See!! I told you I would!!! I have been sick for several days, but I am feeling better, and as a result, it is time… because you really wanted to know; my favorite CDs of 2006!! Now, this list is in no way representative of EVERYTHING I was loving in 2006, because I experienced a resurgence in my music interests half way through the year, and as a result, spent a lot of time catching up with great stuff I had missed… but, a lot of that stuff didn’t come out in 2006, so most of it won’t be on this list. Now, on to the goods. Here is the list of my favorite albums of 2006 (in no particular order, except for number one, because it is definitely my favorite of 2006):
Scissor Sisters – Ta Dah
Basically, this is the best CD of the year by a far. It is no secret how much I love this band, and I was more than excited to hear their sophomore effort, and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. Scissor Sisters are definitely one of the most talented bands in music today, and it is great to see such great music being made.
Stand out tracks: I Don’t Feel Like Dancing, Might Tell You Tonight, Everybody Wants the Same Thing.
Shiny Toy Guns – We Are Pilots
This is probably one of the most infectious pop records I have heard in recent months. I discovered this on one of my favorite pop music blogs, and have been loving it ever since. I describe it as if 80s music were done really really well, and was excellently produced, well, you would get something like this (or, if the Killers were good, they would sound like this). With both male and female leads, this group changes it up throughout the record and gives nothing but well produced pop. Pure candy for the ears. (Additional note: There are songs that were not included on the 2006 release (the major label release) of this record and many are fantastic. Make sure and download them any way you can; you won’t be sorry)
Stand Out Tracks: Don’t Cry Out, Waiting, Rainy Monday.
Dixie Chicks – Taking the Long Way
Controversy erupted on this very blog when I advocated support for the Dixie Chicks because of their outspoken take on politics, and I took flack for implying one should buy a CD because they agree with someone’s politics; but what was missing, was the fact that I love the Chick’s music as well. This CD is perhaps their best, in my opinion, and is obviously a big FU to those fans that turned their backs on them; they are staying, and are extremely talented, whether you want to admit it or not. It seems they don’t care if you do.
Stand out tracks: The Long Way Around, Not Ready To Make Nice, Bitter End.
Hellogoodbye – Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
I discovered this band through the video for the song “Here (In Your Arms), and initially, gave them very little thought. But, that song proved to be so infectious, that I checked out the rest of the CD, and ended up finding one of my favorite records of the year. If you like the aforementioned song, the whole record will fill you with sheer delight. Trust me. They are awesome. I saw them at the Masquerade, and these boys put on a great show, too. Definitely a band to keep your eye, and ears, on.
Stand Out Tracks: All Time Lows, Touchdown Turnaround, I Saw It On Your Keyboard.
The self-titled debut of the winner of the UK’s X-Factor has a lot of what Kelly Clarkson’s debut had: Raw talent. Not only is this boy extremely beautiful, he can sing beautifully! I can’t even describe how well he sings, other than to say his version of Over the Rainbow gives me chills. If you love pop, this is totally for you. An appropriate number of covers, and some very well written “launch” singles. Why can’t they do that for the Idols that win here? Oh well, at least we have Shayne…
Stand Out Tracks: No Promises, Stand By Me, Next To Me.
The American Idol cast off proves that not only can he sing, but he’s got the goods to make a great album. This rock album is not what I was expecting from an AI alum, but I am pleased that it wasn’t; it’s excellent! It is seriously an album of singles, great singles. It was obvious when he was on the show that Chris has a talent for rock, and now he has had the chance to prove himself, and prove himself he did. If you like good rock, check this out. It doesn’t hurt that he is definitely nice to look at as well…
Stand Out Tracks: It’s Not Over, Over You, Feels Like Tonight.
Laugh all you want, but I followed these girls through their grueling tryouts on Making the Band, and they can sing, dance, and do it all. This CD doesn’t disappoint either; I am not a huge hip hop fan, and I love this record. It is just so well produced and fun to listen to. I was glad to see the CD came out so well, because I watched the show in anticipation of their debut, hoping I would be pleased with this group I just wanted to love. Needless to say, I was more than satisfied. Diddy did something great by forming his girl group, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do next.
Stand Out Tracks: One Shot, Hold Me Down, Touching My Body.
All Saints – Studio 1
If you have heard of the All Saints, you should check out what they bring to the table with their “comeback” record. These girls are back with everything I liked about them back in the day (haha, just a few years ago, that is), and totally bring a fresh sound that is great to dance to. This is pop with a pulse. A bunch of the songs definitely have an edgy vibe, but it only brings out the ghettoness I have come to love in the All Saints; trust me, it sounds like you really shouldn’t piss these girls off. This is one import from the UK that you should be ordering if you want to hear a sample of what’s good that is going on over seas.
Stand Out Tracks: Rock Steady, Not Eazy, Hell No.
Dreamgirls Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition)
What else do I need to do to get you to see this movie??? Seriously, one of the best movies of the year, which also happens to be a kick ass musical, has a spot on the favorite CD list because after you see the movie, you will be singing the songs over and over in your head. This edition has every gem from the film, and if you liked this movie, is a CD that should be in your collection. I love when they remake musicals for film and get it right. This is one of those times. Jennifer Hudson is simply amazing. Wow.
Stand Out Tracks: And I’m Telling You, Move, One Night Only (both versions!!!), Listen.
Girls Aloud – The Sound of Girls Aloud… Greatest Hits
Basically, this is the MUST have Girls Aloud CD. It has all of their hits, and even some new great tracks. In case you are like, um, who is Girls Aloud, well, then it is time for you to come out from under that rock and realize that these girls are doing everything they can to save pop overseas… and they are doing a great job! A very danceable group, with the occasional ballad, Girls Aloud usually find themselves at the top of the charts for a good reason; they make great fun music, and I for one, am all about it! If you are just getting into them, this is the CD you want to start with. Now that you know, go and get it now.
Stand Out Tracks: Something Kinda Oooh, The Show, Love Machine, Biology.
Tunng – Comments of the Inner Chorus
The song Woodcat was recommended to me by a friend with a rather eclectic music taste, and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the weird vibe the song has. Since my interest was peaked, I decided to check out the whole CD, and it has a sound like I haven’t heard before; very airy, natural, acoustic, electronic, with interesting samples of vocal cuts, and just weird sounds in general, all coming together to make an enjoyable musical sound. This is definitely not a radio friendly record, but that is partly why I like it… It is probably the record that if seen in your car, people would be like, WTF? But you would know that it is something pleasant and awesome to listen to. I haven’t heard anything else quite like this.
Stand Out Tracks: Woodcat, Jenny Again, It’s Because We’ve Got Hair.
Indigo Girls – Despite Our Differences
While I don’t think this is the BEST Indigo Girls record, it is definitely a collection of great songs, some of which are fantastic (some of which instantly became favorites of mine). The only ones that I think bring the record down are some weird Amy Ray cuts; but that tends to be the trend with the Indigo Girls when it comes to my personal tastes. If you are a fan of previous Indigo Girls work, you will be satisfied, because if there is one thing that I love about the Girls, is that they know what their fans like, and are fantastic at delivering it; great acoustic rock with heartfelt lyrics. They also put on a damn fine show.
Stand Out Tracks: I Believe In Love (OMG I LOVE THIS SONG), Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate, Lay My Head Down.
Sugababes – Overloaded: The Singles Collection
Basically, this description should be close to the description of the Girls Aloud CD above; these girls make great pop, and this is the definitive collection of most of their top singles. There are new songs included on the release, with Easy being probably the best song they have put out to date, and if it signals a move in that direction, I am in for the long haul. If you love girls that love to get down, and if you love some just great pop, this is the group for you. Push the Button is probably one of the most addictive songs you will ever here. Be warned. The only thing that I would have loved to have seen on this collection is their insanely amazing cover of the Arctic Monkeys “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor”; which is much better than the Monkey’s version.
Stand Out Tracks: Push The Button, Easy, Red Dress, Caught In A Moment.
Rascal Flatts – Me and My Gang
I am not usually a country person, but this is the exception; perhaps because they have been nicknamed the boyband of country music. Most of their stuff is sappy ballads, but that is what I love about them. They have had a few stand out songs in the past, which got me to finally look into a whole CD, and surprisingly, I love almost every song on this disc. If you don’t like country, I would give this a try, because it is definitely more pop than country, and some of the lyrics to these songs will bring more than one tear to your eyes. Sappy pop-country ballads… mmm, what more could you want?
Stand Out Tracks: What Hurts The Most, Stand, My Wish.
Pink – I’m Not Dead
I was only interested in this CD because of the song Dear Mr President; which is excellently written and produced, but when I got the CD in the mail, I was surprised to find out that this is a pretty kick ass record. While Pink hasn’t even really been a favorite artist of mine, she has occasionally put out something I really liked, and in this case, she just happened to put a whole album of things I liked. There are a ton of potential singles from this record, many of which have been released overseas, but not here for whatever reason. It is also good to note that this isn’t like the Pink of yesterday… this is much more rock, and I like this direction she is headed in.
Stand Out Tracks: Dear Mr. President, Long Way To Happy, Leave Me Along (I’m Lonely)
Most people would probably be surprised that I am secretly into hard rock, and specifically hard classic rock, and this is an excellent example of both. Listening to this reminds me a lot of Black Sabbath, and I love it. I discovered this group through their song Woman on Guitar Hero II, and instantly had to hear more. When I got this CD, I was so elated that there was something that could rock the way they used to rock, and stay true to themselves at the same time. If you are a fan of the classic rock sound, and want to hear something new at the same time, these guys may be for you. Their sound also reminds me a lot of White Stripes, but without that creepiness that they give off (at least for me).
Stand Out Tracks: Woman, Dimension, Colossal.
And two honorable mentions (only because if I call them “best of 2006”, I might get egged or something like that, because I am sure many will NOT agree. Either way, they are both lots of fun, and actually are pretty great CDs whether you agree or not; seriously.):
Paris Hilton – Paris
I heard today that there is actually some controversy as to whether or not it is actually Paris singing on this album, and honestly, that doesn’t surprise me, the songs on the record are fun, radio-friendly, and totally dance-tastic. If you love pop as much as I do, and love good pop (not that shit Fergie and Gwen Stefani call pop) then you will appreciate the cheesy deliciousness of this CD. Also, remember, that you don’t always have to take yourself so seriously… this is one excuse to let your hair down and have fun for a minute. I mean, the sample from Grease in I Want You is worth the entire price of the CD in my opinion. Cheesy? Yes. Fun? Hell Yes. Really well produced? Surprisingly… that is why it is so good; NOT Paris Hilton.
Stand Out Tracks: I Want You, Screwed, Turn You On, Nothing In This World.
Pussycat Dolls – PCD
HOT DAMN. Seriously, I tried so fucking hard to resist these bitches, but they kept putting out better and better singles. And then it happened, they dropped fucking Buttons on me. Buttons was, and still remains one of the top 5 songs released in all of 2006. That song is so hot, you better not touch the single too long, or you will get burned. H-O-T is what P-C-D is all about. Sure, they aren’t really a band, they are burlesque act; but they are a really good act, and they can actually sing (well, Nicole can). Either way, they are full of great production, and each single is the type of pop I want to hear on the radio; Black Eyed Peas take note!! This is how it SHOULD be done; stop that shit you are doing.
Stand Out Tracks: Stickwitu, BUTTONS (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I Don’t Need A Man.
Hope you guys liked my list. Let me know what you were digging in 2006; I am always open to new suggestions!!! Also, I know many of you are scratching your head thinking, “Where is Gnarls Barkley?”. While I do like that CD a lot, I think it was WAY over hyped, and I am not going to continue that hype here. It was good, but not THAT great, ya’ll. Also, understand that there are probably other great CDs that came out in 2006, but these are the ones I listened to and fell in love with. Again, if you feel like something is missing, let me know and I will check it out!!! The movie list should be coming up soon too… stay tuned!