The top ten albums of 2006 can’t even come close to summarizing some of the wonderful songs released during the year. In fact, some of the most spectacular songs that I’ve heard this year were on album disasters and/or not even released on an album. So aside from the songs already on my top ten albums of the year, here are twenty-five of my favorite songs of 2006 (numbered, although in no particular order).
Alexisonfire – Rough Hands [ read full review ]: The piano and slow motion, eerie quality of the song are a delight to listen to, even though the album, frankly, sucked.
The Dresden Dolls – Backstabber: Yes, Virginia wasn’t exactly an Earth shattering release, but this song spent a fair amount of time in my top playlist for this year.
Emma Bunton – Downtown (Element Remix): Former Baby Spice certainly hasn’t caught my attention, mostly because I really don’t enjoy adult contemporary. Even her remake of the classic “Downtown” is drab. But this remix? Good stuff.
Desole – Personal: Desole’s Story To Tell is a pretty fantastic album, especially if you’re looking for music of the post-hardcore persuasion. I had a hard time deciding between this one and “Gossip” so if possible, be sure to check the other one out.
Nelly Furtado – Afraid: The fact that so many good songs were contained on one American pop album was enough for me to regard this album highly. Sure, a few of the songs are useless fillers, but most are just plain catchy pop music.
Hellogoodbye – Here (In Your Arms): The greatest pop song Darren Hayes never wrote.
Belle & Sebastian – Funny Little Frog: From quite possibly one of the worst albums (The Life Pursuit) of 2006 from one of my least favorite bands of all time but admittedly catchy and maybe even quirky, with its rhymes that call on more than just a little imagination.
Aya – OVER NIGHT [ read full review ]: I don’t think she could write a better comeback song than she did for this Chevalier soundtrack exclusive. The guitars, the breathy vocals, the ‘bringing it home’ section at the end, the overall almost transendent quality of the entire package…yum.
Dir en grey – Ryoujoku no Ame [ read full review ]: New album from the boys coming out in early February of 2007. Their albums, amazingly enough, just get better and better so I’m fairly excited for this, not to mention their concert in Chicago in the same month.
Tigarah – Japanese Queen [ read full review ]: Another artist releasing an album in 2007. This is probably one of the only baile-funk-ish songs I will ever put on a year end list, so some serious props to Tigarah for writing an amazing track infused with all the attitude of hip hop and the sweet self-endorsement of pop.
Venus Hum – Birds and Fishes: Slow, serene, yet powerful; all the best qualities of The Shanghai Resoration Project with the mysterious synth quality of some of the best electronic groups (I don’t know, Cut Copy, Junior Boys, The Knife, etc.).
Green Day + U2 – The Saints Are Coming [ read full review ]: Two huge rock bands everybody is pretty much sick of at this point collaborate on one of the lovliest pieces of arena rock of 2006.
Hoobastank – Inside of You: No one likes it when sappy rock ballads are rubbed into oblivion which is perhaps why their 2006 album flew so low under the radar. Regardless, it contains a lot of really good, radio-friendly rock songs (even though the lyrics are painfully…painful).
Hikaru Utada – Keep Tryin’ [ read full review ]: No one can put out quirkier art-pop than Ms. Utada and while I’m not apt to acclaim her latest album or even single, a nursery rhyme aimed for children (”Boku wa Kuma”, or “I Am A Bear”), this is still an incredibly well done track.
The Killers – When You Were Young: With the release of their sophomore album, it became harder and harder to find fans willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, they sort of really liked Sam’s Town. Enough with the Bruce Springsteen comparisons, it’s a good song.
Tommy heavenly6 – I’m Gonna SCREAM+ [ read full review ]: The arrangement, though strange, is quite lovely.
Tiziano Ferro – Stop! Dimentica [ read full review ]: Finally, someone gets the song sampling thing right. A rare, yet delectible hip hop-ish song to make the list.
Kill Hannah – Believer [ read full review ]: Why this band is not more huge than it is, is beyond my comprehension. These guys should be stadium big by now, but alas, their 2006 release fell short of some expectations. Luckily, we still have this song to headbang (somewhat) to.
The Decemberists – Summersong: The title says it all, can you not smell the twilight summer breeze in this song? I’m practically assaulted with it everytime I press play. Their album The Crane Wife made it to dozens of best album lists this year and although they did not grace mine, this song is still easily one of the best of this year.
Pet Shop Boys – Minimal (and bonus! Minimal (Telex Heaven remix)): So Fundamental wasn’t all I had hoped for (and by that I mean, dammit, I wanted Nightlife part two!), but this song is so good, so danceable, so blisteringly hot with its badass finishing bassline, that it definitely gets my vote for perhaps, greatest song of the year. The remixes it spawned? Absolutely fabulous, darling.
Cut Copy – Future Unlimited: So Fabriclive.29, though chock full of electronic indie acts, fell short of my ‘everything they touch turns to gold mentality,’ but even so, their original compositions were all fabulous so really, who can blame them when it was all the other dudes’ fault?
Gwen Stefani – Wonderful Life [ read full review ]: American pop queen gets two tracks right on her sophomore album, and this track with a reminiscent 80s vibe is certainly one of them.
The Fiery Furnaces – Waiting To Know You: Mostly an erratic indie rock group, with some tracks on Bitter Tea sounding more like a collection of sound bleeps than anything else, the group have somehow managed to write one of the sweetest, most sincere songs of the year.
Uffie – Pop The Glock: This song is so terrible, it’s good. The lyrics are atrocious, the faux-accent is hilarious, and the psuedo gun shots are ridiculously cheesy, but damn, I love me a good beat and this song delivers.
Sandy Lam – Yi Ge Ren: Besides some F.I.R., Ping Pung, and a side of Faye Wong, I still haven’t found a solid, good Chinese pop/rock/whatever band/artist/whatever to really sink my teeth into. Sandy Lam is no exception; her listless pop tunes do nothing but bore me. Buuut…her cover of New Order’s “Bizzare Love Triangle”? Sure, maybe you could say she ruined a classic, butchered a legend…but I love her rendition of the song. It still retains most of the original elements, simply making it a bit more hyper and even more danceable (is that possible?). Maybe it’s not the best song of the year, but it certainly changed mine and that’s pretty powerful stuff.