WXPN Top 50 Countdown - Day Three
36. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Trip: A great pop-punk blast, as rooted as much in the Strokes as in the Clash, Whatever You Say was one of the surprises of 2006. Believe the hype.
Michael: Starting the day off with a bang! Equal parts adrenaline rush and sly, spiky pop hooks. Precocious and audacious, these guys have a sharp point of view that belies their tender age. A tremendous debut.
35. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Trip: Even for diehard Chili fans, this 2 hours and 20 minutes of tired jock punk-funk had to be too much.
Michael: I haven’t heard this in its entirety, and “Dani California” sure doesn’t make me want to. These guys are like me on the dance floor. The same moves for the past twenty years.
34. Alexi Murdoch – Time Without Consequence
Trip: Dull and lifeless mope folk…in my alternate universe, every purchaser of Time Without Consequence would instead be given Ron Sexsmith’s new cd.
Michael: I’m not sure whether I should plead ignorance or indifference. I like Nick Drake a lot, but I’ve never been motivated to give this Drake-alike a chance.
33. Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
Trip: Some unbearably painful music, but you should hear it – a fitting epitaph to an artist meeting his demons one last time. A haunting, elegiac, flawed farewell from a music giant.
Michael: I’m not sure why I didn’t pick this one up, perhaps because it sounds almost too painfully intimate. Cash is dying on these songs, and that’s a hard thing to hear.
32. Madeline Peyroux – Half The Perfect World
Trip: I don’t think I’d ever buy it… but this was a pretty decent listen today. And this bird can sing.
Michael: I like her. There, I’ve said it. Don’t know a thing about the album.
31. Paul Simon - Surprise
Trip: A restless innovator unafraid to fail, I’ve liked what I’ve heard from this record. So why haven’t I heard the whole thing yet?
Michael: All I know is the first single, which isn’t quite as outrageous as it would like you to think, but still proves that Simon continues to work outside the expectations of his audience, always a welcome trait in an established artist.
30. TV On the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
Trip: I heard six songs on the radio today – three were monster rock for the hip kids and three were a tuneless mess… but I couldn’t sort out which ones were which. It probably needs to be lived with for quite a while and then I’ll bet it blows your mind. One to investigate.
Michael: This album is a little too dark and thorny for me to fully embrace, but it’s undeniably powerful, and “Wolf Like Me” rocks like a hurricane.