03 Jan 2007, 05:02

Favorite Albums of 2006

Asobi Seksu – Citrus

My Bloody Valentine-style swirly guitar squall with a more energetic, driving rhythm section and topped off with floaty Japanese female vocals. It may not be anything groundbreaking but it’s an excellent take on one of my favorite genres. Not a bad track on the album.

Calexico – Garden Ruin

At first it seems like a big departure from their trademark mariachi-tinged cinematic southwestern style, but the additions of alt-country and even rock are mixed in perfectly here, making this my favorite Calexico album to date. Also, this year I found that they give a great live performance so if you’ve got the chance you should definitely go see them.

Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies

I can never figure out exactly what Dan Bejar is going on about but the interesting and odd arrangements, intricate melodies, and tendency toward theatrics make this album feel like it’s always just about to go over the top but it’s a controlled chaos that makes for a great listening experience.

The Fiery Furnaces – Bitter Tea

For some reason, Blueberry Boat just didn’t really knock me over, but Bitter Tea is the perfect blend of catchy, quirky, and just plain weird.

Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Neko Case can do no wrong in my book. Another solid album of haunting songs, cryptic lyrics, and that unbelievable voice.

Maritime – We the Vehicles

Davey von Bohlen’s voice is probably an acquired taste but I listened to a lot of The Promise Ring in college and I’m a sucker for catchy bass hooks, which D-Plan alumni Eric Axelson provides plenty of. This album delivers much better on that potential that Glass Floor showed.

Beirut – The Gulag Orkestar

It’s like Neutral Milk Hotel got ambushed by a band of gypsies and swept off to go carousing across eastern Europe. Awesome.