Year end lists and best of collections are all well and good, but why must they be so final? Sure, TV on the Radio and Bob Dylan had some great records, but what about all those other records that may have gotten caught up in the wash, or unjustly forgotten in December? So, in the spirit of reflection and the starting of a new year, I present to you the Sixth Men of the year. These are the B+ albums of 2006.
Comments: A little wimpy (think Belle and Sebastian) at times, but an overall solid collection of pure pop sweetness. Lead singer Tracyanne Campbell is pushed to the front of the mix, and her strong vocals carry hang over sweet, simmering melodies. Good music to smooch to, this is one album that girlfriend and boyfriend alike can enjoy.
4) Tapes n Tapes – The Loon
Comments: The bastard child of Modest Mouse, Pixies, and Pavement features charming wit delivered with a smile, and one of the best songs of the year in “Insistor”. A little less restraint on the developed songs, and a little more development on the jams, and “The Loon” would have given Man Man a run for album of the year.
3) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
Comments: This one never got a fair shake from critics, as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were always seen as more of a product of a scene than an actual band. Don’t believe the hype; a little more focus and studio polish has this NYC trio sounding a lot better for the wear. “Show Your Bones” is fine record about not so fine relationships and on songs like “
Comments: Those well dressed Europeans return with more of their “Wire meets Beach Boy” brit pop, and bring some maturity along for the ride. While they may have pulled their tongues a little bit out of their cheeks, and have a few less quick laughs on their debut, The Futureheads are able to deliver another great pop record. “News and Tributes” proves that The Futureheads are much more than Franz Ferdinand Johnny-come-lately’s. Not to mention that this album has, dare I say, the best first track of the year; a rocking call and response blast indecisively titled Yes/No.
Comments: A concept album of sorts, (dealing with the two conflicting sides of the creation process, those being the creative side and the apprehensive side) “Drum’s Not Dead” is a grower of an album. After one listen, people may be turned off. After the second listen, the vast lonesome feeling of the record will have you intrigued. By the third listen, the tender moments peppered among the atmospheric landscape will creep into your head and by the fourth listen; it’ll be one of your favorite records of 2006. I triumph in every sense.