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urban75's albums of the year 2006
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urban75's albums of the year 2006
The urban75 selecta list their 30 best CDs from 2006

The results of the urban75 albums of the year 2006 poll are in.

Big thanks to bluestreak for compiling this list.

He added that it was, "a much more divided vote than last time. More people voted than last year, with more albums nominated, and not such a clear winner.

Last year Arcade Fire's Funeral walked the vote, with something like double the nominations of the nearest runner-up. This year is a lot closer."


Burial, urban75 album of the year 20061. Burial - Burial
Who saw that coming? In the year dubstep hit the mainstream the innovators rewrote the script.

We've already seen a couple of examples of what happens when people take a formula and fuck with it, and on Burial this is exactly what has happened.

Suffocating bass, static crackle, voices in the fog, time changes and off beats. This is a classic that takes a genre at risk of being destroyed by its own success and reworks it into something sinister and otherworldly.

This is dance music made in Hitchcock's subconscious.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Burial.
Buy now from Amazon

Joanna Newsom, urban75 album of the year 2006
2. Joanna Newsom - Ys
A confession: I think I might be in love with Joanna Newsom. Listen to her. look at her. This isn't no fanboy crush, this is love. When she sings on Milk Eyed Mender, I can hear choirs of slightly ket-fried angels; her harp flickers like butterfly wings during a summer field trip acid session.

Then she releases this album, and it becomes even better.

More fairytale beauty, more harpstring visions, but with layered strings, with production by Steve Albini, with rambling stories rather than playground chants. Heaven.
Buy now from Amazon

Thom Yorke,  urban75 album of the year 2006 3. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
The solo record that isn't supposed to be called solo.

In which Thom Yorke gets out his casio and creates lo-fi electronica.

Hissy skittering, warped folk, synthetic acoustics and a general sense of imagining electronic music made by old farmers in a barn.
Buy now from Amazon

Ballad of the Broken Seas  by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, urban75 album of the year 2006 4. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Ballad Of The Broken Seas
My personal album of the year, this was a tour de force. Lanegan's whisky-poet gravel and Campbell's lilting dreamsong combine on a record that is part folk, part blues, part lullaby, part torchsong, and all quality.

"'Ballad Of The Broken Seas' is the debut album from former Belle & Sebastian member Isobel Campbell and former Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age lead singer Mark Lanegan."
Buy now from Amazon

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Let Me Introduce My Friends by I'm From Barcelona, urban75 album of the year 2006 5. I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends
Let me refer to the garbled and beer-stained notes I made at their HDIF gig earlier this year... "best band i've seen in ages.... dancing... taches... stage invasions... NO TWEENESS... can i join them?"

Where the venn diagram between the Spree, the FLips, and Pavement crosses over. Superb.
Buy now from Amazon

Let Me Introduce My Friends by I'm From Barcelona, urban75 album of the year 2006 6. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
The Northern Libertines? The revenge of Terrorvision?

Arctic Monkeys have divided critics this year, and picked up the Mercury Music Prize along the way.

It's not great art, but the undeniably catchy tunes have been tearing up indie discos like nobodies business....
Buy now from Amazon

The Last Resort by Trentemoller , urban75 album of the year 2006 7. Trentemoller - The Last Resort
"Built around an encroaching shimmer of cold-water synths, the trademark minimalism is soon thawing the lower-end through subtle machinations that succeed in rendering an epic vision that doesn't rely on rent-a-philharmonics or bombastic gestures."

Boomkat. Quite.
Buy now from Amazon

Oneiric by Boxcutter , urban75 album of the year 2006 8. Boxcutter - Oneiric
Another dubstep-influenced record in the top 30? Yes, but like the others this isn't just dubstep, this is something special.

Layered atmospherics, acoustic harmonies, and old-skool influences combine to produce a record that is truly Oneiric.
Buy now from Amazon

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Return to Cookie Mountain  by TV On The Radio  , urban75 album of the year 2006 9. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
You know that feeling when you were right about a band. When your proselytising about some new young turks winds up a few years later with people thanking you for constantly playing that import EP at them?

That's what I get with this band. With this record they've made me feel proud that yes, I got them way back when...

It's a beautiful journey through layered harmonics, defying genre, a series of poems and moments of love. Pure fucking soul.
Buy now from Amazon

Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped , urban75 album of the year 2006 10. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Teaching the kids how to do it, is how I believe May Kasahara described this record. She would be right.

This is a storming return to long lost form, a reminder of why Sonic Youth are so god-damned essential.
Buy now from Amazon

Ghostface Killah - Fishscale, urban75 album of the year 2006 11. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Ghostface's best album yet emerges from out of nowhere. I know nothing about this record I'm afraid, so I'm not going to lie about it.

If one of the nominees wants to give a little review for the peeps I'd appreciate it. [nobody did]
Buy now from Amazon

Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And Will Beat Your Ass, urban75 album of the year 2006 12. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And Will Beat Your Ass
A welcome return to form from the kings of the underground. Extended semi-psychedelic rock-outs, feedback and fuzz, energy, life, exuberance and tunes. Good to have you back guys.
Buy now from Amazon

Nina Nastasia - On Leaving, urban75 album of the year 2006 13. Nina Nastasia - On Leaving
Shockingly lovely, Nina's voice is divine, and her haunting melodies are the sound of tears and love and nights spent in the woods.
Buy now from Amazon

Squarepusher - Hello Everything, urban75 album of the year 2006 14. Squarepusher - Hello Everything
A decade after Feed Me Weird Things set new standards for blowing minds Mr Jenkinson is still doing the job. A long way away from the drill-n-bass of the 90s, this is a lot more like the trippy jazzy electronica of recent album Ultravisitor.

To be truly experienced, Squarepusher needs to be seen live.
Buy now from Amazon

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The Fratellis - Costello Music, urban75 album of the year 2006 15. The Fratellis - Costello Music
And the nu-britpop machine grinds on and on. Chirpy lads, chirpy tunes.
Buy now from Amazon

Beirut - Gulag Orkestar, urban75 album of the year 2006 16. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
A stunning stunning record.

Sublime multi-instrumentalist conducts intensely private songs of heartbreaking beauty.

Influenced by klezmer, gypsy, and bedouin traditions without actually sounding like any of them. Recommended.
Buy now from Amazon

Muse - Black Holes & Revelations, urban75 album of the year 2006 17. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
The inexorable march of progpop continues.

Expect Queenlike levels of pomposity, searing guitar solos, and the one with the face like he's eating piss-soaked lemons to hit pitches as yet undiscovered.

Arena-rock as it is meant to sound.
Buy now from Amazon

Kode9 and the Space Ape, urban75 album of the year 2006 18. Kode9 and the Space Ape - Memories of the Future
What an album!

Doing incredibly interesting things with dubstep and some top deliveries from Space Ape this is a great work.

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife, urban75 album of the year 2006 19. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
One of the life acts of the year, the Decemberists followed 2005's Picaresque in fine style.

The troubadour affectations on this album give it a love-or-hate aspect, but without a doubt it's a fine record that hasn't received half the recognition it deserves.
Buy now from Amazon

Mastodon - Blood Mountain, urban75 album of the year 2006 20. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
A true rarity this; a heavy metal album with appeal outside the normal metal community.

As influenced by stoner riffs as by Slayer, riding both metal cliche and wide musical appreciation, this is truly a great album.
Buy now from Amazon

The Knife - Silent Shout, urban75 album of the year 2006 21. The Knife - Silent Shout
Electronica duo that crossed over this year from cult secret to coffee table favourite.
Buy now from Amazon

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Milanese - Extend, urban75 album of the year 2006 22. Milanese - Extend
"Scrunching handfuls of jungle, grime, dancehall, electro and dubstep into the fizzing whole, 'Extend' is an album all about the friction caused when rough aural surfaces connect" - Boomkat says it better than I can.
Buy now from Amazon

Damien Rice - 9, urban75 album of the year 2006 23. Damien Rice - 9
In which Damien Rice leaves behind the slicker songwriting of his debut for a more slapdash and endearing approach.

Some Urbanites clearly like the results!
Buy now from Amazon

The Roots - Game Theory, urban75 album of the year 2006 24. The Roots - Game Theory
Personally I felt this was a little like The Roots-by-numbers but hey, you voted for it.

Representing hiphop, funk, blues and perhaps even rock and disco, The Roots do their thing and they do it well.
Buy now from Amazon

Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, urban75 album of the year 2006 25. Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards
A Tom Waits career overview, a massive collection of songs that you may not have heard before, reworkings, rerecordings, out-takes and assortments. The man is a legend.
Buy now from Amazon

Peeping Tom - Peeping Tom, urban75 album of the year 2006 26. Peeping Tom - Peeping Tom
Possibly Mike Patton's finest moment yet. A series of superbly put-together collaborations including contributions from Amon Tobin, Kool Keith, and Massive Attack.
Buy now from Amazon

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Clark - Body Riddle, urban75 album of the year 2006 27. Clark - Body Riddle
Aphexy dark noise, confusing squeally stuff, and tight clickyness.
Buy now from Amazon

Four Tet - Remixes, urban75 album of the year 2006 28. Four Tet - Remixes
A remix album in the albums of the year chart? It must be good.... and it is.

Check the Radiohead and Madvillain remixes especially.
Buy now from Amazon

Ray Lamontagne - Trouble, urban75 album of the year 2006 29. Ray Lamontagne - Trouble
Debut album from American singer-songwriter draws comparisons to Elliott Smith and Van Morrison. An impressive debut.
Buy now from Amazon

Booka Shade, urban75 album of the year 2006
30. Booka Shade - Movements
German electrohouse dudes tipped as the next Underworld, apparently.
Buy now from Amazon


Disagree with the choices? Want to congratulate the voters on their immaculate taste? Reckon they've all got cloth ears?

Join in with the discussions on the urban75 bulletin board!

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