2006: Where are the great albums?

The best new album I’ve heard this year is Korpiklaani’s “Tales Along The Road” - absolutely fantastic Finnish humppa-based folk metal, to call them “Finntroll with clean vocals” would be an easy way to describe it, but it wouldn’t do them justice. Highly recommended, this one.

I agree with ultrafilter about Lordi, lots of fun but it’s just Alice Cooper in different costumes. Winning that Eurovision thing for Finland was cool, though.

Otherwise, the the best albums I’ve heard this include (also Finnish): Kalmah “The Black Waltz”, Wyrd “The Ghost Album” and Ajattara “Äpäre”.

I’m also very much looking forward to Moonsorrow’s next album which should be due this fall. They’re Finnish, too. Seems Finland has a lock on good metal this year. And next year we should finally get more Finntroll!

Otherwise, what I’ve heard this year has either been disappointintments or only managed to meet not-so-high expectations: In Flames, Thyrfing, Enslaved, Theatre of Tragedy, Lacuna Coil, Dragonforce - none of whom happen to be Finnish.

Correction: Korpiklaani - “Tales Along This Road”

My favorites so far are:

Built To Spill - You In Reverse
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Destroyer - Destroyer’s Rubies
Calexico - Garden Ruin

The new Built To Spill isn’t quite as consistently great as Perfect From Now On, but it’s still really good. Definitely better than the last one, they had me worried there. Ghostface can do no wrong, he may be the best rapper out right now. It took me a while to get into the new Destroyer, but I’m really starting to like it. The complexity and weirdness (and how they always seem to somehow end up making a fantastic song) remind of Blueberry Boat from the Fiery Furnaces a couple years back. Calexico sadly ditched the mariachi horns, but I still like this one even more than the last one.

Honorable mentions go to Band of Horses, Tortoise & Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Drive-By Truckers.

I haven’t heard enough of, but I’ve liked:

The Twilight Singers - Powder Burns
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Loose Fur - Born Again In The USA
Deadstring Brothers - Starving Winter Report

I’ve been vaguely disappointed by The Life Pursuit. There’s some really catchy stuff, but overall I thought Dear Catastrophe Waitress was definitely better. I’ve only listened to Neko Case once so far, and I don’t like it as much as Blacklisted. But it took me a while to really like Blacklisted.

I really want to hear the new Dr. Octagon and Robert Pollard. I’m looking forward to the new Thom Yorke too. And OutKast will (supposedly) finally come out, but the three songs I’ve heard so far don’t sound that promising.