The answer is thrice yes.
Yes. It is indeed my first post at this here web log. Yes. This is indeed a quite an ambitious entry for an e-phantom that has not yet gained your trust. And yes. Lists are indeed a bit hackneyed. But, I digress. This great year that has brought us catastrophe, heartbreak, and tragedy (More Jon Benet!), has also brought with it some mighty fine musical instrument segments, which I like to call “songs.” Now put eight or more of these “songs” together and you’ll get a little something named an “album.” Tens of these are made every day and often are lost in the clutter of a post-9/11 society. However, I try to hold on to the good ones and place them into concise numbered presentations, for you the reader. I have spent years working on this and would like to present you with my list of The Top Ten Albums of 2006.1. The Hold Steady- Boys and Girls in America
: “Boys and Girls in America” could possibly be the greatest album to ever creep through my incus and stapes. Eleven quasi-narratives centering on a single line from Kerouac’s On The Road: “Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.” Tastes of “Born to Run” Springsteen mixed with lyrical prose comparable to any of the best. “Boys and Girls in America” might possible the best compilation of socially conscious rock tracks since The Velvet Underground.Best Lyrics
: The devil and John Berryman took a walk together.
They ended up on Washington talking to the river
He said "I surrounded myself with doctors and deep thinkers
But big heads with soft bodies make for lousy lovers".
There was that night that we thought that John Berryman could fly.
But he didn’t so he died.
She said "you're pretty good with words but words won't save your life"
And they didn't so he died.
-Stuck Between StationsBest Track
: Stuck Between Stations2. The Format- Dog ProblemsWhy
: “Dog Problems” was robbed. A sophomore LP this good deserves to be album of the year, and The Hold Steady had to go and ruin that. Simply stated, the best pop album since Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut. “Dog Problems” combines Beach Boy-esqe harmonies with synth tracks that almost feel like Robert Smith wrote them. Dismantling e-hypocrisy everywhere, The Format lyrically destroys the social networking world that made them famous while with biting revenge, certainly cost a few record executives their jobs.Best Lyrics
: Sometimes, when sailors are sailing
They think twice, about where they’re anchoring
And I think, I could make better use of my time on land
Ill drink less
Cause lord knows I could use a warm kiss
Instead of a cold goodbye
I’m writing the folks back home to tell them
"Hey I’m doing alright"
-If Work PermitsBest Track
: Time Bomb3. Paul Simon- SurpriseWhy
: Think Postal Service meets Mrs. Robinson. Brian Eno stepped out of his realm to help one of the best song writers of all time try out something new. The first track ends with the hardest rock Paul’s voice has ever sung over and leads into an electrionica-folk album you can listen to with your dad.Best Lyrics
: I've been given all I wanted,
Only three generations off the boat.
I've harvested and I've planted.
I'm wearing my father's old coat.
-How Can You Live In The Northeast?Best Track
: How Can You Live In The Northeast?4. John Mayer- ContinuumWhy
: The nineteen-year-old girls that placed the lyrics to “No Such Thing” in their away messages have now grown up. So has John’s music. “Continuum” dances between the pop that made him famous and the blues that made him respectable. Afraid of growing up? This record is to help you cope.Best Lyrics
: And when you trust your television,
What you get is what you got.
-Waiting On The World To ChangeBest Track
: Stop This Train5. The Long Winters- Putting the Days to BedWhy
: John Roderick claims to be incredibly talented at writing slow songs with unhappy endings. However, it’s quite clear he’s talented at writing unhappy endings to fast tempos as well. One of the best lyricists in indie-rock, Roderick and the rest of his Seattle-based crew can call “Putting The Days to Bed” their best yet.Best Lyrics
: Tower likes to fall and cream likes to spoil
Everything living tries to get back to the soil
And what seems right and what's made for you
False prophecy doesn't mean prophecies are true
: Pushover6. The Streets- Hardest Way To Make An Easy LivingWhy
: The Streets continue to do something American hip-hop has not yet learned to understand. I can’t put my finger on it, but I have a feeling it has to do with accents and absurdity. While the actual title of this album should be “HAY LOOK GUYZ I’M FAMOUZ!!1” I would call it my favorite album in their discography. The narratives are weak but the beats are unforgiving and you can’t ask anymore from such an annoying voice.Best Lyrics
: But loud trashing is fucking droll
Spelling for all the death of Rock and Roll
Rap and Roll is separate to some acid trip
Cause Rock and Roll is fucking old
-Hotel ExpressionismBest Track
: Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living7. Mike Falzone- FairviewWhy
: Touting raspy vocals and a funk-based sound, Mike Falzone will be a household name in five years. Familiar around Connecticut and most of New England, he will remind you of what Gavin DeGraw and Mike Doughty’s love child might sound like. Falzone enters the studio with Joss Stone’s producer in a few months to record a follow up to “Fairview,” his best work to date. Want to be ahead of the curve? Start listening to Mike Falzone.Best Lyrics
: It’s enough to make you go hoarse
Take a vow, walk a mile just to end up in divorce
They treat love as if it was a chore of sorts
Just pretending that you’re happy
“Are you happy?” “Of course.”
-Third WheelBest Track
: Third Wheel8. The Killers- Sam’s TownWhy
: An homage to St. Pepper, The Killers return with a matured sound and more harmonies than a neo-wave fan would care to hear. While not as successful at this as “Dog Problems,” no listener can deny the catchiness and replay value of “Bones” and “When You Were Young.” A great album that would be much higher on this list were it to include lyrics as good as “I got soul but I’m not a soldier.”Best Lyrics
: If I only knew the answer
If I change my way of living
And If I pave my streets with the good times
Will the mountain keep on giving?
And if all of our days are numbered
Then why do I keep counting?
-Why Do I Keep CountingBest Track
: Bones9. Guster- Ganging Up On The SunWhy
: Had you asked me in December of 2005 if I thought that Guster made music with dark undertones, I would have shot you in the face and buried your body in a desert filled with the robot homeless. Yet after the release of “Ganging Up On The Son,” I could only refer to their new work as mysterious. Refreshing in its originality, Guster has allowed itself to find fans outside of Worchester. Okay, people in Brookline and Holden like them too.Best Lyrics
: You and I can quit this scene
Build a town and then secede
Like an Adam and an Eve
To the dreamers go the dreams
But leaders have the lead
It's a frightening, frightening thingBest Track
: Dear Valentine10. The Decemberists- The Crane WifeWhy
: Slightly less awkward than their earlier works, “The Crane Wife” sadly sounds more like adult contemporary than sea shanties. The second track entitled “The Island…” blares guitars reminiscent of the Tran Siberian Orchestra. The beautiful narrative “The Crane Wife 1, 2 and 3” all find their way into your bestiality loving hearts while “Sons and Daughters” gives the listener hope for the future of this country. While no “Her Majesty The Decemberists,” “The Crane Wife” stands up as wildly entertaining and creative.Best Lyrics
: My girl, linen and curls
Lips parting like a flag all unfurled
She's grand the bend of her hand
Digging deep into the sweep of the sand
: Crane Wife 1 & 2Runners Up (In No Order):
Snow Patrol- Eyes Open
Ben Kweller- Ben Kweller
The Mountain Goats- Get Lonely
Regina Spektor- Begin to Hope