Back for the bottom half of my Dirty Dozen of 2006. These are 6 of the 12 cds that I enjoyed the most this year. Take note that these are not necessarily in any order.
Leading the bottom half is She Wants Revenge's self titled album. When I first noticed this cd, it was the reviews it was getting. I do not believe I read one good review on it. The funny thing was that every song I heard from the album sounded great. I think some snobs thought this band might have been ripping off other bands, bands that I didn't listen to, and that this was some sort of Johnny Come Lately group trying to make money. Well, what rock band doesn't sound like somebody else? What rock band doesn't want to make money? The music is very synthy and electronic, very 80's sounding. The lyrics are very dark and somewhat disturbing. Not the feel good cd of the year, although I got many hours of enjoyment from it.
Now we come to Under the Influence of Giants' self titled album. This is much different from She Wants Revenge, it is very poppy, bordering on disco. The singing is done in mostly falsetto and I admit I am a sucker for good falsetto singing. I am not a dancer by any means, but I can say that this cd makes me wish I were. Good grooves, great to sing along too, I give it a 10.
Speaking of being a sucker for great falsetto we now come to the Scissor Sisters' second album, Ta-Dah. At first I wasn't impressed by this album basically because it wasn't a carbon copy of their debut. But the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. The songs on Ta-Dah are more mature and less disco-y (what can I say, I lived 6 of my years in the 70s). The songs on Ta-Dah are more Elton John like, good pop songs that you would hear on 70's AM radio. Don't get me wrong, this cd will make you want to dance, but these songs are so much more than dance songs. I highly recommend you get this as well as their debut cd, which had an unbelievable disco cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.
Now after going disco on you for a moment, let's return to the land of rock. This is not a hidden gem, it is Audioslave's third release Revelations. I have already said I thought this was their best and strongest release yet. They finally found a way to merge Chris Cornell (the best singer in rock) with Rage Against the Machine. You have the soul of Cornell and the funk and fury of Rage without one overshadowing the other. There is not a bad song on the disc. This is a must for Cornell or Rage fans who maybe have never checked out Audioslave or gave up on them after the first two albums.
My next pick is The Raconteurs with Broken Boy Soldiers. This is an old sounding album, very 70's like vibe. Jack White and Brendan Benson make a great lead duo, trading verse and guitar licks. Nothing against Meg, but it is great to hear Jack White backed by a bass player and a more competent drummer. It's a great mixture of blues and rock. I will admit that some of the songs lyrically are a bit silly, but that is what rock 'n' roll is about. This is just a flat out great rock record and I'm sure it will be in many end of year top album lists.
Rounding out my 12-6 picks is the Eagles of Death Metal with Death by Sexy. This is not a very polished or produced cd, it's ragged and raw and it's the fun-nest rock record to come out this year. The songs are so tongue in cheek that you actually believe every word that Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes says. The music is a punk Rolling Stones sound, bluesy and groovy in parts. If nothing else, go to iTunes and buy the track called Don't Speak (I Came to Make A BANG!). It is the best rock song you will hear this year. Much like Under the Influence of Giants' and Scissor Sisters' music, the EODM's music will make you want to dance, but you will feel bad afterwards. It also features two of my favorite things in music, falsetto singing and liberal use of a cowbell.
There you go, six of my top twelve of 2006. I will be back with my top 6 of 06.