The Top 25 Albums Of 2006

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25. Mark Lanegan & Isobel — Ballad of the Broken Seas

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(Do You Wanna) Come Walk With Me?

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24. Kelis — Kelis Was Here

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Like You

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23. Loose Fur — Born Again in the USA

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Ruling Class

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22. Clipse — Hell Hath No Fury

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Wamp Wamp

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21. Starlight Mints — Drowaton

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Pumpkin
Inside of Me

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20. Murs — Murray’s Revenge

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Silly Girl

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19. Sonic Youth — Rather Ripped

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Do You Believe In Rapture
Incinerate
Reena

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18. Califone — Roots & Crowns [Buy It]

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The Orchids

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17. Yo La Tengo — I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

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The Race Is On Again

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16. Camera Obscura — Let’s Get Out of This Country

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Let’s Get Out of this Country
Loyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken

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15. Destroyer — Destroyer’s Rubies

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European Oils
Painter in your Pocket

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14. M. Ward — Post-War

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Chinese Translation
To Go Home

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13. Jolie Holland — Springtime Can Kill You

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Springtime Can Kill You
Mexican Blue

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12. Belle & Sebastian — The Life Pursuit

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Song for Sunshine
Another Sunny Day

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11. Fujiya & Miyagi — Transparent Things

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Collarbone
Sucker Punch

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10. The Blow — Paper Television
Lo-fi, New Wave heaven. Like Peaches without the gratuitous T&A.

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The Parantheses
The Long List of Girls
Babay (Eat A Critter, Feel It’s Wrath)
True Affection

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9. Cat Power — The Greatest
Cat Power’s first record after getting sober. We miss the paranoid darkness of her previous work already—The Greatest can’t compare to her early work— but even a mediocre Cat Power record is a masterpiece. And it’s great to see Chan finally happy and more secure in her own skin.

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Could We
The Greatest

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8. Miho Hatori — Ecdysis
No one listened to this record. We have no idea why. Remember how much you liked Cibo Matto in the 90’s? Give Ecdysis a chance. Listening to Ecdysis is like listening to a less theatric Bjork. This is 2006’s most overlooked record.

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Ecdysis
In Your Arms

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7. Brightblack Morning Light — Brightblack Morning Light
We bought new speakers this year. This record is why. It’s also the best record to wake up to, perhaps, ever.

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Everybody Daylight
All We Have Broken Shins

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6. Mastodon — Blood Mountain
We admit it, we’re generally pussies when it comes to metal. Mastodon makes us want to rock.

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Crystal Skull

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5. Grizzly Bear — Yellow House
A huge departure from their lo-fi masterpiece Horn of Plenty, the lush and atmospheric Yellow House puts Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear on their way to indie’s A list. Plus, how can you not like a record that includes a cover of “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”

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On a Neck, On a Spit
Knife

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4. TV on the Radio — Return to Cookie Mountain
After underwhelming us in 2005, TV on the Radio has returned. We enjoyed their bizarre collection of promotional videos, many of which were filmed in Williamsburg.

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Wolf Like Me
I Was A Lover

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3. Ghostface Killah — Fishscale/More Fish (tie)
The critics have been giving props to Fishscale, which granted has the strongest singles of Ghostface’s 2006 releases, but More Fish is more consistently fun. Ghostface rules.

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R.A.G.U. [From Fishscale]
Ghost is Back [From More Fish]
Greedy Bitches [From More Fish]

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2. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins — Rabbit Fur Coat
The cutey from Rilo Kiley got all Dolly Parton on us this year. Rabbit Fur Coat is the best thing to happen to alt-country since Neko Case.

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Rise Up With Fists!
Live at The Echo [Great concert where she performs many tracks from Rabbit Fur Coat]

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1. Band of Horses — Everything All the Time
One part My Morning Jacket, one part The Shins, Everything All the Time is our undisputed album of the year.

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Funeral
The Great Salt Lake
Our Swords
I Go to the Barn Because I Like The …

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BEST COMPILATION
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Tom Waits — Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

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Bottom of the World
Lie to Me
Incidentally, um, what the fuck?!

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MOST ANNOYING ALBUM OF THE YEAR
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Joanna Newsom — Ys
Once she stops singing like a 12-year old girl who needs attention from her daddy, we’ll give her a chance.

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NOTHING BUT HYPE
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The Knife — Silent Shout
We hated this record before Pitchfork voted it number one. Now we really hate it.

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MEDIOCRE RECORDS BY ARTISTS WE NORMALLY ADORE
Neko Case — Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
My Morning Jacket — Z
The Handsome Family — Last Days of Wonder

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COMPLETE DUDS BY ARTISTS WE NORMALLY LOVE
The Decemberists — The Crane Wife
Bonnie “Prince” Billy — The Letting Go
Quasi — When the Going Gets Dark
Flaming Lips — At War With the Mystics

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THING WE NEED TO RECTIFY FROM LAST YEAR’S LIST

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We need to send our apologies to Wolf Parade’s Apologies to the Queen Mary. Last year we dissed it saying it had “Shelf Life of Unrefrigerated Vanilla Yogurt.” We were dead wrong. We’ve come to love this record. You see, we can admit we were wrong.

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ALBUM THAT OUR INNER ROCK SNOB BEGGED US TO INCLUDE EVEN THOUGH WE NEVER LISTEN TO IT
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Mew—And the Glass Handed Kites

We know they’re good, we just feel like we should be wearing plate-mail armor and waxing our 20-sided dice whenever we put this on.

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JAZZ RECORD EVERYONE SHOULD RUSH OUT AND BUY
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Ethiopiques, Vol. 21: Ethiopia Song: Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

FROM ALLMUSIC: The 21st volume in the grand Ethiopiques series (that reflects how deeply the country’s popular music traditions are steeped in American and European colonial sources) is dedicated to the solo piano works of the outstanding composer and performer Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, a daughter of Ethiopian high society who chucked it all to become a nun in the nation’s Orthodox Church. Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrouwas educated in Europe. She played violin (under the tutelage of Polish √©migr√© Alexander Kontorowicz). She took up her piano studies while in the convent and teaching at an orphanage. Her first recordings — two LPs — were issued in 1963, when she was 40. The first nine cuts here come from these two albums. Gu√®brou showcased her classical training on much of the first offering. But the opening cut also displays her incredible ability to play an extremely melodic blues piano as read through the great jazz masters of the instrument. One can hear a bit of Albert Ammons, a bit of Count Basie and Oscar Peterson, and even a trace of Art Tatum in “The Homeless Wanderer.”

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Homeless Wanderer

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OUR FAVORITE MUSIC-RELATED STORY OF 2006
Someone needed to call him on his bullshit. Why not Steely Dan? The Owen Wilson/Steely Dan Feud

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RELATED: Last year’s list

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