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Wednesday, December 20, 2006
2006 REVIEW - Part One : The Music
So, here it is - my anaylsis of the year. I'll be doing it in four parts - music, TV, films and Doctor Who. To start with, it's music.

It's been some year for pop songs, the charts have been full of good tunes like: "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley; "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira; "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse; "Naive" & "She Moves In Her Own Way" by The Kooks; "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis; "Why Won't You Give Me Your Love?" by The Zutons; "Fill My Little World Right Up" & "Love It When You Call" by The Feeling; "When You Were Young" by The Killers; "Empire" by Kasabian; and "Starlight" by Muse.

Song of the year? Nearly.

There were also a number of top sounds that didn't make the top spot but were awesome nonetheless like: "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John (possibly the best tune this year); "Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above" by CSS (possibly the second best tune this year); "Like A Pen" by The Knife; "We're From Barcelona" by I'm From Barcelona; "Let's Get Out of This Country" & "Lloyd, I'm Ready To be Heart broken" by Camera Obscura; "To Die A Virgin" by The Divine Comedy; and "Oh Mandy" by The Spinto Band.
So here's the top ten of albums. Just missing out on a Top Ten place were "Back To Black" by Amy Winehouse; "Costello Music" by The Fratellis; and the debut from The Puppini Sisters.

10. Guillemots - "Through The Window Pane"
Although it doesn't live up to the majesty of "Trains To Brazil" the rest of the album is good stuff although a bit wispy at times. Significantly the new version of "Annie Let's Not Wait" has been re-recorded for radio play. Still, a great debut nonetheless.

9. Sigur Ros - "Takk"
Difficult to listen to on the iPod this one but certainly full of atmosphere and interesting production. The 'song' "Hoppipolla" was never off the BBC as they used it on every single ad they could. Late night listening, very cinematic.

8. Zero 7 - "The Garden"
This was a beautiful summer sound featuring Jose Gonzalez on about half the tracks - not a bad thing either. Very moody and, dare I say, groovy.

7. Peter Bjorn & John - "Writer's Block"
Again, another album that didn't live up to the majesty of its first single (in this case "Young Folks") but was excellent all the same. "Amsterdam" was another excellent track but the album loses it way a little towards the end but the production and arrangement have to be congratulated for being 'out there' (man).

6. CSS - "Cansei De Ser Sexy"
Here's the turning point, an album that lived up to the single and then delivered! The second single "Alala" was like being made love to by a sexy robot and the album fused great guitars with beats but more importantly - songs! And what great lyrics too "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex" is a perfect example of Johnny Foreigner beating the Brits at writing a good lyric. It's a solid CD and doesn't waver.

5. The Decemberists - "Crane Wife"
Not the happiest of bands but by christ they know hot to be epic. The lead track "Valencia" burnt a hole in my iPod(it didn't really) with its catchiness and while the rest of it is not 'catchy', its certainly moving and beautifully written. they don't seem to care about the current fashion for guitar bands and get on with singing 10 minute operettas about boats.

4. The Research - "Breaking Up"
This is like a greatest hits - every song could be a single and a great one at that. Brilliant lyrics and catchy tunes make this essential although the production is rather samey after you get over the initial "Hold on, there's no guitars in there but it sounds like there are!" reaction. Stand out tracks? Too many, get it and see why although the lyric "I love you but I'm scared I'll f*ck it up" never leaves my brain...

3. Belle & Sebastian - "The Life Pursuit"
When I first heard this, almost a year ago, I thought it would be the best of the year. my love for it hasn't wained, it's just been beaten by two better pieces of work. This is their finest moment, the album does not stop from the word go. Great, great tunes like: "Sukie In The Graveyard"; "For The Price Of A Cup Of A Tea"; and "The Blues Are Still Blue" all make by dinkle do a burp. A big juicy burp at that.

2. Muse - "Black Holes and Revelations"
This album shocked me. I wasn't really a fan before but this bust my nuts big style. Is it pop? Is it acoustic? Is it rock? Is it stadium rock? Electro Pop? Is it even flippin' prog-rock? YES! All of them. They've made a blinder with this one and the only low point, for me, was the first single "Supermassive Black Hole" which is perfunctory at best which is why this release shockled me so. Or even shocked. They do the pop thing with some applomb (see "Starlight" and "Invicible") but also 'borrow' the Mode's "Enjoy The Silence" (in feel alone)on the track "Map Of The Problematique" rather elegantly. The prog rock of "Knights Of Cydonia" had everyone talking but they managed to make it a hit single anyways, crazy stuff man. Of course, the lyrics are as hard and as bitter as ever but there's the soft side too. All in all, this is the best of the year. No hold on, there is another....

1. Ron Sexsmith - "Time Being "
Ron who? I bet you are saying. Every time this guy releases someting it hits the top of my end-of-year chart and this one does it again, even though it ain;t as good as his last couple. It's gorgeous, subtle and melancholic, all the traits of a great album. That's about it really, it is just ace, simple. Well done Mr Sexsmith, you've done it again.

Why did the germ cross the microscope?
To get to the other slide.


Til the next time
posted by Cameron McEwan at 12:51 pm -
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