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BEST OF 2006 / POP MUSIC | POP MUSIC / RICHARD CROMELIN

A diverse five-pack of power

December 17, 2006|RICHARD CROMELIN

The Arctic Monkeys, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" (Domino). A dodgy night on the town with the lads, set to music that makes every confrontation and flirtation vivid and urgent.

*

Tom Waits, "Orphans" (Anti-). By turns ornery and cleansing, the three-disc set is an epic immersion in Waits-world.

*

Nellie McKay, "Pretty Little Head" (Black Dove). A panoramic vision of American pop fuels charming love songs and passionate, quirky works of social advocacy.

*

My Chemical Romance, "The Black Parade" (Reprise). Grand and eloquent hard rock suffused with the intense emotion of adolescence.

*

Matisyahu, "Youth" (Epic). The Hasidic reggae singer from White Plains, N.Y., made one of the year's most spiritually compelling albums.

*

richard.cromelin@latimes.com

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