In keeping with the grump theme that's developed this week...
This time of year always means I'm starting to think about my end of year "Best Of" list, and, of course, my album of the year. Nowadays, when I put an album on, I listen to it with an ear for how complete it is. But what I'm finding is that most of my favorite releases from 2006 contain great songs, but lack something as a whole.
I can make quite a list of The Best Songs of 2006 - which I will do before the year is out - but it's much harder when I have to think of the Best Albums. They all seemed flawed to me. Dylan's is good, but it pales in comparison to his best work; The Decemberists new one is solid, but not Picaresque; Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's The Letting Go has some amazing songs and others that don't connect; The Mountain Goats record is a bit samey and sometimes a bit pathetic; Belle and Sebastian and The Long Winters are both good but not as strong as their previous efforts; Loose Fur isn't Wilco; Current 93 is just too freakish; Asobi Seksu is a bit too shoegazey; Art Brut is only good in small doses; Band of Horses is derivative; Figurines is fun but a tad immature...I could go on and on with my list but it's already well past my bedtime.
Over the next couple months, I will whittle them down and pick one. But last year there were at least five legitimate candidates for my top spot - albums I was really excited about, from start to finish.
All five would win this year.