Friday, December 01, 2006


Hi all!

It's that time of year again, when us anal music geeks take stock of the year's releases and list them in a hierarchical order, bestowing honours on records that the creators of those records will probably never even hear about.

So why bother?

Because we enjoy it, that's why! At least I do. The rate at which I'm blogging these days has made me start a little earlier than I would have liked to, but if I leave it too late, I'll end up wrapping it up in March. I want it done by the end of the year, so let's kick off at the start of December.

There are two main lists; one for albums and one for songs. They were difficult to knock out for different reasons. The album list was difficult because I struggled to come up with fifty albums, at first, that I deemed worthy of a place. I did a bit of deeper digging however, listening more intently to some records that I hadn't given much time to on release and reassessing others that I had previously written off. Soon, I had a shortlist of around eighty albums, which was hard then to whittle down to just fifty. Tomorrow (most likely) I will be giving props to ten albums that didn't make the list but that I thought were worthy of a mention.

Tonight though, it's the term of the songs that didn't quite make the grade. As I refuse to limit myself just to singles, the songs list was hard because there was an embarrassment of riches to choose from. I decided to only include one song per band (with the exception of one band, who recorded two songs that I couldn't choose between and I really couldn't justify leaving one or the other off the list. You'll find out at some point who that is), this made the whittling slightly easier, but I still ended up with over a hundred songs.

I cut the long shortlist down to a nice, round one hundred and started to rate them by certain standards (which I won't go into now, as you'll think I'm an autistic savant or something). Once I had my fifty, I realised that the other fifty served as a kind of parallel top fifty songs of the year. So, here are the other fifty, in alphabetical order, with explanations, justifications and the odd mp3 along the way...

The Aliens - The Happy Song (Regal) (If only it had been King Creosote's version that was released...)
Ellen Allien & Apparat - Way Out (BPitch Control) (mp3)
Annuals - Brother (Ace Fu) (mp3)
Art Brut - Nag Nag Nag Nag (Mute) (mp3)
Asobi Seksu - Goodbye (Friendly Fire)
The Blood Arm - Suspicious Character (City Rockers)
Bugz In The Attic - Move Aside (Nurture)
Built To Spill - Goin' Against Your Mind (Warners) (Hypnotic brilliance and the only song worth hearing off Built To Spill's mighty disappointing comeback record, You In Reverse.)
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip (Planet E)
Cat Power - The Greatest (Matador) (Poor old Chan. If she had released this and the album of the same name much later in the year, it probably would have made the top fifty. Unfortunately, I think the album's faults show up more and more with each play, thus lessening the impact of this song, by proxy. If that sounds completely unreasonable, I don't care.)
Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken (Elefant) (For what it's worth, this was probably going to be number fifty-one.) (mp3)
The Early Years - All Ones & Zeroes (Beggar's Banquet)
Fields - Song For The Fields (Black Lab) (mp3)
Liam Frost & The Slowdown Family - Paperboats (LaVolta) (mp3)
Fuckpony - Ride The Pony (Get Physical) (mp3)
Fujiya & Miyagi - Ankle Injuries (Tirk)
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (Wea) (If I'm being honest, this is probably outside the fifty because it has been everywhere this year. That and the fact that I first heard it last year.)
Grandaddy - Disconnecty (V2)
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - We Choose Faces (Secretly Canadian) (mp3)
Isolee - Hermelin (Playhouse)
Jagged Edge feat. Jermaine Dupri - Stunnas (Columbia) (How the hell was this brilliantly braindead ode to wearing sunglasses in the club not a massive hit everywhere?! Beyond me.) (mp3)
Johnny Boy - Fifteen Minutes (Wild Kingdom) (So the album was mildly disappointing, but why was it not even released in the UK, the place that Johnny Boy call home? Disgusting.) (mp3)
Killer Mike - That's Life (Columbia) (One of the most furious, vicious tunes of the year that would have easily made the fifty if it wasn't for that pesky homophobia towards the end.) (mp3)
Kings Have Long Arms - Lisa Riley (Heart & Soul) (mp3)
Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow (Angular)
Marit Larsen - Don't Save Me (EMI Norway) (Probably the best pop song you didn't hear this year.) (mp3)
Lazy Fat People - Shinjuku (Wagon Repair) (mp3)
Lindstrom - The Contemporary Fix (Feedelity)
L.S.B. - Original Highway Delight (Eskimo) (Laid-back disco genius.) (mp3)
My Latest Novel - The Reputation Of Ross Francis (Bella Union)
Oneida - Up With People (Jagjaguwar)
OutKast - Morris Brown (RCA) (Idlewild was the first OutKast album that I didn't like, but 'Morris Brown' still rocks.)
Padded Cell - Are You Anywhere? (DC Recordings) (mp3)
Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks (Wichita) (Blogger's choice in 2006 in not making blogger's top fifty shocker!)
Phoenix - Long Distance Call (Source)
Rhymefest feat. Kanye West - Brand New (RCA)
Semifinalists - You Said (V2)
Sonic Youth - Jams Run Free (Geffen)
Spank Rock - Sweet Talk (Big Dada)
Jamie T - Sheila (Virgin) (mp3)
The Streets - When You Wasn't Famous (679) (Again, one of the few decent songs off one of the most disappointing albums of the year)
The Strokes - You Only Live Once (Rough Trade) (See above)
Tiga - (Far From) Home (PIAS)
Tapes 'N' Tapes - Insistor (XL)
Tortoise & Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Cravo E Canela (Domino) (mp3)
Trentemoller - Take Me Into Your Skin (Poker Flat)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts (Polydor) ('Maps'-lite it may well be, it was still the best song on Show Your Bones)
Yo La Tengo - Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind (Matador) (mp3)
Thom Yorke - The Eraser (XL)
The Young Knives - She's Attracted To (Transgressive)

So that's the bottom fifty. If you can guess what's in the top fifty, keep it to yourself and don't spoil the surprise for everyone else.



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