03 September 2009

The Decade List: Albums/Singles (2006)

When I mentioned in the 2005 edition of Albums/Singles that another of my favorite albums of the remaining four years was likely going to align with Pitchfork's choice, 2006 was the year. The Knife's Silent Shout is an album to be reckoned with, one that I'm still unable to rid from my mind. It's the sort of album that serves as a teleportation device for the mind, soaring it into uncharted landscapes and rhythms. Its sonic pulsations are still likely to send chills down my back, in a much different way than the Dreijer siblings have managed before. Though Silent Shout produced four singles, none even tried to call to mind their wildly successful "Heartbeats;" for the reclusive brother-sister pair, Silent Shout returned them into the tenebrosity they'd always preferred. Silent Shout is a luminous and terrifying creature, certain to appear in the upper tier of my official Decade List album ranking come December.

As for the rest, I've "fudged" a bit on some of these. I suppose technically Tom Waits' Orphans is more of a compilation than a 3-disc album. That sort of leeway was granted unfairly to a few others, some of which showed up (Massive Attack's "Silent Spring" with Liz Fraser, PJ Harvey's Peel Session version of "You Come Through," Pinback's "Versailles" off a collection of B-sides and rarities), some of which didn't (I omitted anything off Broadcast's The Future Crayon simply because I didn't have space for them). There are a number of other factors I didn't care enough about to adjust, such as my preference of The Hidden Cameras' Learning the Lie EP from 2005 over their LP Awoo from '06, which features a lot of the same songs re-polished, and the inclusion of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's The Swell Season, which is comprised mostly of songs from the film Once which probably should go along with the film music post I'm working on. With 2006, it's become clear to me the supreme importance of the few people who have shaped my musical awareness and taste for the past several years. So, a lot of credit goes to Bradford and Mike for leading me down the right path(s).

Honorable mention should be given to the Pet Shop Boys' Fundamental, Bat for Lashes' Fur and Gold, Sonic Youth's Rather Ripped and Peter Bjorn and John's Writer's Block. The albums are in loose descending order, with the number 1 as the only absolute.

The Knife - Silent Shout
Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance
Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
The Radio Dept. - Pet Grief
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová - The Swell Season
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The Hidden Cameras - Awoo
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Adem - Love and Other Planets
Psychic Ills - Dins

Assorted Jams for the Year 2006

Again, I've placed significance on the singles which made the deepest impression on me. This time around, I've ranked the top 30 and left the additional 70 in no particular order. There are, of course, some annotations to a few of them. Quite a few have incredible videos to accompany them, so if the art of the music video is your thing, check out The Knife's "We Share Our Mothers' Health," Gnarls Barkley's Zelig-inspired "Smiley Faces," Kelis' "Bossy" (yes, really), the Pet Shop Boys' "I'm with Stupid" starring the boys from Little Britain as Neil and Chris, Bat for Lashes' "What's a Girl to Do?" and The Hidden Cameras' "Death of a Tune."

Naturally, not all of the videos are as good as their respective songs. Overlong, non-musical narratives appear to have been in fashion in 2006, the worst of which being Busta Rhymes' send-up of Mr. & Mrs. Smith for "I Love My Bitch," which was known in MTV world as "I Love My Chick." It's joyless, unclever and finds the idea of replacing Kelis, the titular "bitch/chick," with actress Gabrielle Union for the video to be an acceptable one (it's not). "I love my baby" just doesn't have the same ring as "I love my nigga."

And yes, I'm aware of the ridiculousness of including Beyoncé's "Ring the Alarm," off her curiously titled album B'Day (I guess no one alerted her to the homophonous connection one could make with a device used to clean one's anus and genitalia). I must still cling to defensiveness in regard to my guilt-free love of pop music. Hopefully by next month I won't even have to address it. The songs without links weren't mistakenly left without them; I just couldn't uncover them streaming anywhere and didn't feel like mentioning it every time. Enjoy.

The Top 30

The Knife - "We Share Our Mothers' Health" [from Silent Shout]
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - "Strange Form of Life" [from The Letting Go]
Sufjan Stevens - "Sister Winter" [from Songs for Christmas]
Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. - "My Love" [from FutureSex/LoveSounds]
Bat for Lashes - "Trophy" [from Fur and Gold]
The Hidden Cameras - "Learning the Lie" [from Awoo]
Gnarls Barkley - "Smiley Faces" [from St. Elsewhere]
The Knife - "The Captain" [from Silent Shout]
The Radio Dept. - "The Worst Taste in Music" [from Pet Grief]
Grizzly Bear - "Easier" [from Yellow House]
Sally Shapiro - "I Know" [from Disco Romance]
Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová - "The Moon" [from The Swell Season]
TV on the Radio - "Wolf Like Me" [from Return to Cookie Mountain]
Tom Waits - "2:19" [from Orphans]
Pinback - "Versailles" [from Nautical Antiques]
Hot Chip - "And I Was a Boy from School" [from The Warning]
Cat Power - "The Greatest" [from The Greatest]
Ellen Allien & Apparat - "Way Out" [from Orchestra of Bubbles] (thanks, Jordany!)
Rihanna - "SOS" [from A Girl Like Me]
The Gothic Archies - "Crows" [from The Tragic Treasury: Songs from "A Series of Unfortunate Events"]
Lily Allen - "Smile" [from Alright, Still]
Kelis featuring Too $hort - "Bossy" [from Kelis Was Here]
Beirut - "Rhineland (Heartland)" [from Gulag Orkestar]
Amy Winehouse - "Me and Mr. Jones" [from Back to Black]
Elvis Perkins - "Moon Woman II" [from Ash Wednesday]
Peter Bjorn and John - "Amsterdam" [from Writer's Block]
Junior Boys - "So This Is Goodbye" [from So This Is Goodbye]
Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable" [from B'Day]
Adem - "Launch Yourself" [from Love and Other Planets]
Pet Shop Boys - "I'm with Stupid" [from Fundamental]

Les autres

Oakenfold featuring Brittany Murphy - "Faster Kill Pussycat" [from Faster Kill Pussycat]
Massive Attack featuring Elizabeth Fraser - "Silent Spring" [from Collected]
Albert Hammond, Jr.
- "Cartoon Music for Superheroes" [from Yours to Keep]
Bat for Lashes - "What's a Girl to Do?" [from Fur and Gold]
Psychic Ills - "Another Day Another Night" [from Dins]
Grizzly Bear - "Sure Thing" [from the Sorry for the Delay EP]
The Knife - "Neverland" [from Silent Shout]
The Rapture - "Get Myself Into It" [from Pieces of the People We Love]
Busta Rhymes featuring Kelis and will.i.am - "I Love My Bitch" [from The Big Bang]
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - "Crowd Surf Off a Cliff" [from Knives Don't Have Your Back]

Archie Bronson Outfit - "Cherry Lips" [from Derdang Derdang]
Grizzly Bear - "Knife" [from Yellow House]
Prince - "Black Sweat" [from 3121]
T.I. - "Why You Wanna" [from King]
Sufjan Stevens - "Star of Wonder" [from Songs for Christmas]
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - "Deus Ibi Est" [from Ballad of the Broken Seas]
Christina Aguilera - "Candyman" [from Back to Basics]
Band of Horses - "The Funeral" [from Everything All the Time]
Sally Shapiro - "I'll Be by Your Side" [from Disco Romance]
Danielson - "Did I Step on Your Trumpet?" [from Ships]

The Radio Dept. - "It's Personal" [from Pet Grief]
Sonic Youth - "Jams Run Free" [from Rather Ripped]
Beirut - "Bratislava" [from Gulag Orkestar]
Nouvelle Vague (vocals by Mélanie Pain) - "Dance with Me" [from Bande à part] (I'm not terribly sure whether this is a fan video or not, but Anna Karina dancing to this is just lovely)
Kelis - "Trilogy" [from Kelis Was Here]
The Knife - "Silent Shout" [from Silent Shout]
Hilary Duff - "Play with Fire (Richard Vission Remix)" [from the Play with Fire promo single] (This verse-free, loud remix is the only way to listen to this or any other Hilary Duff song... if only this was the direction her music career was heading...)
French Kicks - "So Far We Are" [from Two Thousand]
The Speakers - "The Mountain Tomb" [from Yeats Is Greats]
Xzibit - "Family Values" [from Full Circle]

Justin Timberlake - "FutureSex/LoveSound" [from FutureSex/LoveSounds]
The Black Angels - "The Prodigal Son" [from Passover]
Beyoncé - "Ring the Alarm" [from B'Day]
Soundpool - "On High" [from On High]
Lily Allen - "Knock 'em Out" [from Alright, Still]
Air France - "Beach Party" [from On Trade Winds]
The Zutons - "Valerie" [from Tired of Hanging Around]
Alcian Blue - "See You Shine" [from Alcian Blue]
Nelly Furtado - "Maneater" [from Loose]
Teddybears - "Alma" [from Soft Machine]

PJ Harvey - "You Come Through (Peel Session)" [from The Peel Sessions: 1991-2004]
Junior Boys - "The Equalizer" [from So This Is Goodbye]
Robin Guthrie - "Darkness of the Heart" [from Waiting for Dawn]
Grizzly Bear - "On a Neck, On a Spit" [from Yellow House]
Ludacris featuring Pharrell - "Money Maker" [from Release Therapy]
Awesome Color - "Grown" [from Awesome Color]
Amy Winehouse - "You Know I'm No Good" [from Back to Black]
Cold War Kids - "Hang Me Up to Dry" [from Robbers & Cowards]
Unk - "Walk It Out" [from Beat'n Down Yo Block] (forever linked with that amazing Bob Fosse dance trio)
Tom Waits - "Bottom of the World" [from Orphans]

Vapnet - "Thoméegränd" [from Jag vet hur man väntar]
Mos Def - "Crime & Medicine" [from True Magic]
Thom Yorke - "The Eraser" [from The Eraser]
The Hidden Cameras - "Death of a Tune" [from Awoo]
Grizzly Bear - "Particular to What?" [from the Sorry for the Delay EP]
Cat Power - "Lived in Bars" [from The Greatest]
Adem - "Crashlander" [from Love and Other Planets]
Peter Bjorn and John - "Up Against the Wall" [from Writer's Block]
Eagles of Death Metal - "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)" [from Death by Sexy...]
Christina Aguilera - "Ain't No Other Man" [from Back to Basics]

Cazwell - "All Over Your Face" [from Get Into It]
Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy" [from St. Elsewhere]
Grant-Lee Phillips - "Under the Milky Way" [from Nineteeneighties]
Asobi Seksu - "Thursday" [from Citrus]
Gwen Stefani featuring Akon - "The Sweet Escape" [from The Sweet Escape]
Charlotte Gainsbourg - "The Songs That We Sing" [from 5:55]
TV on the Radio - "I Was a Lover" [from Return to Cookie Mountain]
Tom Waits - "Children's Story" [from Orphans]
Phoenix - "Long Distance Call" [from It's Never Been Like That]
Grizzly Bear - "Colorado" [from Yellow House]

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