Friday, December 22, 2006

Albums of 2006

My blogs a year old today…ok, ok its not really that big of a thing but its lovely that my blog is still around, at least for me. It’s like a mangy old dog really.


here is my favourite albums of the year though I didn’t get enough time to write as much as I had hoped to do. This follows my previous post which was on films.

1. The Strokes- First Impressions of Earth

I am a huge Strokes fan I admit and so it was an obvious choice really.

This album had a lot to live up to since the Strokes debut, Is this it changed my outlook on music, and is one of my favourite, if not, favourite albums of all time. Room on Fire is an underappreciated album and one that is easily up there with the first.

With their third album the band expanded their sound palette with songs like Juicebox and Ask Me Anything while keeping to their roots with You Only Live Once and the ridiculously catchy Razorblade. But none of the songs on First Impressions would fit on either of the first two records which is when you start to notice how different this album is.

However it is far from perfect. In fact it is their weakest album so far despite how I felt when it was first released. It is 20 minutes too long with a few filler songs that really should have been B-sides.

Those criticisms fade away though with the first half of the album in which it shows that the Strokes still have the passion, the grittiness, the charm and the damn right catchy ness that they have always had and as long as they keep that they will always be one of my favourite bands of the 21st century.

2. Thom Yorke- The Eraser

The Eraser is, as expected from the genius that is Thom Yorke of Radiohead, a moody affair. It’s a haunting record and has Thom at his most emotional bare and it lingers in your mind much after listening to it which is a sign of a great record.

The record feels like it the beginning of the end with a cloud of undeniable sense of doom that runs throughout the tracks like blood in the veins. Track 3- The Clock even has the lyrics, ‘Time is running out for us’. This is a sure sign of the end of the world, surely? Brought on by the musicians awareness of global warming maybe?

The tracks are much like Radiohead’s recent output; Jazz flavoured at times, electronica with guitars but with great melody and personality with depth that a lot of music today lacks.

Thom Yorke is still the anti-hero, a seemingly tortured soul despite being in one of the greatest bands of all time. By the end of the Eraser it does make you wonder if Thom will one day leave electronica behind and start in a new direction. Despite how great this album is, I can’t help but wonder what is the future for Radiohead?

3. Cat Power- The Greatest

This album was a pleasant surprise; I mean I hadn’t heard anything by Chan Marshall before until her appearance on Jools Holland earlier this year. So this album kind of blew me away. It was her voice, that captivating, heartbreaking voice.

There is warmth to this album and it is possibly the key to why I have liked this album so much. It’s created mostly by the brilliant Memphis session guys who must be credited alongside Chan for their excellent contribution on the making of this album.

The imagery is strong with this album, of smokey bars and a broken down girl, loneliness but with hope. It’s that swelling emotion, that voice, that atmosphere, that love and that hate. That’s what makes this album so special; most albums this year haven’t come close.

4. Belle and Sebastian- the Life Pursuit

5. The Flaming Lips- At War with the Mystics


Post a Comment

<< Home