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Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Uncut's Top Albums Of 2006

There's over a month left in 2006, but the year's over as far as Uncut is concerned. They've drafted their year-end best albums lists, one for the Albums Of The Year and another for the Reissues Of The Year.

As always with these lists, there's much to discuss (where is the love for Lloyd Cole, to name just one?). Two of their very favorite albums are by artists whose music I can barely tolerate (Comets On Fire, Joanna Newsom). I think Scritti Politti and Thom Yorke's albums are overrated, both likely in part due to affection for the artists.

There are props for plenty of quality albums, of course (such as Just Like The Fambly Cat by the late, great Grandaddy). These lists are fun both to agree and quibble with, and they are also good for picking up a few new music ideas. Hopefully the praise for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will inspire a few people to check them out. Those kids deserve a chance.

Uncut's Top 50 Albums Of The Year:

1. Bob Dylan - Modern Times (Uncut: "'I wrote these songs in a hypnotic state. These songs are in my genes, and I couldn't stop them comin' out,' Dylan told Rolling Stone, as the buzz around his first new album in five years reached a critical mass. Modern Times sounded like an effortless masterpiece: blues, jazz, folk and primitive rock 'n' roll inhaled over many decades, then exhaled in beautiful and charismatic, subtly adjusted forms. At once playful and apocalyptic, the album saw Dylan swagger to the top of the US charts for the first time in 30 years, clutching Harry Smith's folk-song anthology in one fist and the Old Testament in the other.")

2. Scritti Politti - White Bread Black Beer
3. Comets On Fire - Avatar
4. Joanna Newsom - Ys
5. Neil Young - Living With War
6. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Uncut erroneously refers to them as "The Arctic Monkeys". Perhaps they don't know really know the fuck Arctic Monkeys are.)
7. Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther (see yesterday's post)
8. Hot Chip - The Warning
9. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche (see yesterday's post)
10. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
11. Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
12. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
13. Lindsey Buckingham - Under The Skin ("spacey, slightly disorienting acoustic ballads that addressed the tensions of art and family life with mature skill and experimentation.")

Lindsey Buckingham - Cast Away Dreams

14. Cat Power - The Greatest ("Chan Marshall might have an erratic live reputation, but her albums are reliably excellent. The Greatest, her seventh, privileged the soulful aspects of her art, finally shaking off her lo-fi reputation by hiring a crack team of Memphis session guys to put discreet muscle on her fragile beauties. Marshall's charm intact, her music was imbued with a new focus and accessibility.")

15. Brightback Morning Light- Brightback Morning Light
16. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
17. Ali Faka Touré - Savane ("melodies that were mantric, celebratory and deeply poignant.")

Ali Farka Touré - Beto

18. CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
19. Beck - The Information
20. Burial - Burial
21. Vetiver - To Find Me Gone
22. Espers - Espers II ("a dense, intense excursion into eldritch folk." See yesterday's post)
23. Ghostface Killah - Fishcale
24. Howlin' Rain- Howlin' Rain
25. Scott Walker - The Drift
26. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
27. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
28. Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers And Bastards
29. Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
30. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
31. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
32. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
33. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
34. Grandaddy - Just Like The Fambly Cat
35. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
36. Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
37. Outkast - Idlewild
38. Lily Allen - Alright, Still
39. Lambchop - Damaged ("Kurt Wagner turned even further inwards for his eighth and most intimate album. Damaged found the gifted Nashvillian musing on mortality and the consolation of everyday trivia as he recovered from a cancer scare, while his band - far from country now - loitered empathetically, adding colour with the subtlest of gestures.")

Lambchop - Crackers

40. Joan As Police Woman - Real Life (see yesterday's post)
41. Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
42. Donald Fagen- Morph The Cat
43. Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome
44. Kasabian - Empire ("Designated as heirs to the ladrock throne by the Gallagher brothers, Leicester's Kasabian are a lot more interesting than their blokey, self-aggrandizing reputation suggests.")

Kasabian - Sun Rise Light Flies

45. The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off
46. Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time (see yesterday's post)
47. Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere
48. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
49. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
50. Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing And A Curse

Uncut's 20 Top Reissues:

1. Various Artists - Forever Changing: The Golden Age Of Elektra ("Over five CDs and an encyclopaedic book, Forever Changing made a persuasive case for Elektra, between the mid-'60s and the mid-'70s, being the finest record label of all time. Elektra's biggest stars - Love, The Doors, Tim Buckley, The Stooges - were all represented with key tracks, but it was the forgotten footsoldiers who encapsulated the stable's amazing strength in depth. The Crabby Appleton revival started here!")

2. Various Artists - Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution In Sound
3. Karen Dalton - It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best
4. The Byrds - There Is A Season
5. Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy
6. Gram Parsons - The Complete Reprise Sessions
7. The Triffids - Born Sandy Devotional
8. Various Artists - Anthems In Eden
9. REM - And I Feel Fine: The Best Of The IRS Years 1982-1987
10. John Cale - Paris 1919
11. Pulp - Different Class
12. David Byrne and Brian Eno - My Life In The Bush If Ghosts
13. Dead Moon - Echoes Of The Past
14. Lambchop - I Hope You're Sitting Down
15. Broadcast - A Future's Crayon
16. Wire - Pink Flag

17. Denim - Back In Denim ("a deeply serious meditation on growing up in Birmingham with the Osmonds on the radio, a passionate reassesment of glam and novelty pop whose significance is only now being fully appreciated.")

18. Faust - Faust IV
19. David Crosby - Voyage
20. The Cure - The Head On The Door


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