Making Flippy Floppy presents:
The Best Albums of 200601 The Knife – Silent Shout
No other record this year spent as much time in my Winamp player as this seductively Scandinavian album. Silent Shout creates its own mini-universe made of surreal and dramatic synthpop and gorgeous purple ice. Sexy little goblins inhabit the shadows, and David Lynch-esque surprises lurk in corners. A dark and delightfully original masterwork.
02 Thom Yorke – The Eraser
More than just a batch of Radiohead demos, The Eraser fills the air with skittering beats and gorgeous, longing melodies that barely hang together. Yorke experiments and leaves the happy accidents in. The mood is pleasingly bleak and barren - an emotional ice-scape that never really melts, just turns to slush.
03 Hot Chip – The Warning
Comforting like a warm British pudding of some type, The Warning sounds like a record that was as fun to make as it is to hear. "Over and Over" was the New-Order-ish club hit, but the album explores a range of classic post-punk and synth-pop motifs. Heavily listenable.
04 TV On The Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
This really was such an odd album - a little overwhelming the first few listens, a little hard on the brain. So much is going on here - the arty dissonance of the guitar, the industrial clamor of the electronics, the doo-wop yelp of the vocals, the impenetrability of the words. When it finally clicks, it's a rush - breathtaking in its sonic originality.
05 Beck – The Information
You can always count on Beck. The Information wasn't a huge creative breakthrough for the floppy-haired musical genius, but it was a work of 21st century psychedelia which hit high note after high note for sheer seratonin points. With it's fun set of stickers, insane bonus DVD, otherworldly alien vibe, and wild synaesthesia, The Information was truly a sublime hallucinatory trip.
06 Placebo - Meds
Hated by some, under-rated by many, Placebo still stand as one of the most impressive live acts I've seen. Meds is a bit of a return to that live kind of urgency - it's a rock-solid batch of tunes and sees the boys dipping into electronic textures and expanding their sonic pallette. Brian Molko always manages to entertain with his simultaneously dour and witty lyrics.
07 Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Belle covers a bit of new territory by venturing a bit into glam rock here and there on the Life Pursuit, drifting yet another step away from their roots in twee further into the world of punchy horns and crunchy guitars. The result is their catchiest, most memorable record to date. This was the album I listened to this year to wipe away foul moods and smile instead.
08 Lily Allen – Alright, Still
Nothing too deep here. There's just something irresistible about Lily - her adorable Britishness, her classy retro look, her delicious cattiness. This is a great fun pop album with a unique electro-hiphop-ska sound, and great songs full of attitude and wit. Unlike certain lesser pop divas, Ms. Allen does not require a team of big name songwriters and bling-wielding producers. Her sincerity and simplicity trumps them all.
09 Serena Maneesh – Serena-Maneesh
I'm a sucker for miasmic, swirling wall-of-noise guitars, droned vocals, and atmospheric electronic layers, and Serena Maneesh do it and do it well. The overused and obvious reference point is Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, and that's fair enough, but Serena-Maneesh have a certain harsh sensibility not present on that comparatively mellow album. SM turns the noise and the brightness all the way up to 11.
10 Peaches - Impeach My Bush
Ms. Peach takes things up a notch on her 3rd LP, swearing and stomping like the electro-rock goddess she is. The formula is approximately the same as 2003's Fatherfucker: absurdl potty-mouth lyrics over either pumping 1981 Prince-style electro funk, or revved-up glam rock. It's a naughty, clever sweet Peachy treat that I never tire of indulging in.
11 Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
12 The Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control
13 Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton – Knives Don’t Have Your Back
14 Morrissey – Ringleader Of The Tormentors
15 The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love
16 Xiu Xiu – The Air Force
17 Dresden Dolls – Yes, Virginia
18 Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am…
19 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
20 Whitey – The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is A Train
Also I liked:
Aloha – Some Echoes
Asobi Seksu - Citrus
Beach House – Beach House
The Beatles - Love
Beirut – Gulag Orchestar
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
Cat Power – The Greatest
CSS – Tired of Being Sexy
Deftones – Saturday Night Wrist
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Brian Eno - 77 Million
Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
Ghostland Observatory – Paparazzi Lightning
Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
Guillemots – Through the Window Pane
Hidden Cameras - Awoo
I’m From Barcelona – Let Me Introduce My Friends
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Muse – Black Holes And Revelations
Nouvelle Vague - Bande a Parte
Roger O’Donnell – the Truth In Me
Planningtorock – Have It All
Pretty Girls Make Graves – Elan Vital
Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers
She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge
Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
Spank Rock - Yoyoyoyoyo
Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
Scott Walker – The Drift
Scissor Sisters- Ta-Dah
Basement Jaxx- Crazy Itch Radio
Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental
Here's a low-budget ($0) YouTube video I put together for the song "Royal Jelly Eye Creme" from my new album, which is officially released in January via Flexible Records and CD Baby. Parental advisory: the word "cunt" is in the lyrics. So sorry.