The Triplejaysus Top 10 Albums of 2006
10. K’naan - The Dusty Foot Philosopher
K’naan’s Mogadishu heritage means that this album is unlike any rap album you’ll have heard. His wit and original narratives are delivered over lots of shimmering acoustic guitars, corporate radio hooks and glowing synths, all balanced by uplifting, authentic African musicianship.
09. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
TV’s second album was released to much critical acclaim in the music press, the fire fuelled by the appearance of Bowie on backing vocals on ‘Province’. ‘TV’ put art before rock, which made the idea-packed disc more interesting than it was appealing. Brian Wilson-style multi-tracked vocals and shoegazing walls of sound help make this a top ten album.
08. Tom Waits - Orphans (Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards)
Orphans is a 3 disc affair, with a staggering 54 tracks, 30 of them new. The others can be found on various sound tracks or are covers. Waits finds beauty in melancholy - even if they’re as bereft and abandoned as the hobo who’s “Lost At The Bottom Of The World”, the tiniest dewdrop can shine a glimmer of redemption into their world: “Well Godâ€™s green hair is where I slept last night/He balanced a diamond on a blade of grass”.
07. Hot Chip - Warning
Warning has a few gems that make the rest of the tracks a suitable respite. “Boy from school” and the dance floor friendly “Over and Over” rub shoulders with churning Human League-esque “No Fit State” or crystalline “(Just Like We) Breakdown”. “Tchaparian”, needlessly jagged on an album full of round edges, and other clangers keep this from creeping higher in the list.
06. The Killers - Sam’s Town
Many think it a little early to reinvent yourself on a sophomore, but that’s just what The Killers have done. Practically every song, in fact, finds Flowers ‘riding with the devil’ on the ‘open road’ with the ’sun on his back’ while dreaming of ‘breaking out of this two-star town’. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the source material here is Springsteen. Selling Springsteen back to his homeland might look like a canny way of ensuring radio play, but there’s no disputing the quality of their songs.
05. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped.
Rather Ripped, the gagillionth studio album from veteran noise-rockers Sonic Youth, continues with the mellow, poppy vibes the band started emphasizing on 2002’s Murray Street. “Pink Steam” opens with five minutes of perfect, symphonic guitar work that’s as soothing as cacophony can be. Gordon manages to play sex kitten at 53, and Moore can make clichÃ©s like “You doused my soul with gasoline” (from the rollicking “Incinerate”) sound cool, it’s easy to underestimate his allure as a frontman; his effortlessness has always been the backbone of Sonic Youth, and Rather Ripped succeeds because the rest of the band has taken his cue.
04. The Knife - Silent Shout
The only ‘proper’ electronic album in my top ten, Silent Shout manages to mix lush melodies with discordant chaos. Lyrics that confuse, draw a smile or to be sung along to, Silent Shout is an album that gets better with every listen. Unstable harmonics, android shanties, queered pitches and looping tales of forest families - Silent Shout has everything you could ask for.
03. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
A brilliant Rock album. That’s where any review of “Boys” should start. It’s simply brilliant. Sure, from there we can start with the “Craig Finn is the American Jarvis Cocker” comparisons. Kerouac quoting, beer and drug soaked teenage melodrama it may be, but it will keep you coming back for more.
02. Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
Muse may be the saviour of Stadia Rock. You might argue that it’s not worth saving, but I’d disagree. Songs with enough ambition (and excellence to carry that ambition off) to be classed as rock genius flow one after the other from this black hole. Indeed BBC1 Dj Annie Mac described Knights of Cydonia as “Six minutes and one second of pure genius”.
01. Tool - 10,000 Days
No suprises here then. The avid Tool fan thinks that the Tool album is the best of the year. Read on though..
“…if you’re looking for the Tool whose passion and introspection is complemented by intense emotion, brutal honesty, and musical maturity, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better metal album in 2006.”
“Singer Maynard Keenan’s operatic vocals, alternately simmering and shrill, are more personal and less pretentious here than ever before. The album title refers to the time between when Keenan’s mother became paralyzed in the 1980s and when she died, in 2003, an experience that inspires some of Keenan’s most poignant lyrics yet (”10,000 days in the fire is long enough/You’re going home”). More than fifteen years into Tool’s career, he has composed words with the depth and resonance to match the music.”
“..those willing to be drawn into the depths of Tool’s dark artistry will find more than enough happening beneath the surface of these songs to keep them occupied for the several hundred days until the next visitation”
Monday, May 7th 2007
_top 10 of 2006
posted @ 11:32 pm in [ _randomonium ]