Aw, gee, I'd like to post a "Best of 2006" album list but the albums I discovered in 2006 go all over back to the '60s (it was a very modern year for me). I got an iPod in September, which kicked off a furious round of scouring the MP3blogs for the latest tasties, and I'm still playing catch-up. So I'm going to put in only one plug, for a very overlooked and very worthy album: Jay Crocker's Melodies from the Outskirts. It's an absolutely killer piece of work, solid on the songwriting and a mammoth in performance: HORNS GALORE.
It's not rock, it's not jazz. It's not traditional anything. And it sure as hell ain't "chamber pop." It sounds like the bastard union of a menage a trois between Ron Sexsmith, Allan Toussaint, and The James Gang. Sometimes torchy, sometimes funky, sometimes plain off-the-frickin'-wall, it's the kind of record that'll leave you shaking your head saying where did this kid come from, and why haven't I heard of him?
Check out free downloads at Jay's home site. Buy the CD. Thrill! Thrill! Thrill!