This past decade, 2006 was one of the better years in music, with a ton of debuts, great albums and catchy singles. It was also the year this member of Rocks Off started putting his musical critiques into a computer, joining the great circus known as the music industry. Maybe that's why we love it so much.
Tonight Arctic Monkeys hit House of Blues behind this year's naughtily titled Suck It and See, which sees the band continue to evolve past the punky slur of their first two albums into a great, bluesy, metallic British band in the spirit of latter-day Kinks and Oasis, a metamorphosis that really began with 2009's Humbug.
Seriously, they sound kinda like a sweeter Black Sabbath now, but maybe that has something to do with the mentor they picked up along the way.
The new era of the Monkeys began when they met Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme in 2007. He would end up taking them on tour with his own band and become instrumental in the lads beefing up their sound, producing a few tracks at his Palm Desert, Calif., studio. The Monkeys started touting Cream and Roky Erickson as chief influences, and they weren't bullshitting.
In 2006, the Monkeys made waves with their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which thrilled audiences in the UK and on this side of the pond with whip-crack pop smarts and a sharp lyrical sheen, which to some British expats was like taking a trip back home. They were talking about real life in Sheffield as opposed to playing American. In a sense they breathed new life in to Britpop, here and abroad.
So 2006 wasn't just all about the Monkeys. That year the world also met Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse, whose lives would obviously diverge along two different paths, as Allen helped pave the way for a more intelligent and goofier brand of pop music. Winehouse's Back to Black, which reentered the Billboard Top 10 this week, would make someone like Adele palatable, before passing away last month after a lifetime of drugs and drinking caught up to her.
That year when we started writing, there was no shortage of new music to review. Albums from TV On the Radio, Beck, The Decemberists, Pearl Jam and the Raconteurs clogged our new iPod, and we tried to make sense of the Killers' newfound Bruce Springsteen fetish.
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Rocks Off picked some of our favorite songs from the '06, from bands like CSS and Peter, Bjorn A & John (who will both be here in the next few months), and we re-introduce you to Lady Sovereign. How could you forget about the Lady S-O-V?!