William Cremin Presents: “That’s What’s Up in 2006”

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William Cremin really loves Raisinets. Maybe he’ll marry them in 2007.

1. Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther
My year-end top ten is not based on what I think is the best as much
as it is a list of my personal favorite records. This one was the most
important to me by far. I really love the quaintness of the lyrics,
and the songwriting blows me away on every listen.

2. The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes
This is one of those albums where it’s physically impossible to be
surly while in its presence. I found myself reaching for it in a
similar way that I go after Raisinets: frequently and with reckless
abandon.

3. My Brightest Diamond – Bring Me The Workhorse
I saw her play with Sufjan Stevens, and I was instantly smitten. Her
moodiness and staggering proficiency sort of remind me of Jeff
Buckley.

4. The Elected – Sun Sun Sun
I almost forgot about this album while compiling this list, but I
listened to it constantly during the first half of the year. “Biggest
Star” may be one of my favorite songs ever.

5. Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
I’m a big fan of Zach Condon’s voice. He’s got the lazy crooner thing
down cold. You can tell right away that he had a clear vision of what
he wanted to do musically and absolutely nailed it.

6. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
I had never heard them before, and then I got sucked into the big
Camera Obscura-shaped abyss from whence one might never return. There
is something irresistibly classy about their records.

7. Joanna Newsom – Ys
If you took The Milk-Eyed Mender, added an orchestra, and stretched
everything out to epic proportions, you’d end up with something quite
a lot like Ys. It seemed really exciting on paper, and then it managed
to exceed my expectations. I’d say that a tip of the hat,
Colbert-style, would not be inappropriate.

8. Oh No! Oh My! – Oh No! Oh My!
While I was busy shouting and pontificating about everything in my top
five, Oh No! Oh My! was quietly creeping into heavy rotation.
Off-kilter pop songs are rarely done this well. I always get excited
about every song on here.

9. Tim Seely – Funeral Music
I liked this one a lot from the start, but I think it really clicked
for me when I saw him at the Crocodile Cafe in September. The song
“Trucker’s Lullaby” was especially poignant. Shortly after, I fully
understood how articulate and compelling this album actually is.

10. Cold War Kids – Robbers & Cowards
This band (and particularly their live show) was something of a
revelation for me this year. They play with admirable intensity. This
album is mostly a re-recording of their two previous EPs compiled onto
one disc, and even though some of the spontaneity and nuances were
lost, they’re still brilliant songs

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