Remember two years ago where we took a look at albums we loved in 2004 on their 10th anniversary? We had every intention to do it last year as well but…failed. Click here to be transported back to 2014 though.
Well, we’ve pulled our metaphorical fingers out and with a fresh new Mojo20 team (more to be revealed further down the line), we’ve discussed 2006 and realised what a great year for music it was. So, here’s some of our choices and why we love them so much…
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
It’ll soon be ten years to the day since one of the most well-known albums of the early 2000’s was released. It was the second album by this artist and her last, but remarkably it’s the one of two that became a household name. Amy Winehouse was, as we all know, a promising and talented young jazz singer that ended up going down the road to self-destruction at the peak of her success and unfortunately reached her destination before she could really be helped. It’s a devastating story that we all know well and saw unfold before our eyes, but the great thing about music is that we can enjoy her talents, her song writing and her voice, along with her memory, any time we want. ‘Back to Black’ held every element you can imagine in one record. It unleashed catchy pop numbers like ‘Rehab’ whilst introducing us to her inner darkness and stark honesty like on the title track. A slew of singles instantly became internationally recognisable and all of was heavily laden with a jazz swagger and boasted a wealth of substantial music knowledge, love and credibility. We’ll forever have to imagine what a third album could have offered and what a shame that is.
The Killers – Sam’s Town
‘Sam’s Town’ was the second effort by the Las Vegas four piece and followed their sensational debut, ‘Hot Fuss’ only two years before. Big shoes to fill and an absolute set up for the classic “difficult second album” considering how well the first album did, including providing us with the nauseatingly overplayed ‘Mr.Brightside’. I remember the release of ‘Sams Town’ clearly and what I remember the most was my feeling of confliction for The Killers. I’d had more than enough of them following the constant radio play and night club exposure, plus I found their return single ‘When You Were Young’ a bit hard to swallow. It was a large departure from what we’d heard before, going from glammed up Nevada indie, heavy on the synths and heavy on the sentiment but endearing for a young rock music fan. So coming back with verses about Jesus and a much grander sound fit for stadiums was a bit of a shock. It only got grander when ‘Bones’ was released, over the top with brass and backing singers plus a Tim Burton directed music video to boot. I loved it and hated it in equal measure… although I’ll admit that today, I just love it. I soon became indifferent when ‘Read My Mind’ and ‘For Reasons Unknown’ were released due to how tepid and uninspiring I found them to be, and then as if out of nowhere, my opinion changed entirely. I remember it being late at night and they were showing, on the TV, repeats of Glastonbury performances from earlier in the night. I turned it on and The Killers were on the Pyramid stage and were half way through ‘For Reasons Unknown’, featuring Brandon Flowers on bass. It was a fantastic performance and I fell in love with the song as I sat on my sofa and watched in awe at what 2004’s hot indie flavour had become. The album remains one of my favourites of the era and album tracks such as ‘This River Is Wild’, ‘My List’ and the title track are still iPod regulars for me. Ten years on. Fuck I’m old.
The Strokes – First impressions of earth
Right at the very beginning of 2006, indie legends The Strokes dropped their third album and as far as I’m concerned it’s a classic, however I’m not sure how many people know of it. When you think of The Strokes you always have to think of ‘Is This it?’ and ‘Room On Fire’. Maybe even ‘Angles’ from 2011 as it was an absolute cracker. You definitely don’t think of that shite from a couple of years ago because I don’t think anyone knew it happened and they’d be better off too, but if you haven’t heard ‘First Impressions Of Earth’ then I feel very sorry for you and expect you to go get on with it right away. It’s the album that gave us ‘Juicebox’ which introduced us to a slightly more polished and professional sound whilst still maintaining that undeniable Strokes sound. It was the album that unleashed the incredible ‘Heart In A Cage’ which featured unbelievable guitar from Nick Valensi and vocals from Casablancas that always remind me of Iggy Pop’s ‘The Passenger’. There are no wonderful stories, personal or otherwise that go along with this writing, it is simply about the album being quite incredible. Go check out tracks such as ‘You Only Live Once’, ‘Razorblade’ and ‘On The Other Side’ for all the evidence you need that this record is a must hear, must have and a must own.
The Kooks – Inside In/Inside out
2006 was the year that indie music really started to resonate with me personally. As a spotty, train track wearing 16-year-old, life felt pretty tough at the time. Fear not though, for I was now eligible for the finest seat on the bus (every cloud and all that). The sacred middle back row, where I could survey my fellow school friends. Like the king [I thought] I was. As I sat there, looking grumpy or more likely trying to look cool, headphones blaring, I realised that this particular album I had on repeat would forever remind me of this oh so wonderful time in my life. And what an incredible ability music of all irks has to remind us all where we were and what we were doing at particular moments in time. This particular album was of course Inside In/Inside Out by The Kooks. Their debut album that would propel them to stardom. Naive was undoubtedly one of the stand out tracks of 2006, becoming the soundtrack to many a house party. The album was much more than just Naive though; Eddies Gun, Ooh La and She Moves in Her Own Way where absolute belters worthy of their own place in 2006 history. Of course, I couldn’t go on without mentioning the legendary Jackie Big Tits. What a song!! It really was an album of monumental proportions for me personally, can scarcely believe it’s been an entire decade since it’s release. Here’s to The Kooks!!
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, that’s What I’m Not
Without any shadow of doubt, my favourite album of 2006. Maybe even my favourite album within this decade! As far as debut albums go, there’s no denying that this is one of the strongest there’s ever been. 2006 became the year a group of lads from Sheffield took the in due music scene by storm acting like they’d been the heavyweights for years. Bold, confident, polished and catchy as fuck; what more could anyone want from a debut album? We now know this was just the beginning of a very very successful music career but 10 years on, this is still my favourite album from the band and one I frequent on my commute to and from work. With floor fillers such as I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor and slower tracks such as Mardy Bum and Riot Van; there really isn’t a flaw to this album. The band’s confidence was almost intimidating when they first appeared as a little band from Sheffield and I’ve not experienced hype anywhere near close to what occurred in the build up to its release. I recall taking the day off school, ruining my 100% attendance record and missing the chance to secure myself a Parker pen, just so I could go in to town and queue outside HMV to get my hands on the album. It’s a shame this doesn’t really happen anymore with the easy access to music we have via iTunes and Spotify. I kind of miss that hustle & bustle outside music stores. Let’s all stick this or any of the aforementioned albums from 2006 and reminisce about “the good old days” shall we?
What album do YOU have fond memories of from 2006? Let us know!