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BEST OF 2006
I'm so confused. Where am I? Everything's all topsy-turvy, it's like a crazy bizarro-world where everything is familiar yet somehow inverted. Stuff is bonkers! For instance! Hip-hop artists proving capable of delivering wildly entertaining and quality-controlled full-length albums, while alt-rock bands make masterpiece singles and peter out on their long players! A throwaway silly side-project neo-R&B song based on a spaghetti western sample somehow fulfills all scientific requirements to become a giganto worldwide smash, while audience-tested committee-pop stumbles! Political protest songs are suddenly mature and complex lyrically as well as musically, instead of the preachy treacle they seemed to be just a few years ago! The oldest bands in the world make brash, straightforward albums with a devil-may-care attitude, while young pop kids seem burdened with the weight of musical history! Up is down! Maybe it's today's splintered, niche-market culture that has allowed for such subtle reversals of trends, but it's freaking me out. Why is it all happening? Is it... the internet? Well, such things are for more attentive cultural critics than myself to figure out.
But while 2006 may not have delivered an earth-shattering album that seemed to change the whole landscape (or at least the perspective on the landscape) like a Loveless, Odelay, or OK Compuer, or even a critical consensus favorite like an Arular or a Play, such a phenomenon (in this aforementioned niche-market world) may not even be possible any more. So what we have is, I suppose, as good as you'd expect under the circumstances: lots of risk-taking albums with some hits and misses. It's something I think is forgivable when so many new areas are being explored and conventional notions are being flouted. Not every grotto will yield treasure, but the continued quality of the spelunking and diligence of the spelunkers is inspiring, and some of the stalagtites and stalagmites are way cool.
1. J DILLA Donuts (Stones Throw)
Seeing this album on very few critical year-end lists made me a bit insecure, so i spent time over the holidays listening to it again, as skeptically as possible; this only served as confirmation that Donuts was my favorite album of the year.
Sasha Frere-Jones wrote an essay for an Experience Music Project conference about the seeming disconnect between (white musicians) Diplo and DJ Shadow's DJ sets, which evidence black musical influences, and their actual album releases which were full of "white signifiers." While Frere-Jones maintained the piece wasn't a "calling out," the subject matter is understandably incendiary: are leading white DJs and producers not taking black musical traditions seriously, but treating hip-hop, baile funk, or Baltimore house music as "junk food"? Do they think "white signifiers" like emotional strings and minor chords are the only way to make an epic, meaningful album? It's a troubling thought, especially since I highly enjoy Diplo's Florida and, like many, count Endtroducing... among maybe a dozen all-time favorite life-changing albums. Am I complicit, as a white guy, in this equation?
Donuts, the magnum opus of J Dilla aka James Dewitt Yancey, seems to be a step towards a conceptual reconciliation. Sure, some conflicting reports say this album may have been intened by Yancey only as a "sketch pad" or a throwaway mixtape, or prototype loops for other artists to use themselves, but I don't care. Whatever the intention, what emerged is a fully realized companion to Endtroducing..., perhaps even more boundary-shattering--whereas Shadow's sampling focuses on Bjork, Metallica and scary movies ("white signifiers" indeed), the samples being refracted through the Dilla prism are color-blind, but overflowing with classic soul, R&B and jazz, rooted firmly in black traditions. One is tempted to call it "the Black Endtroducing," but it's really "The Everybody Endtroducing."
What's magical about Donuts is its combination of accessible listenability with avant-garde strangeness. The samples often feel easily familiar, but the loops are slightly askew, slowing unexpectedly, repeating at odd moments, fading in and out like a faraway radio station. Unlike mathematically precise downtempo like the great Boards of Canada, the construction process seems improvisational, with elements appearing and disappearing without a worry about pattern or structure. Meaning seems to come from the juxtaposition of the often minute-long individual tracks (only two or three of which seem to have any resemblance to traditional "songs") but there's also little DJ-style mixing or beatmatching. Sometimes beats just come to a halt: at one point a song kicks off only to give way to the sound of the record being rewound and the needle replaced at the beginning. It's been noted by other critics that sample-heavy crate-diggery is almost structurally melancholy in its reliance on forgotten, dusty old records--Shadow's Private Press comes to mind, with its ghostly long-lost voices--and that's another thing Donuts shares, a profound sense of loss, of looking back at a life in music. Vocal samples match the melancholy mood, singing lines like "you gonna want me back," and "I don't want to see you cry." Elsewhere, though, there's a playful spirit: blistering opener "Workinonit" features the repeated lyric "play me, buy me," a cheeky exhortation to the consumer, and "Lightworks" contains a subtly re-edited 50's commercial jingle with the singer's voice cut up to say something that sounds a lot like "light up the spliffs." The mood is melancholy but never self-serious.
In a sense Donuts throws off the whole racial dilemna Frere-Jones describes with a shrug, reaching back to epic albums like Marvin Gaye's What's Going On for a sonic and emotional pallette, but unafraid to head straight for rock guitar or the "Lightworks" corny commercial jingle. It manages to be both unpretentious and wildly ambitious.
Dee died of lupus only three days after this album was released in February of 2006, and was weakened and sick for long before that. Whether or not he was aware of his own approaching death, the album is suffused with a sense of grief, of someone saying "farewell," hoping to be remembered, seeing the approaching void but looking back with wonder at the beauty of existence. It's both heart-rending and life-affirming, and it's a masterpiece, precisely because it's so unassuming. Rest in peace J Dilla.
2. TV ON THE RADIO Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope)
This album came so close to being my album of the year, it almost deserves to tie. TV on the Radio are making sounds nobody else seems to be making right now: a combination of the apocalyptic experimental vision of Radiohead, the grit of Sonic Youth, and vocals reminiscent of Peter Gabriel. Album opener "I Was a Lover" reflects a lyrical maturity earned, perhaps, after their recent attempt at an anti-war song; the song subsumes its political anger under metaphor and turns it inward, and while the line "I was a lover / before this war" may be about Iraq, the following lines get stranger: "my clone wears a brown shirt / I seduce him when no-one's around / mano a mano / on a bed of nails." It ends on a note of both fury and guilt, with the line "we've been sleepwalking through this trial / and it's really a crime." Sonically the track is a revelation, as a simple hip-hop beat gives way to an apocalyptic sample of a mis-timed orchestral stab, with an impact like the tripods' horn from War of the Worlds: shocking and awe-inspiring. "Wolf Like Me" succeeds both as metaphor and as a simple, and kind of humorous, story about how being a werewolf is kind of fun, elaborated by the weirdly great video. More than any band except maybe the aforementioned Radiohead, this band makes music for the end of the world; anguished, fractured cries at the beauty of life and the horror of the modern world. My buddy Madden says the album gave him "comfort" in these troubled times, but I'm not so sure about that; the only comfort I find is the sense that they, too, are appalled and sickened by war and injustice. I guess it's something.
3. SONIC YOUTH Rather Ripped (DGC)
This band may be old, but they've made an album that sounds so fresh and unpretentious, it justifies their continued use of the word "youth" in their name. I've always loved their majestic feedback freakouts, like the epic breakdown in "Teenage Riot" or the extended sections of "Sunday" and "The Diamond Sea," but this album seems more akin to what I think are their greatest achievements: Goo and Dirty, albums that combine a pop straightforwardness with experimental sounds and obtuse lyrics. In the opener "Reena," Kim Gordon sings "You keep me coming home again," and while I'm not sure whom, or what, she's talking to, it's almost like she's talking about the music: the chiming, detuned guitars will bring me back again and again.
4. BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT S/T (Matador)
I'm so ashamed. This band seemed like a new, bluesy, American Portishead, and then I read their song titles: "We Share our Blanket with the Owl"?!? Holy crap -- they're hippies!! The two central members come to Northern California by way of Kentucky and purport to have some Native American roots, perhaps giving them the right to use pictures of teepees in their liner notes, but the packaging and lyrics become almost incidental when listening to tracks like "Everybody Daylight;" swampy, glacial blues, with a loping electric piano riff providing the structure, breathy vocals are nearly incomprehensible over the top, and the atmosphere is both sexy and kind of chilly. The leftfield surprise of the year.
5. GNARLS BARKLEY St. Elsewhere (Downtown / Atlantic)
It's so frustrating: Danger Mouse can really just do no wrong. From the amazing, melancholy and misunderstood "Grey Album" to the bouncy and brilliant Danger Doom album of last year, he's a producer's producer, finding the most obscure and amazing samples and putting them to the best possible use. "Crazy" deserves its own commentary (see below), but the album teems with tossed-off moments of brilliance: the jaunty neo-Motown of "Smiley Faces," the atmospheric downtempo of "Who Cares," the Fatboy Slim silliness of "Go Go Gadget Gospel." Cee-Lo proved the perfect accompaniment to Danger Mouse's whimsical productions, both soulful and funny, laying bare his insecurities and darkest moments and then retreating behind self-depreciating irony in a high, almost delicate voice.
6. THOM YORKE The Eraser (XL)
I like to imagine Mr. Yorke secretly planning this album away from the schoolmarm control of Jonny Greenwood and his fellow mates in Radiohead: "I'll make it with all sorts of Warp Records-style synth blips and I'll even swear, a lot! Tee hee hee hee!" Well, you can take the boy out of Radiohead but you can't take the Radiohead out of the boy, and this album has moments rivaling his band's hypnotic best. The almost-funky guitar riff of Black Swan could almost be a Prince b-side (you can even kind of sing "Raspberry Beret" over the top, try it, shit maybe I'll make a mashup), and the title track veers from a piano-chord clarity to an Aphex Twin coda. Uneven, as solo records will be, but wildly enjoyable.
7. THE FLAMING LIPS At War with the Mystics (Warner)
Another band taking political "protest" songs to another level, this album takes the epic battle of Yoshimi and the robots to the real world, where all thinking citizens battle the mystics (a great word) of BushCo. "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" and "The W.A.N.D." verge on nursery rhymes, with simple reassurances of your power, but musically veer from Dungen-inspired psychedelia to campfire-singalong. "Yeah..." doesn't pull any punches, though, and envisions power as an absolutely corrupting influence; this ability to criticize without losing complexity and self-doubt seems like a new development in political rock. Wayne Coyne's medicine man-style showmanship at live performances is just another benefit. Who knew, I sure didn't, that the band responsible for that "Vaseline" song would turn out to be American heroes.
8. GHOSTFACE KILLAH Fishscale (Island Def Jam)
Maybe I'm old, or square, but I just don't get cocaine. The one time I tried it, it just made my nose hurt and gave me a headache. Give me a nice vodka tonic instead, please. But apparently it's the big thing these days, and it's inspiring a slew of brilliant hip-hop. This album keeps a sense of humor (unlike Clipse's dire storytelling) and has an eclectic musical style to match, but ultimately it's Ghostface's compelling narratives that draw you in. "Kilo," for instance, opens with a hilarious little mini-skit about being all fucked up and dreaming you're on Star Trek. Not to distract us from the main point here which is: I deal a lot of cocaine, and here's exactly how I do it, in fascinating, slang-riddled detail. I'm completely amused by the chorus: the backup girls sing a little ode to the metric system that sounds like it's straight out of a Schoolhouse Rock episode: "A kilo is a thousand grams / it's easy to remember." Totally... even when you're completely whacked out on blow.
9. YEAH YEAH YEAHS Show Your Bones (Interscope)
An album that I think is suffering for its timing, coming out at the beginning of the year and causing a huge, and deserved, splash, it seemed to lose its critical momentum, and tracks that appeared to be surefire hits like "Cheated Hearts" went nowhere. Well, I remember how good it sounded in January, and how much of a revelation their live performance was at Bimbo's, and Coachella, and while this album doesn't show up as much in my listening rotation as it used to, for a while it was #1. "Gold Lion" took the band in a whole new pop direction, but the fire of "Date with the Night" was still in evidence. And jeez: God bless Karen O.
10. THE KNIFE Silent Shout (Rabid)
It would be so easy to hate this band: neo-gothy electro noodling with over-pronounced vocals buried under every effects box in the studio, it's amazing it's such a hipster favorite. Actually I take that back, what I just described is the exact formula for hipster favorite. In any event, it's propelled to greatness by the songwriting: always interesting and never resting on the production's laurels. Fellow Swede Jose Gonzalez proved that the Knife are almost making computer-assisted folk ballads with his acoustic reinterpretation their previous album's hit "Heartbeats," a sign the songs are more timeless than their packaging.
11. ISLANDS Return to the Sea (Equator)
12. DEFTONES Saturday Night Wrist (Warner)
13. YO LA TENGO I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)
14. BAND OF HORSES Everything All the Time (Sub Pop)
15. BOOKA SHADE Movements (Get Physical)
16. THE DUKE SPIRIT Cuts Across the Land (Universal)
17. CLIPSE Hell Hath No Fury (Jive)
18. E-40 My Ghetto Report Card (Reprise)
19. OH NO! OH MY! S/T (self-released)
20. JUNIOR BOYS So This Is Goodbye (Domino)
21. TRENTEMØLLER The Last Resort
22. JOHNNY CASH American V: A Hundred Highways (American)
23. CHAD VANGAALEN Skelliconnection (Sub Pop)
24. BECK The Information (Interscope)
25. J DILLA The Shining (Bbe)
26. LILY ALLEN Alright Still (EMI)
27. ARCTIC MONKEYS Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Domino)
28. LOVE IS ALL Nine Times That Same Song
29. VARIOUS ARTISTS Kitsune Maison Vol. 2 (Kitsune)
30. WOLFMOTHER S/T (Modular / Interscope)
31. MEW And the Glass Handed Kites (Sony)
32. EAGLES OF DEATH METAL Death By Sexy (Downtown / Atlantic)
33. WHITE ROSE MOVEMENT Kick (Independiente)
1. GNARLS BARKLEY "Crazy"
What to say about this? An article in the New Yorker recently investigated a company that's devised a software program to predict a song's hit potential; their running of "Crazy" gave them one of the highest scores the program had ever spit out. Amazing, then, the decidedly non-corporate gestation of this track: a barely altered sample of an Italian Spaghetti Western soundtrack, sent off to Cee-Lo to put some lyrics about both fearing and admiring the insanity of his favorite artists. I do feel like I've reached my (perhaps temporary) limit on hearing this song, after 12 months of saturation, but as the defining single of the year, I couldn't wish success on a better track.
2. HOT CHIP "Over and Over"
After a trip to London, my cohorts Adrian & Mysterious D reported that this song was everywhere, making its title a bit ironic, like rain on your wedding day... and you're marrying the weatherman. Actually Hot Chip have kind of beaten you to the irony, since this song actually is what it seems to be both lauding and subtly mocking: a repetitive, silly, party tune. "Laid back, I'll give you laid back," go the lyrics, and it seems like he's saying they can rock the dance floor as effortlessly as anybody, and maybe also giving a subtle nod to brilliant 80s Copenhagen electro duo ("White Horse," anybody?) at the same time. It wouldn't surprise me since odd, nonsensical things show up in both songs: what's going on with the tinkly jingle bells here, and what's making that wobbly vibrato sound, and why do they stop the song twice to spell out "kissing," "sexing," "casio" and "poke?" Who the hell knows, or cares, with a track this infectious and weird.
3. NELLY FURTADO w/ TIMBALAND "Promiscuous"
Oh Timbaland: how do you keep being so good? And how did you basically make a freestyle reinterpretation of "Enjoy the Silence" featuring a has-been hippie Adult-Contemporary singer and based around one of the most awkward words in the English language into the coolest mainstream pop hit of the year? Ms. Furtado has said in interviews that this song was the most improvisational of the recording sessions and the last thing they made; it reminds me of the story of Salt 'n' Pepa's "Push It," which was also envisioned as a throwaway B-side, but its unpretentiousness ended up being its charm. I spent some time listening to the instrumental of this, which I highly recommend: its deceptive simplicity gives way to an awe of the absolute control Timbaland has over the production process, and his willingness to experiment with strange, exotic sounds.
4. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Ain't No Other Man"
I didn't even know this girl had a new album coming out and there this song is, on the TV in my hotel room in LA, with this breakbeat-happy hyped-up '20s-style jam in double time, and you could almost believe it was a cover of some flapper dance hit in the speakeasies. I'm not one for overdramatic American Idol-style vocalists but Ms. Aguilera is always, always good.
6. SILVERSUN PICKUPS "Lazy Eye"
The only thing more surprising about this song than its My Bloody Valentine meets Smashing Pumpkins reference points is its near-unanimous acclaim amongst the LIVE 105 staff members. Everyone from the emo fans to the hipsters loves this, and I'm right there with them. A towering masterpiece of a single, it seems to contain only one note, and is already like 6 minutes long, but I wish it would go on forever. Sadly the Valentine references were just too overt on the disappointing album, but there was no more exhilerating moment in rock music this year than the swirling climax of fuzz and feedback in "Lazy Eye." Next move's yours, Pumpkins.
7. THE FLAMING LIPS "The W.A.N.D."
Like a remixed Dungen, the Lips created a towering, fuzzy riff and then draped all sorts of insanity over the top. The vocals are cut up and electronically filtered, so they echo and spin around your head. Their current political focus is at its best here, with lyrics giving way to an image of Wayne Coyne as Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice, waving his magic wand and turning Bush and Cheney into dancing broomsticks.
8. RIHANNA "SOS"
Somebody's been listening to mashups. The preponderance of bootlegs featuring the inescapable "Tainted Love" and a soulful vocal makes me think this track had to have been inspired by them; its booming update of the Soft Cell synths gave it legitimacy. Rihanna brings typical power to the vocal and when she references the original, singing, "I can't sleep at night," it's as if her melody was the right one all along.
9. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE "My Love"
Again with the Timbaland. Dude, what the hell? Now you're digging in the crates of freakin' Trance music to come up with your ideas? Taking what should be a supremely annoying, insistent synth line and turning it into an addictive riff you've got to have more and more of, "My Love" is even better than the Basement Jaxx-y "SexyBack:" weird, stupid, brilliant, and great on the radio all at the same time.
10. JUNIOR BOYS "In the Morning"
A great example of how subtle, delicate electro can pack a bigger punch than heavy metal. Taking its sweet time to build up, when the song finally explodes into a hip-hop-reminiscent squeaky synth line about 2/3 in, it's as big as any rock song.
11. THOM YORKE "Black Swan"
12. SPANK ROCK "Bump" (Switch remix)
13. BECK "Cell Phone's Dead"
14. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM "45:33"
15. GNARLS BARKLEY "Smiley Faces"
16. CLIPSE "Mr. Me Too"
17. BUSTA RHYMES "Touch It" (Remix feat. Missy Elliott, Rah Digga, and Mary J. Blige)
18. SA-RA "Hollywood"
19. THE GOSSIP "Standing in the Way of Control"
20. YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Cheated Hearts"
21. RICK ROSS "Hustlin'"
22. MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO-AND-SOS "Skeleton Key"
23. SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO "The Hustler"
24. ROBBIE WILLIAMS "Lovelight" (Soulwax Remix)
25. LILY ALLEN "LDN"
26. MEW "Zookeeper's Boy"
27. JUSTICE "Let There Be Light"
28. RACONTEURS "Steady as She Goes"
29. CHAMILLIONAIRE "Ridin'"
30. THE RAPTURE "Get Myself Into It"
31. ROCK KILLS KID "Hide Away"
32. SONIC YOUTH "What a Waste"
33. SEAN PAUL "Temperature"
34. THE PACK "Vans"
35. NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB "Ice Cream"
36. MEW "Special"
37. RACONTEURS "Level"
38. YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Gold Lion"
39. LL COOL J "Control Myself"
40. PERSEPHONE'S BEES "Nice Day"
41. CAMERA OBSCURA "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken"
42. FEDERATION "18 Dummy"
43. WOLFMOTHER "Woman" (MSTRKRFT Remix)
44. THE STREETS "When You Wasn't Famous"
45. ARCTIC MONKEYS "When the Sun Goes Down"
46. KENNEDY "Your Mama"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. KANYE WEST - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - This Is Happening
3. THE NATIONAL - High Violet
4. CARIBOU - Swim
5. TAME IMPALA - InnerSpeaker
6. VAMPIRE WEEKEND - Contra
7. BONOBO - Black Sands
8. ARCADE FIRE - The Suburbs
9. HOT CHIP - One Life Stand
10. GORILLAS - Plastic Beach
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Dance Yrself Clean
2. BIG BOI - Shutterbug
3. KANYE WEST - Power
4. ARCADE FIRE - The Suburbs
5. MAGNETIC MAN -
I Need Air
6. GORILLAZ - Stylo
7. TENSNAKE - Coma Cat
8. ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI - Round and Round
9. JANELLE MONAE - Tightrope
10. CARIBOU - Odessa
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – Merriweather Post Pavillion
2. THE XX – S/T
3. FLAMING LIPS – Embryonic
4. BIBIO – Ambivalence Avenue
5. THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART– S/T
6. BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW- Eating Us
7. BLOCKHEAD – The Music Scene
8. MOS DEF – The Ecstatic
9. BAT FOR LASHES – Two Suns
10. LITTLE DRAGON – Machine Dreams
1. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – "My Girls"
2. PHOENIX –"1901"
3. MAJOR LAZER – "Pon De Floor"
4. GRIZZLY BEAR –"Two Weeks"
5. JOY ORBISON – "Hyph Mngo"
6. MIIKE SNOW - "Animal (Fake Blood remix)
7. BAT FOR LASHES – "Daniel"
8. LA ROUX– "In For the Kill" (Skream)
9. MASSIVE ATTACK – "Psyche (Flash Treatment)
10. JAY-Z – "Empire State of Mind"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. PORTISHEAD – Third
2. TV ON THE RADIO – Dear Science
3. LIL WAYNE – Tha Carter III
4. M83 – Saturdays = Youth
5. HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR – S/T
6. THE VERY BEST -Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit Are the Very Best
7. SANTOGOLD – S/T / SANTOGOLD VS. DIPLO – Top Ranking
8. FLYING LOTUS – Los Angeles
9. BEACH HOUSE – Devotion
10. KANYE WEST – 808s and Heartbreak
1. SANTOGOLD "L.E.S. Artistes"
2. LIL WAYNE "A Milli"
3. MGMT "Time to Pretend"
4. GLASVEGAS "Geraldine"
5. FAKE BLOOD "Mars"
6. KANYE WEST "Love Lockdown"
7. VAMPIRE WEEKEND "A-Punk"
8. DJ MUJAVA "Township Funk"
9. PORTISHEAD "Machine Gun"
10. CUT COPY "Hearts on Fire"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Sound of Silver
2. RADIOHEAD In Rainbows
3. M.I.A. Kala
4. LIL WAYNE –Da Drought 3 / The Carter III
5. OF MONTREAL – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
6. KANYE WEST - Graduation
7. BLONDE REDHEAD – 23
8. JAY-Z – American Gangster
9. CARIBOU – Andorra
10. GUI BORATTO – Chromophobia
1. Rihanna – "Umbrella"
2. LCD Soundsystem – "All My Friends" / "Someone Great"
3. Battles – "Atlas"
4. M.I.A. – "Boyz"
5. Kanye West feat T-Pain – "Good Life"
6. UGK feat. Outkast – "Int'l Players Anthem"
7. Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"
8. Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake – "Give It To Me"
9. Justice – "D.A.N.C.E."
10. Dude N Nem – "Watch My Feet"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. J DILLA Donuts
2. TV ON THE RADIO Return to Cookie Mountain
3. SONIC YOUTH Rather Ripped
4. BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT S/T
5. GNARLS BARKLEY St. Elsewhere
6. THOM YORKE The Eraser
7. THE FLAMING LIPS At War With the Mystics
8. GHOSTFACE KILLAH Fishscale
9. YEAH YEAH YEAHS Show Your Bones
10. THE KNIFE Silent Shout
1. GNARLS BARKLEY "Crazy"
2. HOT CHIP "Over and Over"
3. NELLY FURTADO w/ TIMBALAND "Promiscuous"
4. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Ain't No Other Man"
5. SILVERSUN PICKUPS "Lazy Eye"
6. THE FLAMING LIPS "The W.A.N.D."
7. RIHANNA "SOS"
8. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE "My Love"
9. JUNIOR BOYS "In the Morning"
10. THOM YORKE "Black Swan"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. M.I.A. Arular
2. THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Twin Cinema
3. BLOC PARTY Silent Alarm
4. BECK Guero
5. ENGINEERS S/T
6. KANYE WEST Late Registration
7. TOM VEK We Have Sound
8. VITALIC OK Cowboy
9. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM S/T
10. DANGER DOOM The Mouse and the Mask
1. GORILLAZ "Feel Good Inc."
2. (Tie) KANYE WEST "Gold Digger" / The Legendary K.O. "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People"
3. M.I.A. "Bucky Done Gun"
4. AMERIE "1 Thing"
5. TOM VEK "C-C (You Set the Fire in Me)"
6. DAVID BANNER "Play"
7. CIARA feat. LUDACRIS "Oh"
8. LADY SOVEREIGN "Random"
9. PAUL WALL feat. BIG POKEY "Sittin' Sideways"
10. KELLY CLARKSON "Since You Been Gone
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. BLONDE REDHEAD
Misery is a Butterfly
2. FRANZ FERDINAND S/T
3. KOMEDA Kokomemedada
4. AUTOLUX Future Perfect
5. DANGER MOUSE The Grey Album
6. AIR Talkie Walkie
7. THE STREETS A Grand Don't Come for Free
8. TV ON THE RADIO Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
9. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
10. ARCADE FIRE Funeral
1. FRANZ FERDINAND "Take Me Out"
2. JAY-Z "99 Problems"
3. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM "Yeah"
4. NINA SKY "Move Your Body"
5. M.I.A. "Galang"
6. TV ON THE RADIO "Staring at the Sun"
7. SNOOP DOGG FEAT. PHARRELL "Drop it Like It's Hot"
8. FAITHLESS "Mass Destruction"
9. ELTRO "Motorboat"
10. ERIC PRYDZ "Call on Me"
1. THE WHITE STRIPES Elephant
2. NADA SURF Let Go
3. DIZZEE RASCAL Boy In Da Corner
4. THE RAVEONETTES Chain Gang of Love
5. RADIOHEAD Hail to the Thief
6. LUNGFISH Love is Love
7. SOFT PINK TRUTH Do You Party?
8. YEAH YEAH YEAHS Fever to Tell
9. HIDDEN CAMERAS The Smell of Our Own
10. THE STROKES Room on Fire
1. OUTKAST "Hey Ya"
2. THE WHITE STRIPES "7 Nation Army"
3. 50 CENT "In Da Club"
4. PANJABI MC "Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke)"
5. THE CURE VS BJORK "Hidden Forest" (GordyBoy bootleg)
6. JUNIOR SENIOR "Move Your Feet"
7. LUMIDEE "Never Leave"
8. ELECTRIC SIX "Danger! High Voltage"
9. ADAM FREELAND VS. NIRVANA "Smells Like Freeland"
10. BEYONCE "Crazy In Love"
1. THE STREETS Original Pirate Material
2. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Songs for the Deaf
3. INTERPOL Turn on the Bright Lights
4. 2MANYDJS As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2
5. DOVES Last Broadcast
6. SLEATER-KINNEY The New Beat
7. COLDPLAY A Rush of Blood to the Head
8. WILCO Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
9. DJ SHADOW The Private Press
10. FELIX DA HOUSECAT Kittenz and Thee Glitz
1. THE WHITE STRIPES "Fell in Love with a Girl"
2. FISCHER SPOONER "Emerge"
3. MISSY ELLIOTT "Work It"
4. EMINEM "Without Me"
5. THE STROKES VS. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Stroke of Genie-us" (Freelance Hellraiser bootleg)
6. THE HIVES "Hate to Say I Told You So"
7. KHIA "My Neck My Back"
8. KYLIE MINOGUE "Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head"
9. NELLY "Hot In Herre"
10. YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Bang"
1. Low Things We Lost in the Fire
2. Spiritualized Let It Come Down
3. The Strokes Is This It
4. Beta Band Hot Shots II
5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club S/T
6. New Order Get Ready
7. Richie Hawtin DE9: Close to the Edit
8. Radiohead Amnesiac
9. Basement Jaxx Rooty
10. The White Stripes White Blood Cells
1. Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
2. Gorillaz - 19-2000
3. System of a Down - Chop Suey
4. Nelly - Ride Wit Me
4. (tie!) Jay-Z - Izzo (HOVA)
5. Groove Armada - Superstylin'
6. Madonna - Don't Tell Me
7. The Faint - Agenda Suicide
8. Tool - Schism
9. Weezer - Island in the Sun
10. Utada Hikaru - Traveling
1. GRANDADDY The Sophtware Slump
2. RADIOHEAD Kid A
3. GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! Levez vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas to Heaven!
4. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Rated R
5. PRIMAL SCREAM XTRMNTR
6. DOVES Lost Souls
7. AT THE DRIVE IN Relationship of Command
8. EMINEM Marshall Mathers LP
9. YO LA TENGO And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
10. OUTKAST Stankonia
1. Zombie Nation "Kernkraft 400"
2. Aaliyah "Try Again"
3. Madonna "Music"
4. Queens of the Stone Age "Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"
5. Armand van Helden "Koochy"
6. Azzido Da Bass "Dooms Night"
7. Storm "Time to Burn"
8. Belle & Sebastian "Legal Man"
9. A Perfect Circle "Judith"
10. Detroit Grand Pubahs "Sandwiches"
1. The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
2. Sleater-Kinney The Hot Rock
3. Moby Play
4. Death in Vegas The Contino Sessions
5. Low Secret Name
6. Queens of the Stone Age S/T
7. Built to Spill Keep It Like a Secret
8. Godspeed You Black Emperor! Slow Riot for New Zero Canada
9. Royal Trux Veterans of Disorder
10. Underworld Beaucoup Fish
1. Ginuwine "What's So Different"
2. Underworld "King of Snake"
3. TLC "Silly Ho"
4. Basement Jaxx "Rendez-Vous"
5. Aphex Twin "Windowlicker"
6. The Roots w/ Erikah Badu "You Got Me"
7. 702 "Where my Girls At "
8. Len "Steal My Sunshine"
9. ODB "Gimme My Money"
10. Moby "Bodyrock"
1998 - LOST!
1. Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
2. Built to Spill Perfect from Now On
3. Pavement Brighten the Corners
4. The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole
5. Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
6. Radiohead OK Computer
7. Primal Scream Vanishing Point
8. Roni Size Reprazent New Forms
9. Fatboy Slim Better Living Through Chemistry
10. Dandy Warhols The Dandy Warhols Come Down
1. The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony"
2. Blur "Song 2"
3. Roni Size / Reprazent "Share the Fall"
4. Fatboy Slim / Pierre Henry "Psyche Rock"
5. Cornershop "Brimful of Asha"
6. Oasis "D'You Know What I Mean"
7. Dandy Warhols "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth"
8. Gus Gus "Believe"
9. Notorius B.I.G. "Hypnotize"
10. Bjork "Joga"
|Why yes, all these are charts I made at the end of each respective year. In retrospect many of them are, obviously, incorrect.