Entries by tag: the muzak list

the top ten musical long-playing recordings of 2006


i must apologize for the lateness of this list. i'd like to blame my hard drive crashing (i lost like 82 gig of music. that was a very depressing time), though i think the bigger reason was laziness - especially considering that i had this whole thing completed early december of last year. i blame it on post-super noypi syndrome. i'm too lethargic to do anything creative these days that i can't even text properly, or even attempt to make jokes. but yes. the music.

i can't believe 2006 is already over.i still remember buying my most awaited album of the year last January; The Strokes’ First Impressions of Earth, and now I find myself scrounging around all the music sites looking for every other possible contender that could complete this list. So 2006 is done, and it’s been such a blah year for music. 2006 was about great bands making disappointing albums. A lot of favorites came out with albums this year,including the return of one of the bands that changed my life forever - The Lemonheads. But still, the gems were few and far between, and besides maybe Arctic Monkeys I can’t even think of anyone new who caught my attention this year.

2006 was the year where everyone tried to do something different. Normally that would be a good thing, especially since the faddish garage, emo and dancepunk bands of the early ‘00s learned from their nurock predecessors’ mistakes and realized they couldn’t be doing the same schtick forever. A lot of the time things didn’t work out the way we hoped they would (see The Killers’ Sam’s Town). Hence I have a list predictably comprised of old favorites but with a number of former list-toppers (like The Strokes, Belle and Sebastian and Yo La Tengo) surprisingly nowhere to be found.

this is a rehashed list, by the way. most of the stuff here you'll find in the BURN article (out now! yeah!), except Phoenix's It's Never Been Like That and Outerhope's Strangely Paired, which were bumped up to accommodate numbers 10 and 8.

10. Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
I hate this album. It's so fucking sellout. God, Lightbody, what's with the sudden shifts in tone? What's with the annoyingly repetitive choruses? What's with the whole pretend-i'm-straight thing? they even committed the number one sign of selling out, which is HAVING A GROUP OF PEOPLE SING WHILST CLAPPING THEIR HANDS DURING THE BRIDGE (in "Shut Your Eyes"). this wasn't even in the Burn list, but as I'm looking at my top rated of 2006 playlist on iTunes Eyes Open apparently has the most number of songs rated 5 stars! sneaky sneaky Scottish boys, trying to trick me by subtly popping up during shuffle mode. it does help that Gary Lightbody was nice to me at the airport, and that he namechecks Sufjan Stevens in "Hands Open". this album reminds me of those cute chubby kids who have their pictures taken at the store. everything tells you that they should be resisted and not given what they want, but in the end their cuteness will just win you over.
recommended downloads: Hands Open, It's Beginning to Get To Me, Set The Fire to The Third Bar

9. Cat Power – The Greatest
The first half of Cat Power’s The Greatest is just… the greatest. The indiefolk hero takes a total 180 degree turn and churns out an album that’s a heavenly mix of jazz, blues, folk and lounge. It’s so good it makes you forgive the latter half, which forays too much into country music territory and just starts to sound monotonous. After a significant number of listens, however, one realizes that this plays just like a Norah Jones album. Don’t get me wrong, Norah Jones is great. It’s just that…she’s Norah Jones.
recommended downloads: The Greatest, Living Proof, Could We

8. Up dharma Down - Fragmented
i feel very ashamed that i was probably the last person in this country who was turned on to Up dharma Down. in my defense i did see them live a lot of times and since my beloved students da Isaw boys made their first video I've known about them for quite a while. it's just that that fucking album, Fragmented, is the hardest goddamn album to find. in fact, up to now i still haven't been able to find Fragmented in any store- i stole my copy from the Rock Awards CD's they give to the judges. that song, "Oo", it just breaks my heart. i heard it on the radio all the time, but when i finally got to sit down and listen to the lyrics i wanted to cry. no wonder Armi Millare is the NU Rock Awards Female of The Year. I always wondered what that entailed, and now i realize that she is Female of The Year because she has the power to turn men into emotional melting jello blobs who sing loudly in the car, hoping that the volume will somehow pull those tears back.
favorite songs: We Give In Sometimes, Oo, Pag-agos

7. Rainer Maria – Catastrophe Keeps Us Together
I don’t know if this album is here because it really deserves to be or if it’s just because Rainer Maria is hands down the nicest band in the world and the fact that this is their last album just breaks my heart. Nevertheless, Catastrophe is their most ambitious and mature album, picking up from where the excellent Long Knives Drawn left off. One does tend to miss the days when Caithlin (my rockstar crush) and Kyle Fischer would sing emo-style in unison and out of tune. Sometimes musical maturity just isn’t as much fun.
recommended downloads: Clear and True, Catastrophe, Southpaw, Life of Leisure

6. Mates of State – Bring It Back
It’s been a while since Mates of State’s made an appearance on this list. It’s not because the last few albums have been bad, it’s just that ever since their life-changing1999 debut My Solo Project, they’ve been more or less doing the same thing. There’s promise in Bring It Back’s first track “Think Long” that the band may actually be maturing and changing in terms of sound. Then you listen to the rest of the album and it’s just like the others. It’s been a dry year, though, so it’s a pleasure having the very consistent Kori and Jason around to deliver lovely pop ditties about how much they love each other.
recommended downloads: Nature and The Wreck, Think Long, Running Out

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
Many people didn’t appreciate YYY’s deviation from their New York sound to favor a fuller, more produced, epic rock album. I fucking love it though. Show Your Bones is total stadium shit, man; Starship without the cheese, Joan Jett with much better taste, Pat Benatar with a cooler wardrobe. With this album you really start to appreciate how talented drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner are as they create an impenetrable wall of sound punctured with Karen O’s refined wailing. This is the sort of album where you’ll suddenly find yourself raising and pounding your fist in the air in the middle of traffic. It’s anthemic and grand, something rock and roll has sorely lacked as of late.
recommended downloads: Gold Lion, Fancy, Phenomena, Honeybear

4.The Rapture – Pieces of The People We Love
Pieces of The People We Love sounds like The Rapture, one of the most intelligent and seminal dancepunk bands of their generation, suddenly got tired of people like The Bravery and The Killers making money by ripping them off. Hence they release this; their second LP where they throw their classic art-rock stylings out the window and instead focus on “House Of Jealous Lovers”-style disco. Of course, it’s always nicer hearing smart bands dumb down than dumb bands try to sound intelligent (see The Killers’ Sam’s Town). In “Whoo! Alright-Yeah…Uh Huh” vocalist Luke Jenner sings “People don’t dance no more. They just stand round like this. They cross their arms and stare you down and drink and moan and dis.” This album could change all that.
recommended downloads: The Devil, Get Myself Into It, Whoo! Alright- Yeah...Uh Huh

3. Pretty Girls Make Graves – Elan Vital
Elan Vital is Pretty Girls Make Graves’ weakest album. That having been said, it’s still a Pretty Girls Make Graves album; inventive, original and brave. Elan Vital is a complete take-off for the band, where we find them experimenting with Beatlesque melodies, psychedelia and even… Polka. One does tend to miss their boy/girl screamo style, since vocalist Andrea Zollo takes this album over, but it was good to know that one of my favorite bands was keeping on edge. That is, until i found out they broke up just a few weeks ago. One by one they're going away- first Sleater, then Rainer-Maria and now Le Tigre and PGMG. i went through a goodbye marathon the other day and... oh man.
recommended downloads: The Magic Hour, Pyrite Pedestal, Bullet Charm, Parade

2. +/- - Let’s Build A Fire
Pinoy pride! Woohoo! Although +/- has never been on this list, I’ve always been a big fan of this electropoppy offshoot of seminal ‘90s indie band Versus. Let’s Build A Fire sees the band taking a more back-to-basics route, and the result is their best album yet, packed with catchy and cleverly-produced songs about building relationships and breaking them up.
recommended downloads: Fadeout, Thrown Into The Fire, One Day You'll Be There

1, Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Although this is technically a debut, Thom Yorke has been on this list almost every time Radiohead’s released an album. Also, this might be the shortest album in history to make it to number one, with a total of 9 WHOPPING SONGS! But what songs they are; from the haunting title track to The Prestige’s closing tune “Analyse” to the fucked up “Black Swan” right up to the best single this year, “Harrowdown Hill”. This is Yorke’s most accomplished work since Kid A, and just like that record something I find admirable about him is how he crafts his albums, which always feel like they’re one entity as opposed to a collection of pop tunes.
recommended downloads: The Eraser, Black Swan, Harrowdown Hill, Analyse

HONORABLE MENTION: Phoenix's It's Never Been Like That, Outerhope has a brilliant, brilliant album called Strangely Paired and it was in my BURN list but alas, Up dharma Down is once again to blame. Also, it says in the credits that the album came out in 2005, thus disqualifying itself. dammit. Smosh's Free To Stay is really good, especially considering they're like 12 years old. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit, The Lemonheads, Chicosci. and that's it. yikes.

BEST EP: a toss-up between Tokyo Police Club's A Lesson In Crime and the Ang Bandang Shirley ep. also, if the Dorques demo could be counted as an ep it would make this list.

MORE GREAT SINGLES: Oo is most definitely the single of the year, with Harrowdown Hill a distant second. did Regina Spektor's Fidelity come out this year? I love that song. Lemonheads' Become The Enemy is listworthy too.

DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE YEAR: a toss-up between The Killers' Sam's Town and The Stills' Without Feathers.Placebo's Meds broke my heart, and my God the new Sparta just made me vomit in my mouth.

VIDEOS OF THE YEAR: honestly, if Natalie Portman's Gangsta posturing and Samberg/Timberlake's sensational Dick in A Box could be counted as music videos, they would be it. alas, they are not, and i really have to hand it to OK Go because Here It Goes Again is just the most charming thing. locally, Wincy and kingcoy's brilliant fucking Dulo ng Dila video. gaahhh. if i were a chick i would be your groupies. but then again, i already am.

now, it's your turn. post your recommendations here,please.


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