Puckett's Favorite Albums Of 2006
I will only claim one thing about the following records - this is what 2004 sounded like for me. Some guilty pleasures, some great artistic accomplishments, and some selections that will likely leave you scratching your head. So be it. Music - and writing about it - is a frustrating thing and lists like these are intended to spark discussion and debate. With that said, let's get on with it. Here are the disclosures:
- I have some level of personal involvement with a number of bands on this list. I have either interviewed them, am in the process of interviewing them, am friends with them, talk with them on a regular basis, drink with them or otherwise have a relationship which extends beyond merely hearing the record. There are a substantial number of records which were released in 2006 by bands that I also have some relationship with that do not appear on this list.
- The only albums on this list which I did not pay for are:
- Brian Wilson, "SMiLE" CD (Nonesuch)
Yeah, I know. What the fuck, right? This is a punk site, this list is filled with punk, indie and metal albums, right? So what the fuck? It's very simple. This album is brilliant, filled with harmonies not heard in any significant, real or worthwhile way since the 1960s, and reminding me why the first record I ever bought - and I had to put it on lay-away, for those of you who remember such things - was a Beach Boys Greatest Hits album on Ronco. This record is playful, goofy, serious and filled with so many subtleties that you'll be listening to it a decade later and still hearing things for the first time.
Hey, I'm a geek. In any year, there's usually a handful of songs that I just can't hear enough, that I listen to on repeat for hours, that linger in my ears for weeks afterward. If I were making a mix CD of 2004, these songs would be on it.
- Wilco, "The Late Greats"
Of course, new releases weren't the only game in town. This year was pretty decent for reissues and collections, including:
- Collections of singles, EP tracks and other errata from Black Cross and the now-defunct Give Up The Ghost
If you didn't pick those up, you really might want to do so.
Every year, I wind up with discs that I'm just not sure about - albums that keep me listening and keep me interested, albums that I keep going back to like dysfunctional relationships with addicting people. Think of this list as albums that I reserve the right to add to my list of favorite records for 2004 whenever I see fit. Unlocking their secrets simply requires more time than I had to offer them in 2004.
- Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" CD (Nonesuch)
Most Overlooked Album Of 2003
How in the hell did I miss The Postal Service's "Give Up"? Good thing I corrected that mistake.
Múm's "Summer Make Good" features what is absolutely the worst packaging of the year. Sure, it looks good but the CD slips into a sleeve which is so tight that it has to be forced back in ... and practically pulled out with tweezers. It's just stupid - if you can get the CD out of the packaging without ripping the sleeve, you will be graced with some delightful glitch-pop songsmithing ... but that's a pretty big if.
2005 is already shaping up to be better - you will be hearing about the Jesu record that Justin Broadrick is releasing - I have a copy here, I can't stop listening to it and it's fucking amazing. If you can imagine a combination of Godflesh, My Bloody Valentine and Sigur Rós, you will have a vague understanding of how mind and genre-bendingly awesome the Jesu album really is.