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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Jim Connelly's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

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Jesse Steichen's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Friday, January 12, 2007
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
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Wayne Robins' Top Ten Of 2004

Friday, January 7, 2005
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Thursday, January 6, 2005
Johnny Walker (Black)'s Top 10 Of 2004

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Mark Mordue's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 3, 2005
Lee Templeton's Fave Recordings Of 2004

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Monday, January 3, 2005

Lee Templeton's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Neumu Senior Editor Lee Templeton writes: You all know the drill, so this list doesn't require much explanation. Except that I'm still deeply ambivalent about Wilco's A Ghost is Born. I lose sleep over it. Seriously. So, it's not on the list. But here are a few recordings that I'm completely sure about.

Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop): Sam Beam may have added a few more musicians to Iron and Wine's line-up since the last album, but he's still crafting exquisitely beautiful pop songs that sound like they're being whispered into your ear.

David Byrne, Grown Backwards (Nonesuch): "February through December/ We had such a tragic year." Byrne's delivery of that line from "The Man Who Loved Beer" makes me a little jealous that I didn't have a tragic year. He makes it sound that good.

Camper Van Beethoven, New Roman Times (Pitch-A-Tent): Elite military units, retired intelligence officers, mail-bombers, drug traffickers, hippie chicks, space aliens, and enough whirling musical styles to make a dervish dizzy. It's good to have Camper together again.

Ted Leo + The Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets (Lookout): So it may not be as sharp as Hearts of Oak. Who cares? The world is a better place as long as Ted Leo is making smart, lively rock music.

Various Artists, Por Vida: A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo (Or Music): Escovedo is a remarkably talented, and woefully under-recognized, songwriter. This two-disc collection of his songs, performed by the likes of Lucinda Williams, Calexico, John Cale, Son Volt, The Minus 5, and dozens of others, is a fitting and loving testament to his talent.

Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Sony): I've listened to this album hundreds of times, and I'm still blown away by the way "Float On" grows out of "The World Out Large" and takes the album off into the stratosphere.

Various Artists, Future Soundtrack for America (Barsuk): Music to sustain us for the next four years. This collection of new, exclusive and/or rare recordings from a wide range of artists (from Blink-182 to Tom Waits, and everywhere in between) offers some great moments. How could I have lived this long without They Might Be Giants' version of "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too"?! Plus, all the profits from this album go to nonprofit progressive organizations such as MoveOn.org and Common Assets Action Fund.

The Magnetic Fields, i (Nonesuch): The combination of Stephin Merritt's deadpan vocals, his pointedly witty lyrics, and inspired arrangements make this album impossible not to like.

Robyn Hitchcock, Spooked (Yep Rock): Hitchcock has found truly sympathetic musical partners in Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (who also produced the album). With Welch and Rawlings as his backing band, Hitchcock delivers a set of songs that are at times quirky, but always compelling.

Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs (Capitol): The Boys have come a long way since Licensed to Ill, and their musical and lyrical maturity are on display here. But just because they've grown up a bit doesn't mean that they won't still have you jumping around your room like a madman.

Album That Most Annoyed My Friends In 2004

Destroyer, Your Blues (Merge): All right, so it takes a little getting used to, but it is worth it. Dan Bejar creates intricate pop gems whose hooks seep into your head. Before you know it, you're humming these songs all the time.

Album That Didn't Come Out In 2004

but that I first heard in 2004, and so, through a wonderful technicality, makes the list:

The Wrens, Meadowlands (Absolutely Kosher): Yes, everything you heard about this album is true. Simply beautiful.

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