Arivia: 24, Roland: 8. Ouch. Well to be fair, I also enjoyed Citrus and Notes From The Underworld, but it's fair to say that my "best-ofs" have been pretty sparse. It's not that I didn't hear many albums this year, quite the contrary; I definitely listened to a greater amount, both in volume and variety, than ever before. Unfortunately, musical overload is a double-edged sword, and I'm sure we've all been in a position where we feel obliged to listen to a critically-acclaimed, hype machined album, only to find it to be lackluster (I'll resist making a reference to Ys....never mind).
One thing I've learned is that personal taste beats external pressure every time, and really, if you listen to what you enjoy, everyone will be happier. But even the albums I've enjoyed have acquired a bit of disposability, as the stronger tracks inevitably rise to the top of any arbitrary playlist, and the work's essence as a whole is buried by the shuffle feature and the newest batch of recommended albums. On the whole, no given album has really dominated my listening for more than a few weeks, with few exceptions...
Having said all that, I really dig Silversun Pickups, hype and all, and Carnavas has been on pretty constant rotation over the last few months. My introduction came, strangely enough, via MTV's Subterranean and the stomping video for "Well Thought Out Twinkles." While the song's immediate gratification (allegedly) conjures early Smashing Pumpkins, my immediate thought was My Bloody Valentine, whose fuzz is even more apparent in the opener "Melatonin." I've stated before that I don't really get attached to plain old rock bands much anymore, but Silversuns really stand out, and seeing them stripped down to acoustics really reinforced the strength of each of their songs.
Here's a bit of an older set, recorded at KEXP on September 26th, 2005. It features the Pikul EP standout "Kissing Families," as well as the recent single "Lazy Eye;" the album version is available over at a tune a day, and another live set can be found at Kwaya Na Kisser. I've also included the dreamy hidden track to the aforementioned extended play.
1. ...All The Go Inbetweens
2. Kissing Families
3. Comeback Kid
4. Lazy Eye
Sci Fi Lullaby
I think that about does it for me as far as Ü2K6ery goes, but expect some belated "normal" record reviews soon, as well as Arivia's top pick of the past year.