To balance the negativity of my last post I gotta write a nicer post. One easy way to do this is to write about music.
I realized a few days ago that a lot of good music came out in the last year, and the major label Christmas rush is also a breathe of fresh air.
In the last few weeks we had the new Jay-Z, Nas, and Ghostface. Then there's a bunch of other new releases like Beck, Sonic Youth, and My Dying Bride, all of which I probably won't listen to that much but I'll get a few spins out of each album.
Wolfmother broke through to America this year and they may just save rock n roll with there fuzzed out, straight up approach. They are actually the first band in my life that I heard on the radio and then proceeded to download the album.
Jack White and his side project The Raconteurs put out a decent rock album as well, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers came through with a solid double album.
Tom Petty put his best album in a long time. This is significant for me because while I was living in Calgary the NBA was using a few of his older hits as playoff theme songs ("Won't Back Down," "Free Falling") so me and Jacobs listened to his classic album Full Moon Fever a lot. His new album "Highway Campanion" rocks almost as much as FMF.
Nine Inch Nail's "With Teeth" was a respectable outing but with each release Trent Reznor gets farther away from his demons and without them his album's suffer.
Tool also put out an album and if I was still 15 I would love it but I just find there's songs rather boring these days. I also thought Lateralus was a bore, but I still really enjoy their first three records. The drummer just uses too many damn tribal beats now, and the Maynard is more "A Perfect Circle" than Tool.
On the underground side of things, Witch is probably my favorite rock release. The main dude from Dinosaur Jr plays drums (I've never liked Dinosaur Jr but it gives a reference point I suppose). It's dirty, grooving rock in a similar vein to Kyuss with a boring singer, but the riffs and solos and good enough to make up for the rather bland vocals.
Now on to metal...
Darkthrone released yet another album "The Cult is Still Alive" and a lot of people tore it apart but I think it's a decent 'metal does punk rock' album. Anyone expecting them to release another 'Blaze in the Northern Sky' should just forget about it.
Ihsahn from Emperor also put out a decent solo album and Slayer put out another record. I will disappointingly say it's the first Slayer record that I didn't buy and I barely listened to it. It's just a boring record but I'd still go watch them live in a split second.
On the hip hop side of things it was a great year.
Masta Killa's "Made in Brooklyn" and Ghostface's "More Fish" were both great albums. "More Fish" was the fifth best album of 2005 according to Rolling Stone magazine, yet the album didn't even sell 500,000 copies. At least Rolling Stone has the balls to give him some props and hopefully help him sell a few more records.
The Neptunes (whom I don't really care for) produced the full album for hip hoppers The Clipse titled "Hell Hath No Fury" and I gotta admit it's solid. It still has those weird bongo-type drums that the Neps use too much but it's the toughest thing they've done in a long time.
Ol' Dirty Bastard's post-humous album " A Son Unique" was finally released and it's decent. The album was a bit of a let down for me because I copped most of the songs long before the album was ever released. I actually got my hands on some of the track over two years ago so finally listening to the album was very anti-climatic to say the least.
AZ released "The Format" and although I didn't enjoy it as much as his last record, his smooth, effortless flow will always keep me coming back for more.
So yes, 2006 was a good year for music considering these are the releases I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure if I looked through my MP3's I would find some other worthy releases but I dont' wanna put that much effort into this post.
It's already too long.