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My Top 25 Albums of 2006

My Top 25 Albums of 2006

Before a full week goes into 2007, I wanted to follow-up the “Film Folks’ Favorite Albums of 2006” with my own list. My list has 25 albums. You might think I’m indecisive, but I assure you, I’ve purchased or received a disgusting amount of albums this year as evidenced by my “Five Albums Worth Your Dime” column. So if you’re looking for a fair ratio, you’re actually getting it with my list of 25 “finalists.” So, here we go, my Top 25 albums of 2006:

1. Lily Allen, Alright, Still
(No other album this year was as fresh, as infectious, as smart, and as funny, as this debut from the Brit sensation. She’s the anti-Fergie, the anti-Beyonce, the anti-Gwen. She’s a force. Only available as a UK import until later this month.)
2. Annuals, Be He Me
(Some can dismiss it as an Arcade Fire clone, but that doesn’t changethe fact that it’s a splendid, loud, beautiful indie pop masterpiece.)
3. Ghostface Killah, Fishschale and More Fish
(Two full-length albums released in the same year by one MC. And they are both about as amazing as anything else in the hip-hop world of 2006.)
4. Lupe Fiasco, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor
(The whole “skateboard rap” thing is a sorry attempt at a fad… but the album behind it, completely delivers. This is what the disappointing Pharrell solo record should have been.)
5. TV On the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
(Fuzzed-out punk and soul never sounded so absolutely pristine and poetic.)
6. The Sammies, The Sammies
(Debut from a young bunch of North Carolina power-poppers is the antidote to Kings of Leon overhype.)
7. Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
(If any new indie-rock band deserves to be arena-rockers… they do.)
8. Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
(Worth all the delays… and great to see The Neptunes back on top.)
9. The Knife, Silent Shout
(An acidic nightmare you can hum along to.)
10. T.I., King
(The best Dirty South rap record of the year. Hands down.)
11. Cat Power, The Greatest
(So timeless and sweet, you have to check the copyright date.)
12. Bob Dylan, Modern Times
(How does he still do it? And, so damn well?)
13. Phoenix, It’s Never Been Like That
(Third time’s a charm… and this French rock band’s best album yet. Perfect for walking around London, completely lost.)
14. Chad VanGaalen, Skelliconnection
(Beautiful. Memorable. Classic. Odd.)
15. The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
(The highlight here is not even Jack White, but blissful pop songsmith Brendan Benson.)
16. Grand National, Kicking the National Habit
(What it would sound like if Sting still made music with The Police. Well.)
17. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
(The “new” Sleater-Kinney, the “old” Liz Phair… Karen O. rocks it all.)
18. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
(How Capitol Records let them get away with it, I have no idea… but thank god.)
19. The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed
(Indie-rock’s best-kept secret… everyone in the world can love at least one of this band’s songs.)
20. Robbie Williams, Rudebox
(An import-only in Europe, probably forever, this mix of beats and melody is reason enough why he needs a U.S. record deal again.)
21. Brothers & Sisters, Brothers & Sisters
(Austin-based collective of countrified Americana and Cali-pop sensibility.)
22. Beck, The Information
(I actually prefer this, over last year’s Guero.)
23. The Roots, Game Theory
(Experimental and brave… two things we rarely see in mainstream hip-hop.)
24. Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock ‘n’ Roll
(The smartest comedy and sharpest punk-rock, this side of Sacha Baron Cohen.)
25. Film School, Film School
(The first good album of 2006, from way back in January… and now, the 25th best overall. A great album, but a pretty good year.)

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