To Whom It May Interest #4: A Personal Best of 2006

To my fellow Tapeheads,

So, Letters began on May of 2006 as my own personal outlet for musical opinion. It was a way for me to either celebrate or crucify the releases of the year and discuss past albums that have made an impression on me. I must say, for the most part, I was happy with a lot of what I had purchased. Because of the money issue, and time, it was difficult to stay within a month of the release date for a lot of what I reviewed. For 2007, I’m going to try and pick up potential reviews and have them out relatively close to their respective release dates.

Anyway…this is everything I bought for 2006. The first 15 were, for me, the heavyweights. Some of these I did not review so, for the first 15, I’m including a small blurb. If anyone wants to know more about the non-reviewed CDs, please email me or comment and I’ll get back to you with some info. In the meantime, hope you enjoy the list.

Personal Best of 2006:

1). TV On The RadioReturn to Cookie Mountain
Rated 4 out of 4
Find review here.



2). The EvensGet Evens
Rated 4 out of 4
Find review here.



3). Tom WaitsOrphans
Rated 4 out of 4
Tom Waits’s much anticipated 3-disc set of unreleased and hard-to-find material is essential for fans. Highlights include “Lie To Me,” “Widow’s Grove,” a bluesy cover of the Ramones’ “The Return of Jackie and Judy” and a wonderful reading of Charles Bukowski’s “Nirvana.”

4). Johnny CashAmerican V: A Hundred Highways
Rated 4 out of 4
Cash’s last American release. Rick Rubin assembled this album from vocal tracks that Cash had committed to tape before passing away. It’s tragic that Cash didn’t live to see the album completed, but it’s a lasting testament to the faith and undying spirit the Man in Black embodied. Rubin’s treatment of the material is flawless.

5). Peeping Toms/t
Rated 4 out of 4
Find review here.



6). Thom YorkeThe Eraser
Rated 4 out of 4
Find review here.



7). OmConference of the Birds
Rated 3.75 out of 4
I wish this album had come out when I was in high school. Chris Hakius and Al Cisneros, two-thirds of the stoner metal band, Sleep, pull together a two song epic with grooves deep enough to pack more than just a typical bong load. Definitely one of the best albums I picked up this year.

8). Dub TrioNew Heavy
Rated 3.75 out of 4
Dub Trio’s inclusion into the mighty Peeping Tom record led me to New Heavy. Bad Brains riffs are met with Lee Perry dub, creating paradise in the concrete jungle. It’s kind of what Sublime was going for, but without the “party” angle. Real impressive grooves and percussion.

9). Gnarls BarkleySt. Elsewhere
Rated 3.75 out of 4
Find review here.



10). The RootsGame Theory
Rated 3.75 out of 4
Find review here.



11). Sonic YouthRather Ripped
Rated 3.75 out of 4
Find review here.



12). Eagles of Death MetalDeath By Sexy…
Rated 3.5 out of 4
Find review here.



13). Scott WalkerThe Drift
Rated 3.5 out of 4
Oh, Scott Walker, how you scare the shit out of me. Let me count the ways. One of the strongest and creepiest records of the year, Walker doesn’t fail to build atmosphere through heavy string orchestras and his own brand of eerie vocalization. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

14). Wolfmothers/t
Rated 3.5 out of 4
Find review here.



15). SlayerChrist Illusion
Rated 3.5 out of 4
A return to the Slayer of yore, with Dave Lombardo throwing down tirelessly, Christ Illusion kicks the ass off anything nü or new that passes for metal these days. They don’t sound like they’ve aged a bit.

The remaining:

16). Bob DylanModern Times
Rated 3.5 out of 4

17). BorisPink
Rated 3.25 out of 4

18). Les ClaypoolOf Whales and Woe
Rated 3.25 out of 4

19). Miho HatoriEcdysis
Rated 3.25 out of 4

20). Frank ZappaTrance-Fusion
Rated 3.25 out of 4

21). Tom VerlaineAround and Songs And Other Things
Rated 3.25 out of 4

22). ChannelsWaiting For the Next End of the World
Rated 3 out of 4

23). HelmetMonochrome
Rated 3 out of 4

24). The M’sFuture Women
Rated 3 out of 4

25). SparklehorseDreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
Rated 3 out of 4

26). Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic InfernoStarless and Bible Black Sabbath
Rated 2.75 out of 4

27). The Dresden DollsYes, Virginia
Rated 2.75 out of 4

28). The Mars VoltaAmputechture
Rated 2.5 out of 4

29). Joe LallyThere To Here
Rated 2.5 out of 4

And there you have it. Please feel free to comment and I’ll be back for 2007.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead
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