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music 2006 Albums of the Year  

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NOTES: these were my rankings at the end of 2006; opinions have changed a bit since then and I will do an updated version of this list at some point (I've already cheated a bit because my original list only ranked the top 40; the rest were all "bubbling under"). My change in opinions would be the reason a higher-rated album may show below another.

I’ve been saying all year it was a lame year for albums, but in retrospect it was a good one, especially when you think of it in terms of sheer tonnage. Nothing absolutely blew me away, but a truckload, or at least a humvee-load, of decent-to-pretty-great records came out this year.

Trends:

Most of my fave new bands of last 5 years or so put out good-to-great records that were nonetheless slight disappointments compared to the masterpieces they released just prior – Drive-By Truckers, Mastadon, ISIS, Volta, Strokes

Another great year for metal. The youth of America have woken up and realized that Nu- and Rap-metal have the substance of are thankfully in retreat. All hail the old school (maiden, celtic frost) and the really creative younger extreme metal world (ISIS, Satyricon, Cult of Luna, Agalloch, Giant Squid, Mastadon)

At different times, any of the top 7 on the list could be the #1, just as the 5 or 6 after those are pretty interchangeable, the 6 or 7 after that, and so on.

1
Boys and Girls in America is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady - I’m frankly shocked at my #1 choice- a band on their 3rd release, I only got this like a month ago, and this is their first album that I’ve owned (I had an mp3 off the last album, liked it, but obviously not enough to pick up ...

The Best Songs with Year in the Title The Greatest One-Hit Wonder Songs of the 70s

2
Ten Silver Drops is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Ten Silver Drops The Secret Machines

3
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year

4
Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Modern Times Bob Dylan

5
Stadium Arcadium is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Stadium Arcadium Red Hot Chili Peppers - shocker of the year – 26 Chili Peppers songs and only a few that I have to hit "skip" on. Frusciante really coming into his own, Keidis somehow rarely annoying. Classic Rock.

6
Return to Cookie Mountain is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Return to Cookie Mountain TV on the Radio - whatever is in those Cookies is some good s**t

7
Amputechture is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Amputechture The Mars Volta

8
Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brother... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year

9
You in Reverse is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
You in Reverse Built to Spill

10
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Avatar Comets on Fire - I’ve always dug these guys in a ‘wall of rock sound’ way, but this is a whole new level. This year’s Most Improved award.

11
In the Absence of Truth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year

12
Everything All the Time is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Everything All the Time Band of Horses

13
First Impressions of Earth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
First Impressions of Earth The Strokes - a much better album than they got credit for, or that it’s sales merited

14
Broken Boy Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Broken Boy Soldiers The Raconteurs

15
Wolfmother EP is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Wolfmother EP

The Best Nicki Minaj Albums of All Time 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

16
A Matter of Life and Death is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
A Matter of Life and Death Iron Maiden - since reuniting with Bruce "The Air Raid Siren" Dickenson, Maiden have continued to amaze with prolific and quality records and tours

17
A Vintage Burden is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
A Vintage Burden Charalambides

18
St. Elsewhere is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
St. Elsewhere Gnarls Barkley

19
Both Sides of the Gun is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Both Sides of the Gun Ben Harper - a neglected record (probably because it was a double CD), the disc of more personal songs is excellent

20
The Greatest is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
The Greatest Cat Power

21
Living With War is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Living With War Neil Young - yes, it’s obvious that this was written and recorded in less than a week, and the "America The Beautiful" cover is atrocious – but, I’m a sucker for electric Neil, and the record has a wonderful energy that trumps the ...

22
Blood Mountain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Blood Mountain Mastodon - good stuff, though for me it hasn’t quite reached the heights of the one before that was all about seeking the Sea Beast. Plus it just doesn’t seem very Metal that a Cookie Mountain turned out more badass than the Blood one? ...

23
Monotheist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Monotheist Celtic Frost - comeback of the year

24
On an Island is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
On an Island David Gilmour

25
Mr. Beast is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Mr. Beast Mogwai - Mr Beast indeed.

26
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Pearl Jam Pearl Jam

27
Powder Burns is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Powder Burns The Twilight Singers

28
Pretty Little Stranger is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Pretty Little Stranger Joan Osborne - love Joan and glad to see her recovering from that hackneyed soul covers album a few years back.

29
The Road to Escondido is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
The Road to Escondido J.J. Cale, Eric Clapton - best album either of these codgers have released in 15 or so years

The Best Japanese Movies Streaming on Hulu All of the Types of Hot Women, Ranked

30
Half the Perfect World is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Half the Perfect World Madeleine Peyroux

31
A Blessing and a Curse is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
A Blessing and a Curse Drive-By Truckers - I’d probably rank this slightly higher if their last 3 weren’t so brilliant. This one is consistently good but never outstanding

32
10,000 Days is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
10,000 Days Tool - 3 amazing songs and a lot of filler, but since it has those 3 songs + the coolest album cover of the CD era, I’ll give it some love

33
The Life Pursuit is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
The Life Pursuit Belle & Sebastian

34
Metridium Fields is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Metridium Fields Giant Squid - you can’t go wrong naming your metal band after a Sea Beast

35
American V: A Hundred Highways is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year

36
On the Outside is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
On the Outside Starsailor

37
Endless Wire is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Endless Wire The Who

38
Passover is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Passover The Black Angels

39
Waterloo to Anywhere is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Waterloo to Anywhere Dirty Pretty Things

40
Buffalo Killers is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Buffalo Killers Buffalo Killers

41
Till the Sun Turns Black is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Till the Sun Turns Black Ray LaMontagne

42
Play Pause Stop is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Play Pause Stop Benevento/Russo Duo

43
This Binary Universe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
This Binary Universe BT - only had the chance to listen a couple times so far but he put out a 5.1 surround sound record last year that is excellent – no cheesy vocals, deep, layered electronica

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44
Sound Grammar is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Sound Grammar

45
Just Like the Fambly Cat is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year

46
Now, Diabolical is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Now, Diabolical Satyricon

47
All This Time is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
All This Time Heartless Bastards

48
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year

49
Under the Skin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Under the Skin Lindsey Buckingham

50
Show Your Bones is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list 2006 Albums of the Year
Show Your Bones Yeah Yeah Yeahs