When it comes to albums you can listen to straight through, a large portion of them are Greatest Hits albums. Back when you pretty much had to buy a whole album to get even one song, Greatest Hits albums were like musical goldmines. In that vein, I give you this week's Album that I Love: My Greatest Hits of 2006. You might recall I gave a list of my 2005 faves here. For the most part, I'm using the same rules as last year. With one exception, they are songs released in 2006 or maybe late 2005.
Here's the list:
1. Dream Big - Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band
Talking about Dreaming Big. Ryan Shupe used to play at the LDS Institute during lunch when I was a freshman at the U, and maybe even after I got back from the mission. I've heard this song has been chosen to be the theme song for a TV Show. Even if it wasn't, its still a great song about dreaming big.
2. S.O.S. - Rihanna
Great high-energy pop song set to the beat of Tainted Love in the background.
3. Tell Me When to Go - E-40 ft. Keak Da Sneak
This song took the "hyphy" movement from the Bay Area and made it a national phenomenon. My friend Cameron's been talking about hyphy for a couple years now, and this song brought it all to the table from "going dumb" to "ghost ridin' the whip" to "put your stunna shades on".
4. Such Great Heights - Postal Service
I realize this song was released in 2003, but I'd never heard until recently. And I love it. So it gets to go on this list. Such Great Heights is a great song to listen to on your ipod while you walk across campus. Its a great soundtrack-to-life song. I love the way it starts out and how it builds and grows, and especially how it makes me feel like I'm doing something supercool regardless of what I'm doing.
5. Temperature - Sean Paul
Like S.O.S., a great song to dance and stomp your feet to.
6. Waiting on the World to Change - John Mayer
John Mayer has a TV Show totally changed my opinion of John Mayer, although I still thought the way he "jammed out" for 5 minutes after every song when I saw him in concert (he was with Counting Crows) was pretty lame. I like the bells in this song. It makes it feel like a Christmas song.
7. Remember the Name - Fort Minor
Fort Minor is Linkin Park keyboardist/rapper Mike Shinoda's side project and you can count on seeing a more in-depth review of their inaugural album, "The Rising Tied". You might remember "Remember the Name" from TNT's coverage of last year's NBA Playoffs. Great hip-hop song with a chorus that fits nicely for sports coverage and verses that talk about building your name in the rap game.
8. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray
I'd heard about The Fray for awhile before I finally realized I'd been hearing them sing this song all the time on the radio. I'm still undecided about what this song is about, although I'm guessing its about everyone else knowing your girlfriend's about to break up with you.
9. I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Quiet, sweet, acoustic love song.
10. Ridin' - Chamillionaire ft. Krayzie Bone
A rap song that was good enough to spawn Weird Al's "White & Nerdy" parody. A rap song from a Houston rapper that doesn't overly reek of Paul Wall's signature Chopped and Screwed production.
11. You're Beautiful - James Blunt
What can I say? I just like to listen to this song. Even if James Blunt did look strikingly like Steve Nash. Maybe that's what inspired Steve to get a haircut this year.
12. Where'd You Go - Fort Minor
Fort Minor followed up "Remember the Name" with this more mellow song about family and working on the road.
13. Precious - Depeche Mode
I just love the way this one sounds.
14. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Can't have a list of songs from 2006 with mentioning the ubiquitous "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, a duo made up of DJ Dangermouse and rapper Cee-Lo. In addition to being a fairly good song, they sold it doing performances that ranged from dressing in bathrobes to dressing as Star Wars characters.
15. Sure Thing Falling - Yellowcard
Yellowcard had a new album out this year, and when I first listened to it, I thought that I hated it. Luckily they came in concert to the U to personally convince me that it deserved a 2nd chance.
16. Daft Punk is Playing at My House - LCD Soundsystem
I actually found this song on a bunch of Best of 2005 lists last year and it made me check it out. It actually appears on the soundtrack of a video game I have, and its tons of fun to sing along with.
17. Dance Dance - Fall Out Boy
While Fall Out Boy was really a 2005 phenomenon if you ask me, "Dance Dance" had the kind of fun, frenzied energy that I've come to expect from emo groups when they aren't being angry.
18. Lights and Sounds - Yellowcard
The title track from the new Yellowcard album. Preceded on the album only by a brief piano solo. This one gets the album rockin'.
19. Cobrastyle - Teddybears Sthlm ft. Mad Cobra
I've been hearing this song on soundtracks and video games all year, but I've yet to hear the name of the group pronounced or to hear anything about them. Its a good upbeat pop/hip-hop song.
20. Kick, Push - Lupe Fiasco
Along with Fort Minor's "The Rising Tied", Lupe Fiasco's "Food and Liquor" was my other favorite hip-hop album this year. Lupe puts together rhymes and songs in a way that just flows. Kind of like the skateboarding he talks about on this track.
21. What You Know - T.I.
Not as upbeat and high speed as T.I.'s big hits from 2005 ("Bring 'Em Out" and "You Don't Know Me"), but this ain't no slow jam. Its just T.I. taking his time. The background beats/music are great and T.I. gets the most out of them.
22. Cake - Lloyd Banks ft. 50 Cent
While G-Unit slowly fades into irrelevance (or maybe just incompetence) Lloyd Banks new album included at least one track with a great beat and featuring his smooth delivery. And 50 Cent only shows up to hog the spotlight for one verse.
23. This is Why I'm Hot - Mims
I know the chorus of this song is extremely repetitive and generally I hate songs that sound like they took about 2 minutes to write, but I love the verses of this song (especially the samples of classic regional anthems in the first verse) and the beat and the flow of the lyrics.
24. Upside Down - Jack Johnson
From the "Curious George" soundtrack, very Jack Johnson-sounding, but in a good way. This New Year's Day as I was cooking pancakes in the cabin I had stayed at, someone put on some Jack Johnson and I thought, "Its good that someone makes music that makes great background music."
25. The Instrumental - Lupe Fiasco ft. Jonah Matranga
It was hard to pick just two songs from Lupe's album, but I really like this one for the way the rhymes come so smoothly, overlapping almost. Its like he's using the same words over and over again, but he's not.
26. So Sick - Ne-Yo
Great R&B song about hating love songs after a breakup.
27. Fresh Azimiz - Bow Wow ft. Jermaine Dupri and J-Kwon
Along the way to slaughtering the English language, Bow Wow (he's not Lil' any more) gave us a fun track to ride to. There weren't many songs as Fresh Azthisone this year.
Same as last year, if you feel I've missed anything, feel free to comment me about it and if its one that I agree with I'll add it to the list.