It has been quite a year for music in my opinion. Some of my favorite artists released albums, some of them great, others the jury is still out on. I think I heard more music this year than in years past, mostly due to my day job, which had me in front of great new music for 5 hours every weeknight. This, in conjunction with all the artists and albums that passed through my email box and physical mailings, made 2007 a year with loads of music to consider for this list.
So this year, I am expanding things to include 28 albums I really cared about in 2007, and although that is an odd number, after the top 10, things could have been placed in many different ways, so I felt it important not to exclude some of these excellent albums. Without further ado, here she is, my favorite albums of 2007…..
28. 65daysofstatic – The Destruction Of Small Ideas (Monotreme)
27. Maritime – Heresy & The Hotel Choir (Flameshovel)
26. Peter Bjorn & John – Writers Block (Almost Gold)
25. Minus The Bear – Planet Of Ice (Suicide Squeeze)
24. Bat For Lashes – Fur And Gold (Caroline Records)
23. 1990s – Cookies (Rough Trade)
22. Field Music – Tones Of Town (Memphis Industries)
21. J Roddy Walston & The Business – Hail Mega Boys (Self Release)
20. The Shins – Wincing The Night Away (Sub Pop)
An early release in 2007 that can be easily forgotten once list season hits like this one from The Shins still is worthy of top 20 status for me. I did prefer their last album, but with songs like “Sleeping Lessons” and “Australia” and “Sealegs”, there is no reason to jump off the bandwagon anytime soon.
19. The Seedy Seeds – Change States (Self Release)
Cincinnati trio make “Appalachitronica” music (or maybe the created it). This indie pop gem is not only one of the best Cincinnati albums of the year, but deserves this spot among the national bands as well.
18. Band Of Horses – Cease To Begin (Sub Pop)
Everything all the time was #2 for me last year, and while this one drops on the listing, it deserves credit all the same. While there is not a “The Funeral” on this disc, the good stuff is very good.
17. Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things (Deaf Dumb & Blind)
Categorized well as “danceable krautrock”, this album soundtracked the early part of my 2007 in many ways. Standout tracks include, “Ankle Injuries”, “Photocopier” and “Collarbone.”
16. The Fiery Furnaces – Widow City (Thrill Jockey)
I have mostly counted myself as a casual Fiery Furnaces fan, but when Widow City hit my speakers that changed. The Friedeberger’s manage to combine all the quirky oddities about their previous material with some straight up rockers on this album that makes it as accessible as any of their previous works, without sacrificing the polarizing elements that makes their fans appreciate them. “Navy Nurse” is the absolute jam.
15. Kenna – Make Sure They See My Face (Interscope)
I’m betting you don’t see this on many blogger lists this year, but the sophomore release from Kenna is a stand out in my opinion. The Cincinnati raised musician gets help from Neptunes Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams on several tracks, Out Of Control, Sun Red Sky Blue and Baptized In Blacklight are all instantly addictive for me, with a few other gems as well. The biggest knock on Kenna is he is difficult to categorize, and Interscope still has no clue how to market him.
14. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge)
Dissapointed? Maybe a little, but how can you properly follow up a indie rock masterpiece like Funeral? The answer is, you can’t and really have nowhere to go but down. However, this album is, in itself an excellent piece of work. Arcade Fire have recently been a magnet for Springsteen comparisons, but it is the darker songs on this record that stood out for me. “Antichrist Television Blues” and “Ocean Of Noise” are excellent songs.
13. Frightened Rabbit – Sing The Greys (FatCat)
This one was a UK release in 2006 and it took all the way until this fall for its official stateside release. Sing The Greys is as solid of a debut as I heard this year, and these Scottish lads created one of the best indie pop/rock records this year. “Be Less Rude” is one of the better songs on the record, and probably makes my best songs list as well.
12. Pinback – Autumn Of The Seraphs (Touch & Go)
As a long time Pinback fan, I was pretty excited for this new full length. I was not dissapointed at all either. The San Diego band do everything you would expect them to do, and sound as tight as they ever have. If I did not like the band, I would call it predictable, but since I do, it’s just comfortable.
11. The Bees – Octopus (Astralwerks)
Better known as Band Of Bees here in the states, this album combines folk, pop and even some elements of ska and was an easy choice for my list this year. This was one that dominated my car stereo through the summer, and there is something light and warm about it as a whole.
10. Wilco – Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)
If you have been here for two minutes, you know I love these guys. This album is certainly not what I expected from them, or even what I had hoped for, but in the end it is a beautifully crafted album that shines on many levels. I have a feeling this is a disc that could stand the test of time moreso maybe even then some that I am placing higher on my list this year.
9. Feist – The Reminder (Interscope)
Feist is amazing, really. The Reminder not only has her making what many are saying is the song of the year in “18.104.22.168″ and jazzing things up with “My Moon, My Man” but also has her courageously taking on her own version of the Nina Simone gem, “See-Line Woman” on “Sealion.”
8. The Twilight Sad – 14 Autumns & 15 Winters (FatCat)
This Scottish band won me over with the tune, “That Summer At Home…” and the rest of the album is really in the same vein. The wall of sound background along with the thick Scottish accent make for an excellent atmospheric record.
7. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)
A great disc from the multi-talented Bird, his first for the Fat Possum label. This album can sound one dimensional on the first pass, but multiple listens reveal the addictive layers that lie beneath.
6. Iron & Wine – The Shepherds Dog (Sub Pop)
The biggest thing that Sam Beam’s detractors seemed to cite when refrencing Iron & Wine albums was the low key hushed vocals that make his albums seem like bedtime listening. That is nearly impossible to cite on this album though, as Beam manages to make his most accessible album to date.
5. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
Spoon made an album with zero songs on it that suck, and as simple as that sounds, its not an easy thing to do these days. The Austin band have reached a new stratosphere with this album, which was short but just about as sweet as anything else released in 2007.
4. Okkervil River – The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)
I really didn’t think Okkervil River would be able to take it up a notch after Black Sheep Boy, but they did more than prove me wrong. And instead of the dark builders that filled the last record, this one has some flat out fun rockers on it that dominate the disc.
3. Working For A Nuclear Free City – Businessmen & Ghosts (Deaf Dumb & Blind)
Maybe the only proper double album on my list, this was just an overall shocker for me. This UK band manages to mix some elements of dance, rock, electronic, instrumental rock and jumble it all up into two excellent discs. This one is under the radar for some and deserves some more attention.
2. The National – Boxer (Beggars)
This could also been my #1. What could seem like a batch of mid-tempo tunes to some was easily the most played album for me this year. These Cincinnati boys deserve every ounce of praise they are getting this year, and I got a feeling the best is still on the way.
1. Radiohead – In Rainbows (Self Release)
When one of the best bands on the planet releases one of their best albums, how can it chart any lower than #1? Seriously, this is a fantastic record and all the revolutionary distribution methods aside, belongs high on the list of their best albums.