It occurred to me this morning that we’ve past the half way point for the year. I believe that’s a good enough milestone to step back and take a look at the 2006 album releases so far and talk about what rough gems are sticking out.

Last year was the year of bad first impressions. It was around this time last year that I wrote about how I was slightly let down by Sufjan’s Illinois. Ultimately that was due to a lack of time spent with a very expansive album. I think there are still portioins of that album that I am unaware of and yet I wore that cheap CD-R out last year. My other favorite from last year was Wolf Parades’ Apologies to the Queen Mary, an album which I initially wrote it off entirely as a drunken version of Modest Mouse. Many of the albums I loved right away, such as Art Brut’s Bang Bang Rock and Roll, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s debut, Bright Eye’s I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm didn’t quite have the staying power that the growers did. This seems to be the rule, since that which you have to work to love is going to be shown more affection.

This year, much is the same. I almost forgot about my first favorite of the year, Belle & Sebastian’s The Life Pursuit. Anyway, here is an ordered list of my favorite albums so far this year:

1.

Shut Up I Am Dreaming

Sunset Rubdown Shut Up I Am Dreaming


2.

Return to Cookie Mountain

TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain


3.

Return to the Sea

Islands Return to the Sea


4.

Everything All the Time

Band of Horses Everything All the Time


5.

Let's Get Out of This Country

Tie: Camera Obscura Let’s Get Out of This Country Belle & Sebastian The Life Pursuit

Here are others I have liked but either didn’t make the list, or may be growers:

Asobi Seksu Citrus
Beruit Gulag Orkestar
Brightblack Morning Light Brightblack Morning Light
Danielson Ships
Destroyer Rubies
The Flaming Lips At War with the Mystics
The Futureheads News & Tributes
Gnarls Barkely St. Elsewhere
Grizzly Bear Yellow House
Liars Drum’s Not Dead
Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Sonic Youth Rather Ripped
Sufjan Stevens The Avalanche
Thom Yorke The Eraser
Voxtrot Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
The Walkmen A Hundred Miles Off