While discussing the new rival-Pazz&Jop critics' poll Idolator is putting together (I expect to be invited to contribute to both the upstart and the OG poll, and probably will do both, in addition to contributing to Francis Davis's year-end jazz roundup), Simon Reynolds writes:
everybody, but everybody i know--including matos himself, usually a poptimistic sort--seems to be agreed that twas verily the shitest, dullest, nothing-a-gwan year they can remember
Pardon me while I call bullshit. I don't get this at all. I think there's been barge-loads of fantastic music this year. The trouble is, Reynolds and Matos and whoever else the two of them have been talking to haven't been checking for it because most of the best music in America right now is (shock, horror) METAL.
Just kicking through the Metal section of my iPod, I come up with the following great albums from 2006:
Arsis, United In Regret
Celtic Frost, Monotheist
Deftones, Saturday Night Wrist
Deicide, The Stench Of Redemption
DragonForce, Inhuman Rampage
Iron Maiden, A Matter Of Life And Death
Isis, In The Absence Of Truth
Lamb Of God, Sacrament
Mastodon, Blood Mountain
Motörhead, Kiss Of Death (there's no such thing as a bad Motörhead album)
Nachtmystium, Instinct: Decay
Napalm Death, Smear Campaign (there's no such thing as a bad Napalm Death album)
Slayer, Christ Illusion
Tool, 10,000 Days (remember when Reynolds was all about prog?)
Trivium, The Crusade (they're basically just doing early Metallica, but since Metallica stopped being Metallica about 15 years ago, somebody's got to pick up the slack)
Xasthur, Subliminal Genocide (Xasthur is pretty much metal's own Burial; if you want hauntology, check out his cryptic wailing)
In non-metal news, the new Pitbull album is great, the Calle 13 album (OK, November 2005, but everybody really discovered them this year) is amazing, and I've heard a couple of dozen brilliant discs from other parts of the world this year, too.
Folks gotta stop expecting US and UK mainstream pop to give them everything they need. That's pure laziness. "This pablum you're spoon-feeding me sucks! I demand you spoon-feed me a higher grade of pablum!"