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   The year 2006 mystifies me. Maybe I am the source of the problem myself, but I am under the clear impression that it's been a very ordinary (below average) for rock and excellent (above average) for pop music! My #1 song of the year would have most likely been my #6 last year, proving that we've seen better on the rock n' roll side. On the opposite, many pop songs deprived of any form of intelligence have remained solidly stuck into my head for months because they were funny, and most importantly, just too catchy! Pop does not mean to search for a masterpiece; when we are stuck with such song that refuses to get out of our heads, no matter its artistic value, it has already reached its goal. On that respect, it seems to me that 2006 has been an exceptional vintage, so instead of excluding songs and talk of "mixed feelings" as I did last year for Candyshop by 50 Cent, I thought this year of separating Powhertz' favorites in two categories: rock (at large) and "stupid pop" (usually sexual)! Then, I progressively started to realize that such separation was creating holes in my  chart for two reasons: some rock pieces would find themselves at a way too high position because of this year's lack of content, and I would have a hard time completing a top 50 with only rock this year! So I finally put all eggs into the same basket and opted for a joint chart based on a one and only criteria: if two of these songs were playing simultaneously on the radio in 2006, at which radio station would I have stayed? And so on until all songs are classified! It gives somewhat funny results, but I'm ready to assume them!...

Just before moving on to the chart, I would like to say a word about an album that I'm happy of having purchased on CD because the tape would start being pretty shabby if I had acquired that on an old cassette: Mezmerize from System of a Down. It was released in Mezmerize2005, but I purchased it only around mid-2006, and what an acquisition! After the Toxicity album, I was fulfilled. Then came Steal this Album, much more ordinary, and I wondered if I might have put System of a Down a little too much on a pedestal. The answer is: no! The next album, Mezmerize, is a drug! The kind of record that I listen from A to Z without skipping tracks, and that I don't get bored of a little bit even after many times! I still haven't deceided whether it is exactly as good as Toxicity, but it is at least of the same level! They worked a lot on the voices, with harmonies between the two singers on practically all tracks, to which a female voice and a double track of Serj add up on some of them. Even if Serj is in my opinion a hugely better singer than Daron, the two have very different voices, and the album manages to uses these two voices in a very complementary way. As for music, it is crazy! There are even spots where we are wondering where Daron (the guitarist) finds all that energy, in particular in the two radio singles, BYOB and Question!. The band even takes an opportunity to flirt with other music genres, while harmoniously integrating them to their very own explosive style. On that respect, I especially think of Radio/Video that is flirting with ska and Old School Hollywood that uses electronics. In a nutshell, I consider 9 of the 11 tracks as being excellent, all but This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song and Lost In Hollywood. If I have just one critic to make on this album, it would be to have brought up once again their denunciation of what Hollywood city really is (that is: not that nice). I thought they had said what they had to say on that subject with Toxicity, but they come back on Mezmerize with Old School Hollywood that is still OK, but then Lost In Hollywood is too much and I unhook. But regardless of that, if you like hard (real hard!) rock, you must grab a copy of Mezmerize from System of a Down! By the way, I should receive Hypnotize (the album released just a few months after Mezmerize) from day to day and I can't wait to hear it!

And now comes the desert, the top favorites of Powhertz in 2006!

Songs released as radio singles in 2006
Lonely Day

The song that I practiced every time that I played guitar in 2006! I was finding a little "power-ballad of the '80s" side the first times I heard it, but things have quickly turned around to make it an essential.
System of a Down
Hips don't Lie

The perfect example of a song that is a little stupid but SOOO catchy!
Shakira & Wyclef Jean

Maybe one of the sexiest hard rock songs of all time! No need for a video, just the lyrics are enough to bring ideas to our minds! And the music is solid as a rock, with a sound of bass that is absolutely delightful for the ears at certain moments.

Neither original nor genious, just some fat, typical and heavy Godsmack, not disappointing at all!

Another stupid pop song, but at the same time pretty funny! Just the "yeah" in the verses and the "ha hen" during the bridges were enough to make me laugh, but we must also consider the "I'll let you whip me if I misbehave", the "Look at those hips", and even much more! I found the sound pretty strong for that kind of music, and I feel a good progress throughout the song despite the simplistic "verse-chorus-verse" general structure. No need to say that I would have never thought possible that Justin Timberlake places a song among my top cuts of the year someday...
Justin Timberlake

A little repetitive, but there comes a point where you are so proud of finally being able to understand half of the words (Sean Paul being probably the most difficult singer to decode!!) that it becomes hyper-catchy! No joke, without any hesitation my favorite in Sean Paul's career.
Sean Paul
Vraiment Beau

A song that is slightly disadvantaged by its way too late release to radios, because it was in fact my 2nd favorite off the Gros Mammouth Album Turbo, after Hawaiienne of course. It's just that 2 years later, it has already slowly started to lose a few points.
Les Trois Accords
Grand Champion

A first single that is not even close to the first single of the previous album (we're obviously talking of mega-hit Hawaiienne), but not really disappointing for that. A good rock song that worths being listened to a few times in order to better get its structure and see beyond the lyrics that, want it or not, are the first thing that strikes us! It would probably be my third favorite from the band, after Hawaiienne and Vraiment Beau. I just hope the next single will be either  Je t'ai vu me Voir or Gratte-moi!
Les Trois Accords
The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage

Very catchy, very "sung", and lyrics that do mean something as a bonus! Relatively light music, almost "pop rock", but no "kitch" at all! I love it!
Panic! @ the Disco
World Wide Suicide

Very successful comeback for the venerable veterans of Pearl Jam! Full of energy, absolutely NOTHING to do with the previous record (Riot Act)!
Pearl Jam
Land of Confusion

A very well-done Genesis cover! Once again, we mostly owe this success to David Draiman, an unreplaceable singer who can lift a song alone.
Mann Gegen Mann

It was my favorite off the Rosenrot album (which, by the way, is the only disappointing record in Rammstein's career), so I was happy to see it becoming the 3rd commercial single of the album.
Tell me Baby

A delightful return to their roots for the Red Hot! The verses really sound like they were out of their excellent album Blood Sugar Sex Magic of 1991! Very good!
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dani California

Another song from RHCP that I really appreciated this year! A little less than Tell me Baby because less energetic and less different of "ordinary" alternative rock, but its verses are catchy and its instrumental portion near the end is taking me on!
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Animal I Have Become Three Days Grace
Tear you Apart

Spooky, but very good!
She Wants Revenge

A model of simplicity and efficiency: only voices and drums for a huge and fully-deserved success! Already a classic of Quebecker music.
Mes Aïeux
The Pot
Yolande Wong André
Miss Murder A.F.I.
Pain Three Days Grace
Montréal Ariane Moffatt

A little too much in the mould of Schism, but it remains some excellent rock nonetheless. The instrumental part with the completely-offset drums is really a pleasure for my ears!

Possibly my favorite intro of all songs from this chart, but then it becomes a more "normal" song. Has probably also suffered from its late arrival in the year.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Smack That Akon & Eminem
8 Secondes

Probably the most relevant from the Cowboys' latest effort, La Grand Messe. Surprising that it didn't have a better commercial success.
Les Cowboys Fringants
Tout nu sur la Plage

It was already funny from the start, but the idea to bring up a choir to sing a "j'étais tout nu sur la plage [I was bare naked on the beach]" at the last chorus makes all the difference!
Les Trois Accords
Everyday is Exactly the Same

Song of circumstances, I was relating a bit to these lyrics last winter.
Nine Inch Nails
Just Stop

Which hast definitely not played enough!
I Write Sins Not Tragedies Panic! @ the Disco
Hate (I Really Don't Like you)

Here are some explanations for those who would think this is a straight hate song: it is rather the history of a guy who got heartbroken by a girl and who has successfully went through it: "Now that it's over I don't even know what I liked about you. Brought you around, and you just brought me down. Hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don't like you."
Plain White T's
Life Wasted Pearl Jam
Ready to Fall

Even if this doesn't really relate to the song as is, I would like to mention that it is ma favorite music video of the year, a must-see.
Rise Against
Red Flag

Excellent song, without the shadow of a doubt my all-time favorite from Billy Talent. A chorus that flows incredibly well with very interesting lyrics, but then why did I hear it only once on the radio in the whole year?!? What was the problem?!? It would have certainly ranked higher in my chart if it had played a bit more on the air.
Billy Talent

Excellent pop song from Madonna, the best of her latest album Confessions on a Dance Floor according to me. I am practically ashamed of having preferred pop songs as stupid as likes of "Get your sexy on! I'm bringing sexyback, yeah!"

Notice Maria's screams of sexual pleasure as the singer says his "Comment qu'elle aime ça, la belle Maria"! Just that makes me laugh enough to deserve a place to the song here!
Out of Exile Audioslave

A pure copy of some old Led Zeppelin, but we can't say that it doesn't get us moving!...
Life Less Frightening

"I don't ask for much
The truth betold I'd settle for a life less frightening"

Rise Against
Steady, as she Goes
The Raconteurs
Welcome to the Black Parade

I found the intro a little cheap, but I love to sing the chorus!
My Chemical Romance
Through Glass
Stone Sour
Maneater Nelly Furtado

Warning: much more interesting with the video!!
The Pussycat Dolls & Snoop Dogg
Original Fire
Seize the Day
Avenged Sevenfold
Call me when you're Sober Evanescence
Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking her Clothes off
Panic! @ the Disco
Turn your Head Around

I don't like rap and I don't like French songs with an English chorus in general, but I admit that this one is good.
L'Assemblée & Dupuis
Knights of Cydonia Muse
Give it up

More or less serious. The chorus essentially consists of: "Why don't you have some dirty hot sex with me? It aint like I'm askin you to give it up for free."

An artist for whom I had absolutely no interest, but I did like this song!
Dany Bédar
Allez Sébastien Lacombe
Ridin' Chamillionaire & Krayzie Bone
Tattoo Éric Lapointe
J'aimerais donc ça

Dangerously resembles to Capitaine Nô! Not a major problem, at least it's a relevant critic of our society.
Pat Groulx
Deux par deux Rassemblés Pierre Lapointe
Starlight Muse
Promiscuous Nelly Furtado
The Kill (acoustic version) 30 Seconds to Mars

Forgotten in 2005: I'm the One from Static-X, Plus Rien from the Cowboys Fringants.
Note: It is sad that I passed Twisted Transistor from Korn in 2005, because it would have very easily made my top 15 this year!...

The "top sucks" takes off this year, but I really must mention a song released very early this year that would deserve to enter directly into the hall of fame: Transaction from Quebecker band Wide Load! In short, it is the story of a student who makes "transactions" of drugs! I was so surprised the first time I heard that on the radio! To read the full lyrics (it's in French, despite the band name that's in English):
http://www.wideload.biz/2005/une_seule_vie/?id=67#transaction .


revision 2007/01/12: added Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off from Panic @ the Disco that had been forgotten. Unfortunately, that addition kicks out Vincent Vallières' Je Pars à Pied  from the top 60. Also uppered Miss Murder and Pain ahead of Montréal.

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