Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My favorite albums that I bought in 2006, even though many of them were not released in 2006

Imogen Heap - speak for yourself
Imogen had me at "Vocoder." Ever since a neighbor of ours in Mill Valley gave me a demo of the amazing device as a child, I have been quite taken by electronic musical instruments. Add on to that Imogen Heap's great voice and harmonies that feel like a starry blanket of pristine angst, and you've got a swell album. Not as good as Frou Frou, but still good.

Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll
The aforementioned youth Vocoder encounter plus a steady youth diet of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Jean Michel Jarre as a child has led me to very much enjoy music that has not necessarily been produced by instruments made by careful craftsmanship, but instead by brilliant engineering.

This is a "new to me" (2004) album, but I bought it this year and enjoy its clean, classic electronic songwriting. Catchy, danceable, very pleasant. On top of that there's a song where they pronounce rock stars wrong. Example they say "Cini Looper." awesome.

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Not only an album with one of the best singles of the year.

Herbert - Scale
Spare, odd, catchy with wild orchestrations. Definitely one of my favorites of 2k6. First song, Something Isn't Right is a solid opener and the album holds steady song after song that drift from odd intros to catchy uplifiting rises to bizarre noise and wonderfully understated singing throughout.

Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Love me some melancholy epicness. This album encapsulates the mood of the new play I'm writing. Except that my play will have jokes in it too.

Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
We're now moving into the less electronic section. Simply a great yo la tengo album with so many surprises with each track. Awesome. And you know, why do all the indie kids piss on "Summer Sun" (their last album)? It's one of my favorite moody atmospheric albums. Sometimes Pitchfork can be so pretentious.

Stew - Something Deeper Than These Changes
I saw Passing Strange at Berkeley Rep and then dug up this album on iTunes. Love love love the songs. Chord changes that feel like gravy on the ribs, heartbreaking and humorous lyrics, spare, strangely addictive. Stew's music is a huge reason why that show still lingers in my mind as one of my favorite things I saw this year (even though I only saw a dress rehearsal)

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
Already a proud owner of Illionoise which blew me away and Michigan which I liked, I reached deeper into the Sufjan canon and find this one to be a real treasure. Differently styled and less epic than the states, and some really great songs. That man almost makes me want to be a practicing Christian.

Joanna Newsom - Ys
Wow. This album is nuts. Loving it. Harp!!!!

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Anonymous Tim said...

I did the exact same thing with Stew! Saw PASSING STRANGE, got home and immediately got on iTunes and downloaded that album. It's terrific!

Hey, are you going to mention the In The Rough reading series thing on your blog? I just got an email with your name highlighted. What will you be presenting for us, and when...?

1:50 PM  

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