Entry: Greg Z's Top Ten of 2006 Dec 1, 2006

Greg Z's Top Ten Albums of 2006

Well, I have to say it wasn't the best year for new music, but definitely a lot of great stuff out there.  A lot of good lists so far. I hope you'll enjoy mine.

1. Beck - The Information

 Beck - The Information CD Cover Art

What can I say, I love Beck. I guess he's not indie or underground enough to make anyone else's list, but his talent cannot be denied.  Beck is one of the few artists that makes great album after great album all while continuing to explore new sounds.  This album mixes his quiet side with his energetic side.  It's sort of a funky Sea Change, which is one of the greatest albums ever.  Producer Nigel Godrich did a great job of combining funky beats with introspective lyrics.  I don't buy albums too often these days, but the packaging alone was worth the price of the album, which included stickers to make your own cover and a bonus dvd which Beck made homemade videos for each track.  I saw him in Chicago in October and the table jam was something to see. They had make your own T-shirts with iron ons of the same stickers that were in the album package. C'mon, what artist is cool enough to do that?

2. Yo La Tengo - I'm Not Afraid Of You And I WIll Beat Your Ass

Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass CD Cover Art

Yo La Tengo is one of my favorite bands. Probably the best thing about them is their consitency of being inconsistent. You never really know what your going to get from them.  This album returns to familiar territory and while there's nothing groundbreaking here it's just a solid album that old and new fans should enjoy.

3. Medeski, Scofield, Martin, and Wood - Out Louder

Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Woo - Out Louder CD Cover Art

Next to Phish, MMW is probably the best live band I've ever seen. They only get better with John Scofield added to the line up.  They continue with the same dance/groove oriented sound of 1998's A Go Go on this album. Whether you consider them acid jazz or jam band they always make it fun. They will be at The Rave (Boooooo) Dec. 8, so do yourself a favor and check them out.

4. Miho Hatori - Ecdysis

Hatori, Miho - Ecdysis CD Cover Art

Most famous as the other half of Cibo Matto, you've probably have heard on other albums from the Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, and a few compilations. If your like me, you're a sucker for female singer/songwriters with soft/melodic voices. Miho delivers pop songs similar in sound to some of Bjork's work. Charming and fun.

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones CD Cover Art

Not quite as good as Fever To Tell, but less screaming from Karen O makes for a more listenable sound.

6. Subtle - For Hero: For Fool


Subtle - For Hero : For Fool CD Cover Art

Doseone is a madman. No words to describe this one.

7. Stereolab - Fab Four Suture

Stereolab - Fab Four Suture CD Cover Art

Again, my penchant for female vocalists kicks in here. This album has much of the same sound of previous albums, but it's still as enjoyable as ever. Laetitia Sadier's heavily accented vocals and her use of French lyrics remind of walking through the streets of Paris on a rainy afternoon. If you haven't heard them before I would suggest getting Dots & Loops.

8.  Eagles of Death Metal -  Death By Sexy

Eagles Of Death Metal - Death By Sexy CD Cover Art

Pretty straight forward rock album. A lot of fun.

9. Saint Etienne - Tales From Turnpike House

Saint Etienne - Tales From Turnpike House CD Cover Art

Excellent Euro dance pop.

10. Dave Holland Quintet - Critical Mass

Holland, Dave - Critical Mass CD Cover Art

Follow up to 2005's Overtime. Pretty straight forward jazz with some nice grooves.

Best of the rest:

TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Wasn't too familiar with these guys before, but I really liked this album.

J. Dilla - Donuts
Great set of instrumentals from the late hip hop producer. Easily one of the best producer's of the last ten years, this album showcases his abilty to mix samples with jazzy beats.

Metallic Falcons - Desert Doughnuts

Ghostface - Fishscale
Classic hip hop from the Wu Tang Clan's most consistent member.

Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55
Not much to her vocals, but great production from Nigel Godrich and Air. You may have also seen her in the film The Science of Sleep as Stephanie.

Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Another Nigel Godrich produced album. A little dull at times, but not a bad solo outing.

The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics

Pavement - Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels
Who doesn't like Pavement? Gotta love all the bonus material on this deluxe reissue. Lets hope for a reunion sometime soon.





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