Zombie Politics

I drank your milkshake.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Zombie's Year in Pop: MUSIC

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I started writing things but then realized I was taking really fucking long. So I thought I’d just throw my list up so Max could have something to make fun of (that sonofabitch). Keep in mind that I tried to exclude boring music (or as I like to call it ‘jazz’). I may update it later (probably will, in fact).

Anyway... My List

BEST ALBUMS OF 2006

01 The Knife, Silent Shout
The Swedish brother-sister outfit made a spooky, bouncy electro-pop haunted mansion, one that gave reference to its forbearers (Joy Division, Depeche Mode, the Berlin song on the “Top Gun” soundtrack) while creating something wholly unique, new and unforgettable. Quite literally the most haunting album of the year.

02 Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds / Nelly Furtado, Loose
It was just too hard picking one Timbaland-produced pop mega-masterpiece, so I put them both on there. And if you don’t like it - Tough titty said the kitty, but the milk tastes good.

03 Kelis, Was Here
A crazy, kaleidoscopic (reference intended), overstuffed gem that rewards repeat listens and served as 2006’s oddest, most underappreciated pop masterwork (it didn’t even chart on Pitchfork’s Top 100 of the year). Even the B-sides and remixes were utter genius.

04 Hot Chip, The Warning
Leaving behind the remote detachment that threatened to undo their debut, Hot Chip took their sound into the wholly genuine realm of pop song craft and came up aces. “Over and Over” remjavascript:void(0)
Save as Draftains a highlight of the year.

05 Lily Allen, Alright Still
The singular brilliance of this album is how bubbly and fun the beats are and how raw and dirty (not to mention undeniably clever) the lyrics are. A perfect summertime album, all sea breeze blowing and windows rolled down.

06 Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
Even if they are full of shit, Clipse’s tales of drug dealing are funny, compelling, wonderful nuggest of urban wish fulfillment. Either way, the stark, sparse beats by the Neptunes match the dark lyrical brilliance. It was worth the wait.

07 The Rapture, Pieces of the People We Love
So the Rapture decided to make a fake Beach Boys album for full length number two, and while it doesn’t seem like it would work (too airy, not angsty enough), it does, spectacularly

08 Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor
Testament to “feel good rap” not meaning “total shit.” It didn’t blow up like I thought it would have (or should have), sadly.

09 Bertine Zetlitz, My Italian Greyhound
Another woefully underappreciated album, this time from a Norwegian singer whose consistency is matched only by her lack of album sales.

10 MSTRKRFT, The Looks
MSTRKRFT wasn’t really interested in reinventing the wheel, just in making it bounce. And bounce it did.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Q Magazine's Fucked Up Best of 2006 List

There’s a lot that’s fucked up with Q Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Albums. Like, a lot. They panned two of my favorite albums this year (The Knife’s brilliant “Silent Shout” got like a star and a half and Robbie Williams’ “Rudebox” didn’t do much better), I’ve accepted that and am moving on… Slowly… But Q is known for it’s good, if sometimes too obvious, taste! This, this is just BAD. This could be because they rate one hundred albums and that’s a lot of albums. A top ten is really the best there is: no fat, have to make the tough choices, et cetera. I don’t even know if I listened to a hundred albums straight through this year (okay, I did), much less rank them on their merits. I mean, how much better is #85 than #86?

Still, this list is pretty ri-god-damn-diculous.

Take, for example, Justin Timberlake’s electro-funk masterpiece “Future Sex/ Love Sounds” being at #36 while the The Killers’ obnoxious faux-Springsteenery “Sam’s Town” wins a spot at #5. There’s a lot of these mind boggling juxtapositions.

Others:

Lily Allen at #57 / Jet (FUCKING JET) at #29

Hot Chip at #44 / The Kooks at #11

Ghostface at #76 / Kasabian (!) at #8

Keep in mind the fact that Grizzly Bear, Linda Sundblad, Lupe Fiasco, Basement Jaxx, Ratatat, Clipse, MSTRKRFT, The Rapture, Amy Winehouse, Booka Shade, Spank Rock, Linus Loves, All Saints, The Pipettes, Beck and Margaret Berger didn’t even chart. But you know what did? “Bat Out of Hell III” (#84).

It’s a sad day when I can assure myself I have better taste than Q Magazine, but that day has indeed come.


100) Matisayahu – Youth
99) The Concretes – In Colour
98) The Like – Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?
97) Boy Kill Boy – Civilian
96) Broken Social Scene – s/t
95) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – s/t
94) Duke Special – Songs From The Deep Forrest
93) Iron Maiden – A Matter Of Life Death
92) Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - The River Release
91) David Kitt – Not Fade Away
90) Adrian Sherwood – Becoming A Cliché
89) CCS – Cansei De Ser Sexy
88) The Young Knives – Voice of Animals And Men
87) The Magic Numbers – Those The Brokes
86) Mogwai – Mr. Beast
85) Antony Hamilton – Ain't Nobdy Worryin'
84) Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
83) Wolfmother – s/t
82) Regina Specktor – Begin To Hope
81) Tom Petty – Higway Companion
80) Vetiver – To Find More
79) Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly – Chronicles of A Bohemian Teenager
78) Espers – Espers II
77) Burial – s/t
76) Ghostface Killah – Fishscale
75) Junior Boys – So This Is Goodbye
74) Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
73) Willie Nelson - Songbird
72) Beyonce – B'Day
71) Secret Machines – Ten Silver Drops
70) Primal Scream – Riot City Blues
69) The Sleepy Jackson – Personality (One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird)
68) The Vines – Vision Valley
67) Shakira – Oral Fixation Vol.2
66) Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
65) Solomon Burke – Nashville
64) Plan B – Who Needs Actions When You've Got Words
63) Lostprophets – Liberation Transmission
62) Jamelia – Walk With Me
61) Sway – This Is My Demo
60) Joan As Police Woman – s/t
59) Sparklehorse – Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly of A Mountain
58) Badly Drawn Boy – Born In The Uk
57) Lily Allen – Alright, Still
56) Jack Johnson and Friends – Sing-A-Long and Lullabies
55) Nelly Furtatdo – Loose
54) Tom Waits – Orphans…
53) The Beatles – Love
52) Scritti Pollitti – White Bread Black Beer
51) Graham Coxon – Love Travels At illegal Speeds
50) The Twilight Singers – Powder Burns
49) John Legend – Once Again
48) Christiana Aguilera – Back To Basics
47) Morrissey – Ringleaders of TheTormentors
46) AFX – Chosen Lords
45) David Gilmour – On A Island
44) Hot Chip – The Warning
43) Lampchop –Damaged
42) The Zutons – Tired Of Hangin' Around
41) The Automatic – Not Accepted Anywhere
40) The Strokes – First Impressions Of Earth
39) TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
38) Neil Young – Living With War
37) Cat Power – The Greatest
36) Justin Timberlake – Futuresex/L:ovesounds
35) Orson – Bright Idea
34) The Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
33) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
32) My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
31) Paul Simon – Surprise
30) OutKast – Idlewild
29) Jet – Shine On
28) Elton John – The Captain and The Kid
27) Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
26) James Morrison – Undiscovered
25) Damien Rice – 9
24) Jarvis – That Jarvis Cocker Record
23) Pet Shop Boys – Fundamental
22) Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
21) Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther
20) Guillemots – Through The Window Pane
19) Neil Diamond – 12 Songs
18) Snow Patrol – Eyes Open
17) Thom Yorke – The Eraser
16) Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome: The Seger Sessions
15) Shack - … The Corner of Miles and Gil
14) The Feeling – Twelve Stops And Then Home
13) The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers
12) Corrine Bailey Rae – s/t
11) The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out
10) Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
09) Scissor Sisters – Ta-Dah
08) Kasabian – Empire
07) Bob Dylan – Modern Times
06) Keane – Under The Iron Sea
05) The Killers – Sam's Town
04) Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
03) Razorlight – s/t
02) Muse Black Holes and Revelations
01) Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Their list of Best Reissues is pretty fucked too. George Michael’s terribly unnecessary “TwentyFive” and Oasis' poorly sequenced "Stop the Clocks" charted but Rhino’s mind-blowing “One Kiss Leads to Another” girl group box set didn’t. Neither did the Sugababes singles collection, the Girls Aloud greatest hits, the reissue of DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing,” or the ABBA “Complete Recordings” velveteen box of unlimited happiness (I’d take the “Arrival: Deluxe Edition” at least).

10) Oasis – Stop The Clocks
09) The La's – BBC In Session
08) The Jam – All Mod Cons
07) George Michael – Twentyfive
06) Depeche Mode - Violator
05) Talking Heads – Remain In Light
04) Pulp – Different Class
03) Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
02) Queen - A Night At The Opera
01) The Clash - Singles