The Best Albums of 2006
These are the albums that rocked my world this year!
Dannii Minogue - "The Hits And Beyond": This is the definitive greatest hits collection that chronicles a 15 year recording career that most female pop singers could only dream of! With 15 Top 20 UK hit singles and 6 brand new tracks, Dannii Minogue made 2006 her year! This collection showcased Dannii's talents and reminded the public how far she has come since she was that frumpy teenage girl singing "Love And Kisses". The "beyond" tracks are a euphoric journey into the sensual realm where Dannii reigns supreme: the dancefloor! Catchy hooks, witty lyrics, and dazzling disco retro beats are what made this album my favorite album of the year!
Jamelia - "Walk With Me": This was possibly one of the best pop albums of 2006. Jamelia did her homework and took the best of international acts like Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Pussycat Dolls and even a little Kelly Clarkson and created a stunning album. Songs like "Do Me Right", infuse middle eastern sounds with sassy lyrics that put the Pussycat Dolls's "Buttons" to shame! "Go" is one of those slow jams that mixes old school with the new school RnB. On "Beware of The Dog" Jamelia boldly samples Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus". To sample such an anthemic song was a bit risky but Jamelia pulled it off and made the song hers! Also included on the Japanese version is the bonus track "Trippin Over You". It's a frenetic guitar infused track that left me breathless. You go girl!
Pink - "I'm Not Dead": It has been interesting watching Pink's evolution over the years. She has become less and less mainstream and her decreased record sales have reflected this change. However, I think what made this album work and made it one of my favorites of the year was Pink's brazen attitude and blunt lyrics. She says what everyone else is thinking. She never tries to come off as being over produced or over polished or even worse, pretentious. When you listen to "I'm Not Dead Yet" you feel as if you you are hanging out with your best friend who is just as confused, angry and frustrated as you about everyday life. I think it's that element of realness that I appreciated the most.
Nelly Furtado - "Loose": When I first heard "Promiscuous" I was horrified. Nelly's previous album, "Folklore", was an ecclectic and beautiful album that sounded like no other. She experimented and pushed her artistic vision to the limit. I was worried she had abandoned all that made her unique to have a hit but fortunately I was wrong. With the exception of a few overproduced and generic pseudo hip hop tracks, the old Nelly Furtado is still there. From the funky "Do It" to the lush ballad "In God's Hands", Nelly creates an amazing album. I loved it!
Ricky Martin - "MTV Unplugged": Ricky definitely redeemed himself with this. After last years "Life" fiasco I wasn't sure Ricky would be able to reconnect with his fan base again. There are no flashy over produced novelty songs. With this album it is all about Ricky and his voice. Ricky sings a couple new songs and several of his older hits. What's even more interesting is his decision to include some non-single album tracks. Expect the unexpected. My favorite moment of the album is hearing him FINALLY perform the original version of "Maria" and not the crappy dance remix.
Sandy e Junior - "Sandy e Junior 2006": This was one of my favorite Brazilian pop discoveries of the year. This brother/sister duo had recorded in english and spanish a few years ago but they were too young to really grab my attention. This album shows them all grown up. At times the album is stright up rock/pop and other times a bit folky. The stand out track is definitely "Replay". One of the most infectious songs uploaded to my ipod this year!
Offer Nissim featuring Maya - "Second Time": If my trip to New York had a soundtrack this would be it! This album is a total underground dance revolution. Offer Nissim and Maya make the perfect combination. Practically every song on this album has gotten heavy rotation in clubs across the country. I know I heard one song at almost every club I visited in NYC. Maya's amazing vocals never get lost amidst Offer's intense and stunning production. I hope they can offer us a third, fourth and fifth time!
Bonus BONUS Pick!
Coral - "Deshojando Madrugadas": Poor Coral. She is one of the most stunning vocalists to come from Spain in years, yet due to her husky and rather deep voice she is unjustly categorized as a "Monica Naranjo rip off". This is too bad because the general public misses out on an amazing performer and an amazing album.Fortunately the two people who bought this album, her grandmother and I, know better. Coral's majestic vocals easily rival such divas as Cher. Dance pop and beautiful power ballads make this album enjoyable from start to finish.