Sunday, January 07, 2007

Like it Matters

2k6 has come and gone, and these first few weeks of 2007 are filled with fond rememberances of that year which has faded into memory and trown away Britney Spears calenders. You know what that means, Top Ten Lists! Let's ignore for a momant the irrelevance of assigning and almost arbitrary numerical ranking for a group of events or pieces of art.

So here's my list of top ten albums of 2K6, the first five of which I belive have a lot of staying power. The other ones are albums I liked a lot.

1. The Clipse-Hell Hath No Fury
The Clipse pretty much just rap about cocaine, but that's ok, because they do it with more grit, realism, nihilism, and almost-dispair than anyone else. Malice (real name Gene, dig the dichotomy) and Pusha-T are on top of their game with witty and clever wordplay. Let's not forget about the beats, The Neptunes combination of minimalism and weird sounds sync up perfectly with the rhymes. Trill is no doubt one of the most fucked up sounding rap songs ever.

2. Joanna Newsome-Ys
The white aesthete in me really wanted to put this number one. This is still one of the most incredible and beautiful albums to come out in a long time. Ms. Newsome is a classically trained harpist who has teamed with classical arranger Van Dyke Parks to add orchestral arrangements to her songs. Lyrically whimsical, but also very emotional and honest, many of the songs span 10 or more minutes. Only Skin is one of th most emotionally affecting songs I've heard in a long time.

3.Ghostface Killah-Fishscale
Ghost is the best MC on the planet. I wrote about this a while back.

4.TV on the Radio-Return to Cookie Mountain
I wrote about this a while back. My feelings have not changed, it is still outstanding. They are playing here in March. I am really looking forward to it.

5.The Hold Steady-Boys and Girls in America
While the Clipse rap about selling coke, The Hold Steady sing about the kids and fuck-ups who buy it. Hookier than last year's Separation Sunday, but still mining the same anacronistic classic rock style they've perfected. Craig Finn is one of the best lyricists in rock today, and his stories are by turns comic and poignent.

6.Bob Dylan-Modern Times
Mr. ZImmerman's late career renaissance continues. Better than Love and Theft but not quite as good as Time out of Mind, Bob still is one of the best songwriters ever. He'll never repeat his earlier genius, but he sounds younger than ever on this record.

Boris are from Japan, and sometimes they play droney Sabbath style songs and sometimes they play shorter, faster songs. Pink is a combination of both styles, and it works perfectly. And it's fucking loud, one of the best rock records in a long time.

8.The Lawrence Arms-Oh! Calcutta!
Lyrical Punk rock at it's finest. The Lawrence Arms are one of the best punk rock bands going today. They also put on an excellent live show.

9. The Nice Boys-S/T
The Nice Boys play a kind of outdated power-pop that has no right to be as good as it is. The songs are catchy and fun, which is a quality that sometimes gets forgotten in music today.

10. Sonic Youth-Rather Ripped
No longer playing songs that devolve into free-form noise jams, Sonic Youth give us 11 of their most melodic songs ever.

Other Stuff I liked
Neko Case-Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
The Marked Men-Fix My Brain
Cat Power-The Greatest
Comets on Fire-Avatar
The Thermals-The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Bonnie "Prince" Billy-The Letting Go
Van Hunt-On the Jungle Floor


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