Paste's Top 100 Albums of 2006

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Best-of lists are notoriously problematic. Despite their flirtation with math/science in the form of numerical rankings, there is a vague arbitrariness pervading even the most meticulously constructed example. The difference between spot #47 and #93 might as well hinge on how seamlessly an editor's fast food breakfast is digesting that particular morning. Still, we make our lists, if only to have an excuse to let our minds wander back over the year and remember which pieces of art caused us to forget the world, or simply appreciate the complexity of it.

Sometimes, after walking into the Paste office's music library and seeing the mailbins piled four-high and spilling over because the vast rows of shelves have filled up yet again (weren't they just cleared off?), I wonder if the world really needs any new music. Maybe every artist should just take a few years off so we can all get caught up on our listening. But then I look over this list and find myself amazed at how many great records have come out in just one year's time. Because it's true: You can never have too much of a good thing. And let's be honest. Some records are gooder than others.

-Jason Killingsworth

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1. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
2. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
3. Joanna Newsom - Ys
4. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
5. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
6. Cat Power – The Greatest
7. Midlake - Trials of Van Occupanther
8. Gomez - How We Operate
9. M Ward – Post War
10. The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
11. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
12. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
13. Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
14. Beck - The Information
15. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
16. Pete Yorn - Nightcrawler
17. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
18. Califone - Roots & Crowns
19. Joseph Arthur - Nuclear Daydream
20. Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
21. Paul Simon - Surpise
22. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
23. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
24. Mates of State - Bring it Back
25. Luke Doucet - Broken and Other Rogue States
26. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
27. Hem - Funnel Cloud
28. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
29. Jackie Greene - American Myth
30. Van Hunt - On The Jungle Floor
31. My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse
32. Kate York - Sadlylove
33. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
34. Johnny Cash - American V
35. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
36. Damien Dempsey - Shots
37. Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning
38. Roman Candle - The Wee Hours Review
39. Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies
40. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
41. Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae
42. Nellie McKay – Pretty Little Head
43. The Thermals - The Body, the Blood, the Machine
44. Liars - Drums Not Dead
45. Willie Nelson - Songbird
46. The Roots – Game Theory
47. Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child
48. Built To Spill - You In Reverse
49. Phoenix – It’s Never Been Like That
50. Jeremy Enigk - World Waits
51. Damien Jurado - Now That I'm In Your Shadow
52. Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers
53. Pernice Brothers - Live a Little
54. Calexico - Garden Ruin
55. The Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
56. Benevento Russo Duo - Play Pause Stop
57. Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra - Boulevard de l'Independence
58. Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye
59. Ratatat - Classics
60. Josh Rouse - Subtítulo
61. Jim Noir – Tower of Love
62. Guillemots - Through the Broken Window
63. Hot Chip – The Warning
64. Nicolai Dunger - Here's My Song
65. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
66. Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
67. Bill Mallonee – Permafrost
68. Archie Bronson Outfit - Derdang Derdang
69. Danielson – Ships
70. Tobias Froberg – Somewhere in the City
71. KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
72. My Morning Jacket - Okonokos
73. Ray Lamontagne - Till The Sun Turns Black
74. Thom Yorke – The Eraser
75. John Mayer - Continuum
76. Swan Lake - Beast Moans
77. Brazilian Girls - Talk To La Bomb
78. Peter and the Wolf - Lightness
79. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
80. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
81. T.I. - King
82. Be Your Own Pet - Be Your Own Pet
83. Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
84. Todd Snider  - The Devil You Know
85. Starlight Mints - Drowaton
86. Los Lobos - The Town and the City
87. Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light
88. James Hunter - People Gonna Talk
89. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
90. The Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics
91. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
92. Girl Talk - Night Ripper
93. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
94. Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
95. The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely
96. Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
97. Figurines - Skeleton
98. Viva Voce - Get Yr Blood Sucked Out
99. The Dears - Gang of Losers
100. The Old Ceremony - Our One Mistake

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