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16 December 2006 @ 10:00 am
Bp's Musical Picks of 2006  
It's that time of year again - what a year it's been musically!

This was done at various times of the year and may read as disjointed, but at this stage of the game I don't have the extra time to use sandpaper and spackle, so here it is 'warts and all' as they say.

First, enjoy some Holiday splendor with Trans-Siberian Orchestra while you're reading (this reads much better with TSO - actually anything is better with TSO!). This is a live performance of "Wizards of Winter" from The Lost Christmas Eve and after you've finished reading you can watch it as the light show is killer! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CCSeugClR8. After that is finished - spin the video/audio for a beautiful song called "Nebo's River" by Chantal Kreviazuk & Raine Maida for War Child Canada. There's a great story behind it: http://www.myspace.com/warchildcanada

Ok - isn't this about some list? Well, let's get to it.

First, I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me gather materials :-) Music is a passion and I'm so lucky to listen to as much as I do. I've been doing this list for almost 20 years now and each year the selection process is tougher and tougher. This year there were over 450 CDs that I spun that were in contention for this wonderful list (of course they had to be released in 2006 and compilations, reissues, etc. were not eligible as normal). For instance, in 2007 the new Shaye record comes out (featuring Tara MacLean) and it's streaming in full on their web site - that would have easily slipped somewhere in the top 3 or so, but it's not officially out until next year so it's not here - but oh it's so good!Normally I put together a page on fye.com where all of these are collected and you can listen to samples and purchase, but alas, no time this year. But as in previous years I highlighted a web destination where you can take a test ride at least of the albums on the list so feel free to do so! My descriptions hardly do the music justice, so click a link or two and enjoy!

2006 was a great year musically for me. I was lucky enough to sit across from two artists whose music I love immensely and they were both amazing to chat with and both very open and just a pleasure to speak with: Ed Kowalczyk of +Live+: www.fye.com/live and singer/songwriter Anna Nalick (you know, the gal who sings that "Breathe" song...): http://www.fye.com/annanalick.
I was also lucky enough to sit 15 feet away from the legendary T. Bone Burnett as he tore through a couple tracks from his latest album and the classic "Humans from Earth." Scott Stapp, love him or hate him, impressed me greatly by singing for a room of 20 as if it was a room of 20,000. Not to mention, about 18 months after I was first turned onto her music, I interviewed Anna Nalick, saw her perform acoustically a spellbinding version of "Wreck of the Day" for a room of 20, and then open for the Dixie Chicks a month later in front of about 8,000 people and perform a full band version of that same song which had the entire Pepsi Arena at attention, you could hear a pin drop, and absolutely own the place! It was amazing to see!

Man, I love music!

Anyway, isn't this about some list? Well, let's get to it already!

Bp's Favorite Discs of 2006:

1.) Live: Songs from Black Mountain (Red Ink/Epic)
In order to prepare for an interview with principal songwriter and vocalist Ed Kowalczyk, I received an advance of this in early February and crammed for the interview by listening over and over - it was a pre-order campaign so I wanted to focus on the upcoming record and so I wanted to know it inside and out. After the first listen I thought they'd kicked guitarist Chad Taylor out of the band, where was the biting guitar of old? Well, upon subsequent listens I found the guitar, it was there, it was used more texturally and the distortion pedal had been switched off for the most part. What I did find was I couldn't stop hearing the songs in my head and I was singing them in my head constantly. It was perfect timing for this disc, the dead of winter, a lot of news reports detailing the darkness of the world and way - this was the perfect escape, an anthem to love and peace, a thoroughly positive and uplifting collection of songs! Seeing a few of the cuts live I felt the energy, which was derived from the essence of the song, not from the electric guitar. Then I chatted with Ed for about 40 minutes and he was so energetic and enthusiastic about the album that it was infectious. By this time I'd already called it their best since The Distance to Here and fallen in love with many tracks. All these months later it still holds the same magic. Arrangement wise, it's the most simple Live record - sure, but that's not the point - it's that the songs resonate and they speak just as clearly as they ever have. The sound may not be as colossal as "The Dolphin's Cry," but the emotion, and passion, and anthems of love, peace, and unity are stronger than ever:
"On a crystal clear blue morning / there is a peace that only you can know / It is truth and love and it is always there / Even if you fall down / Even it you fall down / Love Shines."
To read the interview with Ed, visit: www.fye.com/live
Choice cuts: "Love Shines," "Show," "You Are Not Alone," "Sophia."
http://www.myspace.com/live - "Mystery" w/ Chris Daughtry & "The River"

2.) Nothing About Grover: Remain (SC68)
The first of two VT based artists in the countdown. This folky-pop duo with some definite rock moments, features singer-songwriter James Kinne (who has appeared at the top of this list twice) and singer-songwriter Tara Orion. With some experimental sounds and recording effects, they combine forces for a brilliant group of songs featuring both of their voices. Tara has a beautifully rich voice which sounds enchanting on "Towards the Light," faintly like Natalie Merchant at other times, and powerful on "Industrial Sky," all the while retaining a distinct uniqueness and warmth. Their harmonies sound very natural together, yet their trade-off leads on "Sidewalks and Shores" start the disc with a nice vocal and musical juxtaposition. The title track is a simply gorgeous - it's touches that make this album that much more special - the piano, for instance, on "Remain," understated and carrying a lilting melody, makes it magical. The little guitar melody after the chorus of "Days Like These" - another perfect touch.
Choice cuts: "Sleepy Town," "Towards the Light," "Remain," "Industrial Sky," "Jazzy."
http://www.myspace.com/nag - for streams of "Matt's Song," "Sidewalks and Shores," "Days Like These," and "Remain."

3.) Muse: Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Bros.)
More diverse than their previous, with some style and genre bending which keeps things fresh. Lots of pure kinetic and frenetic energy as they race at break-neck speed towards musical nirvana. They remind me of the unrestrained energy of early U2 records. Major kudos to having Storm Thorgerson involved in the cover art as well - very Alan Parsons/Pink Floydish and very cool! I really could talk about this album all day long, but I won't - just click the link and enjoy the steam train energy of Muse! Or, I'll ramble a bit about the tenderness of "Invincible" with it's yearning beginning, Edge-like guitar work, very-Larry Mullen Jr.-ish drums in the second verse, bass riffing post verse two and the building and building and building of intensity until the glorious release of quintessential Muse-like guitar bliss. Then the juxtaposition of the first minute of "Assassin" with it's rifle-snare drum attack and churning guitars - ahhhhh, it's brilliant! Enough - click and listen.
Choice cuts: "Invincible," "Knights of Cydonia," "Supermassive Black Hole," "Take a Bow."
http://www.myspace.com/muse - three new cuts and a killer from their previous

4.) David Ford: I Sincerely Apologise for All the Trouble I've Caused (Independiente/SonyBMG)
I can't get over how brilliant this disc is, from the gut-wrenching "I Don't Care You What You Call Me" (with a great video featuring a line of people slapping Ford silly in an empty parking garage), to the politically charged and instrumental building block of "State of the Union," and the sparse, raw emotion of "Cheer Up (You Miserable F--k)." The arrangements are sparse and the pain just drips....he bleeds on record like Damien Rice does on O. Even he is enamored with the final result, "I will love this record to my dying day....There's no compromise on this record. Every second of every song is there entirely because I wanted it there." You can't argue with that can you.
Choice cuts: "Laughing Aloud," "I Don't Care What You Call Me," "Cheer Up (You Miserable F--k)," "Don't Tell Me."
http://www.myspace.com/davidford - video streams of "I Don't Care What You..." and "State of the Union" - well worth the watch of both.

5.) Kasey Chambers: Carnival (Warner Bros.)
A little less country, a little more rock and roll. But as much as you can pull some of the twang from the music, you can't take the Kasey Chambers voice out of a Kasey Chambers album so you still have her country-ish type vocals giving it a flair of twang. But when it comes down to it - who cares because Kasey is a brilliant songwriter, with an amazing voice (although it takes some getting used to for some), and a great band. Lyrically there is a more positive vibe (new love will do that) and the chorus of "Sign on the Door" sums it up: "I got a love that's as big as a raging storm / I got walls coming down that I don't need no more / I got a sign on the door that says 'Lonely don't live here anymore'." Vocally "The Rain" is a stunner, as is "Don't Look so Sad." Kasey is just amazing - hands down. Bernard Fanning joins in for a duet on "Hard Road" which is brilliant.
Choice cuts: "Colour of a Carnival," "Hard Road," "Surrender," "Nothing At All," "The Rain."
http://www.myspace.com/kaseychambers - three new streaming tracks

6.) Luca Turilli: The Infinite Wonders of Creation (Magic Circle Music/SPV)
Epic, melodic, progressive, operatic, sweeping, orchestral, and lush! This is a stunning piece of symphonic-progressive metal! Guitarist and principal songwriter for Rhapsody (not Rhapsody of Fire), Luca Turilli, brings a solo project which is nothing short of an epic, melodic piece with layer upon layer of vocal harmony, and brilliant guitar playing. Female vocals and male vocals create great contrasting textures. A really wild piece of work - I'm so glad I got into this.
Choice cuts: "Miracle of Life," "Infinite Wonders of Creation," "Mother Nature," "Altitudes."
http://www.lucaturilli.eu/listen.html sound samples
http://www.magiccirclemusic.com/lucaturilli/ - ecard with samples

7.) Chantal Kreviazuk: Ghost Stories (SonyBMG Canada)
After a few years, a couple of children, some hits recorded by Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, and Avril Lavigne, Chantal delivers the album she's always wanted. Clearly having her husband (and Our Lady Peace frontman), Raine Maida, in the producer's chair helped on this one. Currently this is a Canadian only release, but hopefully Columbia has plans for this in the winter/spring of '07 as the record really is deserves to be heard. Chantal's aunt, who she was extremely close to growing up, is lovingly remembered in "Ghosts of You,": "Baby please don't go / These ghosts of you / The only thing that help get me through the day / Baby please don't go / Cause I love you / You're the only one that will stay the same."
Choice cuts: "All I Can Do," "Ghosts of You," "Wendy House."
http://www.myspace.com/chantalkreviazuk - All I Can Do, Wonderful, Ghosts of You
http://www.chantalonline.com/media.html - All I Can Do video

8.) Gomez: How We Operate (ATO/RED)
I was a big fan of this before Grey's Anatomy made them 'cool' to listen to. Have liked their previous work, but it's never been this good before. "Cry on Demand," "Don't Make Me Smile," I mean this album is just full of gems, one after another. A brilliant musical soundscape and texture to the entire album and then the songs are placed delicately on that foundation of sound. Quirky at times and great instrumentation - utterly brilliant.
http://www.myspace.com/gomez - four tracks

9.) Saga: Trust [CD/DVD] (InsideOut/SPV)
They've been around forever and their formula hasn't changed - progressive/melodic rock with dynamic keyboard/guitar interplay - but they continue to deliver the goods and this latest release is one of their strongest in years! It has a very modern feel, while still retaining the classic Saga sound and Michael Sadler's vocals have never sounded better. They've put out almost 20 albums in 1978 and this would be in my top 5 favorite. They've not faded away into the ether, nor have they gathered mold and stuck with the status quo - they've evolved and still very much know how to rock.
Choice cuts: "Back to the Shadows," "That's As Far As I'll Go," "Trust," "On the Other Side."
http://www.sagaontour.ca/ - sample 2-minute clips from all songs on the album

10.) Jon Oliva's Pain: Maniacal Renderings (Locomotive/Ryko)
This is the closest we're going to get to a new Savatage record for some time. It's 10x stronger that his previous solo effort last year and that's not just because it sounds like a Savatage record, it because his voices sounds better, the songs are stronger, the melodies richer and the songs tighter.
Choice cuts:
http://www.myspace.com/jonoliva - three new streaming tracks

11.) Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life & Death [CD/DVD] (Sanctuary/RED)
From the first note this disc comes out storming! In epic and grandiose Maiden style the triple-guitar attack dominates what might be their best effort since Seventh Son... Bruce Dickinson has never sounded better or more passionate than on this disc of centered on the theme of war through the ages.
Choice cuts: "Different World," "Longest Day," "For the Greater Good of God," "These Colours Don't Run."
http://www.myspace.com/ironmaiden - two new streaming tracks

12.) Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: Nothin' But the Water (Ragged Company/Hollywood)
Vermont comes in owning 10% of this year's list! Someone finally not only realized the lack of Hammond B-3 organ in today's music, but she also did something about it! Potter has an amazing voice (very Joplin-esque) and plays a mean organ. With groove to spare and a jammin' band, this is a refreshing and classic-sounding disc. A live version of the title cut, featuring a brilliant a capella intro, sold me on this great new artist! Thanks Lou!
Choice cuts: "Nothin' But the Water," "Ragged Company," "Sweet Hands."
http://www.indie911.com/gpstore - video footage, live performance, etc. This link turned me onto them.

13.) Blackmore's Night: The Village Lanterne (Steamhammer/SPV)
A little less renaissance, a little more rock/pop for these renaissance folkies, resulting in a winning mixture. Ritchie even pulls out some old staples from his back catalog, "Child in Time" from his Deep Purple days, and the Rainbow cut "Street of Dreams." Very modern sounding, as opposed to the older school feel of their previous.
Choice cuts: "I Guess it Doesn't Matter Anymore," "25 Years," "Streets of London," "Street of Dreams."
http://www.blackmoresnight.com/audio_clips.html - clips from 4 songs

14.) Lacuna Coil: Karmacode (Century Media/Caroline)
I was looking forward to this and the new Evanescence, but frankly apart from a few cuts, The Open Door left me cold, yet this album is brilliant from top to bottom. Cristina Scabbia has one of the best voices in rock and that's juxtaposed by the male vocal trade-offs which help the Coil stand above the pack. They continue to bring melodic metal to a new level with interesting and intricate arrangements (including some Indian flavored melodies this time around) and excellent songwriting.
Choice cuts: "Our Truth," ""Within Me," "Fragments of Faith," "Closer."
http://www.thekarmacode.com/main/ - video gallery has videos for "Closer," "Our Truth," and the Depeche Mode cover, "Enjoy the Silence"
http://www.myspace.com/lacunacoil - for audio streams of the above, plus one from Comalies

15.) Frost*: Milliontown (InsideOut/SPV)
Prog group including members of Kino and IQ which is a stunner! In perfect prog-style, the piano introduction to the swelling crescendo is masterfully pulled off into a frenzy of soloing guitar and odd-time signature musical travel. Hints of classic Genesis keyboards and celestial soundscapes, but never sounding dated of too proggish for it's own good.
Choice cuts: "Hyperventilate," "Milliontown."
http://www.insideoutmusic.com/audiovideo.php - has a full length mp3 of "The Other Me" available

16.) Damien Rice: 9 (Warner Bros.)
After the first spin I thought it was a big let down after the gut-wrenching emotion of "O" but I kept giving it more spins and it grew on me quickly after I told myself that it doesn't need to be more of the same. What struck me was that it's not nearly as heart-breaking and that was upsetting (haha).
Choice cuts: "Elephant," "Accidental Babies," "9 Crimes," "Sleep Don't Weep," "Rootless Tree."
http://www.myspace.com/damienrice - three new tracks

17.) Snow Patrol: Eyes Open (Fiction/Polydor/A&M)
I didn't like Final Straw - maybe "Run" just a little, but the rest didn't do anything for me. However I loved the last Keane record, but the new Keane from this year left me wanting more, and this filled that void I think because this is a killer record! Lush, driving, anthemic, and very British sounding.
Choice cuts: "Hands Open," "You're All I Have," "Chasing Cars."
http://www.myspace.com/snowpatrol - four new tracks including three from choice cuts

18.) Ryan Adams: 29 (Lost Highway)
Yes, technically this has 2005 on the back, but it was a 12/29 release, so cut me some slack. And it's stood the test through the entire year and it still sounds superb. The last of 3 new releases from Ryan in '05 and it's not a collection of throwaways at all. A splendid mix of styles and rollicking good times. "The Sadness" is stunning, "Twenty Nine" groovealicious, "Carolina Rain" hypnotic. He's an interesting storyteller!
Choice Cuts: "Blue Sky Rain," "The Sadness," "Twenty Nine."
"Nightbirds," "29," and "Strawberry Wine" can be found at http://www.myspace.com/ryanadams

19.) Rosanne Cash: Black Cadillac (Capitol)
Written in the wake of losing her mother (Vivian), father (Johnny) and step-mother (June Carter Cash), this is as you would expect, a very somber and reflective release. Painful and sorrowful, Roseanne's writing and voice have never been better. Pain and tortured emotions can bring out the best in singer-songwriters if they have the skills to pour that pain into their songs. She does and you can't help but share some of that with her: "Who do I believe / in this world without sound / who do I believe / once they put you in the ground? / Who do I believe / when the night's falling down?"
Choice cuts: "World Without Sound," "I Was Watching You," "Dreams Are Not My Home," "Burn Down this Town."
http://www.myspace.com/rosannecash - full length streams
http://www.rosannecash.com/bchome/rcash_sampler/index.html - clips and video

20.) Blanc Faces: Blanc Faces (Frontiers/Locomotive/Caroline)
Two brothers is about all I know about these guys who channel the likes of Giant (before Dann Huff became full-time producer of great records), Cheap Trick, and Survivor. And come to find out this was originally released in 2005 in Europe, but here in 2006, oops. A great melodic rockin' sound and not at all cheesy or sounding dated as much of today's melodic rock that harkens back the '80s and early '90s, this reminds me very much of the first Giant record from 1989 as it rocks and the vocals are stunning and powerful. Great record for fist pumping and singing along while driving! Good luck finding sound samples online - I kept striking out sadly, only the 30-second ones here: http://shop.fye.com/product.aspx?sku=202784661&loc=50295
Choice cuts: "Here's to You," "Stranger to Love," "Edge of the World."
http://www.lablancbrothers.com/cd_page.htm - info
http://www.frontiers.it/default.aspx?tabid=92&cond1=WHERE%20AlbumID=3496 - info

21.) The Editors: The Back Room (Fader Label/RED)
Excellent Brit-mood rock. A great blend of bass, guitar and drums for a super cool moody-Brit soundscape (see Coldplay, Travis, Keane, Snow Patrol, Thirteen Senses, etc.). "Look at us through the lens of a camera / does it remove all of our pain? / If we run they'll look in the back room / where we hide all of our feelings."
Choice cuts: "Blood," "Munich," "Camera," "Someone Says."
http://www.myspace.com/editorsmusic - four tracks including three from choice cuts

Honorable Mention:
Anne McCue: Koala Motel (Messenger Records/RED)
Anthony Gomes: Music is the Medicine (Adrenaline/ADA)
Big City Rock: Big City Rock (Atlantic)
Black Tie Dynasty: Movements (Idol Records/ADA)
Cities: Cities (Yep Roc Records/RedEye)
David Gilmour: On An Island (Columbia)
Decemberists, The: The Crane Wife (Capitol)
Devin Townsend Band: Synchestra (InsideOut/SPV)
Drive-By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse (New West Records)
Gov't Mule: High & Mighty (ATO Records/RED)
Hammerfall: Threshold (Nuclear Blast/Caroline)
Holly Brook: Like Blood Like Honey (Warner Bros.)
Jadis: Photoplay (InsideOut/SPV)
Jewel: Goodbye Alice in Wonderland (Atlantic)
Keith Urban: Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol Nashville)
KT Tunstall: Eye to the Telescope (Virgin/Relentless/EMI)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris: All the Roadrunning (Nonesuch)
Marty Casey & the Lovehammers: s/t (Burnett Records/Epic)
Matt Kearney: Nothing Left to Lose (Aware/Columbia)
Mew: And the Glass Handed Kites (Columbia)
Morrissey: Ringleader of the Tormentors (Attack/Sanctuary)
O.S.I.: Free (InsideOut/SPV)
Patty Hurst Shifter: Too Crowded on the Losing End (Evo Recordings/Fontana)
Peter Bradley Adams: Gather Up (High Wire Music/Fontana)
Plumb: Chaotic Resolve (Curb Records/WEA)
Presto Ballet: Peace Among the Ruins (InsideOut/SPV)
Pure Reason Revolution: The Dark Third (Red Ink/Columbia)
Ray Lamontagne: Till the Sun Turns Black (RCA)
Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime II (Rhino)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros.)
Rhett Miller: The Believer (Verve Forecast)
Richard Ashcroft: Keys to the World (Parlophone/EMI)
Sister Hazel: Absolutely (Croakin' Poets/Adrenaline/ADA)
Starsailor: On the Outside (Artists Addiction Records/Adrenaline/ADA)
Steve Reynolds: Exile (429 Records/SLG)
Susan Cagle: The Subway Recordings (Lefthook/Columbia)
T. Bone Burnett: The True False Identity (DMZ/Columbia)
The Tangent: III - A Place in the Queue (InsideOut/SPV)
The Tragically Hip: World Container (Universal Canada)
The Who: Endless Wire (Republic/UMGD)
Tom Petty: Highway Companion (American Recordings/Warner Bros.)
Toby Lightman: Bird on a Wire (Atlantic)
Toto: Falling in Between (Frontiers)
Zombi: Surface to Air (Relapse/RED)

Songs on albums that didn't make the big list, that I couldn't get enough of: (there are so many more, but time and effort are doing me in)
Cobra Starship: "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)" - '80s brilliance with a hook so big you could catch Moby Dick with it. LOVE it!
Pink: "Dear Mr. President" - brilliantly written, and the Indigo Girls add some amazing harmony vocals
Morningwood: "Morningwood" - just a fun upbeat rockin' track

So many of these I held off really listening to a lot in order to get through all of the 2006 releases, so January I'll be kicking these into gear, but I had to mention these two:
Great Big Sea: Courage & Patience & Grit Live CD/DVD (Rounder)
Matt Nathanson: At the Point (Acrobat/Fontana) - featuring one of the best audience participation recordings ever on "Answering Machine" - who needs backing vocalists?

Most Listened to in 2006 (non-2006 release):
Anna Nalick: Wreck of the Day
Anna Nalick: Osaka, Japan Live 9/21/2005
Sesame Street: Celebration

Looking forward to in 2007:
Rush - spring
Shaw Blades - Influence
Tara MacLean
Shaye - Lake of Fire
Chris Caffery - Pins & Needles

Concerts of 2006 (I really didn't see that many and didn't leave Albany - a first):
Large Venue:
1.) Anna Nalick - 7/28 @ Pepsi Arena (opening for the Dixie Chicks). To hear 8,000 people singing her single "Breathe" - it was magical
2.) Trans-Siberian Orchestra - 12/26/05 @ Pepsi Arena. Last year, but it's after this list. I could see them 10 times a year and still love it!
3.) Martina McBride - 4/28 @ Pepsi Arena. She has an amazing voice. Period.

Small Venue:
1.) Great Big Sea - 10/11 @ Hart Theater/Egg. Finally got to see these New Foundlanders - brilliant show! Brilliant!
2.) Anna Nalick - 6/22 @ Palace Theater (opening for Train).
3.) Queensryche - 10/4 @ Palace Theater. Seeing them again after so many years pull off both Mindcrimes was great - from the front row, even better! I missed Howard Ungerleider though.

Re-cap of my favorites from 2005:
1.) James Kinne: Fleeting (SC68)
2.) James Blunt: Back to Bedlam (Custard/Atlantic)
3.) Within Temptation: The Silent Force [Special Edition] (Gun Records/BMG Int'l) [EU]
4.) Anna Nalick: Wreck of the Day (Columbia/SonyBMG)
5.) Kino: Picture (InsideOut/SPV)
6.) Porcupine Tree: Deadwing (Lava Records/Atlantic)
7.) Great Big Sea: The Hard and the Easy [CD/DVD] (Zoe Records/UMVD)
8.) John Wesley: Shiver (Intact) [U.K.]
9.) Missy Higgins: The Sound of White (Reprise/Warner Bros.)
10.) Coldplay: X & Y (Capitol Records)
11.) Robert Plant & the Strange Sensation: Mighty ReArranger (Sanctuary/SonyBMG)
12.) Our Lady Peace: Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia/SonyBMG)
13.) Embrace: Out of Nothing (Lava Records/Atlantic)
14.) Blue Rodeo: Are You Ready (Rounder Records/UMVD)
15.) David Gray: Life in Slow Motion (iht/ATO/RCA/SonyBMG)
16.) The Coral: The Invisible Invasion (Deltasonic/Columbia/SonyBMG)
17.) Long-View: Mercury (14th Floor/Columbia/SonyBMG)
18.) Stream of Passion: Embrace the Storm (InsideOut/SPV)
19.) Neil Diamond: 12 Songs (Columbia/SonyBMG)
20.) Kate Rusby: The Girl Who Couldn't Fly (Pure Records/Compass Records)
21.) Spock's Beard: Octane [2-CD Special Edition] (InsideOut/SPV)