40) Morrissey – Ring Leader of the Tormentors
Fun and Frolicking Morrissey Style
39) Roddy Woomble – My Secret Is My Silence
Folk at its most heart rending
38) Flaming Lips – At War With the Mystics
A debate between acid and our world
37) Bardo Pond – Ticket Crystals
Lushful and lustful
36) Whitest Boy Alive - Dreams
Alive with ideas
35) Joanna Newson – Ys
Poetic between the pitiful
34) Math & Physics Club – Math & Physics Club
Ballistic pop and breezy poetics
33) Ed Harcourt – The Beautiful Lie
Confrontational with his demons
32) The Research – Breaking Up
31) Adem – Love & Other Planets
Adem’s exploration into space
30) Psapp – The Only Thing I Ever Wanted
A scapegoat for solitude
29) Hope of the States – Left
Barbaric in noise
28) Pure Reason Revolution – The Dark Third
27) Dirty on Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens
Heartfelt In Sorrow
26) James Dean Bradfield – The Great Western
Pop & Roll Music
25) Me without You – Brother, Sister
A sunshine beam across the dark night sky
24) Roger O Donnell – Truth in Me
23) Working for Nuclear City – Working For a Nuclear City
Harmonious and Haunting
22) Seth Lakeman – Freedom Fields
Explaining Americana, Separating Myth
21) Sparklehorse – Dreamt Light Years In The Belly of a Mountain
Crazy, zany destruct to construct
20) The Long Blondes – Someone to Drive You Home
“Someone to drive you home” the debut record from the Long Blondes is built from the art rock perspective. Descriptive and sarcastic while at the same time purveying the model idea of Britain’s bored youth.
19) Liam Frost & the Slowdown Family – Show Me How The
Heartbreaking in its natural deliverance Frost is a modern day saint a man who delivers a message that isn’t peppered in positive spin. Things are far from perfect in this world and Liam Frost knows this well. His powerful poetry is a stark and honest message in the world of bullshit, long may he continue.
18) Larrikin Love – The Freedom Spark
Gypsy punk tales of outsmarting Mr Blair and simple but effective love stories on all sorts of weird and wonderful characters. The child like imagination of Larrikin Love’s chief writer is Barrett style in its ideology and warm in its delivery, exciting and amazing.
17) Gomez – How We Operate
From the opening drums down to the chilled rather retro blues, Gomez returned to writing tunes on this sixth album and first proper release for ATO records. The break from Sony and the American live has rejuvenated what was becoming a band that lacked ideas, from the sing along of “See The World” and the sweet “Girlshapedlovedrug” this is up with Bring It On.
16) The Format – Dog Problems
Beach boys sounding fun and poignantly delivered summery songs are warm and infectious. Between Kweller and Folds sits The Format banging out tune after tune of heart aching tunes of love and loss, superb.
15) De Rosa - Mend
Sceptical in its Americana De Rosa’s darkness delivers a beautifulness which also suggests commerciality. De Rosas fragility in vocals set back to the most catchiness of indie songs establishes a path for the future which will have to developed.
14) Northern & Western – The Gilded Age
Arousing in its mixture of scenario and scenery folk that’s far from crusty, country that is far from dull and the most luscious mix of vocals to deliver a style all of there own. Americana at it’s most breathless.
13) My Latest Novel – Wolves
Sweet vocals sung over an alluring and delightful mix of elegant sounds “Wolves” is fresh and invigorating it’s what Idlewild would be able to create if they could play it’s charming it’s exciting and it’s only the start.
12) Cat Power – The Greatest
Cat Power on this her second record crafted a feeling that showed how fragile the human mind was and how bleak the bottom of a bottle can be. Yet the imagery and captivating capture of her world is so bleak and honest it’s a piece on which the heavy heart is laid down bare.
11) Mystery Jets – Making Dens
Having arrived as a 5 piece from eel pie album and a love of all things floydesque 2006 saw the debut album bursting with an energy rarely seen. Jams galore and ideas a plenty “Making Dens” allowed the Mystery Jets to experiment further the second album should be no struggle.
10) Nicky Wire – I Killed The Zeitgeist
Brash, intelligent, heart-warming sometimes sad sometimes startling brilliant “I Killed the Zeitgeist” contains some of the most emotional songs committed to tape not polished not recorded and rerecorded just one take or two and then finished, A genius of a record.
9) Ben Kweller – Ben Kweller
Subtle in its message and warming in its heart, Ben Kweller’s third album returns the beauty of his debut. Full of melody and optimism Kweller in his simple but meaningful way brings his heart to the fore in some of the most honest songs this year.
8) Plus/Minus – Let’s Build A Fire
Ambient in spirit “Lets Build A Fire” speaks from the heart intently devouring the life that creeps around. A lesson in how to construct the deconstructed Plus/Minus lay hollow a air of hope in all the misery.
7) Jarvis – Jarvis Cocker
It’s NOT FUCKING PULP. This is possibly the most glaring observation on this the return of Jarvis Cocker, and also probably the most annoying thing a person could speak about the album. Hell it’s heart rending in its bitter social commentary Jarvis at least is back.
6) Andrew Bird - & the Mysterious Production of Eggs
Horrifyingly haunting and violin led Andrew Bird’s second album follows a path of mystical development and depth changing melody around the space of sixty odd minutes.
5) Victorian English Gentleman’s Club - Selftitled
Disjointed and disordered the debut from these three mortals is a collection of the chaotic and controlled. A lifetime of tunes in only 30 minutes it’s brilliant effective and simple, bang bang rock and roll up.
4) Jeremy Warmsley – The Art of Fiction
Wide eyed escapism Warmsley delievers what must be one of the debut albums of the year. The Art of Fiction has the depth and imagination that most modern music lacks. Its different in it’s hidden qualities as well as the qualities that are brought to the surface.
3) Final Fantasy – He Poos Clouds
Quite possibly the worst album title of the year if not the decade, Final Fantasy returned in 2006 with a glorious ambient vision covered in strings and solitude, beautiful within its strengths and its weaknesses.
2) iLiKETRAiNS – Progress/Reform
Epic building songs of massive scope this mini album might not count in many lists but it needs noting that Progress Reform is a cold piece with the vocals being delivered in such a sparse and detached way to leave the listener haunted by the very essence of what he is hearing.
1) Lupen Crook – Accidents Occur While Sleeping
He’s a weirdo, a freak a boy who plays in his own mind with words and phrases most of us dare to speak. Maybe but that’s doing Lupen Crook justice. He’s intelligent, strikingly bright, fragile and beautiful at the same time. His music is crafted, sentimental and vicarious, he’s a poet and he’s different.