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The Best Of 2006


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I promised this an 'age' ago, but never got round to doing it. But here goes. This is my comprehensive list to the top 100 albums of 2006. It was an 'amazing' year for music in my oppinion, which made narrowing down this list to 100 incredibly difficult. Yes this list may seem 'biased', but of course it's going to be, it's MY top 100 albums. Basically I have very little guidelines for this, besides b-side collections, live albums, re-releases and of course EP's don't count. Albums that leaked in 2006 don't count either, which means no Dustin Kensrue, The Shins or Bloc Party here.

I will post all the entries 5 at a time, I'll probably manage an entry every day or two, depends how much time I have. I've eventually finalised the list (Which actually changed today), so it's just writing up the reviews, finding pictures and doing a wee bit research into members/other bands and similar stuff etc. You people can of course speculate, call me a 'fucking spacker with no musical taste' or merely congratulate me on my awesome taste of music.




MEMBERS : Forrest Kline, Jesse Kurvink, Marcus Cole, Chris Profeta

GENRE : Indie-Electro-Pop

REVIEW : Every now and then an artist emerges that puts everything into perspective for you. Yes it's great hearing an 'epic' song with feeling and a wash of emotion, but then again, it's great to hear the 'fun' side of music. Yes, music can be a coping mechanism, but the reason most people learn to play an instrument is to have fun, and not to use it as a way to place their burdens on the rest of the world. Hellogoodbye are definitely one of those bands. I've been into them for a while. My opinion of them was dented a little after seeing them perform live, their quirkiness and fun sound just didn't seem to transcend well to the stage. But it wasn't helped by the fact they were pretty much shat on from the crown from the get-go. It's hard to put on a fun show whilst having coins thrown at you.

Ultimately, the album has a much 'fuller' sound than their previous EP releases, however I tend to find I despise the new versions of the old songs ("Homewrecker" is a prime example, as I physically cannot listen through the entire album version), the only new recording of an old song which I prefer to the original is "Figures A to B", but that may have something to do with the fact I disliked the original, but don't mind the new version. But some of the newer songs are ace. You've got the quieter, quite moody numbers like "Oh, It Is Love" and "Baby, It's Fact". Ultimately I find the start of the album to be much stronger than the ending. I much prefer the newer songs on here than I do the older, re-recorded ones, which I've repeated like 3/4 times now. All in all, it's a solid debut album, but nothing that I find myself going back to listen to all that often.

BEST SONGS : "All Time Lows", "All Of Your Love" and "Baby, It's Fact".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Reggie And The Full Effect", "The Faint" and "Motion City Soundtrack".


99. "Cassie" by Cassie

MEMBERS : Cassie (Oh shit, that one was easy :shifty:)


REVIEW : Every so often there's a 'pop' artist that really seems to catch my eye. And this year it's R&B singer Cassie. Granted, she caught my eye for having a cracking arse, but she caught my eye either way. From what I understand she supposedly mimes or some shit live, and is a shitty singer. Yeah, it's no ideal. But still, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter who sings the songs, or how they are sung, as long as they're good. In a perfect world, raw talent would take centre stage, but we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world of perverts like me, who see this girl with a cracking arse, singing a pretty good song, and that's all we care about. I'm not overly into this kind of music, I have no idea if she's actually thought of as good or not, but at the end of the day, there's a few pretty good songs on here, good for parties and the like. Though you have to pretend that it's not your CD. :shifty: Basic R&B/poppy affair, a nice little album.

BEST SONGS : "Miss Your Touch", "Me & U" and "About Time".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : Every female R&B singer ever (Bass....not Blues).


98. "Oh! Calcutta!" by The Lawrence Arms

MEMBERS : Brendan Kelly (The Falcon), Neil Hennessy (The Falcon, The Killing Tree), Chris McCaughan

GENRE : Pop-Punk-Rock

REVIEW : This is the first appearance on the list for Lawrence Arms front man Brendan Kelly, and let me say, his other appearance will be much higher than this. The Lawrence Arms have always been one of those bands that have often sat in the crowd for me, as nothing particularly makes them stand out. I adore the singers voice though, however I much prefer Brendan in The Falcon, as there they makes the most of his raw passion and gritty, nasal voice. Here for the most part, and like the previous Lawrence Arms releases before this, his vocals seem a little toned down. However, this also matches with the style of music that The Lawrence Arms play. With them being a lot less raucous than Kelly's side project. All in all, it's a solid if unspectacular album. But then again, not every album can be a classic. This is one of those albums that I would potentially recommend for someone wanting to get more into the 'punk-rock'. It's nowhere near one of the best albums out there (Nowhere near one of the best punk-rock albums of the year even), but The Lawrence Arms seem to be more accessible to those who enjoy the more mainstream 'punk-rock' outfits.

BEST SONGS :" Lose Your Illusion 1", "Are You There Yet Margaret? It's Me God" and "Like A Record Player".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Cigar", "The Dillinger Four" and (older) "Alkaline Trio".


97. "Everytime We Touch" by Cascada

MEMBERS : Natalie Horler, DJ Manian, Yanou

GENRE : Dance

REVIEW : An album named after one of the most infectious songs of the year. If anybody says they can resist the charms of the title track, then they are either deaf, or flat out lying. But like most dance albums, the lead single is about as good as it gets. And for the most part the album seems to become flat out repetitive. This isn't helped by the fact that much like every dance artist ever, they seem to insist on doing every single song in the same key. Jesus Christ people, just shake things up a bit. They do spice things up with a few slower songs, involving pianos and the like. Firstly there's, "Another You", yeah it's something different, but at the end of the day I can't help but feel that it's merely a cast off from a 1997 pop-record, it does nothing for me. There's also the candlelight remix of "Everytime We Touch", which again does very little for me. But at the end of the day, this is a really fun record in a time when most things seem serious, and in lots of cases, overly so. You've got your typical dance covers on there ("Truly Madly Deeply", "Kids In America" etc.), which most of the time you want to hate, but they are just too fun not to. Lyrically it's what you expect. Shitty. But yeah, who cares about lyrics. It's good enough to get you moving your feet, and that's all that matters.

BEST SONGS : "Everytime We Touch", "One More Night" and "Miracle".

'SIMILAR ARTISTS : "DHT" and "Ian Van Dahl".


96. "Costello Music" by The Fratellis

MEMBERS : Barry "Fratelli" Wallace, Gordon "Mince Fratelli" McRory, John "Fratelli" Lawler

GENRE : Indie-Rock

REVIEW : "Creepin' Up The Backstairs" is flat out one of my favourite songs of the year. "Henrietta" was a great, catchy song as well. I guess those two songs lulled me into a false sense of security that The Fratellis were some form of indie-music saviour, because when this album eventually dropped, I was incredibly disappointed. There are a few great songs, but most of the time they seem to come across as a poor man's Libertines, even in some of the good songs. I admit they're a talented bunch, and at the risk of sounding like a snob, I much prefer some of their b-sides and demos to some of the stuff that have made it on the album. The Gutterati for example. I loved that song, and is probably better than 4/5 of the album, but didn't make the cut. One thing they really do have going for them is that I like their quirky style, much like The Arctic Monkeys, in that it's not too serious, and most of the time they just seem like some lads having a laugh. Maybe my expectations were just too high, as I was seriously expecting album of the year material from these guys.

BEST SONGS : "Creepin' Up The Backstairs", "Henrietta" and "Got Ma Nuts From A Hippy".

'SIMILAR ARTISTS : "The Libertines", "Arctic Monkeys" and "Dirty Pretty Things".

Edited by Steve Mandela
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As in, far too low. But hey, it's your opinion and you have good reasoning behind it. It's just that if i had made my own top 100, i would of certainly put them in the 10th to 5th area.

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Wow, I'm more amazed that YI put an R&B album like Cassie's on the list...though, if I ever had to go down to 100 albums I've listened to in 2006, I'm sure LeToya's album would have to be on there. >_>

Actually, I wonder now if YI's listened to Ciara's new stuff, since it sounds like a welcome diversion to her "Goodies"-era shit.

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Wow, I'm more amazed that YI put an R&B album like Cassie's on the list...though, if I ever had to go down to 100 albums I've listened to in 2006, I'm sure LeToya's album would have to be on there. >_>

Actually, I wonder now if YI's listened to Ciara's new stuff, since it sounds like a welcome diversion to her "Goodies"-era shit.

Edited by Steve Mandela
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I think I can count the number of new albums I've heard this year on one hand, so being able to put together a top 100 is pretty impressive, I must say. I doubt I could even put together a decent top 100 of my favourite albums, let alone from one year. I'll be keeping an eye on this, it could help me discover some gems...

I'm checking out Hellogoodbye, though, for sure. They sound like I'd love them judging by your description.

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95. "The Gold Record" by The Bouncing Souls

MEMBERS : Greg Attonito, Pete Steinkopf, Bryan Kienlen, Michael McDermott

GENRE : Punk-rock

REVIEW : The Bouncing Souls were always a band I was aware of on the punk-rock scene, but never actually got around to listening to. When I first got hold of the album, the name gave me the impression that this was going to be a 'Best Of' kind of album, but turns out it's 'new material' (Besides the 2 covers). One of said covers is The Kinks', "Better Things", which the band do an amazing job of covering, making it their own. After hearing this version, it's difficult to go back to the original, it just seems to like the drive, and the chorus seems real flat, in comparison to the 'scream along' Bouncing Souls variation. However it's the ultra-poppy, "Sounds Of The City" which is the stand out track here, with it being head and shoulders above the rest of the album. At the end of the day, this album is far from 'gold', but it is a solid effort....and a random bit of info;

"In the early stages of their career, they played a hybrid of punk, funk, metal, and just about anything else they felt like including"...I WANT TO HEAR SOME OLD SHIT!!!

BEST SONGS : "Sounds Of The City", "Midnight Mile" and "Better Things".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Millencolin", "Screeching Weasel" and "Bad Religion".


94. "Rest Inside The Flames" by 36 Crazyfists

MEMBERS : Brock Lindow, Steve Holt, Mick Whitney, Thomas Noonan

GENRE : Alternative Rock/Metal

REVIEW : 36 Crazyfists were one of the bands that really caught my attention a few years ago, and were one of the primary reasons for my alternative metal like spree. However I just don't have the same love for the band that I once had. I can listen to this release and hear that it's a real solid album, but there's very little that I actually 'connect' with. As always, 36 Crazyfists interspurce their screams and killer riffs with a number of catchy and almost 'punk-rock' like choruses. However I generally find myself becoming slightly bored by the time the songs reach their climax. There's only so many times you can go "Half time...fast...half time...fast"..."quiet...loud....louder....quiet...LOUDER"...etc. They are a talented group of musicians, and props to vocalist, Brock Lindow who has come on leaps and bounds in this album. There's very little diversification on the regular formula, and after 3 albums it does get kind of boring, especially with the production, tones and the like, sounding awfully similar to "A Snow Capped Romance". It's at this point people generally pull out the whole "The band have matured for this release" bullshit, but to me at least, they just seem exactly the same as they did in 2004.

BEST SONGS : "Midnight Swim", "We Cannot Deny" and "The Great Descent".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Killswitch Engage", "The Killing Tree" and "The Setup"


93. "Crime Slunk Scene" by Buckethead

MEMBERS : Buckethead and his merry band of recording misfits (I can't find who recorded on the album)

GENRE : Prog-Rock/Instrumental

REVIEW : I believe that this album never actually got a retail release, but was sold during his tour. However, I think you may be able to pick it up off his site. As for the content, tt's gotten to the stage where nothing Buckethead does amazes me anymore. I can sit here, listening through this album, there's moments of absolute brilliance, but I can't shun the feeling that I've heard this all before. Maybe it's the fact my favourite Buckethead release was "Colma", which was something entirely different to what he reguarly does, but I want him to do something DIFFERENT!! (Granted I haven't heard his previous album...which I believe has vocals on all tracks). Once you've shunned the feeling of deja vu, you come to release that this is a good little album. Yes, it's not his best work, but it's still far from uninspired, and un-imaginative. You've got your epic solo's, like in "Soothsayer", my personal favourite tracking on the album, mixing the more mellow side of Buckethead, with a long solo and big chords. There's also a selection of 'weirder' tracks, like "Slunk Parade" and "Electronic Slight Of Hand", which don't seem to 'flow' correctly, but are ultimately enticing and exciting for that very reason. If you're a Buckethead fan then I suggest you get your hands on this release.

BEST SONGS : "Soothsayer", "Electronic Slight Of Hand" and "Col. Austin vs Col. Sanders AKA Red Track Suit".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : All those other 'Up-Themselves' guitar virtuosos


92. "Liberation Transmission" by Lost Prophets

MEMBERS : Ian Watkins (Steps :shifty:), Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Richard Oliver + Josh Freese (Just about everything ever) and Ilan Rubin

GENRE : Alt-Rock

REVIEW : Lost Prophets were once seen as the brightest hope on the UK's alternative rock scene. However, after what was see to many as a 'sellout' second album, they became the band it was 'in' to hate. Hating them did seem easy, especially with the emo contingent of fans they seemed to aquire overnight. Hating them did infact get easier after the release of the lead-in single of this album, seeing how in their 2 years absense, the band appeared to have spent more time in hair and beauty classes than penning a 'classic'. Much like "Rooftops", the album seems entirely built on the ridiculously catchy choruses. Which is not entirely a bad thing, as it leads to most songs having at least a couple of redeeming moments. That being said, the album does seem to lack some of the substance of the last two releases, some of the "oomph"...because I can't think of an actual word to describe it. Plus, why the hell in the video for "Can't Catch Tomorrow" there's a guy playing the piano? That was random, but that's somewhat annoyed me. Plus, what's with the gay as fuck hair? Ignore all that, and it's an alright album. Not up to the standards of the debut and sophomore albums, but good. But if you didn't like the Lost Prophets before, this is not the album to make you like them, with them delving more towards the style they hinted on "Start Something".

BEST SONGS : "Can't Catch Tomorrow", "For All These Times Son, For All These Times" and "The New Transmission".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Funeral For A Friend" (WELL THEY'RE FUCKING WELSH).....erm...I fucking suck at this...unless it's a genre where I know LOADS of bands...and even then I kind of struggle.


91. "Three Cheers For Dissapointment" by Arrogant Sons Of Bitches

MEMBERS : THERE'S FAR TOO FUCKING MANY!!!! (Bomb The Music Industry!, Jay Tea)

GENRE : Ska-punk

REVIEW : "Ska-punk", or whatever, is one of those genres that is generally loved or hated. Part of the 'love' and 'hate' of the genre comes from the fact that bands are often pidgeonholed as 'silly', 'immature' and "cheesy". ASOB are none of those things, what they are, are a downright cynical, brash and erratic band. With them sharing just as much, if not more, with the modern hardcore-punk sound than 'ska' at all. That's not meaning that there's no cameos from the regular 'ska' catchiness, with sing-a-long moments and an occasional hammond organ, it just means that it's accompanied by a gritty, hardcore-punk-rock backing, with harsh, yet engrossing vocals. The band is still a little rough around the edges, with a few songs not being as could as they potentially be, and an odd couple being pretty poor, but when they get it right it leads for an amazing listen. Unfortunately the band appears to have broken up. However they left us with an 'interesting' 'going away present'; http://www.quoteunquoterecords.com/qur008/qur008.zip - a live show, 100% legal to download, featuring 10+ Radiohead covers. As of now, I've only listened to "Karma Police".

BEST SONGS : "Last on My List", "Piss Off" and "Yeah I Don't Know What It's Like To Be Around A Bunch Of Hipsters".

'SIMILAR ARTISTS : "Authority Zero", "Big D and the Kids Table" and "Bomb The Music Industry!".

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90. "Letoya" by Letoya

MEMBERS : Letoya (aka...one of the other ones from Destiny's Child)


REVIEW : This might sound a little arrogant and stupid, but I 'pride myself' on listening to as much, and as much different kinds of music as possible. It must have been merely a month or so ago I realised I was a little 'low' on the R&B and rap front, which resulted in a mass of 'aquiring' albums. Rap is far from my thing, as people will probably be able to tell from the distinct lack of it from the list. Also I seem to only have a fondness for 'white' rappers, with the last two rap albums I was able to appreciate all the way through being "The Marshall Mathers LP" and Fort Minor's album. But R&B is a different story. I tend to have a somewhat 'negative' view of it. I always tend to view it as some mocha-brown female 'sex whispering' over a bunch of shitty beats. However, this album, proves that 'stereotype' wrong, firstly, she's at least a 7/8 on the shade game (much darker than a mocha-brown). As for the musical content itself, you've got a fun selection of songs, your more laid back songs as well mixed in some songs with harsher beats. All in all, it's an album good enough to get a white man dancing like a twat. However, at the end of the day, it does just seem to sound like a Destiny's Child album, minus the rest of the gang.

BEST SONGS : "So Special", "All Eyes On Me" and "Torn".



89. "Murder Party" by BeerBong

MEMBERS : Lorenzo, Max, Paolo, Federico and ALAN!!! (They have no surnames...and Alan is far too English to be here :shifty:)

GENRE : Melodic-Hardcore-Punk-Rock

REVIEW : If I were to be perfectly honest, I was expecting so much more from this band. They had been one of my favourite discoveries of the year, and when I heard they had a new album coming out I was stoked. Before the albums release they put four songs up on their site ("Plug & Play, "Rainbow Eyes", "Black Box" and "Why?"), all of which blew me away, so this increased my excitement about this album tenfold. Then eventually I got my hands on the album (having actually downloaded it 2 weeks prior, and forgetting I had it :shifty:) as was ultimately dissapointed. As outside of the songs posted on their website, only other tracks that lived up to the standards I expected were "Deny" and "Open Season". Lyrically the songs aren't all that amazing, very 'matter of fact', but then again, they're an Italian band singing in English, so I'm not expecting some form of lyrical masterpiece. The production is so much better than the previous releases, which seemed to suffer from the whole "Toy Snare Drum" sound, which haunted the earlier works of Death By Stereo and Ignite also. It's a solid album, if you're into this kind of thing you'd probably enjoy it, the production makes it a lot easier to listen to than their previous records, but to me at least, "Fast & Comfortable" > the rest.

BEST SONGS : "Plug & Play", "Black Box" and "Open Season".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Belvedere", "Rufio" and "Pulley".


88. "Threes" by Sparta

MEMBERS : Jim Ward (At The Drive-In), Tony Hajjar (At The Drive-In), Keeley Davis (Glös), Matt Miller

GENRE : Indie/Prog-Rock/Post-Hardcore or some fucking shit

REVIEW : The At The Drive In spinoff band returned with another album this year, featuring a whole host of stylistic indie songs. I don't really know what to make of it. There's some great moments in just about every song, but there's also a few minutes where I just sit there, bored, waiting for the good stuff to come back. It may also be quite bad (In some people's eyes) that the 'best' song on the album sounds like a b-side from the past Taking Back Sunday album. Seriously, you could put "Taking Back Control" onto "Louder Now" and it'd fit perfectly. I'm not saying that all bands should be totally originally, because at the end of the day, it is a top class song. The weird thing is, I think I prefer Sparta when they're in their more 'straight up rock' style, instead of basically being ATDI-lite. Everything just seems to flow much better, and is far more interesting. In closing, It is a solid, but easily forgetable release.

BEST SONGS : "Taking Back Control", "Weather The Storm" and "Untreatable Disease".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Thursday", "Moneen" and "At The Drive In".


87. "The T4 Project: A Story Based Concept Album" by The T4 Project

MEMBERS : Shannon Saint Ryan, Jason Cruz (Strung Out), Jay Bentley (Bad Religion), Greg hetson (Circle Jerks), Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise), Paul Roessler (The Screamers), Trotsky (The Subhumans)....+

GENRE : Punk-Rock

REVIEW : Basically, the concept behind this album is that it's set in some form of seedy 'alternate reality', information on which is given in the lyrics, but also in multiple 'soundbytes' interspurced between songs. Examples of soundbytes include, Army Recruitment, Healthcare ("Treat the symptoms, never the cause") and Curing Homosexuality, to name a few. As for the songs themselves, they're 'weird'. They're very unlike most of the punk-rock that you hear these days. It seems a little slower, it lacks some of the drive, but that doesn't mean it's not good. If I had to compare it to anything I'd say, some of the older, slower Pennywise comes straight to mind. Lyrically it's really, really good, but the vocals themselves are hit and miss. It's Jason Cruz, so as a fanboy I must say I 'like' it, but his voice sounds very strained on this recording, but I do really like when he's joined with backing vocals. Some of the melodies and chord progressions are interesting as well, not the kind of stuff you'd normally associate with the regular 'bog-standard' punk-rock. At the end of the day, it's a solid album, but with the line-up available, I can't help but think it should be better. But it may be a case of "Too many cooks...and a massive fuck-off ocean between them, spoil the broth".

BEST SONGS : "15 Minutes", "Back Alley" and "The Plot To Avenge".



86. "As Daylight Dies" by Killswitch Engage

MEMBERS : Howard Jones (Blood Has Been Shed), Adam Dutkiewicz (Burn Your Wishes), Joel Stroetzel, Mike D'Antonio, Justin Foley (Blood has Been Shed)

GENRE : Alt-Metal

REVIEW : Much like 36 Crazyfists, Killswitch were one of the alt-metal bands that got me to expand my musical horizons. Mixing bittersweet, somewhat anthematic melodies with harsh screams and loud, crunching guitar work. Definately something for everyone. As I listened to this album through again today in preperation for this 'review', I couldn't help shake the feeling that this deserved to be much higher, but as I thought about reasons to why it should be higher, I couldn't think of any. It's got a good selection of songs, but at the end of the day, nothing screams out at me as a shockingly good song. And nor does anything make me think, "Oh, I haven't heard that before". Much like 36 Crazyfists, it is time that they tried something new. There is some real good guitar work on here and the like, as well as those slick choruses which they do so well. They've basically just stuck with their tried and tested formula, but with the music industry as saturated as it is at the moment, they really have to do more.

BEST SONGS : "Break The Silence", "Still Beats Your Name" and "The Arms Of Sorrow".

'SIMILAR' ARTISTS : "Arma Angelus", "Unearth" and "Trivium".

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