Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n02)
Rick On The Records - by Rick Zeigler
posted: Jan. 26, 2007
RICK'S TOP 20 OF THE YEAR
The verdict is in...Rick picked his favorite top 20 albums for 2006. We displayed 11-20 for you in the last issue, and now we proudly bring you Rick's top ten choices for the past year.
1. TV ON THE RADIO-Return To Cookie Mountain - Simply put, this was the most original-sounding rock record of the year. It spans everything from afro-beat to barbershop, yet rocks like a mother throughout.
2. JENNY LEWIS-Rabbit Fur Coat - Lewis beautifully incorporates her melodic pop sensibility from Rilo Kiley into mostly haunting country-tinged laments. Given her voice, looks, and talent, she has the possibility to be a superstar.
3. BEATLES-Love - This will take its place right alongside Revolver, the White Album, and Abbey Road as the Beatles album I'll reach for when I'm in that mood. Proves once and for all that the "fifth Beatle" moniker appropriately belongs to George Martin (and now his son, Giles).
4. BOB DYLAN-Modern Times - With one stone classic ("Ain't Talkin'), one timeless yet completely contemporary meditation ("When The Levee Breaks"), and a slew of other superb gems (e.g., "Nettie Moore"), Dylan once again shows why he is both man and legend.
5. JAMES HUNTER-People Gonna Talk - With a voice like Sam Cooke, and stinging guitar playing to boot, this was the best blue-eyed soul record of the year. Economical solos and expansive singing propels every song, and the voice is undeniable.
6. DECEMBERISTS-The Crane Wife - Literate lyrics with top-notch songwriting as accompaniment makes this band's major-label debut their best yet. Abandoning the "kitsch" factor in their music, Colin Melloy's more straightforward approach yields big dividends, as he incorporates everything from Talking Heads to anthemic balladeering.
7. TALKDEMONIC-Beat Romantic - Laid-back and insistent beats that, as the title says, create a somewhat romantic, if haunting, atmosphere. Building their cut-and-paste constructed songs from keys and drums, the beats never let up, but they swing and sway rather than stomp you to death.
8. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - Bruce goes bluegrass and uptempo folk with great sincerity and outstanding results. Utilizing an even bigger band than usual, this is "good-timey" music of the highest order, with a few maudlin sentiments (this is Bruce, after all) thrown in for good measure.
9. JOSE GONZALES-Veneer - One man, one guitar, one beautifully crafted album. Anyone who reveres Nick Drake and acoustic folk should look here, as Gonzales' guitar-playing is wonderfully lyrical, matching the breathy beauty of his voice.
10. MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO & SO's-Dust Of Retreat - Local gang that appropriately hit the big-time with this album stuffed full of melodic nuggets and wistful pop gems. The songs are consistently as fresh as the arrangements, and the instrumentation is superb and varied throughout, with Richard's beautiful voice the glue that holds it all together.
Rick Zeigler, along with his wife, Jeanne, owns Indy CD and Vinyl at 806 Broad Ripple Avenue. Back in his musician days, his band opened for the likes of U2, XTC, Gang Of Four, The Pretenders, Los Lobos, and, um, Flock Of Seagulls, among others. You can read all of Rick's reviews at www.indycdandvinyl.com. Email your music questions and comments to rick@BroadRippleGazette.com