Thursday, December 14, 2006

Best of 2006: Albums (That Were Really From 2005)

My year-end list is always a serious chore... one I both love and loath at the same time, in part because I have a hard time narrowing it down. Last year I had over 150 albums and this year I find myself in similar straits. One of my methods for narrowing the field down is to make sure the album was originally released this year. Many of the albums you'll see (or will see) on folks' year-end lists were released last year and fell under the radar because they were either a) released in another country or b) self-released. Almost all of these albums made plenty of lists last year (including mine.) It's become an annual event.

Playlist: Best Albums of 2006 That Were Really From 2005

1. Tom Ze - Estudando o Pagode
First on the list is the amazing Tom Ze, who's album Estudando o Pagode (translated, study of pagode) I profiled back in April. This album would be in my top ten this year if it weren't for it's release last year outside the US. The 70-year old Brazilian records his masterpiece as a rock opera that also revisits another of his amazing albums from the 1970s (Estudando O Samba.) An amazing album that should be at the top of folks' lists... I guess that's why I have this secondary list - 'cause now it's #1. You could call it a precursor to the Tropicalia comeback that happened this year.

Album: Tom Ze - Estudando o Pagode
Stream the album from Luaka Bop Recods and read the Luaka notes on the Pagode
Video: Crazy EPK for album

2. Serena Maneesh - Serena Maneesh
This album made it in my top 50 albums last year (coming in at #10) and it will probably make a lot of folks' lists this year, as it didn't get US distribution until this past spring. Shoegaze. Dream pop. Space rock. Indie pop. Drone pop. Noise pop. Whatever you call it... call it good.

Album: Serena Maneesh - Serena Maneesh
Download: "Un Duex"

3. Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll
Happy, balls-out earnest rock that sounds tongue in cheek. Made last year's list at #20. "I've seen her naked... twice!" is still one of my favorite lines.

Album: Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll
Download: "Good Weekend"

4. Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
This album was released late last year, but no one could find it, and people were looking given the internet-hype that Tapes n' Tapes was achieving. When it finally reached better distribution this past spring, it seemed like all the momentum behind the album was gone. Here's what I wrote about The Loon back in March: These Minneapolis indie rockers kneel at the altar of all that is precious: Pavement, Wire, Beach Boys, Pixies, The Feelies, Talking Heads, and Television. Instead of playing 'spot the influence' though, you'll just find yourself enjoying the blended smoothie, as it's both tasty and good for you.

Album: Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
Download: "Insistor"

The rest:
5. Love is All - Nine Times That Same Song
Download: "Talk Talk Talk Talk"
6. I Am a Robot and Proud - The Electricity in Your House Wants to Sing
Stream the title track from the MySpace page
7. Goldfrapp - Supernature
Listen to "Ooh La La" at their MySpace page
8. Page France - Hello Dear Wind
Download: "Junkyard"
9. Elbow - Leaders of the Free World

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Best Albums of 2006 (Actually from 2005)

1. Ave Dor Maria - Tom Ze
2. Selina's Melodie Fountain - Serena Maneesh
3. Formed a Band (Original) - Art Brut
4. Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
5. Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness - I Am Robot And Proud
6. Ooh La La - Goldfrapp
7. Chariot - Page France
8. Forget Myself - Elbow