I found that compiling this list was a slightly disappointing experience (despite several of the albums on my list being very good indeed) because some of my favourites this year were released last year (e.g. Isabel Campbell/Mark Lanegan and Richard Hawley – who takes the title for ‘gig of the year’ and, had his Coles Corner album been released on 1 Jan 2006, Album of the year – he certainly should have won the Mercury Prize, even the ‘so what’ Arctic Monkeys admitted as much; to their credit).
(That was a terrrible sentence, wasn’t it?)
Anyway, here it is. For what it matters, my ten favourite albums of 2006. In no particular order are…
The Fratellis. Costello Music.
Yes it is derivative, but it is fun, fresh (is that an oxymoron when placed beside derivative?) and got the vote of all my kids and, slightly grudgingly, the Mrs. It is…. THE GORMAN FAMILY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, and follows on from The Zutons in 2005. I think you can probably spot a trend.
Joanna Newsom. Ys.
In stark contrast to the above, this is NOT THE GORMAN FAMILY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, far from it, but I really like it and it is my post. It is wierd; certainly. It is beautiful; definitely. The question will be; does it have staying power? I don’t know, but The Milk Eyed Mender passed the novelty test for me.
Midlake. The Trials of Van Occupanther.
I think this is my favourite album of 2006. I really like it very much. It is not mainstream but it is very accessible.
Howe Gelb. ‘Sno Angel Like you.
Metacritic (see my blogroll, certainly this is the best music site I know, but it has limitations) liked this a lot early in the year which prompted me to buy it. It faded on their list, but not mine. Lovely chill-out gospel and wierdness. Not mainstream though.
Bruce Springsteen. We shall overcome, the Seeger Sessions.
In a word; fun.
Lily Allen. Alright , still.
This shouldn’t stack up as a good album. It should be two good singles and 9 fillers. It is 9 good singles and two fillers. Respect.
The Beatles. Love.
Sorry. It’s very good. For the benefit of Mr Kite is verging on the remarkable. I don’t have even the slightest desire to go and see the show in California though. It might actually be stomach turning.
Corrine Bailey Rae. Corrine Bailey Rae.
I know. I;m a sucker for this sort of stuff. Yes it is MOR. No, it is nothing NOTHING, repeat NOTHING like Billie holliday as the early reviews suggested and that is just indefensible and sloppy journalism in my book. It is Nora Jonesesq
Donald Fagen. Morph the Cat.
OK, it’s not a masterpiece, but I kept playing it and that must be the sign of a good album.
Snow Patrol. Eyes Open.
I’m not convinced about this choice. But it’s a good pop album and it featured one of my favourites, Martha Wainwright, on one of the best singles of the year, so it’s in.
What isn’t in despite owning/listening to it.
Arctic Monkeys. Maybe I’m too old.
Bob Dylan. Maybe I’m too young.