A year of interesting albums - pt. 4: 2006

In 2009 I began making album yearlists where I listed what I considered to be the best albums of years gone. The plan was to work my way backwards in time. This began in 2009 so the first year listed was 2008. Three lists have been published so far; 2008, 2007 and 2009 (which was published in 2010). Here's the 4th installment and the year is 2006.

The Knife: Silent Shout

Fascinating sophomore album from Swedish electro siblings. Dark and enigmatic. They're shrouded in mystery, a bit like Björk.

Mono: You Are There

Elegiac post rock from Japan. Many post rock bands veer close to something very trite and overdone but this is a beautiful and atmospheric album. Recorded by Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio Studios. People know what they're doing and it is audible.

Flaming Lips: At War With The Mystics

The Flaming Lips are always enjoyable musical company and this album is no exception. Maybe not up there with their masterpieces but still a good Lips album and a good Lips album is most certainly a good album by any standard.

Booka Shade: Movements

 2nd album from this German electro house/techno duo. This album works well as a long player. "In White Rooms" is a gem of a track! Both the original and the various remixes (found elsewhere) shimmer with electronic brilliance. Saw them live in the autumn of 2008 at Rust in Copenhagen. The club was packed and it was warm as hell.

The Black Angels: Passover

Debut album from this dark psychedelic rock quintet from Texas. Menacing mood stuff that digs into the darker corners of the soul. Great stuff. Seen them live twice. Very good.

Tool: 10.000 Days

Tool is cool! (always on the lookout for an opportunity to say that). Four geeks that make jammy art metal progressive geek rock AND sell loads of albums and have an international fanbase. It works. This album is awesome but Ænema (1996) and Lateralus (2001) are awesomerer...

Iron Maiden: A Matter Of Life And Death

 Traditional melodic metal from the band that came to define a lot of things metal in the 80's. Since 2000 they've had something of a renaissance. Saw them live at Roskilde this summer. It was awesome.

Mojave 3: Puzzles like you

The core members of this band used be in legendary shoegaze band Slowdive. Mojave 3 is acoustically oriented folksy guitar surf pop with a country tinge. Neil Halstead knows how to write a song.

Teitur: Stay Under The Stars

Beautiful and melodically strong collection of songs from Teitur. Probably his best album to date. Organic stuff.

Serena Maneesh: Serena Maneesh

This is one of the very best rock albums I encountered in the noughties. An amazing album that cuts through the history of rock and brings out the very best. Full of contrasts. Noisy, chaotic, wild and raving but also serene, beautiful, melodic and shimmering. Their 2nd album Abyss In B Minor (2010) doesn't disappoint.

Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped

Legends rip off themselves and play on it in the album title. This is not samey sounding, this is an album where Sonic Youth manage to distil their qualities into a collection of relatively short concise songs. They really know their craft and they've created their own language within rock music. I'm a fan.

Thom Yorke: The Eraser

The head honcho of Radiohead wents his electronic leanings on this not exactly cutting edge but still very decent collection. Moments of pure beauty here and there.

Justin Timberlake: Futuresex/Lovesounds

A brilliant pop album. Faroese graphics & film wizard Thomas Koba described it as "Michael Jackson releasing the Bad album without any lead vocals". In some sense that is the perfect description.

Bob Dylan: Modern Times

There's a boxing ring somewhere where this album and Serena Maneesh's debut album fight for the title of album of the year 2006. Great songs. Tradition. Lineage. And what an amazing voice. I mean that. Bob is probably my favorite singer in the world.
When people say that they prefer Bob when other people sing his songs it makes about as much sense to me as preferring Jimi Hendrix when other people play his solos...

Trentemøller: The Last Resort

Nice soundscapes. Last year's follow-up Into The Great Wide Yonder adds cinematic surf tones to the mix. The attention to detail is impressive.

120 Days: 120 Days

Along with Serena Maneesh this is one of the better bands to come out of Norway/Scandinavia in recent years. Love this album. Epic stuff. There's a lot of synth in rock these days but it's often put to mediocre use. These guys are an exception. They know their synths. Their 2nd album was out the other day. Seeing them live at Loppen next week.

Jóhann Jóhannson: IBM 1401, A User's Manual

Icelandic composer/musician. Jóhannson is also in Apparat Organ Quartet (four organ players and a drummer that make insanely catchy and groovy rock!) He's also a composer on his own. This album is very beautiful. I think I hear some Arvo Pärt in there. The story behind the album is quite moving.

Honorable mention:
Gestir: Burtur Frá Toftunum

I play keys on this so I can't really say anything. Just want to point you in it's direction.

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