Top Five Albums of 2006

(Runners Up)

Due to my penchant for rambling long past my designated word count, I recently determined that there was no way I could possibly write about the top records of 2006 in just one column. Or two columns. Or five. So over the next six weeks, I'm going to devote a column a week to the countdown of 2006's best records. This week, it's the runners-up; all of which are good records, but they just didn't quite make the cut.

Jarvis Cocker—Jarvis

This would have made the cut, and maybe even a run at the top slot had it actually been released in the US. In fact, it's not even available in the States as a digital download—that is, as a legal digital download. Much to the chagrin of the RIAA, it's not too hard to get a copy, just be sure you get the full version, complete with the bonus track "(Cunts Are Still) Running the World." Much like in his Pulp days, expect another flawless Anglo-tastic dose of sex and boredom, from a guy who is cool enough to have invented them both.

Neko Case—Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

There's just something about Case's voice, that bombastic, yet polite, howl and how she has taken it upon herself to tastefully wake the ghosts of country music's past. Those who have had the pleasure of hearing Fox Confessor will understand why I speak so fondly of this album, and together we can come together and jointly pity those who have yet to hear it.

Ghostface Killah—Fishscale

Ghostface and me weren't even on speaking terms when he came around and dropped Fishscale this past March, but that soon changed. Of all the post-Wu solo records, the number of which now stretches into the thousands (that is, if you count the soundtrack to How High), Tony Starks' latest might be the best. Just promise me, Pretty Toney, no more songs about your Momma beating the crap out of you. Okay?

Pernice Brothers – Live a Little

It's hard to avoid hyperbole when I state my firm opinion that Joe Pernice is the single greatest living songwriter (Bob Dylan is dead, right?) still performing today. Granted, it's the opinion I share with a handful of other devoted fans, all of whom have been swooning over Live a Little, which is just another balanced dose of sweeping pop from Pernice and Co.

Honorable Mentions

Talkdemonic, Beat Romantic; Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome; the Cheap Seats, Fly Low, Icarus!; Joanna Newsom, Ys; Eric Bachmann, To the Races; the Evens, Get Evens; Astronautalis, The Mighty Ocean & Nine Dark Theaters; Tom Waits, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards