Thursday, December 14, 2006

Top 10 albums for the year

Now, I should note: these are the top 10 albums that I have discovered this year, not that necessarily came out this year, though most of them were released this year.

10. The Fray: How to Save a Life

Though their music tends to bore me after a while, this CD is a great "chill" CD. It has some really great stuff on it, but my tastes have moved more towards rock, so this CD, one that I would have eaten up 2 years ago really falls down the list of favorites. But I include it here because it really is a great album. Obvious standouts to me are "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "Look After You".

9. The Elms: The Chess Hotel

These guys were a band that I literally hated. I thought they were horrible with their first few albums. But then I saw that they had left Sparrow and had moved to Universal and it piqued my interest a little. Then I started to keep up with their myspace blogs about recording and my interest was piqued some more. Then I heard the first coupla songs on their myspace and decided I had to buy the album, and for the most part, I was not dissapointed. This album is a great album of roots/bluesy rock. The playing is great and it sounds like an album that fits in this genre. Standouts are "Makes Good Sense to Me", "I Left My Body and Never Came Back" and "I am the World".

8. Downhere: Wide Eyed and Mystified

It had been a few years since my favorite Canadian band had released an album and I was looking forward to it when I heard they had signed with a hip, cool indie label and that the label was actually going to push them this time around (they were crapped on by their former label). Well, the wait was worth it. The album was great, though the lyrics were a little too evangelistic for what I normally listen to. However, overall the album was great. Standouts are "Surrender" and "A Better Way".

7. Sheryl Crow: Wildflower

This CD is another that is a more "Chill" CD, but Crow's songwriting is simply incredible. I've been a fan of Sheryl's for a while and am constantly blown away that she write great song after great song. This CD is shock full of them, though it seems she wrote from a more melancholic state than she has before. Standouts are "Always On Your Side" and "Good is Good".

6. needtobreathe: Daylight

This album is killer through and through. These guys are from the Greenville, SC area, so it was cool to see some local boys make good. I had seen this band in the past and they weren't very good. However, working with producer Andy Green (Keane), they were able to bring out the great songs, killer hooks and pretty good playing. This is a great CD and should be on your Christmas list for yourself or any other music lover. "You are Here" and "Don't Wait for Daylight" are obvious standout tracks.

5. All-American Rejects: Move Along

This CD is a collection of catchy chart toppers that combine punk/pop with well-written, well-performed pop/rock songs. The band isn't breaking any new ground, but there is an undeniable catchiness to the songs that you can't get past. I love this CD and listen to it often. The title track and "Dirty, Little Secret" are standouts.

4. The Beatles: The White Album

Yeah, I know...this album definitely didn't come out in 2006. But I have recently gone on a discovery phase with the Beatles and have fallen in love. Of all their albums, the White Album, I think is the greatest. In listening to this album, you can see how far they had come from the "Love Me Do" days and also how far ahead they were of everyone else in 1968. "Ob-La-De, Ob-La-Da", "Helter Skelter" and "Blackbird" are standouts from the 26 songs on the album.

3. Ray LaMontagne: Trouble

Again, a CD that came in 2004. But I discovered it this year and it made me extremely happy. I absolutely love Ray's voice and I love his songs. I think he's the best songwriter out right now, at least in this genre. The title track and "Jolene" are standouts.

2. MuteMath: MuteMath

A great album by my now-favorite band. They had released the shorter Control EP a year or so earlier that I loved, and I had anxiously awaited this album's release. I was not dissapointed. Extreme creativity abounds. The album sounds great, the songs are great and everything just fits together. "Typical" and "Chaos" are standouts, but nearly every song on this album is a standout.

1. Muse: Absolution

This is probably one of my top 5 CDs of all time. It didn't come out this year - I think it came out in 2004. But I discovered it this year. It is incredible through and through: great songs, remarkable musicianship and a great, interesting voice. This is my 2nd favorite band, following closely behind MuteMath. I don't know that I can give standouts because literally the first 8 songs of this CD were on repeat for months.


Will said...

Mm-keh, some great albums here. Thanks for your recommendation of MuteMath. They are pretty awesome. Oh, and Ray LaMontagne.

I'd like to do a Top 10 something or other about music in 2006, but since I don't have as much musical depth as you, I think I'll just do Top 10 songs.

jon said...

I'm with you on several of those. The Fray makes me yawn, and needtobreathe is talented but not my style; however, Muse knocks my proverbial socks off, Ray LaMontagne is just amazing, and Downhere is on continuous play on Sunday mornings.

Jon said...

Write more blog posts. Now.

thisisit said...

Dude... muse makes me have faith in music again. I was a follower of Pearl Jam and Nirvana and then became a huge Tool fan. I was lost in a world of music that meant nothing and had no forethought or emotion tied to it. Plus, the fact that a majority of people have forgotten what a thesaurus is makes my heart hurt. I am glad to see another fan of a lyrically and musically sound band like Muse... you RULE!!