic folk prepare for the masses to copy this in the 07.
I cannot believe that I actually forgot one of my favorite records last year. Most likely because I put it away for a while because I had been listening to it so much that I didn't want to burn out on it as can sometimes happen with an album that you love. What is this fabulous album that I speak of? Oh No! Oh My!'s self-titled release. It's a great album full of poppy indie rock in the vein of CYHSY and some of the older E6 related releases. Similar to CYHSY it was self-released but you should be able to find it now at your local indie music store or on Amazon.