12.27.2007

It Was I Who Said 'Monstrous'

Last week, before we headed out here for Christmas, I started drafting my 10 Favorite Albums Of 2007 list which quickly spiralled out of control, as you will soon see. I prepared by listing every album I'd heard this year, looking at a buttload of other Top 10 lists and listening to the All Songs Considered podcast crew list their faves. After doing all of this I realized something: I really, seriously do have a music problem. Not that I'm going to seek help or anything. I'm just saying, that's all.

I also realized that 2007 was a really great year for music. Even the disappointing albums are still, when you spend some time with them, not that bad. Well, except that The Good, The Bad & The Queen album - how boring was that? All in all though, it's been a great year.

So, without further ado, here's a bunch of lists. Feel free to argue my sanity below.


9 Random Albums That Didn't Fit Elsewhere But Are Worth Listening To

Dolorean You Can't Win
The Go! Team Proof Of Youth
Gogol Bordello Super Taranta!
John Vanderslice Emerald City
Junior Senior Hey Hey My My Yo Yo
Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry Mob
The Maccabees Colour It In
Memonema Friend And Foe
Rocky Votolato The Brag & Cuss


11 Albums That, If You Liked Previous Releases By These Artists, Chances Are You'll Like These Ones

Air Pocket Symphony
Apples In Stereo New Magnetic Wonder
Björk Volta
Golden Smog Blood On The Slacks
Kings Of Leon Because Of the Times
Minus The Bear Planet Of Ice
The Polyphonic Spree The Fragile Army
Queens Of The Stone Age Era Vulgaris
Rogue Wave Asleep At Heaven's Gate
Ryan Adams Easy Tiger & Follow the Lights EP
Travis The Boy With No Name


10 Albums That Got Plenty Of Talk This Year and Therefore Don't Need Me To Say Anything, Really, Other Than Yeah, They Are, In Fact, Good Though Not Necessarily My "Favorites"

Amy Winehouse Back To Black
Arcade Fire Neon Bible
Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare
Elliott Smith New Moon
Iron & Wine The Shepherd's Dog
The National Boxer
Okkervil River The Stage Names
Peter Bjorn And John Writer's Block
Radiohead In Rainbows
The White Stripes Icky Thump


20 Albums That I Still Need To Hear

Animal Collective Strawberry Jam
Avett Brothers Emotionalism
Battles Mirrored
Beirut Flying Club Cup
Bill Callahan Woke On A Whaleheart
Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew Spirit If...
Caribou Andorra
Earlimart Mentor Tormentor
Grizzly Bear Friend EP
Hot Hot Heat Happiness, Ltd.
Jose Gonzalez In Our Nature
Les Savy Fav Let's Stay Friends
Levon Helm Dirt Farmer
Mando Diao Ode to Ochrassy
Robbers On High Street Grand Animals
Paul McCartney Memory Almost Full
PJ Harvey White Chalk
Thrills Teenager
The Tough Alliance A New Chance
Yeasayer All Hour Cymbals


9 Albums That Disappointed In One Way Or Another

Bloc Party A Weekend In the City
Bright Eyes Cassadega
The Good, The Bad & The Queen The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Interpol Our Love to Admire
Jesse Malin Glitter In the Gutter
Low Drums And Guns
The New Pornographers Challengers
The Shins Wincing the Night Away
Son Volt The Search


5 Albums That Didn't Come out This Year But Still Got A Lot Of Play Anyway

Beck The Information
The Decemberists The Crane Wife
Pernice Brothers Live A Little
Phoenix It's Never Been Like That
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names #3


2 Very Excellent Singles

Beck "Timebomb"
Devo "Watch Us Work It"


10 Honorable Mentions

Andrew Bird Armchair Apocrypha
Coconut Records Nighttiming
Lonely, Dear Lonely, Noir
Feist The Reminder
Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Peel Peel
Shout Out Louds Our Ill Wills
Sunset Rubdown Random Spirit Lover
Thurston Moore Trees Outside the Academy
Wilco Sky Blue Sky


10 Favorite Albums Of 2007 - In Alphabetical Order - & Yeah, I Used the Word "Favorite" Because "Best" Is Impossible To Quantify

Art Brut It's A Bit Complicated
Band Of Horses Cease to Begin
Jens Lekman Night Falls Over Kortedala
LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver
Of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Panda Bear Person Pitch
Sondre Lerche Phantom Punch
Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Super Furry Animals Hey Venus! & Gruff Rhys Candylion
They Might Be Giants The Else


And there it was: 2007. Anything I'm missing? Anything that I totally put in the wrong list? Anything I need to add to my "Must Hear" list? Let the argument - sorry, "discussion" - begin.

16 comments:

jason quinones said...

great lists write up!

i almost bought the maccabees album because i thought they sounded like bloc party, then decided against it because i thought they sounded TOO MUCH like bloc party.

and i very much enjoyed bloc party's a weekend in the city! GREAT ALBUM!

i've been a fan of bjork since her sugarcubes days but ever since vespertine i've tuned out. sorry.

my wife got all into gogol bordello this year but haven't taken to them fully. but there are a few songs i like a lot from them.

amy winehouse's album is good and has a great retro sound but i find myself not listening to her as often lately. just a flash in the pan maybe??

besides bloc party, my favorite album of 07 and one you need to listen to RIGHT NOW was....

BATTLES-MIRRORED

AMAZING ALBUM!!! great punk,funk,dance,electro sound with lots of percussion and even better in concert! check out their EP'S as well. i bought the following EP songs off itunes...

1+2
Dance
Tras
B+T

kenna's make sure they see my face is also a great album. synth pop,new wave sound but with a modern flare and lyrically challenging.

EL-P's i'll sleep when you're dead is THE hip-hop album for everybody that hates hip-hop albums! hard rockin' beats,complex rhymes and no bullshit!! not for the mtv crowd.

i'm sure there's more but i'll post again if i remember them.

jason quinones said...

i forgot this one...

the photo atlas-no,not me,never. sounds like a faster,heavier,dancier,version of the cure. the cure on speed if you will.

and these...

clutch-from beale street to oblivion. great heavy southern rock sound.

bad brains-build a nation. classic punk rock from the o.g.'s

here's hoping i've added to your addiction!

Dylan said...

Hey Jason - I'll have to add your suggestions to my list. Thanks for chiming in.

I'd actually heard the Bloc Party album and forgotten I'd heard it. I didn't like it as much as you. In fact, you could say that I pretty much hated it. As Ron Burgundy says, "Agree to disagree, then." I'll give it another listen soon and hopefully, I'll warm up to it.

jason quinones said...

yeah. you're not the first to tell me they liked bloc party's first album MUCH MORE than their sophomore effort.

all's i can say to them is...

"when in rome"

b3n said...

Good work, BRR. I'm sad that Armchair Apochrypha only got an Honorable Mention, but I guess that'll have to do.

How did Wincing The Night Away dissapoint?

Thanks for the list, gives me lots of food for thought.

Dylan said...

Ben, Armchair Apocrypha just barely missed the top 10. If only that TMBG album hadn't been so darn good.

As far as Wincing goes, it, while it has grown on me, I found it quite flat the first dozen listens or so. There are no "Fighting In A Sack"s or "Girl On A Wing"s anywhere on this album. It's all "New Slang" and "Young Pilgrims". Does that make sense?

b3n said...

/shrugs

I'll give you that. I sure love that album, though.

//The Shins never changed my life though. (silly Zach Braff)

chrishaley said...

This was incredibly thorough.
I salute you for your organizational and memorizational skills.

chrishaley said...

Jason - Beale Street, that's my city.

Dylan - I forgot to mention, that I saw no mention of Sloan's "Never Hear the End of It", Silverchair's "Young Modern", and Dethklok's "The Dethalbum".. there were some others I thought of that I've forgotten now.

Jesse said...

I think you know how I feel about Challengers and Armchair Apocrypha, but on the whole I'd have to say this is a very solid list. And I have to admit that Band of Horses has completely won me over. I have yet to cover my best of 2007 list, but it's coming soon...

2 albums I was surprised not to see were the 2 Springsteen albums: the one by Bruce himself and the one by Arcade Fire. Glad to see Macca on there as at least needing a listen...there are a couple of tracks on there that actually astound my ears when I hear them. And a couple that are so cheesy/sappy they're almost embarrasing...not quite "ebony and ivory" but close...

Anyway, here's to an amazing year of music!

Dylan said...

Jesse - Yeah, Challengers has grown on me, but I would be hard-pressed to grant it any place in the top 20-25 albums I heard this year.

Armchair Apocrypha was probably #11 on the list, to be honest.

As far as the Arcade Fire album goes, it's filed under the "good, but already getting plenty of talk" category. Also, I didn't think it was "all that".

And as far as the Boss is concerned, I dunno, he does nothing or me. I know why he's considered great, I just don't see it. Heresy, I know.

Chris - according to the Wiki, that Sloan album was released in 2006. And a good Silverchair album? Man, these are the end times to be sure.

chrishaley said...

It was released in Canada in 2006, but it didn't make it stateside until 2007. Since I don't live in Canada, that's how I have to think about these things.
As to a good Silverchair album shocking you, did you not hear Diorama either?

Dylan said...

Chris - You caught me. After more than 13 seconds of research I found that Never Hear the End of It was, in fact, released stateside the first week of January. Me = busted.

That said, I truthfully don't think I have been able to muster the stamina to listen to it all in one sitting (partially because the iTunes download I bought sounded like garbage). I remember it being touted as Sloan's "comeback" album after the less-than-stellar Action Pact, but at 28 songs, I'd have preferred a more focused effort.

Then again, I own almost the entire Guided By Voices catalog, so I guess I'm just another big fat music snob hypocrite.

As far as Silverchair goes, I'm about two years too old (and the funny thing is is that I pulled that number out of nowhere and then checked your age on your profile. I was off by a year. Not too shabby.) to have got on board with them and the rest of what I would classify as "second wave alterna-grunge" bands (Bush, Live, etc.).

By the time they rolled onto the scene, I had moved onto more "college rock" (pronounced: "more rock snob friendly") bands: Sebadoh, GBV, Yo La Tengo, PJ Harvey, Hum, etc.

I did hear a lot of positive buzz around the Diorama album, though. I'll give it a try if I stumble on it at the library. Deal?

chrishaley said...

That's funny, because "Never Hear.." is exceptionally easy to listen to for me. Straight through or just random tracks here and there. Maybe it just caught you at the wrong time(s)?
I didn't feel like it was a "comeback" from "Action Pact" though, because AP is one of my favorite albums by any band. I know we probably disagree on this as well, but that album is great.

chrishaley said...

Oh, as for Silverchair, I didn't give a rip about them before Diorama, so it wasn't as though I had some kind of loyalty to them. If anything, I think I had a mild distaste for them (read : jealous of their success at such a young age), but somehow, somewhere I heard part of one of the songs off Diorama right before it came out, so I picked it up the day it was released. I got in my car, started driving home and put it in. I had to pull the car over the first track took me so off guard. I literally could not believe it was the same band. "Across the Night" (which was the first song) was so beautiful I didn't know what to do with myself other than just sit there on the side of the road with my mouth open.

Dylan said...

Dang. That good, huh? Okay, I'll keep my eyes peeled. I trust your judgment, even if you are a no-good werewolf yes-man.