Here are my picks from the records I bought which came out this year.
1. The Aggrolites; Self Titled.
The Aggrolites started out as a backing band of Derrick Morgan. This is one of the greatest Reggae albums of all time as far as I am concerned. It is the Aggrolite's second album and it is jam packed with tracks that will no doubt go down as classics. They are already working on a third record due out in May 2007.
2. Midlake; The Trials of Van Occupanther.
A bit Grandaddy, a bit Radiohead, a bit 1970's folk pop. Whatever they have done it turned out to be a most incredible album that I can recommend without hesitation.
3. Portastatic; Be Still Please.
I have to admit that I buy everything Portastatic puts out and that this record lacks the "umph" of Bright Ideas. Despite this it still is an insanely good set of songs from Mac & Co.
4. Yo La Tengo; I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.
Yo La Tengo has been making records since the mid 80's and you think by now their stuff would be getting a bit disappointing or repetitious but no. I Am Not Afraid is one of my favorite Tengo albums to date. My favorite track is Black Flowers. Here is an MP3 of another good poppy one, Beanbag Chair.
5. The Robot Ate Me; Good World.
This is so good. Really strange eerie yet peppy music sung in a super-high falsetto backed with clunks and clinks and toy-instrument type sounds. A lot different than the geek-pop of Carousel Waltz (which I also loved). Check out the track Djien how can you not love this?
OK that is all for now.