Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Revisiting My 2006 A-List

1. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale (still da man)
2. Wussy – Funeral Dress ('05)
3. The Roots – Game Theory (just a tad overenthusiastic...I'd stick Clipse here and Roots #5 now)
4. Be Your Own Pet (#2 since Wussy really doesn't belong)
5. The Replacements - Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? The Best Of The Replacements
6. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere (still a remarkably consistent album, though I burned myself out on it, especially "Crazy." i'm still a big defender, but the Eric Bachmann, Format, Dolls and others are definitely better)
7. Eric Bachmann – To The Races
8. Eef Barzelay – Bitter Honey (not top 10 material)
9. Neil Young – Living With War (not top 10 material)
10. The Format - Dog Problems (move up a little)
11. The Rapture – Pieces Of The People We Love (move up a little)
12. Jens Lekman – Oh You’re So Silent Jens ('05)
13. Man Man – Six Demon Bag
14. Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope
15. R.E.M. - ...And I Feel Fine: The Best Of The I.R.S. Years
16. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
17. New York Dolls - One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This (A low top-ten entry now)
18. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped (To my surprise, slip this down a little. most sy albums grow on me, so i kind of preempted that. now i think this is their worst since Sister or Goo, and yes, those are worsts for some)
19. Pearl Jam (at the bottom if still on the A-list at all. those cheesy ballads near the end ensure that. too much credit for "Unemployable" and those early fast ones, quite a few of which i can't remember, cuz i haven't played the damn thing since I put it on here)
20. Bob Dylan - Modern Times (down a bit. still great background music, but not best Bob)
21. Thom Yorke – The Eraser (up! undettered by Christgau as usual with this guy, still think it beats Thief)
22. Rhymefest – Blue Collar
23. The Streets - The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (better than Blue Collar and Modern Times, i know that)
24. Hamell On Trial – Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs
25. The Coup - Pick A Bigger Weapon
26. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife (could use a good drop to the lower 30s or so)
27. The Handsome Family – Last Days Of Wonder
28. The Hold Steady – Boys And Girls In America (ok, ok. top 20.)
29. Todd Snider – The Devil You Know (little lower. why were the raucous singer-songwriters so much less effecting this year than the snoozies?)
30. Thunderbirds Are Now! - Make History (up, up, up. top 20. the D-Plan lives!)
31. The Rough Guide To Bhangra Dance
32. We Are Scientists – With Love And Squalor (a tad closer to the bottom. I still regard this like an old punk album...great collection of singles with filler that grows on you)
33. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds (up a little)
34. Ghostface Killah – More Fish (up! who would've thought this would become my third favorite Ghost?)
35. Jesus H. Christ And The Four Hornsmen Of The Apocalypse
36. Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (i'd love to move this up but that length is much too imposing...I play it rarely)
37. Panic! At The Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out ('05)
38. The Rakes – Capture/Release (near the end...almost forgotten)
39. The Rough Guide To Planet Rock
40. The Long Winters – Putting The Days To Bed (up! again, christgau won't bend me. still excellent jangle-rock, if anything, i've got a better handle on its twisty choruses than i did before, particularly "(It's a) Departure" and "Hindsight")
41. M. Ward - Post-War (down a tiny bit)
42. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine (up a little!)
43. Ali Farka Touré - Savane (not an A-list album as the first four tracks fooled me into thinking. politely fades to a B+. i can't believe i fell for the death/overrate trick, but at least it was with this insane talent and not like, Jeff Buckley or Elliott Smith)
44. The Fever – In The City Of Sleep (again, B+. the fine moments remain astonishing--"Cry Wolf," "Redhead," but whether there is an A- album buried in here or not, there is an average one too. B+)
45. The National – Alligator ('05) (I suspect this would not be on my 2008 weeding of this list, but both this and the Cherry Tree EP hold up remarkably for music i find myself increasingly unable to defend as "not boring." Definitely one to cut-by-cut next time I play it, which won't be for a while.)
46. Scissor Sisters – Ta-Dah
47. Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution In Sound
48. Missy Elliott – Respect M.E. [IMPORT] (I don't know what to say about this one. It belongs on an A-list. I refuse to believe that Mystikal's best-of is more fun to listen to than Missy's best all in one place. But I NEVER EVER EVER play it. I didn't even then, it just felt like an event on paper, U.S. release or no U.S. release. Maybe she really only does work one summer at a time?)
49. Kimya Dawson – Remember That I Love You (Belongs in the bottom 3)
50. The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes [IMPORT] (A mistake. Their singles wear awfully, and though better tracks now stand out that didn't before, like "I Love You," their twists got old fast. Chalk another one up to the Pitchfork noise machine.)
51. KRS-One – Life
52. The Game - The Doctor's Advocate (Another mistake. Feels obvious, right? Well, at the time I was so shocked to like any Game at all that I tacked this on after two listens. Still not a bad album, and he's one lucky fuck if I may say so, considering "One Blood" sucks and the content of "Wouldn't Get Far" truly ruins an excellent beat. But I will not be caught dead A-listing this.
53. Morningwood (Still great, fuck off)
54. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (I hate to say it, but B+. Some about this fresh, young, energetic band bores the hell out of me.)

Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury (#3. It took me forever to stop nitpicking about its disjointed sounds and the notes' avoidance of closure, but once I did, this was seriously the only 2006 album I was still listening to.)
Crunk Hits 2 (A Christgau concession, though giving it an A is truly twisted. a mid-low A- will do just fine for the batch of retarded singles and the batch of fun ones)
Ion Petre Stoican - Songs from a Bygone Age Vol. 1 (Excellent document of instrumental precision. Only falters on the one with vocals, operatic ones that aren't to my taste. A- smack in the middle all the way)
Beyonce - B'Day (Top 25. Insanely consistent. Just what I've been waiting for from this singles queen.)
Journey Into Paradise - The Larry Levan Story (near the bottom but deserving. practically endless string of pleasurable dabbler-obscure disco)
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar (middle-bottom. probably better than the Crane Wife because of all the great horn riffs. feels more important than it is, because da-dum, he's a mere boy of 20, but he'll mature well so let's not spoil him now. look how Rufus Wainwright turned out.)


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