Top 10 Albums of 2007
I was inspired after seeing a distribution to my boss (Riley, who’s included here) so I’m stealing the idea in hopes of getting others to share their top 10 lists. I hope I don’t piss anyone off but in order to make it an open forum I included everyone in the “to” field. ****Please refrain from REPLY TO ALL comments unless you’re sharing your list.**** I encourage you all to add people to this list or even create your own – but do me the favor of passing the lists on to me. I love getting recommendations (qualified or not) and I’m pretty sure most of you do too.
Here are my top picks for 2007.
Band of Horses: Cease to Begin – What an album. This was a gem that was lovely from its first listen. I’m clearly not alone as over the past few months I’ve hard the single “Is There a Ghost” on a commercial (SYNC/Ford), a movie trailer and two tv shows (Gossip Girl and Brother and Sisters). It seems I heard it elsewhere but these are enough to standout. It’s a fantastic album. The comparisons to My Morning Jacket are fair but they ain’t no MMJ – it just so happens Ben Bridwell sometimes sounds like Jim James – well Robert Plant sounded like Terry Reid and they both produced great albums (one just happened to have a few more than the other).
Blonde Redhead: 23 – What a gem. I love stumbling into bands who’ve been around for years who I’ve had very little exposure to. This is one of them. Kazu Makino has such a wonderfully haunting voice that the space it fills is hard to imagine another vocalist in her place. “23” would also be included in my top 10 songs of the year. And if I had to pick a song to rip down the mountain, it would be “Spring And By Summer Fall.”
The Thrills: Teenager – Why? Because I can listen to this entire album all day for days on end and I don’t tire of it. Sure certain distractions help and it’s a short album but damn is it catchy. First track “The Midnight Choir” is in my top 10 songs of the year.
Silverchair: Young Modern – Yep, that band. If you’re between 25 – 35, you probably remember their first album when they were known as the teenagers from Australia who had a grunge-turned-pop hit in “Tomorrow” (1995’s album Frogstomp). Well these dudes grew up – including Daniel Johns whose voice has blossomed into a thing of pop beauty. He’s getting divorced from Natalie Imbruglia so I’m curious to see if the next album is a total downer.
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky – Yeah yeah, they sold a bunch of the songs to VW but this album made Wilco for me. The tone of the entire album came out at the exact moment of what I was looking for in an album. Everything fit. It was soft when it needed to be and aggressive when it needed to be. The greatest thing about this album is that it made me appreciate the rest of their catalog in a way that I never had before. My bet is, a lot of Wilco albums had a similar impact on people – this was the album for me. As a friend and longtime Wilco fan said to me (and who’s copied here) “it’s dad rock.” It sure is. But it’s ROCK and as I told her, that’s the most important part of her comment. Take note.
Grails: Burning Off Impurities – I don’t know what to say other than this is why I buy Skyscraper, The Big Takeover, etc. These guys jam. It’s heavy. It’s melodic. It’s easy to listen to. I love it. Folk and Eastern influences throughout, it’s a hard album to pinpoint. Very progressive and highly recommended.
Ryan Adams: Easy Tiger – It’s probably much like Wilco and all about the timing. Yeah I have a bunch of his albums. Yeah I listened to them all. Did I fall in love? No. Did I see occasional brilliance. I guess so. Were some of my friends (some included on this list) too into the drunken-craziness of his onstage and offstage antics that blurred my perception? He dated Parker Posey but he was playing shows and putting out music like he was a struggling musician. I often left myself wondering what I was missing. I get it now. Sure this album can be heard in Gap and Urban Outfitters the world over but it’s great.
Justice: The Cross – Magazine covers, major coverage, hell they were probably on TRL or something but these guys deserve it. Crossover! This albums should get people to listen to dance music (not that it’s “dance music”). Everyone should be dancing to once of the catchiest singles of the year – D.A.N.C.E. I love this album. It’s fun, it shows an openness to a bunch of genres.
Ricardo Villalobos: Fabric 36 – All original material from the minimal man. If you’re down with minimal you’ll be down with this but if you’re like my wife (who couldn’t take this for more than 30 seconds) than avoid it. I’m sure it’s huge in Detroit, Berlin and throughout Japan.
Kenna: Make Sure They See My Face – Wonderful pop, rock and electronica influences. Production from Chad Hugo [and other Neptunes] is solid.
Just out of reach…
Burial: Untrue – This might actually be in my Top 10 if I had more time to take it all in (late release). Beautifully produced. Catchy, addictive, head-nodding stuff.
The Fucking Champs: VI – Yeah stoner rawwwk!!! Well, not necessarily but it has its moments. Including some beautiful power cords that harkens back to the days of 80s hair metal. There’s some great riffs on nearly every song. It’s a strange, well conceived album that does a great job of holding my attention. The kind of record where you suddenly lock in and think “wait a minute, what was that?”
Klaxons: Myths of the Near Future – The won a Mercury. Not sure how much that means, I think David Gray won one too. This is a silly album. Indie rock, electronica, Detroit blues (whatever that is), ska kicks, I think it’s a gem. You may think it’s piss.
Pelican: City of Echoes: While I loved The Fire In Our Throats….this is a beauty in its own right. I’m so in love with instrumental rock….
A few honorable mentions….
Bright Eyes: Cassadaga, J.Dilla/Jay Dee/James Yancey (RIP): Ruff Draft, Battles: Mirrored, Radiohead: In Rainbows (how in the hell can they ever exceed themselves…perhaps a hip-hop album?)