Top Ten Albums of 2007
Next on the list is 2007. So, here is my list of the ten best records from 2007:
1. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin - This Seattle band has a very high ceiling. Ben Bridwell has amazingly unique vocals, and fairly simple lyrics that you can't help but think he really means something more sinister. Birdwell's lyrics remind me a little of a David Lynch film. Everything is pretty much picture-esque on the surface, but you get the feeling there's something dark that's boiling just under the facade. I generally prefer the less twangy, southern inspired tunes, but I love this whole album.
Stand-out tracks - Is There a Ghost?, Ode to LRC, Islands on the Coast
2. Radiohead - In Rainbows - I wasn't real sure on Radiohead's latest effort when it was first released. The first time I really gave it a real chance was right after New Year's 2008, when I made a road trip by my lonesome to Shreveport for training. "Reckoner" came on while I was driving around the darkened Louisiana streets, and suddenly it all clicked for me. Maybe I just had to experience it.
Stand-out tracks - Reckoner, Nude, Videotape
3. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - After the break up of he and his wife, singer Kevin Barnes seemed to have really begun shifting his writing style. A lot of the happiness has been sapped out of Of Montreal, and a much more manic, synth heavy record was born. And it's really damn good.
Stand-out tracks - The Past is a Grotesque Animal, Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
4. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - I've been listening to Spoon off and on for a few years now, but this Austin group only really took my fancy with the release of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Of course, going back and listening to the older records (particularly Girls Can Tell), I'm able to appreciate them more now. At times, Britt Daniel's vocals even remind me of an indie version of Neil Diamond (check out the track "The Underdog" to see what I mean).
Stand-out tracks - The Underdog, Don't Make Me a Target
5.Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends - Les Savy Fav are a diverse band that does a lot of things well. From infectious grooves, to intense punkish crunches, Let's Stay Friends is a very cool record with some of my favorite songs of the year on it. Check out the stand-out tracks.
Stand-out tracks - The Year Before the Year 2000, What Wolves Would Do, Patty Lee
6. Type O Negative - Dead Again - I may be the only person to give Dead Again a spot on the best records of 2007. I do happen to think it is a wonderful record though. Type O really stepped out on a few limbs with it, incorporating weird Sgt. Pepper's style melodies and out-of-nowhere tempo changes on every song. Give it chance, it ain't your father's Type O Negative.
Stand-out tracks - September Sun, The Profits Of Doom
7. Panda Bear - Person Pitch - A very cool album with a sound like The Beach Boys at their highest (drugwise) peak. Person Pitch is pretty much all over the map. The vocals are smooth and wonderful, and this is juxtaposed by sometimes strange ambient sounds of instruments overlapping them at pretty much the same gain. Tons of reverb and weird jungle beats are the norm on "Good Girl Carrots". "I'm Not" is steeped in a world music vibe (also with a lot of reverb). All of this experimenting makes the album as good as it is, even the sometimes tiresome, twelve and a half minute run times of two tracks.
Stand-out tracks - Comfy in Nautica, I'm Not
8. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - The Arcade Fire take on a pretty menacing tone with Neon Bible, and it works. It also feels really big, and intricate. Every song seems really important on its own and to the entirity of the album. In fact, the entire thing sounds like some kind of end of the world prophecy.
Stand-out tracks - Keep the Car Running, No Cars Go, The Well and the Lighthouse
9. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank - A pretty safe record to make following up the success of Good News, We Were Dead is still a good representation of Modest Mouse (even with Johnny Marr).
Stand-out tracks - Dashboard, Parting of the Sensory, Florida
10. Rilo Kiley- Under the Blacklight - A very poppy album, Under the Blacklight is still worth a few spins. Lewis' voice is still really sultry, and there are a handful of golden tracks on the album.
Stand-out tracks - Silver Lining, Breakin' Up
Please note that I have made the decision not to include Fair to Midland - Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True or The Timeline Post - S/T records on the list. This is because I have personal attachments to both albums, and would have them both tied at number one for me on a personal level. Just know that I think they are both fantastic records.