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  -  Jared Kaufman (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=186174)

Jared Kaufman 11/08/06 06:33 AM

Jared Kaufman

Many people want to complain and moan and say this was a terrible year for music. That statement, however, couldn't be any further from the truth. Were there some disappointments? Yes, but there were a lot of surprise, a couple out-of-left-field, and a few under-the-radar releases as well. Maybe all your favorite bands didn't deliver, but that doesn't mean music in general or as a whole was slacking this year. It's very possible you just missed some things, or were looking in the wrong places. With that being said, below is the list I came up with to express my feelings on and to review the year as a whole. These are my personal opinions and I don't expect anyone to agree with them fully, or even in the least bit, but I expect everyone to respect it. Hopefully some of the content you read below is foreign to you and sparks your curiousity enough to cause you to check out something new and fresh, which hopefully you can fall in love with or appreciate on some scale.

Top Albums of 2006

30) Chin Up Chin Up - This Harness Can't Ride Anything
29) Say Hi To Your Mom - Impeccable Blahs
28) Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager
27) As Tall As Lions - Self Titled
26) Placebo - Meds
25) Anathallo - Floating World
24) Sparta - Threes
23) Set Your Goals - Mutiny!
22) Burns Out Bright - Save Yourself A Lifetime
21) Plus 44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating
20) New Found Glory - Coming Home
19) Moneen - The Red Tree
18) Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
17) Antarctica Takes It! - The Penguin League
16) Murder By Death - In Bocca Al Lupo
15) The Long Winters - Putting The Days To Bed
14) Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
13) Islands - Return To The Sea
12) The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun,
11) Oh No! Oh My! - Self Titled
10) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
09) My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
08) Copeland - Eat, Sleep, Repeat
07) Owen - At Home With Owen
06) The Format - Dog Problems
05) Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child
04) Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
03) The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
02) Cursive - Happy Hollow
01) mewithoutYou - Brother, Sister

ExplainationOrdering the Top 5 this year was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I was constantly flipping, switching, re-ordering, re-arranging and tweaking the whole list, but especially those few slots. I think I've gotten it down to a pretty good representation of exactly how I feel and would order those albums, but a part of me will always consider those five a tie. If there's something on there you don't know, have never heard of, or have only heard the name of, then I suggest you take the time to at least visit the band's MySpace and get at least somewhat of a feel for what they're like and are all about.

Honorable Mentions

Hop Along, Queen Ansleis - Freshman Year
Mute Math - Self Titled
Controlling The Famous - Automatic City
Forgive Durden - Wonderland
Gatsbys American Dream - Self Titled
The Early November - The Mother, The Mechanic, and The Path
Men, Women & Children - Self Titled
Park - Building A Better ______
AFI - Decemberunderground
Trophy Scars - Alphabet. Alphabets.
Goo Goo Dolls - Let Love In
Thursday - A City By The Light Divided
Hit The Lights - This Is A Stick Up...Don't Make It A Murder
Spitalfield -Better Than Knowing Where You Are
Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now
Rise Against - The Sufferer and The Witness
These Arms Are Snakes - Easter
Saves The Day - Sound The Alarm
The Sounds - Dying To Say This To You
Starlight Mints - Drowaton
My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse
Tilly and The Wall - Bottoms of Barrels
Ef - Give Me Beauty...Give Me Death
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
The Hush Sound - Like Vines
Swan Lake - Beast Moans

ExplainationThere's just never enough room to include all the albums that come out in the year that you enjoy, so I make sure to include my "Honorable Mentions". These are albums that didn't make "the cut", but I really enjoy them, spent quite some time with them, and highly recommend to you all.

Top Singer/Songwriter/Solo Albums of 2006

16) Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
15) Emily Haines - Knives Don't Have Your Back
14) Jeremy Enigk - World Waits
13) Rocky Votolato - Makers
12) Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors
11) Caroline - Murmurs
10) Kevin Devine - Put Your Ghost To Rest
09) John Mayer - Continuum
08) M. Ward - Post War
07) Damien Rice - 9
06) Ray LaMontagne - Till The Sun Turns Black
05) Joshua Radin - We Were Here
04) Thom Yorke - The Eraser
03) Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
02) Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
01) Regina Spektor - Being To Hope

ExplainationIs this a cop out? Maybe. The singer/songwriter/solo artist category shined more than any other this year. I really loved a lot of these releases and wanted to make sure they weren't just included in the "Honorable Mentions", but were given their due, so I decided to form a section just for them. Sue me.

"Guilty Pleasure" Album of 2006

02) Rookie of the Year - The Goodnight Moon
01) Hawthorne Heights - If Only You Were Lonely

Albums I Missed In 2005

06) Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Broom
05) Editors - The Back Room
04) Winterpills - Self Titled
03) The Joggers - With A Cape and A Cane
02) Tapes N Tapes - The Loon
01) Margot and The Nuclear So and So's - Dust of Retreat

ExplainationThese are the albums that came out in 2005, but I was not aware of their existence and did not start listening and getting into them until this year. If they had been released this calendar year, then they would've most definitely been listed as some of the best.

Top EPs of 2006

04) Sherwood - The Summer EP
03) David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts
02) Page France - Pear / Sister Pinecone
01) Colour Revolt - Self Titled

ExplainationSherwood, what needs to be said about them? It was an honor being a part of releasing this exclusively on our site. This is one of the most honest, hardworking bands in our scene and they are completely owning the pop-rock-whatever you want to call it sound. If they don't get as huge as they deserve, it'll be an injustice to the world.

Page France released not one, but two, amazing EPs, which further established their spot in my list of "new" favorite bands. With releasing a full-length in 2005, these two EPs in 2006, and already working on their next full-length, it's safe to say this band pushes themselves and loves to write music. It's rare to see a band work this hard, and churning out songs so fast, without growing dull, espeically without sacrificing creativity or integrity.

Colour Revolt came out of left field this year to take the top spot here. I guess I should be thanking Brand New for taking them out on some tour dates, because I don't think I would've become acquainted with them otherwise. This is a band you need to know and get familiar with now. I'm expecting big things from them, and can only imagine what their full-length will sound like. Highly anticipated? It'd be safe to say so.

Most Disappointing Albums of 2006

06) Swan Lake - Beast Moans
05) Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
04) Umbrellas - Illuminare
03) Dashboard Confessional - Dusk and Summer
02) Say Hi To Your Mom - Impeccable Blahs
01) Brandtson - Hello, Control

ExplainationIt's not that I don't like these albums, or enjoy anything about them (shoot, Say Hi To Your Mom is in my Top 30), but they just left something to be desired and I was expecting something more out of them. Maybe expectations were set high, but I know they can do better, especially looking back at their previous work. Here's to their next release(s).

Best Producer of the Year

02) Brad Wood
01) Chris Walla

ExplainationYou may know him as a member of Death Cab For Cutie, but you should also know him for the work he's done as a producer. He did indeed produce Transatlanticism and Plans, but he also worked with The Decemberists and did Picaresque as well as this year's The Crane Wife. It's for the latter and the work he did this year that I'm giving him the title for Best Producer of the Year. The man knows how to capture a sound that forms and traps a certain mood. I also feel he's part of the reason why these musicians are pushing themselves in the studio to the extent they are, which in the end produces amazing records; he very well is bringing out the best, not just in the instrument, but the people behind them.

Best New Band of 2006

02) Colour Revolt
01) Manchester Orchestra

Runners-Up: Plus 44, Set Your Goals

ExplainationManchester Orchestra was a band I never even heard of until someone mentioned I should check them out a month or two ago. The second I heard the first track, and completed the first listen of the album, I was floored. This album has been an addiction for me, and one of those releases where you recommend it to anyone that asks or you meet. I haven't been this excited for a new act in quite some time, and they've definitely caught my attention.

Best Music Video of 2006

02) Damien Rice - "9 Crimes"
01) Thrice - "Red Sky"

Runners-Up: Owen - "One of These Days"

Best Lyrics of 2006

05) Mike Kinsella (Owen)
04) Jesse Lacey (Brand New)
03) Colin Meloy (The Decemberists)
02) Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra)
01) Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou)

Best Vocals of 2006

04) Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra)
03) Mike Kinsella (Owen)
02) Aaron Marsh (Copeland)
01) Dan Nigro (As Tall As Lions)

Best Live Show

02) mewithoutYou
01) The Decemberists

ExplainationI had the oppurtunity to see The Decemberists two nights, back-to-back at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, and I'll tell you that these were easily the best live performances I saw this year. The band is incredibly tight and sounds just as good, if not better, than their recorded material. You can tell they're all into it and have a passion for playing live music and music in general. It was just an overall good time. Colin Meloy is an amazing frontman who works the crowd, sings every word, includes the audience, and make sures you get your money's worth. If you're even remotely a fan of this band, then I am begging you to at some point go see them live.

Hardest Working Band of 2006

03) Sherwood
02) The Format
01) Page France

ExplainationPage France released Hello, Dear Wind in 2005, then the Pear and Sister Pinecone EPs this year, and are already at work on their next full-length. I don't think anymore needs to be said about them.

The Format released a fantastic album on their own label and backed it up with insane amounts of touring. And they also came up with the most creative, interesting, smart way to handle an early leak of an album and showed the industry a lot about how to use the computer, MySpace, online communities and so forth to further expose your band and make getting music out there easier.

Best Record Label

01) Polyvinyl

Most Overrated Band

05) Blackpool Lights
04) The Working Title
03) Alexisonfire
02) Underoath
01) Gnarls Barkley

Most Underrated Bands

14) Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
13) Starlight Mints
12) Antarctica Takes It
11) Islands
10) The Long Winters
09) Controlling The Famous
08) The Joggers
07) Oh No! Oh My!
06) Winterpills
05) Tapes N Tapes
04) Margot and The Nuclear So and So's
03) Page France
02) Colour Revolt
01) Manchester Orchestra

Best Single

03) Fergie - "London Bridge"
02) Plus 44 - "When Your Heart Stops Beating"
01) Justin Timberlake - "My Love"

Worst Single

02) JayZ - "Show Me What You Got"
01) Gwen Stefani - "Wind It Up"

Best B-Side

01) The Decemberists - "Culling of the Fold"

Best 'Other' Zine Website

02) Hate Something Beautiful
01) Pitchfork

Band of the Year

01) Brand New

Runner-Up: Manchester Orchestra

ExplainationI'm giving Manchester Orchestra some more love here because of all the reasons I mentioned above. Anyone that releases an album like they did and totally blindsides me gets all the credit I can throw their way.

Of course there are still the haters, but then there are those that have a real ear for music and the critics themselves. Not seeing a bad review for The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, with all the love most old fans are giving it and the new fans it has brought in, the number of albums they sold first week, and so forth, Brand New more than deserves to be called Band of the Year. Yeah, we got impatient, but with the gap between Deja Entendu and this release, it's amazing that so many people still cared and stuck behind this band. And I don't mean that in a negative way at all, it actually gives me hope for the honest-hearted fans of music. The album was a longtime in the making, but they were able to withstand all the demons (yeah, I'm a sucker for a bad pun) that reared their ugly heads and were able to release a rivoting, epic album. I cannot lie, because I did get worried and anxious at times, but it more than makes me happy to be able to still keep Brand New among my favorites.

Band(s) Most Pimped By AP.net

02) Brand New
01) The Format

Best Band Related DVD

01) Motion City Soundtrack - Hooray For The Madness

Best Movies of 2006

03) The Last Kiss
02) The Departed
01) Little Miss Sunshine

Best TV Shows of 2006

06) Scrubs
05) The Daily Show
04) 24
03) Entourage
02) The Office
01) Heroes

Most Anticipated Releases of 2007 (to name a few, and in no particular order)

- Fall Out Boy
- Jimmy Eat World
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
- Thrice
- Interpol
- Arcade Fire
- Motion City Soundtrack
- Emery
- Against Me!
- Every Time I Die
- Third Eye Blind
- Comeback Kid
- The Starting Line
- Armor For Sleep
- Bright Eyes
- Alkaline Trio
- Say Anything

Worst Song of 2006

01) Angels & Airwaves - "It Hurts"

Best Songs of 2006

10) Plus 44 - "Little Death"
09) The Format - "Time Bomb"
08) As Tall As Lions - "Love, Love, Love"
07) My Chemical Romance - "Mama"
06) Josh Ritter - "Girl In The War"
05) Owen - "Bad News"
04) Damien Rice - "9 Crimes"
03) The Decemberists - "Sons & Daughters"
02) Brand New - "Jesus Christ"
01) mewithoutYou - "In A Sweater Poorly Knit"

Jason Tate 11/08/06 12:43 PM

I'm in yor thread - stealin ur first post.

Jared Kaufman 11/08/06 01:47 PM


Originally Posted by Jason Tate (Post 4752204)
I'm in yor thread - stealin ur first post.

Haha. I love you, baby.

Melissa Johnson 11/08/06 05:39 PM

I'm in yer thread. Stealin' yer third postz.

neo506 12/21/06 01:20 AM



and them


Manchester and BN ftw

JunkBondTrader 12/21/06 01:27 AM

gnarls bakrley most overrated? shame on you

Jason Tate 12/21/06 01:33 AM

Indie snoB!

samantha b-face 12/21/06 03:05 AM

underoath: most overrated
i agree

CROMagnon 12/21/06 03:10 AM

how do you put nigro as best vocals and don't even mention atal's album anywhere? just curious how this worked

Jared Kaufman 12/21/06 05:41 AM


Originally Posted by CROMagnon (Post 5183881)
how do you put nigro as best vocals and don't even mention atal's album anywhere? just curious how this worked

Um, did you actually read my list?

agloriousruin 12/21/06 07:47 AM

Jared, your list will probably break the bank for me, as I plan to check out a lot of the stuff you have here that I haven't heard, mostly because whenever you've rec'd something that I've gone on to listen to, you've been right.

Keep up the good work, sir, and here's to more good times in 2007!

makebelieve327 12/21/06 07:54 AM

I think it's safe to include Tapes 'n Tapes in your list. The XL release was in June of this year, and if it means anything to you, Pitchfork included it on theirs.

I'm surprised to see Antarctica Takes It! there, let alone so high (your opinion, I know.) Nice to see The Long Winters getting some love. Not too bad of a list overall.

laryssa 12/21/06 07:55 AM

Yeahh, it's okay, but it's not the best, either.

im 2*Sweet 12/21/06 08:16 AM

how doou not mention the matches anywhere? and set your goals is not a new band by any means, they have ben around for at least three or four years. did you mean new to your ears?

Candy_Warhol 12/21/06 08:30 AM

Pfft. I find many things wrong with your list, sir.