Top 15 Albums of 2006

<div><br /><img src="https://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/top15albums2006.jpg" alt=" " /> <br /><br />It's been a complex year, with relatively few massive acts to rely on, paving the way for extraordinary inventiveness, bringing us sounds...
  

It's been a complex year, with relatively few massive acts to rely on, paving the way for extraordinary inventiveness, bringing us sounds we never thought we'd hear.  It wasn't easy, but we all learned something new in 2006.

15. Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

They've taken their near-folk base and laid on diverse melodies and emotions, in this tightly-arranged album.  Hoboken's pride have crafted the kind of piece that even the hippest NYC hipster would go to Jersey for. 

14. Peter Bjorn and John – Writer's Block

Swift, cool throwback pop that made it ok to want to chill on a shag carpet and listen to records all day.  Laid-back harmonies and carelessly upbeat rhythms with an old charm that only Swedes could pull off so easily and without irony. 

13. Muse – Black Holes and Revelations

An epic by all standards, this bombastic, alt-classical romp of expansive production goes through mountains and valleys with gritted teeth and projected shouts.  Couldn't be any stronger.

12. The Foundry Field Recordings – Prompts/Miscues

A lonesome, post-apocalyptic portrait of mankind, it features soft, rolling vocals, and shimmering atmosphere that are as both light and all-consuming as the sea of radiation it portrays. 

11. Love Is All – 9 Times That Same Song

Lo-fi and punk, Sweden's Love Is All is a rambunctious set of clanging, romping instruments, led by Josephine Olausson's fresh vocals that inspire a feverish party scene and freedom only Scandinavians would know.

10. Scott Walker – The Drift

Unequivocal humor and painstakingly elaborate art-rock are what make Scott Walker as enigmatic as he's been for so long, and this is just another reason why.  This is one of those albums you just have to admire from a distance.

09. Joanna Newsom – Ys

On this album, Joanna Newsom transcends the label 'female singer-songwriter'.  She combines stripped-down folk and Bjorkish variety with a sweet, poignant voice that can't be ghettofied.

08. Hot Chip – The Warning

This album, full of bounce and electrostatic energy, illustrated how seemingly easily five cheeky guys could make infectious jams and adhesive ballads with just a couple of guitars some keyboards. 

07. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America

While the story-telling rolls, the rock skips around like a drunk bouncing between walls using huge riffs to emphasize the weight of the stagger.  There's something of the '70s still alive here, and thankfully for them, history repeats itself. 

06. Danielson – Ships

Amazingly well-connected, Daniel Smith has created a mountain of sound instead of a field of sounds.  There's a coordinated genius, unity, and fun mixed into an album that has it all. 

05. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped

Tuneful yet intense, complex without being dense, it sees Sonic Youth consistently relevant without slavery to fashion.  With all the fanfare over the reunions of 80's alternative bands, no one should overlook the one band that's been delivering for the past twenty-five years. 

04. Band of Horses – Everything All The Time

Carving out a more accessible southern rock sound than even My Morning Jacket can, and with all of the comparisons, this debut shone with mellowness chasing inspiration down the highway – a spectacle few could turn away from.  

03. Liars – Drum's Not Dead

Powerfully erratic and impressively evolutionary, the pulse of this album beats heavily and with irregularity, creating a thunderous adventure that has a heaping amount of both brain and brawn. 

02. The Knife – Silent Shout

Hauntingly creepy, and smoothly catchy, it sounds less like two people than two machines producing as dark and robo-melodic an album as possible.  And having no cheesy moments in a such an electronic album is an amazing feat in itself.

01. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

As soon as it leaked, it was lauded for its out-of-control alt-art sound of beautifully organized chaos and stood head and shoulders above everything else in 2006.  Vigorous, complex, anthemic, and even danceable.  It was everything an album should be.



Our Writers' Top 9 Picks of 2006

Chris Fore  1. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
2. Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
3. Office – Q&A
4. Band of Horses – Everything All The Time
5. Hot Chip – The Warning
6. The Foundry Field Recordings – Prompts/Miscues
7. Love Is All – 9 Times That Same Song
8. The Radio Dept. – Pet Grief
9. The Knife – Silent Shout
Ted Chase  1. TV On the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
2. Band of Horses – Everything All the Time
3. Beck – The Information
4. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
5. Frank Black – Fast Man/Raider Man
6. Sound Team – Movie Monster
7. Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid Of You And Will Beat Your Ass
8. The Foundry Field Recordings – Prompts/Miscues
9. Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Jean Anderson  1. Band of Horses – Everything All the Time
2. Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
3. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
4. The Radio Dept. – Pet Grief
5. The Foundry Field Recordings – Prompts/Miscues
6. Phoenix – It's Never Been Like That
7. Grandaddy – Just Like the Fambly Cat
8. Now It's Overhead – Dark Light Daybreak
9. M. Ward – Post-War
Tom Balfour  1. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
2. TV On the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
3. Mission of Burma – The Obliterati
4. Walkmen – A Hundred Miles Off
5. Comets On Fire – Avatar
6. The Black Keys – Magic Potion
7. Wolfmother – Wolfmother
8. Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
9. The Futureheads – News & Tributes

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