Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Favorite Music of 2006

Ah, the year-end wrap-up posts. Because what else am I gonna write about? A couple brief points first:

  • This is a favorite list, not "Best of..."
  • I'm hardly a music fiend. There are bound to be a million great albums I missed (or at least three or four). In fact, I only have twelve albums in iTunes from 2006.
The Pipettes - We Are the Pipettes

I'm obsessed with this album. The first time I heard it, I thought it was catchy and pretty good but nothing special and I immediately needed to listen to it over and over again. It's nuts.

So the Pipettes are sort of a cross between the Ronettes and the Go-Gos. They're cute, wear polka dot dresses, and are positively alluring. Plus, their video for "Pull Shapes" recreates a scene from Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of Dolls. Now that's kitsch.

Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

One of my favorite bands, Belle & Sebastian can always be counted on for great lyrics and fun wordplay. There's plenty of good stuff on this album: "Funny Little Frog" being my current favorite track.

I don't dare to touch your hand
I don't dare to think of you
In a physical way
And I don't know how you smell
You are the cover of my magazine
You're my fashion tip, a living museum
I'd pay to visit you on rainy Sundays
I'll maybe tell you all about it someday

Jack Johnson
- Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George

Haven't seen the movie; don't plan to. I think of this as a regular Jack Johnson album; just aimed at kids. He changed the lyrics to "Who's To Say" to create "Upside Down" (complete with a music video featuring Curious George), reworked the "Three R's" song, covered the White Stripes' "We're Going to Be Friends" (a natural fit for him) and, of course, featured G. Love on "Jungle Gym."

The Islands - Return to the Sea

Part trippy, part melodic, part Caribbean. They cover a ton of territory, including a random rap section on "Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone" and cannibalism on "Humans." It all makes sense in context, somehow.

Tilly & the Wall - Bottoms of Barrels

This is what you need to know about Tilly & the Wall: they have a tap dancer in lieu of a drummer. Seriously.

Now that's a gimmick that begs to be seen. Check 'em out on Letterman.

You don't normally expect to hear the term "tap dance solo" in rock music, but it works. I wonder what that girl feels like at the end of a tour though?

The Little Ones - Sing Song EP

Indie pop to an almost ridiculous degree. Hand claps and sweetness galore, pretty much all six songs here will become permanent squatters in your head. You'll either love it or hate it. Me, I'm cool with it.

I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends

Everything I wrote about the Little Ones can be applied here, to a lesser extent. They remind me a bit of The Boy Least Likely To, with their fondness for childhood and whatnot.

"I'm gonna sing this song with all my friends/And we're all from Barcelona." They're actually from Sweden, by the way.

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm Not

This album debuted at #1 in Britain, demolishing all the records for fasting-selling debuts. Not only was everyone in the UK listening to them, but pretty much nothing else but them. Pretty good when you consider they never even advertised the album; it was all word of mouth. Frankly, I don't really see what all that fuss was about; they're good but not mass hysteria good.

MC Lars - The Graduate

Lars describes his music as post-punk laptop rap. Umm, okay. I imagine he's the only rapper with a laptop on stage during his shows. That's where his music is since he makes all his songs on Apple's Garage Band software. That's bloody brilliant.

When you listen to him, you think, "Oh my god, this has to be the whitest guy ever." Then you see his video and you think, "Oh my god, I had no idea how white he is."

Now I'm a geek, so Lars cracks me up. His fake song in "Signing Emo" would fit in perfectly on TRL. He trashes on gangsta rap in "Generic Crunk Rap" ("Rhyme about my rims/Rhyme about my bling/Chorus where I scream 'cause I don't know hot to sing"). And "Space Game" is basically geek dance music.

Movies sometime soon.


74 said...

There's a really good chance that I haven't heard any of that music. IN fact, I'm pretty sure I'd never heard OF any of that music until just now. :P

Anthony said...

And yet, when people talk about the uberhyped albums when they're first released, I stare at them blankly. Go figure.

The Killers' second album disappointed me. They tried channeling Springsteen, and I don't like Springsteen.