Friday, December 15

The CDP's Top 20 Albums Of 2006 (Part IV.)

Top 5 Albums Of 2006.

We've finally made it. Here are the CDP's Top 5 Albums of the Year. This list represents the albums that have stayed in my car the longest, the albums that have blown my mind the most, or the albums that changed the way I thought about music in 2006. It's no easy task, but they bravely stepped up to the plate, and promptly gave me a swift boot to the rod.

Polysics - Now Is The Time!
Honorable Mention - Polysics - Now Is The Time!

Because this album was technically released in Japan in 2005, Now Is The Time! was controversially omitted from the Top 20. I still felt it deserved recognition, however, as Polysics still hold the CDP title of Greatest Band On Earth. Even though Now Is The Time! doesn't stand up to the best of Polysics (buy Polysics Or Die!!! for a crash course), they still destroy everything in their path, even on their worst day. These geniuses make their instruments do awful things.

The Crane Wife.
#5 - The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

The Decemberists are consistently releasing music at a plane of existence higher than just about any band playing today. On the heels of the amazing Picaresque, The Crane Wife is more of what we'd expect to see from Colin Meloy and company. When Arcade Fire releases four straight albums that are on par with what Funeral was, then I'll start to compare them to the Decemberists. To be this good all the time is downright scary.

#4 - Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites

Already a well-established group in their native Denmark, Mew's monolithic sound and lush landscapes even put Muse to shame. And The Glass Handed Kites is truly one of the most beautiful albums of the year, in that it honestly transports you to somewhere else, while still retaining a melodic rock sensibility. It may take a listen or two, but eventually you'll understand why this group has such a devoted following.

Return To The Sea.
#3 - Islands - Return To The Sea

Even though they received plenty of buzz for containing two members of The Unicorns in their group, Islands' Return To The Sea was a severely underrated album this year. Perfectly-crafted indie rock with touches of Neutral Milk Hotel and buzzing amps for good measure, Return To The Sea marked the release of an album done amazingly proper. From the swirling 9-minute intro to the almost radio-friendly singles, Return To The Sea will make all fans of music happy at some point.

#2 - P.O.S. - Audition

Out of absolutely nowhere, Minneapolis' own P.O.S. released the hip-hop album of the year. Hands-down, no argument and no conversation necessary. Almost more punk than rap, the angry beats, angrier rhymes and intelligent musings of P.O.S. will make this man a huge star in no time. If you thought that angry, political, smart, funny and once again, angry hip-hop was dead, Audition is your new best friend. There was no other album that was played in my car more than Audition this year.

Before we crown the Best Album Of 2006, a quick look back at the CDP's previous Album Of The Year choices:

Reconstruction Site.
2003 Winner: The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
Runner-Up: The Postal Service Give up

2004 Winner: Arcade Fire - Funeral
Runner-Up: Communique - Poison Arrows

The Sunlandic Twins.
2005 Winner: Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins
Runner-Up: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

Okay, here it is. The CDP's pick for the 2006 Album Of The Year:

Cum Laude!
#1 - The Velvet Teen - Cum Laude!

The Velvet Teen is one of those bands that constantly reinvents themselves with every new album, yet consistently maintains their own signature sound. With 2004's Elysium, recorded entirely on a laptop with no guitars, The Velvet Teen propelled themselves into a world of orchestral arrangements, experimental techniques and truly heartbreaking imagery. Advancing further with Cum Laude!, they again take a concept to its natural conclusion, all without alienating the listener.

It's a rare breed that can take an artistic statement, and still make it catchy, melodically pleasing and instantly memorable. It took me a couple of listens to fully realize the magnitude of what was happening, but once I heard it, I couldn't stop hearing it. This was the sound of original beauty; raw, coursing and without comparison. They gambled with an altered, 'distorted' vocal technique which paid off in spades, and replaced the late Logan Whitehurst with one of the most technically amazing drummers I've ever seen in a live setting, Casey Dietz.

A quick snippet of an interview with Dietz reads: "To those who have never seen him play, Deitz is the best drummer in town, and to many (myself included) he's the best they've ever seen in person. I've seen people watching him play for the first time shake their heads in disbelief, turning to their friends and pointing at the show Deitz is putting on."

I don't know how the Velvet Teen manages to keep these tracks as tight as they do in concert, but it's truly a sight to behold. You'll be wondering how they even managed to do it in the studio. I don't know what else to say, other than that I had absolutely no doubts about placing Cum Laude! in the #1 spot. Truly the best album I've heard this year.

Sound off in the comments section, call me a loser and mock my musical tastes. I'll be waiting.

(The final CDP essay of the year; I saved the best for last.)

It should also be noted that The Office should never be an hour long. About 20 minutes in, I had a headache because I was laughing so hard. By the end of the hour (when they were all singing karaoke), I honestly thought I was going to throw up.

This might have been the best complete episode yet; it was almost perfect.
You know what sucks? My cable was out last night, so my DVR didn't record it while I was at the girlfriend's office party. Hoping it reruns soon, or I may just download it from the internet...

On another note, the CDP Swag package arrived, and it was all I ever dreamed of and more.
I hope that your girlfriend's office party was as slammin' as the Dunder-Mifflin one. The entire cast really had a chance to show why they're so amazing together.

Enjoy the CDP/PBR swag. I should call up their marketing department and work out some sort of permanent deal.
If by slammin' you mean an acoustic guitar and Christmas carols, then, hell yeah, it was slammin'.

At least there was booze.
CDP, you officially get a kiss from me when I get home for choosing the Velvet Teen. I knew you'd make the right decision :)

Casey Deitz= phenomenal

I'm pretty sure when we saw the VT live both of our mouths hung open in awe for the entire set...

(P.S. So glad the swag arrived...wasn't sure if my postage skills would be up to par. Did you have to pay any additional postage on it?)
Yeah, the Velvet Teen live set really did it for me. I think it still would have been #1 if I hadn't seen them though, so it's not like they had an unfair advantage or anything. If anything, it just solidified my position.

When I saw Arcade Fire in Minneapolis, I felt very validated in my decision to put them on such a pedestal. The same thing happened with The Velvet Teen, only they didn't make me cry like a little girl.
Nope, no additional postage at all. Missus, you've got mad crazy postage skills.

Now if only could get their act far the package has been IN LEXINGTON (where I live), then went to Greensboro, NC, then to Cincinnati, OH, and it was back in Greensboro yesterday...although I suppose I should blame USPS more than Amazon...
I've been actively boycotting for over 5 years now. It's a long story, but you're pretty much experiencing it first-hand.
You ought to post on here the story of how Amazon ruined Christmas. did you type about that once?
Yes, back in the MAB Message Board days (2000-01), I wrote an essay about it. It all culminated with a letter to Amazon that was about the funniest thing I've ever written.

Next year, I plan to 'open the vault' and publish more of my pre-CDP writings. That will be one of them.

For some reason, they gave us all at work pamphlets about organ donation with stickers you can put on your driver's license. This whole thing is perplexing me greatly, because now it has caused me to re-evaluate my thoughts on organ donation. I hate thinking about it. I should just throw the pamphlet away so it stops pestering me, but then I'll know that I threw it away without thinking things through and THAT will pester me. Humbug!
Organ Donation is one of two things that I'm currently not participating in, due to complete selfishness and no possible rebutting argument on my part.

There's no reason why I shouldn't do it, yet I simply don't want to. I'll gladly take someone elses' organs, however. It's horrible, and I'll change my tune as I get older or closer to a life-saving transplant.

The other one is recycling, by the way. I simply don't do it unless the Missus makes me.

I also refuse to recycle, and not just because beer cans are my Beer-mas ornaments. I'm also lazy and selfish, not to mention ruggedly handsome.

Amazon is close to screwing up Christmas, because it's the girlfriend's gift that is doing the 2006 North American Tour of Anger and Frustration.

Why are they giving out organ donation pamphlets at work? Is there something they're not telling the employees?
They're serving people in the downstairs cafeteria! PEEEPLE!

Amazon screwed up gifts for the Missus, as well. Not only did she not have anything to open on Christmas, I looked like Ass of the Year*.

*2006 Ass Of The Year honors went to Chris Sabin.
I would have awarded Ass of the Year to Stacy Kiebler myself, but...oh, wait...that kind of ass...nevermind.
You've got a good point.
I would give 2006 Ass of the Year to Crhsi Sabin, too. Possibly Ween of the Year as well.
the opening sequence of The Office had me on the floor with laughter. That exact situation occured here about two years ago. The only differences were that it was a duck, not a goose. The duck wasn't hit by a car, but euthanised with a ten foot boathook instead (a swing Tiger would have been proud of). and no one really had a problem with it. tasted great.
Chris Sabin = Sexier than me, according to the Missus.

The Office = Better than everything, according to me.
I never said sexier than you. Just said he was sexy. Dead sexy.

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