Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Rob's Top 10 of 2006

Okay people, 2006 is behind us, and with it comes the daunting task of picking my favorite 10 albums released during the year. There was a lot of great music released in 2006 and it has taken me some time to come up with my list. It has been even harder to put the ten into some particular order. Nevertheless, here is my list:

01 - Dream Theater: Score
This is without a doubt my number one pick for 2006. The album is a live retrospective of the bands 20 years together, recorded at Radio City Music Hall in 2006. Pulling from a catalogue that goes back to the band's 1986 Majesty days, there is something here for all DT fans. Of note is the 2nd set and encore which was performed live on stage with a full orchestra!

02 - Spock's Beard: Spock's Beard
Spock's Beard has got to be one of the hardest working bands in the progressive genre today. And while the band maybe aren't as "prog" as they were with Neal Morse at the helm, Nick D'Virgilio and company have explored the farthest reaches of their amazing artistic abilities on this album. Easily the most diverse disc in the bands entire catalogue.

03 - The Mars Volta: Amputechture
TMV's third studio album is a mix of the best elements of it's two successors. Taking the full out rock of 'Comatorium' and the experimental side of 'Frances', 'Amputechture' is the bands most cohesive and impressive release to date.

04 - Ben Averch: Washington State
Although he may not have a major label contract, Ben Averch has something that a lot of new and emerging major label acts don't have... talent. A multi-instrumentalist, Ben can rock out and drip emotion at the same time. There are times his music is very Rush like, and even more times when his work is very original and fresh.

05 - Frost: Milliontown
Frost is fronted by the incredible Jim Godfrey, and the debut album is the definition of "prog". Long instrumental passages, epic songs, and an array of musicians at the top of their field. Every note of the album is pure magic. Sadly, Godfrey has decided not to carry on the project past this album.

06 - Evanescence: The Open Door
The follow up to 'Fallen' is a bit more mellow than I had expected, but the band are playing great together, and Amy sounds better than she ever has. I must admit I was a bit sceptical about the album without Moody on board, but the band completely blew me out of the water.

07 - "Weird Al" Yankovic: Straight Outta Lynwood
It seems that the world forgets about "Weird Al" in between albums, however I don't think that will be the case this time around. With "White And Nerdy" Al was able to gain his highest charting single and album to date. The album contains some of Al's best parodies to date, and the original material is quite impressive as well.

08 - David Gilmour: On An Island
The new album from Pink Floyd mastermind David Gilmour is unlike anything Floyd have ever released. The tracks are emotional and the guitar playing is incredible. Then again, what else would you expect from one of the greatest guitar players of our time?

09 - Queensryche: Operation: Mindcrime II
Okay, so the plot of the album is a bit far fetched. There is no way Nikki should have ever been released from prison. If you put that fact out of your mind, this is a very fun album, with music that rivals anything the band have ever written. This is the album that should have put the 'ryche back on top.

10 - Tom Petty: Highway Companion
I have always been a sucker for Petty's voice, and here he has created an album that showcases just how great of a singer/songwriter he is. It's another mellow album (I'm noticing a pattern here), but a perfect way to end my list.

A few honorable mentions:
Tool: 10,000 Days
Sammy Hagar: Livin' It Up
Three Days Grace: One X
Muse: Black Holes and Revelations
OSI: Free
Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life and Death
Vanden Plas: Christ O
The Beatles: Love

And there you have it, YtseRob's Top 10 of 2006. Thank you for reading, and I'll see you back here next year with Rush, Dream Theater & Coheed riding very high on the list, I have no doubt in my mind of that.


Anonymous said...

hey Rob, nice list yourself. Well of course the DT and few others..The Mars Volta I listened to. I am going to post my "top albums" (as opposed to newly discovered bands) eventually, just haven't finished refreshing my memory about the details and the write-up itself.

we need to change the look of this I think. Hopefully this weekend I'll have some time to spend trying to add something.


Anonymous said...

Excellent. We either need to put something in the categories to the left, or change it completely.

Looking forward to your list