Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Best Albums 2006 - Old Timers, New Heaters
Yo La Tengo and Pound for Pound prove old people can still rawk!
I can't think of a more perfect illustration of my perpetually tardiness and inability to just do something as this end of the year post in February. To be honest, I waited a bit to give a further listen to some late purchases. I decided to break it up into a few different lists, covering the albums that you've already heard about, the ones who've been slept on and the best of the newcomers who deserve far greater attention. This one is dedicated to some old-timers, legends at Pound for Pound, who released some wonderful music this year. I'm not sure how much love they got at the end of the year, but it seemed right to highlight them, as a reminder that it can't be all flavor of the months in the mp3 world. Can it?
Scott Walker, The Drift - I've gone back and forth on this one, at times considering it one of the best releases, other times considering it to be everything that makes "experimental" music so irrelevant- pretentious, difficult for difficult's sake, excess. The fact that the album provoked so much thought means it deserves a mention at the end of the year. Scott Walker's The Drift is a difficult album in all senses, tackling issues like genocide, Check out my original review and buy your own copy here.
Scott Walker, "Jesse" (YSI link)
Bob Dylan, Modern Times - This one's a no-brainer, considering I devote nearly a post a week to the music of Bob Dylan. The album was truly good, though, and I hope that everyone trusts me enough now to know that I would say what I felt. It's a blues-y, bar band kind of sound, with everyone in good form. However, it's the ballads and songwriting that makes this another classic, as Dylan drops some of the best songs of his entire career. We reviewed this a few weeks ago, go here to buy your copy.
Bob Dylan, "Workingman's Blues #2" (YSI link)
Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
Another great album by OG legends. Rather Ripped was a tight and focused album, a Sonic Youth pop album almost. I kinda miss Jim O'Rourke and the weirder version of the band he created, but that doesn't take away from this album that recalls Dirty-era stuff nor from the fact that they're a band that always needs to be heard. Buy your copy here.
Sonic Youth, "Reena" (YSI link)
Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Ahh, Belle and Sebastian. I must confess that I came to their music late in the game, within the last 2 years. It sounded good right away, but in the past 6 months it's sounded perfect to me. This album finds them in amazing form, lyrics and mood that speak to love and all of the beautiful things in the world. The sound is exuberant and polished, reminding me of . Yea to love and yea to Belle and Sebastian. Buy your copy here.
Belle and Sebastian, "Dress Up In You" (YSI link)
Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid Of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
This is the best of the lot imo, a sprawling, adventurous, diverse work that shows Yo La Tengo ain't goin' nowhere just yet. The trio are all over the map on this one, bringing together all the various styles they've gone through over the years, from instrumental soundtrack stuff to perfect lo-fi pop to sprawling droning, free jazz-y blowouts. It's an album that has the band at its peak and unafraid to find out just how further up they can go. Buy it here, as it's truly great.
Yo La Tengo, "Mr. Tough" (YSI link)