Collecting overlooked tracks or “deep album cuts” on some of the year’s better records so far (feel free to add anything I’ve missed):
01. TV on the Radio - A Method (Return to Cookie Mountain)
Sitek and Co.’s cooing, clapping, and tapping moves from fragile to empowering as Tunde Adempibe and Kyp Malone warn us about something I’ve yet to figure out.
02. Evangelicals - Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out) (So Gone)
Psych-poppers slob all over the map with rollicking drums, out-of-control synths and plaintive guitar leads, but it’s the breathtaking moments of clarity that steal the show.
03. Remy Ma - Conceited (There’s Something About Remy: A True Story)
New York rap’s single of the year is also it’s most slept on. Remy rhymes greasy over an Indian flute that would make Timbo flip.” Can’t nobody freak it like I do”. Affirmed.
04. The Knife - Like a Pen (Silent Shout)
Full disclosure: I’m not really feeling the album, but this masterpiece of haunted house keys, spastic percussion and all-around creepiness is quite the headphone trip.
05. Man Man - Ice Dogs (Six Demon Bag)
What starts off sounding like more drunk pirates with pianos abruptly turns into a weary Honus, trumpet stabs and a few chicks who didn’t make it into The Pipettes. Lovely.
06. Be Your Own Pet - Wildcat! (s/t)
Jemina Pearl gives her vocal cords a rest (they need it) while the rest of the band tones down their relentless assault too. Blink and you’ll miss it, and that’d be a shame.
07. Girl Talk - Too Deep (Night Ripper)
Everyone’s favorite illegal masher (brilliantly) has Paul Wall rap over Phantom Planet’s “California”, proving that not any jerk-off with GarageBand can do what he does.
08. Tokyo Police Club - Cheer It On (A Lesson in Crime EP)
Scrappy Canadian kids drop political commentary wise beyond their years. Shout along with the chorus and then take a breath during the arresting Nintendoish synth bit.
09. The Fiery Furnaces - Benton Harbor Blues (Bitter Tea)
In an album that does it’s best do drown and mask nearly all the vocals, this genuine pop gem shines. It can be forgotten how beautiful and crisp Eleanor’s voice really is.
10. Arctic Monkeys - Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure (Whatever People…)
The guitars are simple plucks yeah, but no track in the Monkeys’ songbook is better evidence that Alex Turner is one of the best first-person narrative writers in music.
11. Envelopes - Massmouvement (Demon)
Swedes dip into Pixie land (both Frank and Sitx) resulting in a rawking (for these guys) sugar high in an acre of dandelions.
12. Hot Chip - The Warning (The Warning)
Raindrop percussion and bells power album’s most minimal moment. Best ballad about your own death that you may ever hear.
13. Band of Horses - Our Swords (Everything All the Time)
Band plagued by stagnation finally goes somewhere. The guitar line gallops along while the chorus triumphantly soars above the smoke from their bonfire.
14. Phoenix - One Time Too Many (It’s Never Been Like That)
Frenchmen really embrace that whole soft-rock Strokes vibe but shun Casablancas’ ennui in order to work things out. Dig that riff and don’t call it a bed wetter.
15. Lil’ Wayne - Hidden Track (Dedication 2)
After the much hyped but ultimately overrated “Georgia… Bush” Dwayne Carter spits a hellacious, unrelenting and jarring freestyle.
16. Destroyer - Water Colours Into the Ocean (Destroyer’s Rubies)
A stealth guitar line layered under a somber guitar parts, steady drumming, Bejar’s voice and of course those hypnotic “la’s” all add up to what is the best sunset song of 2006.