26 December 2006

Gift "Certificates" are SO 1998

Some of you might be thinking, "Yo, Mark! Where's your list of the best songs and albums of the year? All the other lists are out there. Are you... lazy? A no-goodnick? Drunk?"

Well, no. It's just that, for the time being, I am not fortunate enough to get advance press copies of CDs. (Anyone out there want to hire me to write about music?) That means I have to wait until I actually buy albums in order to hear them, and that means I don't hear a lot of things until after Christmas. Today, for instance, I received a boatload of music, plus a gift card for iTunes that will let me purchase more. Once I've sifted through my spoils, I'll indulge myself (and entertain you?) by ranking the best and the worst tunes of 2006.

For now, let me ask you this: what were your favorite albums and singles of the year? I have $25 to spend at iTunes, and I'd love some suggestions. At present, my plan is to buy the greatest hits of Mary J. Blige and the latest album from a punk-pop group called Morningwood.

And you know that I love some Mary J. However, other than a tape of her first album, "What's the 411?", that Thomas Blake gave me for my birthday in 7th grade, I've never owned any of her music. (Remember Thomas? Some of you do!) I do dig the lady, but she has always struck me as someone who, from a purchasing perspective, was designed for a greatest hits album. Sort of like Sheryl Crow or Lenny Kravitz or Nickel Creek. I can't exactly explain why, but I feel like these artists' best songs will always be their singles. The rest of their studio albums? Fillertown.

(Okay... with Sheryl Crow I can explain why I feel that way. With the exception of one song per album, neither "Tuesday Night Music Club" nor "Sheryl Crow" gave me anything worthwhile that wasn't also released to radio. That's why I sold those CDs and got her greatest hits instead. I should not have to hear "The Na-Na Song" before getting to "Strong Enough.")
But anyway... those are my current choices. I'm open to arguments that I should spend my gift card elsewhere.



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