For some odd reason I find myself making list most of the time, lists of pretty much anything, categorizing and prioritizing, music is no exception. So as of now I am going to start my end of the year music wrap. Maybe Ill do one with movies and live shows as well.
Back in the day I used to cohost a radio show called "All Things Rock," on 98.1 WQAQ, and we always used to have theme shows or special programming, every year the one episode we always did that I looked forward to was the end of the year wrap up. We would discuss what happened the past 12 months in music and it was always the best show we did and the most fun I had on air, all three of us had different opinions and different records we really rocked out.
So to begin my list, here are my "honorable mentions of 2006", albums that were really good but not good enough to crack my top 10.
For those with a ADD or cant stand to have me ramble on, here is the list without explanations.
In no particular order:
-The Killers-Sam's Town
-Bruce Springsteen and the Seager Sessions Band-We Shall Overcome
-Bob Dylan-Modern Times
-Joseph Arthur-Nuclear Daydream
Now with explanations:
We all know the story by now, its members of At the Drive-In that didnt go to Mars Volta. That is old news and in case you lived under a rock for the past six years, thats the update. This is the bands third disc and probably their most fluid and concreate effort to date. Mixing the soul of U2 and the sound of early Radiohead (back when they played with fuzzy guitars and bass), Threes is a record of looking foward, whereas the last two efforts from the San Antonio quartet have been of rememberance and looking at how things could have been. The band nearly broke up before they entered the studio, orginal guitar player Paul Hinjaor, left to go join, unsurprisingly, The Mars Volta. However, the band pushed foward, got a new man on axe and delivered their most mature and surprising effort to date.
KEY TRACKS: Atlas, Untreatable Disease.
The Killers-Sam's Town.
Ok, its not funny anymore, stop making fun of this record--that goes to you as well Brandon Flowers! After a few spins, Sam's Town plays like an Americana Opera. Maybe not a very good one, but one that is enjoyable after it grows on you. Arena rock meets synth-pop on the Las Vegas group’s sophomore effort. What Sam’s Town seems to lack, that made The Killers debut Hot Fuss such an entertaining experience is the cleaver lyrical satire, for example, from Hot Fuss the single “All These Thing’s I’ve Done,” lines such as, “These changes ain't changing me. The gold-hearted boy I used to be,” and “I got soul but I am not a Solider.” However, what makes The Killer’s sophomore effort stand out from their debut is the how the band has grown as musicians. Singer Brandon Flowers projects his voice to ranges his audience has not heard and we attend to the rhythm section provided by drummer Ronnie Vannucci and bassist Mark Stoermer has gotten much stronger. Sam’s Town seems to be concentrating more on a musical journey, where Hot Fuss was a fun, rambunctious record that brought snyth-pop back to the mainstream. It is defiantly worth a listen, the record features guest appearances by members of Louis XIV and is produced by Flood (U2, Brian Eno).
KEY TRACKS: When You Were Young, Sam's Town
Bruce Springsteen and The Seager Sessions Band-We Shall Overcome.
I know its wierd that this record is not in my top 10, but its an album of covers. A record that took me a little while to even respect, but once I got into it I realzied how important this is for our state of the union. New Jersey God (There is only one), Springsteen has this funny way of making America remember its roots, after 9/11 The Rising was released an album dedicated to the idea of the American Dream and what the world is like with something missing from the New York skyline. He does this again with We Shall Overcome, a record of bluegrass and country tracks orginially done by Pete Seager. Now this record, more important than ever living in a post-Katrina society and trying to rebuild on the music an lifestyle N'Awlins gave to the United States.
Key Tracks:Pay Me My Money Down, Old Dan Tucker
Bob Dylan-Modern Times.
There is nothing modern about this release, its a stripped down rockabilly rock and roll record with production not up to par, or something else Dylan would say about the current state of recorded music. But it is a worthwhile album to check out, Dylan fans will go crazy over it, where as the casual Dylan listener like myself will find themselves just enjoying the music, or just smug assholes will play it at Starbucks and think they are cool with there double decafee late and mocha sprinkles. Something like that, its an album that affirms Bob's time has come and gone, he has written everything he ever needed to and not that he should stop making music, but just keep having fun.
Key Tracks: Rollin' and Tumblin', The Levees Gonna Break
Joseph Arthur-Nuclear Daydream.
I just absolutly love this record from start to finish. My take on it is, if John Lennon and George Harrison were alive today and wanted to do something really cool and unique with a fresh new band..say The Shins..Nuclear Daydream would be the end result. On Arthurs sophmore disc he spans the creative energy that some indie rockers wish they had or are just too smug to be energetic. His influences are obvious, they are Beatles, the solo works of Lennon and Harrison and the works of his peers today. It is a fantastic album that is totally worthwhile to pick up and really fun to listen to.
Key Tracks: Slide Away, Too Much to Hide.
Comming Soon: 10 best albums of 2006 and League of Thier Own