Top 10 Albums of 2006

It’s possible that something great could come out in the next month or two, but chances are, the best of 2006 is behind us. Here’s the best of the best so far:

1. Beck – The Information


Fascinating, entrancing and addicting. Beck has created a sound here that is a mix of South American rhythms, blues, techno, rock and grunge. The more you listen the more you are drawn in. Check out “Nausea”.

2. Tom Petty – Highway Companion


No one writes songs like these anymore. This CD goes back to the basics – great rock songs that you can sing to. You and your mom will love it. Check out “Big Weekend”.

3. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere


I can’t help it – this is a GREAT album. Even aside from Crazy, most of the rest of this album is pretty brilliant. Check out “The Boogie Monster”.

4. Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit


Wonderful… one great song after another. This is Belle & Sebastian’s most accessible album, and their best. Check out “Funny Little Frog”.

5. Flaming Lips – At War with the Mystics


The Flaming Lips do it again. I can’t say every song is incredible, but the ones that are good are fantastic. Check out “Free Radicals”.

6. Sufjan Stevens – The Avalanche: Outtakes & Extras from the Illinois Album


I don’t know what to call this… new age, rock, folk, world music, classical? It doesn’t matter – it’s really beautiful AND it rocks. Illinois is better, but this is great too. Check out “The Mistress Witch from McClure”.

7. Decemberists – The Crane Wife


I love the Decemberists – such passion, great songwriting and interesting orchestration. I can’t figure out what makes them sound Irish to me. Listen a few times and you’ll be hooked too. Check out “Sons and Daughters”.

8. Mountain Goats – Get Lonely


John Darnielle is one of the most prolific songwriters of our time. This album is pretty mellow and takes time to get into, but it’s really quite beautiful. Check out “Wild Sage”.

9. Scissor Sisters – Ta Dah!


This is definitely a guilty pleasure. If you don’t know the Scissor Sisters, they sound like a combination between Elton John, the Bee Gees and Abba. Even the slow songs are fun. Check out “The Other Side”.

10. Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions


Anyone who likes folk music has got to love this one. True, the arrangements are pretty far from authentic, but Bruce’s spirit, energy and love for this music draws you in. Check out “Erie Canal”.

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