YEAR IN REVIEW PART THREE
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
10. (3xT) Damien Rice - 9 Crimes/ John Mayer - Continuum/The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
Rice's album isn't an easy album to review, so I won't...but 9 Crimes is a terrifically original song. John Mayer is on this list because his previous album was weak and this album blew out the sensitive singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins feel out of the water and made a fan-hating/loving great album. The Strokes' new album has the best melodies that they have ever done. Some brilliant songs on here.
9. Modern Times - Bob Dylan
Bob got better. Beautifully recorded, live, Bob's voice is sounding great. The band is sounding great.
8. Good Monsters - Jars of Clay
Lyrically, production and melodically this album was very well done. Lyrics were profound and ground breaking for CMC.
7. Avalanche - Sufjan Stevens
Great to have you back in 2006 Suf! Wasn't Illinoise enough for us to have for a decade or so? This is suppose to be a collection of B-sides...which means they are not good enough to be on side A (the best side). BULLOCKS!! This album is just Illinoise; The Sequel! I remember the day I bought this CD, a warm evening in July in Denver, CO. Thanks again Suf!
6. Time Being - Ron Sexsmith
Sexsmith writes bigger choruses then Coldplay. I love him. Such a smooth listen, this album is like a great pale ale.
5. Under the Iron Sea - Keane
Aren't sofmore albums suppose to suck? The end of this album is weaker. But the top half of the album is huge. There are some other brit bands that are writing better songs then Coldplay, and these guys are at the top of that list. "Nothing in My Way" = Brilliant, one of the best songs of the year!
4. Animal Years - Josh Ritter
Ritter's previous album, Hello Starling is on my all time top 10 album list... in fact it's in the top 3. But really this album is great, but not in the same soft folk songwriter category that his previous work is in. But no one can deny he released one of the best albums of the year. This album is a perfect run-through from beginning to end. I am really thrilled with this record. So many strong songs but the song, "Thin Blue Flame" might be one of the best songs of all time. And if people wanted to be smart they would study this song and find a new worldview and set of morals. A brilliant out-look on life and living life... and one of the songs was recorded in my hometown Hamilton, ON.
3. American V - Johnny Cash
Final recording? I don't think it will be...but a stellar album. The opener, "Help Me" is another classic Cash 'cry-out' to God for strength in the honest tone and whisper that Johnny is known for. "God's gonna cut you down" and "Like th 309" make this an instant classic must-have CASH album. Wish he was still around.
2. Last Drive - Darren Smith
What? Haven't heard of Darren Smith. Neither had I until this year. He is a carpenter. But a brilliant singer-songwriter by night. And this album is a trip to the cottage, a walk outdoors, an afternoon on the porch, a night at the bar. And an Independent folk album that rivals The boss's folk album! Wow!
1. We Shall Overcome - Bruce Springsteen
Instrumentation. One word best describes why I love this album. Recording Integrity if you had to throw in another 2 words for the description. I love the drums sunk in reverberation. The horns, banjo is so crisp, string section. It is country, bluegrass, gospel and folk and Bruce uses all the instruments from those genres at once! The songs are so strong, exciting, moving and a pleasure to the ear. Easily my favorite album of the year. Album artwork adds a lot to the project as well. An all around 11/10 on the music scale. I approve.