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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Writers' Picks of 2006
MuteMath - s/t
The rest (in no particular order)
Norma Jean - Redeemer
And that's it. There were a handful of stellar discs for me this year but I enjoyed more "older" purchases than I did new stuff. I'd nominate Thrice's - Vheissu which I did not discover until this fall but it was released last october.
Happy new year all
Best of 2006
1) Scott Walker - the Drift
Walker's musical portraits of nightmares and terror remained for me the most staggering and stunning record I've heard this year. It takes effort to appreciate, but there is nothing else I've ever heard like the Drift.2) Danielson - Ships
In many ways an opposite of my number one pick; this is bright and uplifting folk-pop that never failed to put a smile on my face, no matter my mood or the time of day. Cast your cares to the setting sun...3) His Name Is Alive - Detrola
I'm amazed at how strongly these eccentric blues/jazz/indie/pop songs grip me. The lyrics are often delivered in a whispered/deadpan manner, yet it doesn't lessen their impact; it makes them starker, heavier. An original and deep record.4) Joanna Newsom - Ys
5) The Knife - Silent Shout
6) Serena-Maneesh - Serena-Maneesh
7) TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
8) mewithoutYou - brother, sister
9) The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
10) Jars of Clay - Good Monsters
Most disappointing of 2006:
Worst of 2006:
I feel a little mean giving a record I merely think is "dull" the "worst" tag, but it's also because I truly think Kutless can do more than this, yet they keep settling for typicality. Please guys...just a little originality won't hurt...
Can't wait for:
STILL Can't Wait For:
My top 10 CDs of 2006 (in no particular order):
Shawn Mullins - 9th Ward
Pickin' Parlor (Contains my favorite song of the year, Cold Black Heart)
My "+1" is my favorite Christmas Disc of the Year:
Various - Christmas Treasures,
A McPherson Guitars Instrumental Collection (see my Phantom Tollbooth review
Biggest Dissapointment of '06:
Third Day - Christmas Offerings
(This band usually plays simple music with some
I hope people do not disregard two of the best of 2007 that has been absent so far:
1- Jars of Clay Good Monsters
Albums in no particular order:
So says Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock
My Top CDs of 2006 (no particular order except Muse which is #1)
-Muse - Black Holes and Revelations - Incredible. This band is so good it is scary.
-Passion - Everthing Glorious - The Passion CD series has become the showcase for the best in modern worship. Great stuff. Crowder's racous live version of "You Are My Joy" is my fave song of the year.
-Demon Hunter - The Tryptych (Special Edition) - Metal mayhem mixed with melody; these guys have it all. The Special Edition is aptly titled, with some great acoustic songs and a DVD featuring videos, and a fantastic concert
-My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade - My boys got me into this band. Wow. Pretty intense and powerful stuff.
-Neal Morse - Cover To Cover - The most fun CD of the year.
-The Frost - Milliontown - An engaging prog-rock epic by one of the UK's top pop(!) writer/producers
-The Listening - 2006 started out with one of the best albums of the year. I miss the RRWC, but The Listening is a great place to pick up where they left off.
- Showbread - Age of Reptiles - Best CD title of the year, hands down. Big fun. They mention throwing up too much, but other than that this CD is weird, loud, in-your-face, and it features keytars. Which is just cool.
- Cheap Trick - Rockford - The boys are back in town.
- David Crowder*Band - B Collision - Crowder and the boys are creating some magical music and expanding the boundaries of worship music in wonderful ways. Road tested - this CD passed the rigourous youth group test as we went to Florida and sang "I Saw The Light" along with this album MANY times.
- Delirous? - Now Is The Time - An essential live audio/video worship experience.
- Mutemath - Great is spots and "eh" in a few spots. But one of the years most exciting releases. The live EP is a must.
- Jars of Clay - Good Monsters - Just what JOC needed to do - put out a good rock album.
Favorite Live/Concert DVDs
- Passion - Everything Glorious
Best DVD Special Edition:
Best CD Reissues:
Best iTunes Single
Relient K - "I Must Have Done Something Right" - Matt T & company are mastering a wonderful amalgam of rock with tasty pop touches. This single mixes punk with The Turtles and The Beach Boys
- Muse - "Supermassive Black
Best Video Game
- Guitar Hero 2
Best Books (non-fiction)
- Stephen Arterburn - The
Secrets Men Keep
BTW, "honorable mention" goes to Matt Redman for Beautiful News and Chris Tomlin for See the Morning. Great stuff from today's top worship leaders
1. Derek Webb - Mockingbird. Album of the Year. Webb continues to challenge me lyrically with each output, and the music ain't too bad either. The singing equivalent to Donald Miller's writing.
2. Bill Mallonee - Permafrost. Yeah, the man has issues. We all know that. But this is his best in several years, and no one opens a vein like he does.
3. Riviera - Capital. Mix George Harrison, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Wilco, and Ryan Adams up, filter out the crap, and you have Riviera. An indie Chicago band that should rule the world.
4. Neil Young - Living with War. On target with its message, and Neil edges just a wee bit closer to God with each record.
5. The Elms - Chess Hotel. Doing their best to get away from their Christian label past. At times, this is like a more melodic BMRC.
6. David Wolfenberger - Portrait of Narcissus. Acoustic based stuff out of Cincy. One of my favorite indies going back at least fifteen years.
7. Justin McRoberts - Grace Must Wound... Another indie Christian artist in the mode of Webb. Great stuff that almost no one is hearing.
8. Nickel Creek - Reasons Why: The Very Best. Good cross section of one of the most talented bands out there. Praying their hiatus is just that, and not a permanent breakup.
9. Lust Control - We Are Not Ashamed: Getting it Right the Second Time. A band that started as a punk rock joke turns out to have a serious message. Hilarious, disturbing, brutally honest. This is a re-issue with bonus live tracks, karaoke, and a commentary.
10. Colin Hay - Going Somewhere. My favorite re-issue of 2006. Former Men at Work singer gets wistful with a tongue in cheek look at getting older. Surely Zach Braff and I aren't his only fans?
Glen Phillips - Mr. Lemons
2006 was a difficult year. I missed a lot of music I normally would have reviewed due to personal issues, and just couldn't make the time. I bought less music this year than any year since the early 80's. Looking forward to better things in '07, starting with the new Crowded House on January 16th.
Best Album: Frost - "Milliontown"
Best New Artist: Jambi's Revenge
Best Record: Jambi's Revenge - "Invasion"
1. Frost - Milliontown
2. Jambi's Revenge - s/t
Honorable Mention: Eyal Maoz - Edom (released in late '05 but not acquired until '06)
1. The Prestige
*my advice = wait for the "edited for TV" version
Mute Math - Mute Math
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
The Decemberist - The Crane's Wife
Woven Hand - Mosaic
Iona - The Circling Hour
Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome
Bruce Cockburn - Life Short Call Now
Lost Dogs - The Lost Cabin & the Mystery Trees
Ashley Cleveland- Before the Daylight's Shot
Kris Kristofferson - This Old Road
MuteMath - s/t
Dave Beegle - Acoustic Mayhem
Danielson - Ships
Jars of Clay - Good Monsters
Flatfoot 56 - Knuckles Up
Ashley Cleveland- Before the Daylight's Shot
Best albums of 2006:
1. The Violet Burning