The best of 2006 mix tape
Let me sat this right up front: 2006 ranks right up there with my very favorite years in this entire project. I mean it’s borderline 1975/1983/1991 good, and we mainly have the ladies to thank for it. Lily Allen, Jenny Lewis, Karen O, Neko Case, Chan Marshall, Susanna Hoffs, and Amy Winehouse all show up on this list, and all are absolutely killing it. So much good stuff was cut to narrow this one down to the one hour mark, so apologies to Camera Obscura, Bruce Springsteen, Beach House, Liars, and Grizzly Bear for missing out on inclusion. The Liars omission in particular cuts deep, because their album Drums Not Dead was easily one of the best handful of records to come out that year. It was just hard to single out one song for inclusion that fit at all in this type of mix, so I had to look elsewhere. Sorry, chaps.
Enjoy, this one is definitely worth it.
LDN – Lily Allen
I do love me some Lilly Allen. I lay claim to being one of the first half dozen or so people in the U.S. to hear of her, back when she started posting mixes and songs up on her MYSPACE page (look it up, youngsters). This song and just about every other track on Alright, Still are just pure pop gold.
Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady
Stuck Between Stations is THS at their peak, mixing gigantic power chords and party riffs with lyrics referencing John Berryman and the Dream Songs (look that one up too, kids).
Lived in Bars – Cat Power
Cat Power, aka, Chan Marshall, sings like she’s lived every bit of the life that the song title promises (and then some). Just an amazing piece of music.
I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor – Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Moneys are what Oasis would sound like if they had come along a decade later and had the slightest inclination to make people dance.
And You Bird Can Sing – Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
It’s like the gods were trolling me with this song (and the album, Under the Covers, Vol .1). A power pop god and the lovely and talented Susanna Hoffs singing the freaking Beatles? What’s not to like to like here? Yet another one in the plus column in my solo crusade to have SH inducted into the Rock n’ Roll HOF. Join the crusade, people!
Sukie in the Graveyard – Belle and Sebastian
Every now and then the whitest band in the world can sound almost borderline funky. I dig that organ and the Northern Soul sound.
Rise Up With Fists!! – Jenny Lewis
I love everything about this song, from the gospel harmonies to the smokey lead vocals to the double !!s in the title.
Over and Over – Hot Chip
This song is instantly and relentlessly catchy. Good luck getting the chorus out of your head anytime soon.
Gold Lion – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Another killer slice of indie pop from Karen O and company.
That Teenage Feeling – Neko Case
Neko Case’s voice is my auditory happy place. You’ll have to excuse me for a moment while this song finishes.
Starlight – Muse
I’m not the biggest Muse fan, but this song is undeniably good, now that I can stand to listen to it again after hearing it seemingly everywhere for about a year.
Consolation Prizes – Phoenix
No band in the 2000s crafted really good to great pop songs more consistently than Phoenix.
(You’re still thinking about the Hot Chip chorus, aren’t you? Over and over and over and over…)
SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
I had to find a spot for JT on the mix. You can try to fight this record, but it’s kind of pointless.
Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio
Just another really excellent song from TVOTR. I tip my cap to you, fellas.
Oh Valencia! – The Decemberists
A jaunty pop song about a doomed, star-crossed relationship that sounds a lot like Romeo and Juliet is borderline close to being a parody of a Decemberists song, but it never crosses the line fully. Plus, it has an ! in the title, and I’m a sucker for that as you know.
You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse
Man, such a powerhouse voice. Sad to think what she could have done with had she conquered her internal demons.
Pretty great, eh? Here’s the Spotify version for your listening/subscribing pleasure:
Which one of your favorites did I miss?