Monday, January 01, 2007

100 Best Musical Releases of 2006

Best Musical Releases of 2006 : The Ones That I Listened To

It is important to keep in mind that this is a list of the albums that I listened to. That is just one proof of its subjectivity. Another proof is that your list is different, thank God. Another proof is that Dylan got beat out by a debut album and a sophomore album, and with an objective scale, Dylan is second only to Christ, who I hear is also coming out with a release in '07, along with everyone else. The only exception may be when you have a debut like Gulag Orkestar and a somehow five-song full-length from Mrs. Joanna. I felt like it was a good year, as Dylan got fourth, Sufjan's highest was fourteenth, and Grandaddy is viewed as the worst album of the year.
Along with the rankings (first to last, 01-100), there are the additional "awards," such as "Best Album Art of the Year" (Floating World). Two of the many quirks on the list are the Flaming Lips' being listed next to Danielson (they toured together near the end of the year) and Dangerdoom's rare EP being partnered next to Gnarls Barkley's full-length ( highest common denominator: Danger Mouse). There are certainly more. At the end of this post, you should find the scoring system explained. It is real. It is real. Despite its lack of objectivity, this list is real, too.

01. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

02. Joanna Newsom - Ys (also: best lyrics)

03. Bonnie "Prince Billy - The Letting Go

04. Bob Dylan - Modern Times

05. Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds

06. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (also: best vocals)

07. Jenny Lewis with The Watson - Rabbit Fur Coat

08. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

09. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Etiquette

10. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country (also: best album title)

11. Damien Rice - 9

12. My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse

13. Anathallo - Floating World (also: best album art overall)

14. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche

15. Neil Young - Living With War (also: best album title)

16. Tilly and the Wall - Bottoms Of Barrels

17. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies

18. Kimya Dawson - Remember That I Love You

19. Jolie Holland - Springtime Can Kill You

20. TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

21. M. Ward - Post-War

22. The Sleepy Jackson - Personality: One Was A Spider One Was A Bird (also: best album title)

23. Xiu Xiu - The Air Force

24. Tom Waits - Orphans

25. Islands - Return to the Sea

26. Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire

27. Cursive - Happy Hollow

28. Pharrell - In My Mind

29. David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts

30. Peaches - Impeach My Bush (also: best album title)

31. Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning

32. Cat Power – The Greatest

33. Mates of State - Bring It Back

34. Morrissey - Ringleader Of The Tormentors

35. The Dresden Dolls - Yes, Virginia

36. My Morning Jacket - Okonokos

37. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - The Dust Of Retreat (also: best new band name)

38. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

39. Daniel Johnston - Welcome To My World

40. Two Gallants - What The Toll Tells

41. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - House Arrest

42. Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope

43. Bright Eyes - Noise Floor (Rarities: 1998-2005)

44. Sufjan Stevens - Songs for Christmas

45. The Starlight Mints - Drowaton

46. Sarah Harmer - I'm A Mountain

47. The Ditty Bops - Moon Over the Freeway

48. Calexico - Garden Ruin

49. Eric Bachmann - To The Races

50. The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun

51. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming

52. Josh Ritter - The Animal Years

53. The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics

54. Danielson - Ships

55. Beck - The Information

56. Anti-Flag - For Blood And Empire

57. Emily Haines - Knives Don't Have Your Back

58. Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) - Another Cup

59. Sound Of Animals Fighting - Lover, The Lord Has Left Us (also: best album title)

60. Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Orchestra - Duper Sessions

61. Zero 7- The Garden

62. Thom Yorke - The Eraser

63. Half-Handed Cloud - Halos + Lassos

64. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

65. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways

66. Charles Manson - Sings

67. Yo La Tengo - I'm Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (also: best album title)

68. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time

69. Josh Rouse - Subtitulo

70. Pretty Girls Make Graves - Elan Vital

71. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers (also: best new band name)

72. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes

73. Brand New - The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me (also: best album title)

74. Devotchka - Curse Your Little Heart [EP]

75. Love Is All - 9 Times That Same Song

76. Nouvelle Vague - Bande A Part

77. Feist - Open Season

78. Adam Green - Jacket Full Of Danger

79. Mogwai - Mr. Beast

80. Paul Simon - Surprise

81. Hot Chip - The Warning

82. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped

83. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

84. Cut Chemist - The Audience's Listening

85. Tortoise & Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Brave and the Bold (also: best cover album)

86. Dangerdoom - Occult Hymn [EP]

87. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (also: best new artist name)

88. The Blood Brothers - Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck [EP]

89. The Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High

90. Cansei De Ser Sexy - Cansei De Ser Sexy

91. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale

92. Asobi Seksu - Citrus

93. Colin Meloy - Sings Shirley Collins [EP]

94. Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence

95. Be Your Own Pet - Be Your Own Pet

96. The Seconds - Kratitude

97. Ratatat - Classics

98. The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea

99. The Dagons - Reverse

100. Grandaddy - Just Like The Fambly Cat

This scoring system is difficult to explain. Here it is:
I ranked each album's lyrics, vocals, instrumental ingenuity, instrumentation, and overall appeal on a scale of 0 to 5. I then multiplied the lyric's score by 16.666667%. I then multiplied the album's vocals score by 16.666667%. I then multiplied the instrumental ingenuity by 8.333334%. I then multiply the instrumentation by 8.333334%. I then multiplied the album's overall appeal by 50%. When all of these totals are added, it equals
100.000002%, which equals a 5 on the TOTAL 0 to 5 scale.
FYI: Reissues (e.g. Bright Eyes' Noise Floor album was basically an album reissuing older material) were subtracted 10 points out of 100, or .5 out of 5. Classic artists (e.g. Dylan, Simon, Islam, Young) were added .1 out of 5 or 1 out of 100 for longevity. Lastly, EP's meant a substraction of 5 from 100 or .25 from 5.
For further information: the highest score was achieved by Beirut, which was a 4.129166751 out of 5 (or a 82.583335 out of 100). The lowest, Grandaddy's, was 1.54750004 out of 5 (or 30.9500008 out of 100).

Thank God for '06 and God Bless '07.

Best of 2006 (Specific Categories)

Specific Categories:

Best Album Art of the Year:
Anathallo's Floating World (not just the outside, but the inside too!)

Best Album Title of the Year: The Sleepy Jackson's Personality - One Was a Spider One Was a Bird; Neil Young's Living With War; Yo La Tengo's I'm Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass; Camera Obscura's Let's Get Out Of This Country; Brand New's The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me

Best New Band Names of the Year: Margot and the Nuclear So And So's, the easy choice; The Raconteurs; Gnarls Barkley

Best Song of the Year? I am not going to do this. It is too blind. Fine, Joanna Newsom's "Emily." That is just a shot to the grey. At least I didn't say "Crazy."

Best Vocals of the Year: Neko Case (and you thought that I would say My Bright Diamond).

Best Lyricist of the Year, according to their lyrical abilities: Joanna Newsom

Best Concerts of the Year (that I attended):

1. Sufjan Stevens w/ My Brightest Diamond at The Town Hall in New York City (September)
2. Joanna Newsom at Webster Hall in New York City (November)
3. Bright Eyes w/ Gruff Rhys in Victoria, BC, Canada (June)
4. Final Fantasy at The Conservatory in OKlahoma City (August)
5. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins at The Town Hall in New York City (October)
6. Tilly and the Wall at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey (October)
7. Anathallo w/ Page France at Maxwell's om Hoboken, New Jersey (December)
8. Danielson at The Conservatory in Oklahoma City (July)
9. Cursive at Webster Hall in New York City (October)
10. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah w/ Architecture in Helsinki at Central Park in New York City (September)

Honorable Mentions: I saw Sufjan Stevens at a Casey Dienel concert; The Woody Allen Jazz Band concert featured Woody Allen, my third favor Jew (third only to Jesus and Bob Dylan). I also forgot about Mates of State and Of Montreal. At least I think that those last two were '06.