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 What 30 of the Phoenix 's music critics liked this year
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  January 2, 2007


The most amazing thing about the Phoenix’s first annual music critics’ poll is that almost everyone – almost! – somehow kept their list to 10. Having done these for 12 years (whether anyone asked for ‘em or not), I’ve almost never to keep a top 10 list under a dozen. My poor editors will vouch for this. I’d pat myself for coloring inside the lines this year, but I’m cheating: my list-making compulsions have already been satiated by the list of 100 singles we’ve got waiting to be uploaded for a blog post in a few hours. And yes, that one’s a Top-100 list that as of now is hovering around, oh, 127 tracks. Sigh. Anyone wanna help me cut it?

What small, private lists like this remind us is that big, honking institutional lists are largely fictions, mirages of a consensus that no longer exists, if it ever really did in the first place. And even within their personal lists, you’ll generally find critics in Whitman mode -- contradicting themselves, containing multitudes. Feel free to post your own top 10 (or 100) in the comments section: beats waiting for someone to invite you to vote in Pazz and Jop.

-Carly Carioli

2. The Red Krayola, INTRODUCTION (Drag City)
3. Emily Haynes and the Soft Skeleton, KNIVES DON’T HAVE YOUR BACK (Last Gang)
4. Charles Mingus, MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MONTEREY, 1965 NOT HEARD . . . PLAYED IN ITS ENTIRETY, AT UCLA (Sunnyside/Sue Mingus Music)
5. Seekonk, PINKWOOD (North East Indie/Tongue Master)
6. Arnold Dreyblatt and the Orchestra of Excited Strings, LIVE AT FEDERAL HALL NATIONAL MEMORIAL 1981 (Table of the Elements)
7. MV and EE with the Bummer Road, MOTHER OF THOUSANDS (Time-Lag)
8. Helms, SECRET DOORS (Plants and Brains/History Major)
9. Sparks, HELLO YOUNG LOVERS (In the Red)
10. Tara Jane O’Neil, IN CIRCLES (1/4 Stick/Touch & Go)

Franklin BRUNO
1. Mecca Normal, THE OBSERVER (Kill Rock Stars)
2. Scritti Politti, WHITE BREAD BLACK BEER (Nonesuch)
3. Ornette Coleman, SOUND GRAMMAR (Sound Grammar)
4. Kelis, KELIS WAS HERE (La Face)
5. Mission of Burma, THE OBLITERATI (Matador)
6. Jason Moran, ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (Blue Note)
7. Erase Errata, NIGHTLIFE (Kill Rock Stars)
9. Wussy, FUNERAL DRESS (Shake It)
10. Tom Verlaine, SONGS AND OTHER THINGS (Thrill Jockey)

Matthew M. BURKE
1. Todd Woodward, PARADISE (Independent)
2. Slaine, THE WHITE MAN IS THE DEVIL VOL. 2 (Leedz Edutainment)
3. Crazy L, THE MADHOUSE (Independent)
4. Daniel Laurent, THE SUPPRESSION (Self Made Entertainment)
5. The Foundation Movement, GREATEST HITS (Independent)
6. Termanology, HOOD POLITICS IV: SHOW AND PROVE (Brick/ST Records)
7. Mighty Mystic, WAKE UP THE WORLD, THE MIXTAPE VOL. 2 (Split2nd Entertainment)
9. Method Man, 4:21… THE DAY AFTER (Def Jam)|10. Ill Bill, ILL BILL IS THE FUTURE VOL. 2 (Uncle Howie Records)

1. Justin Timberlake, FUTURESEX/LOVESOUNDS (Jive)
2. Xasthur, SUBLIMINAL GENOCIDE (Hydrahead)
4. Clipse, HELL HATH NO FURY (Startrak)
5. Gnarls Barkley, ST. ELSEWHERE (Downtown)
6. Diplo, MAD DECENT RADIO VOL. 1 (Money Studies)
7. Certified Bananas, SPRANG (internets)
8. Converge, NO HEROES (Epitaph)
9. Spank Rock, YOYOYOYOYO (Big Dada)
10. Mastodon, BLOOD MOUNTAIN (Reprise)

1. Big Digits, “WHY DID YOU REJECT MY STEVE PERRY FAN FICTION?” (self-released)
2. “Weird” Al Yankovic, “WHITE AND NERDY” (Volcano)
3. DAT Politics, “WHAT’S DAT?”
4. Muffstache, “THE RUNS” (
5. Eject, “CLEMENTINE” (
6.Pitbull, “AY CHICO” (Diaz Brothers/TVT)
7. PaperRad, “TRASH TALKING” (Load)
8. Justin Timberlake, “MY LOVE (LOW B PAWRTY MIX)” (internet)
9. Crystal Understanding, "EYES" (self-released)

10. Young@Heart Chorus, “SCHIZOPHRENIA” (youtube)

David DAY
1. BURIAL (Hyperdub). Album of the decade.
2. Spank Rock, YOYOYOYOYO (Big Dada)
3. The Knife, SILENT SHOUT (Mute)
4. Ellen Allien & Apparat, ORCHESTRA OF BUBBLES (BPitch Control)
5. Hot Chip, THE WARNING (Astralwerks)
6. In Flagranti, WRONGER THAN EVERYONE ELSE (Codek Europe)
7. Crowdpleaser & St. Plomb, 2006 (Mental Groove Ltd.)
8. Charlotte Gainsbourg, 5:55
9. Trentemoller, THE LAST RESORT (Poker Flat)
10. Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, MELODY MOUNTAIN (Rune Grammofon)

PHOENIX FAVE II: Joanna Newsom
Elisabeth DONNELLY
1. TV on the Radio, RETURN TO COOKIE MOUNTAIN (Interscope)
2. Man Man, SIX DEMON BAG (Ace Fu)
3. The Blow, PAPER TELEVISION (K Records)
4. Grizzly Bear, YELLOW HOUSE (Warp)
5. The Hold Steady, BOYS AND GIRLS IN AMERICA (Vagrant)
6. Shearwater, PALO SANTO (Misra)
7. Thao Nguyen, LIKE THE LINEN (Trust Me Corporation)
8. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, RABBIT FUR COAT (Team Love)
9. Joanna Newsom, YS (Drag City)
10. Casey Dienel, THE WIND-UP CANARY (Hush)


1. Pascal Obispo, LES FLEURS DU BIEN (Sony/BMG France)
2. Roger Sanchez, RELEASE YOURSELF VOL 5 (Stealth/Release)
3. Francis Cabrel, LES BEAUX DEGATS (Columbia/Chandelle, France)
4. Martin Solveig, IN THE HOUSE (Defected, UK)
5. Prince, 3121 (UMVD)
6. Indochine, ALICE & JUNE (Sony/BMG, France)
7. Peter Rauhofer, I LOVE MIAMI! (Star 69)
8. DJ HEATHER & COLETTE (House of Om)
9. Stéphane Pompougnac, HOTEL COSTES 8 (Pschent, France)
10. Stephanie Lapointe, SUR LE FIL (Musicor/Select, Quebec)

1. Herbert, SCALE (!K7)
2. Kode9 and the Spaceape, MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE (Hyperdub)
3. Clipse, HELL HATH NO FURY (Jive)
4. TV on the Radio, RETURN TO COOKIE MOUNTAIN (Interscope)
5. The Game, DOCTOR’S ADVOCATE (Geffen)
6. Basement Jaxx, CRAZY ITCH RADIO (XL)
7. Justin Timberlake, FUTURESEX/LOVESOUNDS (Jive)
8. Z-RO, I’M STILL LIVIN’ (Rap-A-Lot)
10. Sway,  THIS IS MY DEMO (All City)

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Guest lists
With the excpetion of Franklin & Elisabeth, your year-end reviewers are rubbish - just of bunch of pedantic twats who are more concerned with impressing each other with their "eclecticism" than they are trying to foist good music on the readers.
By Brett Howser on 12/27/2006 at 10:11:39
Guest lists
Doogie, if I post my top ten, will you cure me of my bad taste, too? Oh and please do give me the right answers for the next time I have to vote.
By Ian Sands on 12/28/2006 at 8:10:36
Guest lists
Yep, send your list. Mirth would be a good start to 2007.
By Brett Howser on 01/02/2007 at 8:36:58
Guest lists
I'm too tired to come with an appropriately eclectic batch right now. What's yours? Curious.
By Ian Sands on 01/03/2007 at 10:00:57
Guest lists
Yeah, those Pearl Jam, Black Crowes and Sonic Youth picks by Kielty are pretty deep underground. If anything I applaud him risking his "cool" credibility with those choices.
By Marty Brody on 01/11/2007 at 11:26:06

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  •   GUEST LISTS  |  January 02, 2007
    What small, private lists like this remind us is that big, honking institutional lists are largely fictions, mirages of a consensus that no longer exists, if it ever really did in the first place.
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