Treble Album of the Week Mix 2006, Vol. I

Treble staff

Need a good mix to prepare yourself for the springtime? Want to collect a summary of indie rock’s first quarter earnings (not in fiscal but artistic terms)? Well, as we do every time we have enough material to fill a CD-R, we’ve compiled our favorite songs from the first couple months of 2006 (and the tail end of 2005, for that matter). These just happen to be highlights from some of our favorite albums, so just in case you missed out on any of these, reviews have been linked for your convenience. Then, of course, by all means, burn yourself a copy.

Treble AOW Mix 2006, Vol. 1

1. Okkervil River “No Key, No Plan”
from Black Sheep Boy Appendix
“The song is a redemptive one as the rich young sophisticate hears the Greek chorus singing `You’ve never earned your soul’ to which he replies, ‘I know, but I’m gonna try.'”
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2. Mendoza Line “Mysterious In Black”
from Full of Light and Full of Fire
“`Mysterious in Black'” is another standout song, sounding like a castoff from the Police’s Synchronicity sessions as sung by Emily Haines.”
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3. Jens Lekman “Maple Leaves”
from Oh, You’re So Silent Jens
“In the EP version of the song, Lekman takes a Spector-like production approach, adding dancey drums and reverb-touched vocals, almost to the point of sounding like early Saint Etienne, but, of course, with male vocals.”
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4. Sia “Breathe Me”
from Colour the Small One
“‘Breathe Me,’ or the ‘Six Feet Under’ song, is the strongest here, with hollow, echoing piano and such intimate whispers that we hear the usually subtle smacking noises of moisture inside the singer’s cheeks.”
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5. Test Icicles “Boa Vs. Python”
from For Screening Purposes Only
“‘Boa Vs. Python,’ with all its effects-addled weirdness, even proves that the band can create a fists-in-the-air single, complete with shout along chorus…”
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6. Akron/Family “Raising the Sparks”
from Akron/Family and Angels of Light
“…really, it doesn’t get more out of control and utterly fucking awesome than ‘Raising the Sparks.'”
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7. Rocky Votolato “White Daisy Passing”
from Makers
“`White Daisy Passing,’ is rich in lyrical imagery, taking the listener past an old apartment and through rainy streets before Votolato sweetly declares in his gentle rasp, `All I want to do is turn around/I’m going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean.'”
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8. The Elected “Did Me Good”
from Sun, Sun, Sun
“‘Did Me Good’ has somewhat of a Motown feel, even with a James Brown or Inkspots-like aside in the middle of the song.”
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9. Clearlake “You Can’t Have Me”
from Amber
“the dreamy ‘You Can’t Have Me’ finds the perfect balance between restrained ambience and soulful pop.”
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10. Cat Power “The Greatest”
from The Greatest
“The melody plays like a slow waltz at a melancholy circus, the lulling music a powerful supplement to words filled with so much sadness.”
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11. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins “The Big Guns”
from Rabbit Fur Coat
“Deep but far off drum beats and equally distant handclaps pepper the landscape of standout `Big Guns,’ as Lewis explores her troubled relationship with God…”
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12. Plastic Constellations “Sancho Panza”
from Crusades
“‘Sancho Panza’ is a rapid fire audible vortex…”
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13. Belle and Sebastian “For the Price of a Cup of Tea”
from The Life Pursuit
“…hardly any other band today sounds like they’re having as much fun.”
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14. Jason Collett “We All Lose One Another”
from Idols of Exile
Sounding like a pop reworking of `Wild Horses,’ with an equally unforgettable chorus and the country lilts that come with the barroom piano, harmonica and Charles Spearin’s banjo.”
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15. Oakley Hall “Light of My Love”
from Second Guessing
“…your nostalgic woe may dissipate once you hear Oakley Hall play their blend of country, folk and American roots music…'”
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16. The M’s “Trucker Speed”
from Future Women
“Like The Jesus and Mary Chain jamming with Isaac Hayes, the song is peerless, and climaxes in a veritable soul symphony of violins and horns, as if extracted from Shaft itself.”
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17. Destroyer “European Oils”
from Destroyer’s Rubies
“The miraculous ‘European Oils’ recalls the Band at its `Big Pink’ heights with great piano and guitar riffs echoing each other along with a sing-songy wordless chorus.”
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18. Arctic Monkeys “Fake Tales of San Francisco”
from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
“If anything, the Arctic Monkeys can really set the mood of being just flat out young and angst-ridden while dishing out some espresso pop bounciness.”
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19. Man Man “Van Helsing Boombox”
from Six Demon Bag
“…arguably the best track on the album, `Van Helsing Boombox’ marries a relatively straightforward vocal by Honus with a bouncy, yet tender melody, finding a good middle ground between accessibility and the band’s unique weirdness.”
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