Here's *my* best. Music in 2006, that is. The following songs were my favorites in 2006:
Erran Baron Cohen, O Kazakhstan: Why is this song not Oscar-nominated? A great post-Soviet anthem, and all Borat. Beautifully arranged, translated, and performed. Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, you very nice place! Pitch-perfect.
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, El Matador: Irresistibly catchy drums. I dare you not to get swept up in this.
Robbie Williams, Kiss Me: A great cover version of a pop song. I admit, I love almost anything Robbie Williams does. His latest album is excellent dance music.
Paul Weller, Birds: Another cover song, another artist who can do no wrong by me. Paul Weller, formerly of The Jam and The Style Council.
Gnarls Barkley, Crazy: I can listen to this ten times in a row, and never get tired of it. What a great great song! This gets my vote for song of the year.
P!nk, I Got Money Now: I like P!nk very much when she's sad, and best when she's sarcastic. This tune combines both of those, which is why it's my favorite from her last album.
Marilyn Manson, The Speed of Pain: "... just remember when you think you're free: the crack inside your fucking heart is me." Ya gotta love the man, he's so sweet. You can listen to this song on my Vox blog.
Dixie Chicks, Not Ready To Make Nice: You go girls! You have my vote of support, not that you need it. It seems these ladies are more popular than ever. Deservedly so, in my opinion.
Tom Robinson Band, Power In The Darkness: We're in the protest song category, apparently. Somehow they all ended up together. This one's almost 30 years old, but it's fresh and timely enough to be scary. Let's return to our traditional values of discipline, obedience, morality and freedom indeed. Freedom from the reds and the blacks and the criminals, prostitutes, pansies, and punks ... I love how you can hear him start to froth at the mouth.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Almost Cut My Hair: I just feel like letting my freak flag fly. You can listen to this song on Rich's Vox blog.
Foo Fighters, Best Of You: Nice balance between softly slow and all-out belting. Great call to action from the Foos.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slow Cheetah: The obvious favorite from Stadium Arcadium was the first single, Dani California, catchy as hell. But as I kept listening to the album, I started to like this even better. Maybe you will too. You can listen to this song on my Vox blog if you like.
The Kleptones, Careless or Dead: 2006 was the year I really got into mashups. The Kleptones make great albums by putting different songs together. This one, from their 24 Hours, mashes Wham's "Careless Whisper" and Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive".
Nine Horses, Darkest Birds: One of my favorite voices is David Sylvian. He always sounds to me as if he's smiling when he sings, even when he sings about dark depressing things like in this song.
Guster, One Man Wrecking Machine: "Guster?" said a friend. "I heard them ten years ago!" I had never noticed them until KFOG started playing this song. Good tune, funny lyrics. Me like.
Arty Fufkin, Crazy Logic: This is one of the best mashups ever. It combines the catchiest song of the year with several other bits you would not have expected.
Blonde Redhead and David Sylvian, Messenger: Here is David Sylvian again, singing with Blonde Redhead. A good note to leave you on.