Albums: 2006

The best thing about December is the year-end top whatever lists. Pitchfork’s Top Fifty Albums of 2006 list makes me realize that the time has come to stop complaining about the site and just recognize that Pitchfork and I have very different tastes and musical priorities. It’s gotten to the point (as with Scanners) where I can sometimes tell I’ll like a band just by reading Pitchfork slam them. At any rate, I hesitate to make transcendent aesthetic claims about music since tastes differ and so forth, but my ten favorite albums of an “indie rock” nature in 2006 were, in no particular order:

  • The Pipettes, “We Are The Pipettes”
  • The Decemberists, “The Crane Wife”
  • Belle and Sebastian, “The Life Pursuit”
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves, “Elan Vital”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Show Your Bones”
  • Rainer Maria, “Catastrophe Keeps Us Together”
  • The Futureheads, “News and Tributes”
  • Arctic Monkeys, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”
  • The Shins, “Wincing the Night Away”

One noteworthy trend in my listing habits is, as Tom Lee notes, the relative decline of Canada. Our neighbors to the north dominated in 2005 with releases by Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, Metric, Feist, and Wolf Parade. For ’06 I’m Canada-free with Malajube, Emily Haines, and Pony Up! all releasing albums I liked but didn’t top-ten like. We can also see that I’m getting old and set in my ways as only two of the albums I listen for ’06 are from new bands. Last, I’m becoming increasingly un-cool, since as best I can tell the most widely-praised album of the sort of music I like was The Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America which I found okay, but not incredibly impressive.

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