Jesus Christ's Albums Of 2006
This album came out in 2005, but I didn’t give it a spin until 2006, which is the only reason it isn’t number 1. Hello, Dear Wind is hands down the best “Possibly Unintentional Christian Worship Album” since Areoplane Over The Sea, and I love this album so much, each of My disciples are getting a copy in their Christmas stockings. If you love both Me and unique indie pop reminiscent of early Of Montreal, this album is a must own. The image of Me coming out of the ground is genius, and this band will become a happy ending indeed.
20. R.E.M. - Best of the IRS Years
A Best Of album of songs recorded over a decade ago belongs on no Best OF list, but I’m God so back off. Plus, nothing sounded better in My stereo all year than this. Stipe is a gift.
19. Tom Waits – Orphans
Yet another album that probably doesn’t deserve to be on this list, considering a lot of it we Tom Waits fans have already owned for years, but having it all together on three discs, with new songs thrown into the mix, make this album totally worth the price tag. His rarities are so good, this almost feels like a Tom Waits Greatest Hits album where he forgot to put on any of his hits, but nobody notices because these songs are so amazing.
18. Griffin House – Homecoming
I know Bono, and you sir, are no Bono… but you could get there one day. This CD is hints at the future glory that could become of this singer/songwriter/nicer version of Ryan Adams/guitar guy. It’s at times oddly produced, but it’s all about the songs, and this guy can write songs. If you have not yet meet Griffin House, no need to thank Me, your welcome.
17. Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope
The “Cool Girls Singing Retro Sounding Cool Songs” renaissance is in full swing, and in My opinion, Regina is at the head of the pack. Who knew that name dropping Guns N Roses would sound so hip?
16. Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome
Who’d guess the best Springsteen album in a decade would be an album of covers? This album is so exciting and alive, it makes Me believe that he still has career defining solo work to come. I loved this so much that I hope this could become a series like Mermaid Ave.
15. Muse – Black Holes And Revelations
Muse laughs back at us with the video for “Knights Of Cydonia”, when we finally realize that Muse knew they were way over the top all along. Their epic sound has always seemed to walk the line between Radiohead and The Darkness, and with this album, that line got even thinner. Luckily, the line wasn’t thin enough to send the band tumbling too deep into the cheesy side of RAWK, but they definitely dragged their feet in it more on this album than any of their previous. The result is thus both glorious and fun, like a contemporary Abba.
14. Cat Power – The Greatest
I believe she’s lived in bars, and this album makes Me want to turn some water into wine and put this on repeat and fall asleep happy. Easily her greatest album (get it?).
13. Damien Jurado – And Now that I'm In Your Shadow
The album title alone breaks My heart, and once I get through the second track, I’m ready to give My life for his all over again. Sadly beautiful.
12. Graham Lindsey – Hell Under The Skullbones
This album sounds like songs heard in a back alley behind Deadwood by some down-on-his-luck romantic who’s about to get shot. If that sounds like your shot of whiskey, this album will make you happy.
11. Johnny Cash – American V
Right in front of Graham Lindsey comes the real deal. Cash’s latest and possibly not last of the American series is the most authentic sounding of the bunch, and although I love hearing him sing U2 and Nine Inch Nails song as much as the next Son of Man, this crop of songs sound more true to the Cash persona than Personal Jesus ever did. The fact that “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” is getting airplay is comedy gold for My angels, and the celeb filled video singing along holds tons of future irony they think is pretty funny, too.
10. I'm From Barcelona – Let Me Introduce My Friends
Like The Polyphonic Spree but without the cult-like tendencies, this album sounds like a cross between pure joy and Weezer. I love joy and I love Weezer, so this album worked wonders for Me this year. That’s right, I love Weezer. Back off Me, you like Phil Collins.
09. Bishop Allen – The Month EP’s
I’ve got only January through October, but if the songs “The Monitor” and “Butterfly Nets” were the only two songs on a Bishop Allen CD, that would still make My top 20.
08. Derek Webb – Mockingbird
Derek Webb is one of the few Christian artists that I feel like are truly chasing after My heart. Lyrically, his album is genius and this should be taught in philosophy classes and seminaries. Although David Bazan is usually given the trophy for making Christians most squirm, this album had My jaw hit the floor more times than anything I’ve listened to since Dylan claimed Me his Savior.
07. Flying Canyon – Self Titled
In a year without Iron And Wine, Flying Canyon fit the bill wonderfully. Sounding like the pretty parts of My Morning Jacket and Neil Young, this Bounty soft album floats like a cloud, which I can totally relate.
06. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
By now, every blog has told you everything that can be said about this band except one thing… “O Valencia” was on repeat and thus My soundtrack during the rebellion of Nat Turner.
05. Over The Rhine – Snow Angels
You might say I’m bias to put a Christmas album on My list since it is essentially a whole album celebrating My birthday, but you’d be wrong because this album is adorable. No album did I just want to pinch the cheek of like this cute as a button record. Any musician can attempt to cash out and throw together a Christmas album (not you, Aimee Mann, I’m talking to you, Twisted Sister), but few can put together an album almost completely of original Christmas songs and make it sound both fresh and vintage at the same time. This is the best Christmas album I’ve heard in years and it might be good enough to play in months other than December.
04. Josh Ritter – Animal Years
Ritter is a stud. This album is much more complex than hinted at from his previous efforts, and thus he put out a better Dylan album that Dylan did.
03. The Knife – Silent Shout
One of the only albums I heard this year that sounded totally contemporary and original, but without being too difficult to not be catchy. This sounds like how top 40 radio should sound in 5 years. Good luck with that Postal Service album Mr. Gibbard, the bar for Keyboad Pop has been raised.
02. J. Tillman – Minor Works
I know whatever Elliott Smith had, because I put it in him, and whatever Elliott Smith had, J. Tillman has it, too. This album is both soft and raw at the same time, and if you aren’t paying attention, it could crush your soul.
01. Joanna Newsom – Ys
If, right after Snow White ate the poisoned apple, but right before she fell asleep, she recorded an a few songs, it would have sounded like this. For an extra good time, burn this album on CD but place the Tom Waits’ Orphans “Heigh Ho” track between every Newsom track, and then you get the complete psychedelic Disney experience more wild than anything at Wild Kingdom. Nothing was as magical for Me to listen on repeat up here in Heaven than this album as I prepare you guys all a cool place up here. This album was easily the unofficial soundtrack to Heaven for 2006, and all the angels know the words by heart.
6 Albums That Denied Me Three Times
Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
This album almost sounded more like Weird Al than “Straight Outta Lynwood” did. After listening to this album, I had to listen to “The Soft Bulletin” again just to remind Myself that this is still a band worth following. “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” is just about as difficult to listen to as that Boris Pink album, but not in the difficult way that pays off after repeat listenings, unless the payoff you are after is chasing the enemy out of occupied territory.
Indigo Girls – Despite Our Differences
When the Indigo Girls are on, they are on par with any of the folk greats. This album isn’t that bad, but it just makes so many mistakes that it let's you see how wonderful it could have been. Seriously, if produced differently and given to Conor Oberst to sing, some of these songs could disguise themselves as Bright Eyes tracks. Granted, not all of them. Songs like “I Believe In Love” and “Last Tears” are simply unsalvageable. But when Emily isn’t too sweet and Amy isn’t too bitter, their bittersweet personality mix together to make folk music that is painfully underrated. This isn’t an example of that, but there are just enough hints of it on this that make Me long for another Indigo Girls classic that I know is in them.
The Killers – Sam’s Town
This might seem like an easy target, but I’m one of those people who really thought their last album was amazing and I absolutely loved loved loved the single “When You Were Young”. Unfortunately, the retro Springsteen vibe could only hold water on that one track and the rest of the album drags under its lofty weight.
Thom York – The Eraser
The Thom York solo project that he asked not to be called a solo project, and he had every right to be embarrassed. This sounds like Amnesiac leftover demos that York recorded alone with his keyboard, with plans on sending the demos to the rest of the boys to finish up but never got around to it. My hope is that this was the rest of the bands way of getting some bad experiments out of York’s system so they can focus on the good stuff for their next album.
Nelly Furtado – Loose
Although it was nice to see Furtado with an album that sold, it was sad to see her turn her back on her old playful and unique sound in order to stay on the radio. Can you imagine a Best Of album that has “Promiscuous Girl” following “I’m Like A Bird”?
Damien Rice – 9
This album broke My heart. I was excited when I heard the single “9 Crimes”, and ecstatic once I heard the B-side “The Rat Within The Grain”, which might be the best song in his cannon thus far. But then I heard rumors of a new song on the album actually being called “The Blowers Daughter Part 2” and I was a little on edge. Luckily that song got a name change to “Elephant”, but song titles “Sleep Don’t Weep” and “Me, My Yoke, And I” were not so lucky. Long story short, I loved “O” and this album is so embarrassing it has Me questioning how good “O” really was. The basic problem is that it just isn’t that pretty and it isn’t that fun. He clearly wanted to shake things up a bit, but he shook too hard and it all fell to pieces. Unfortunately, those pieces were released without “The Rat Within The Grain”, but “Elephant, Also Known As The Blower’s Daughter Part 2” still made the cut. This is the only album from 2006 that made James Blunt sound tough.