Best of 2006
Then the most anticipated time of the year is here: my list of best rock albums of 2006 (as if someone who reads this blog really cared about it). The list is already traditional; third year I’ve been doing. I can even predict some of the comments that will be made. Gian’s going to say he doesn’t have a single record on this list. The ever will say that I always hear the same thing. Mari will say she knew everything.
2006 was, compared to 2005, a more difficult year to choose the discs from the list. In 2005 the race was more complicated, because there were fewer good records released. It was hard to find 10 good records to put on the list. In 2006 it was difficult to find only 10 good records to put on the list. Excellent debut records appeared, such as 5:55, by Charlotte Gainsbourg and the namesake of Corinne Bailey Rae. There have appeared bands already consecrated in other decades with very good records, as the case of the also namesake pearl jam and riot city blues primal scream. Bands that started their careers this millennium also came up with really cool records, such as Strokes and their First Impressions of the Earth and yes yeah yeahs with Show Your Bones. Even Caetano Veloso released Cê, a very good album, unlike Thom Yorke and his The Eraser, only average.
Another thing that marked 2006 for me were the bands of cool names: We Are Scientists, I Love You But I’ve Choose Darkness, Clap Your Hands Say yes, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, You Say Party! We Say Die! and so many others that it seems that they spent all their creativity coming up with their names and forgot about the songs.
But none of these artists made my list. I’ve heard a lot of music this year. More than anyone else. In fact, much more than any other. This was reflected in my list, since half of it is composed of debut albums, by people who in one way or another injected something new into the song, even if it was doing that same thing whenever I love to consume.
My album selection criteria are quite subjective. You don’t have to be a guitar hero to get on my list, or have the best vocal timbre in the world. Just look authentic and touch me (oops!) somehow. My list is probably different from most of the lists out there, but it should bear some resemblance to those you already suspect: Rolling Stone, NME, Lúcio Ribeiro. I also know that none of you will go after what I write or suggest, but anyway I will publish, even if it serves only as a record of mine.
To the list, then:
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, I’m Not10. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, I’m Not
The hype of the year. When I took the album to listen, I didn’t think much of it. If I were to make analogies, I’d say libertines are for clash just like Arctic Monkeys is for libertines. And that disappointed me a little, because the great feeling of the year, which broke record sales of records at the premiere, was nothing more than a byproduct of the Libertines, which ended up disappointing me a little at the time of the album’s debut. After a few months I gave the band one more chance and saw that they’re even cool. Nothing new, but a lot of fun. And much better than Dirty Pretty Things and Babyshambles, the new designs of the former Libertines.
Listen to I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, Fake Tales of San Francisco and A Certain Romance
The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love9. The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love
Electronic music, half disco half punk, made to dance and listen, without being stupid. Rapture can capture the energy of the tracks and turn it into music. It’s the kind of record you hear from start to finish without stopping. Being able to stay without getting carried away with the sound is impossible. You can quietly take the record and put it from end to end as a soundtrack to a party.
Listen to Don Gon Do It, Pieces of the People We Love and Whoo! Alright yes… Uh Huh
Muse – Black Holes and Revelations8. Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
From next Radiohead to a band with its own identity. While the first band got lost in the trials, Muse releases really cool albums, one after the other. With Black Holes and Revelations it was no different. The album has a kind of paranoid atmosphere, half theatrical, all visceral. It’s music made from within, with talent and energy. It could have been better placed on my list if it had a less airtight, more pop sound. But it’s still a big deal. Buy, download, steal, but listen. It’s really worth it.
Listen to Starlight, Supermassive Black Hole and Invincible
The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes7. The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes
You get those black American female vocal groups from the golden years, like Ronettes and Supremes? Pipettes are like that, only white, English and contemporary. Songs about lost loves, possible loves and impossible loves. And with a trio of sweet voices, they make you wonder how beautiful they must be wearing retro dress at a dance like the one at the end of the movie Back to the Future. Music to listen passionate or dispassionate. That is, music for any situation.
Listen to We Are the Pipettes, It Hurts to See You Dance So Well and Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me
Wolfmother – Wolfmother6. Wolfmother as Wolfmother
Metaaaaaaal! yes, I know they remind Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and such, but do what? It’s an exciting record, one of those head-banging on the bus. Those of putting on the iPod, turn on the first song and run away, until finished, be it the disc, the breath or the road. Recommended for metal fans in general. And not fans either, because it’s a very easy record to hear and like. Next big, you’re already banging your head on the beat of the riffs.
Listen to Dimension, Woman and Joker & The Thief
5th Irene – Apple Bay
Swedish band with silly love songs (well, if they weren’t silly they wouldn’t be love songs). It looks like Belle and Sebasian, but there’s a vocalist who sings like a ’50s crooner. Kind of music to sing along, backing vocals or just dance, like I ended up doing the first few times I heard it. The only problem was dancing in the street… Disc made to get it rolling and forget about life. There’s 12 songs in just 25 minutes. Too bad, because the record starts to get excited and it’s over.
Listen To Be With You, Baby I Love Your Way and The Game
Belle and Sebastian – The Pursuit Life4. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Belle and Sebastian has always been one of my favorite bands since I first saw them on MTV. Only, for the uninitiated (and for the initiated as well) their disks always sounded a little similar to each other. But The Life Pursuit is different. yes, there’s still that cute pop and those naïve lyrics, but this record is a step forward. The songs are more different between you. It is an evolution in the sound of the band, but without losing identity, without losing the line. Also, this record is my official soundtrack of sunny days.
Listen to White Collar Boy, The Blues Are Still Blue and For the Price of a Cup of Tea
3rd The Killers – Sam’s Town
I must confess that in my first auditions for Sam’s Town I found a weak work, well below the killers’ debut album, the excellent Hot Fuss. Despite the excellent When You Were Young, the rest of the record didn’t excite me at all. It seemed that they wanted, already on the second album, to become the U2 of the time of Achtung Baby, a big band, which began to do shows filling stadiums. That is, I felt a bit of megalomania on the album. But after hearing it little by little, of discovering each song individually, of feeling each one, I saw that I had a dial in my hand. In fact, there isn’t a carat hit from Mr. Brightside here, but on the whole, it’s a better record than Hot Fuss.
Listen When You Were Young, For Reasons Unknown and Bones
She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge2. She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge
As I said here, English punk post of the 80s made in California 2004, but released only in 2006. She Wants Revenge is a duo that emulates the sounds of the joy division, bauhaus, depeche mode and the like in the 2000s. And you do it very well. The disc creates an atmosphere of anguish at every hearing. Perfect for quiet moments.
Listen to I Don’t Want to Fall in Love, Broken Promises for Broken Hearts and Tear You Apart
Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers1. Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers
Jack White is the guy. With the White Stripes, a band with only two instruments, and the drummer looks like a metronome, he manages to make remarkable songs, the best rocks of the millennium. And with a full band, with two guitars, bass and real drummer he made the 2006 album. Beautiful pop melodies, striking guitars, teen lyrics. Everything I like and that makes a record be good. In this case, an instant classic.
Listen Steady As She Goes, Broken Boy Soldier and Yellow Sun