Best of 2006 - Part 5
10. Built to Spill - You in Reverse
It's probably not their best, but I think I was just in the mood for a new BTS album this year.
9. Damien Jurado - And Now That I'm in Your Shadow
2006 was the year of Denton, Texas. In addition to Damien's song named for this small north Texas city, Centro-Matic came in at #24 and....well, read on.
8. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
This is an album of outtakes and extras from last year's phenomenal release, Illinois. Despite this, I found myself almost as enamored with this as with its predecessor. Sufjan is one of two artists to land in my top ten two years in a row.
7. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Indie rock dorks experimenting with 70's influenced prog rock. Could it get any nerdier? Could it be any more magnificent?
6. The Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics
Conspicuously absent from most critics' year-end lists, this one was all over the place, but still great.
5. Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
One day they will be inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. You heard it here first.
4. Joanna Newsom - Ys
I highly recommend this, unless you're one of those people who are easily annoyed by quirky voices, extremely long songs, or music that takes a little time and patience to let sink in.
3. Mates of State - Bring it Back
I probably rated this album higher than anyone else did, but maybe that's because I'm a sucker for infectious indie pop.
2. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
The second artist to make my top ten in both 2005 and 2006. I'll have to check the archives to see if this has ever happened, even in the days when I only listened to 50-60 new releases a year.
1. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
I'd never even heard of these guys until I was searching on Amazon.com for the new album by The Drams. One of Amazon's "customers who bought this item also bought..." recommendations was this masterpiece by their fellow Denton, Texas brethren. Is it the Eagles meet E.L.O. or an America/Alan Parsons Project hybrid for the new millenium? Either way, it was easily the most compelling record of the year.
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