From my humble perspective, 2007 was a great year for music. Including honorable mentions, my list consists of 60 albums representing 42 different labels. The list has a little bit of everything; jazz, metal, folk, electronica, punk, folk, hip hop, indie rock, pop, alt-country, and everything in-between. Now picking my favorite albums wasn’t a difficult task at all, but finalizing the ultimate running order was. What you see here is my best approximation and might be totally different a year from now even though when I went back and looked at my 2006 lists the top albums are almost exactly as I would have placed them today. Anyhow, I’ll be here all week.
50. Amiina – Kurr (Ever Records)
MP3 | Rugla
Kurr is an affair in dreamy ethereal minimalism that combines loops, electronics, and ambient elements with chimes, rhodes piano, and other modern classical elements to create a sound that twinkles and sparkles with a microscopic beauty. Read the full post here.
49. Moving Units – Hexes For Exes (Metropolis)
MP3 | Paper Hearts
Catchy disco-dance-punk that isn’t terribly jagged and really isn’t breaking any new ground but is solid from start to finish. Perhaps something in between The Rapture, New Order, Hot Hot Heat, Communiqué, and Interpol. Read the full post here.
48. Lewis & Clarke – Blasts Of Holy Birth (La Societe Expedtionnaire)
MP3 | Comfort Inn
Sparse neo-folk arrangements that bubble with folky psychedelia. The songs themselves are drawn out but deceptively simple. While artists like Devendra, Animal Collective can get a little crazy, Lou Rogai shows us that a little restraint can go a long way. Read the full post here.
47. Defiance, Ohio – The Fear, The Fear, The Fear (No Idea)
MP3 | The Condition
Politically charged folk-punk from Bloomington, Indiana. It is heartfelt Americana filtered through DIY punk rock played with acoustic guitars, banjos, violins, and harmonicas. This makes me smile.
46. Ben Weasel – These Ones Are Bitter (Mendota Recording Co.)
MP3 | Let Freedom Ring
Ben Weasel’s first new album in 5 years and there isn’t a dull moment of filler on the entire album. These polished and snappy pop-punk anthems sound best with the windows down and the stereo loud and feature both Mike Kennerty and Chris Gaylor from the All-American Rejects and Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio. Read the full post here.
45. Shining – Grindstone (Rune Grammofon)
MP3 | In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster
A dense, relentless, and confrontational album that will have your head spinning before the end of the first song. On it an unholy amalgamation of fuzzed-out bass, horns, shredding metal guitar, glitchy electronics, flute, and fractured synths spews forth and sounds like equal parts avant-bop jazz noise, cinematic swells, and Refused-eqse hardcore jams. Read the full post here.
44. Wynton Marsalis – From The Plantation To The Penitentiary (Blue Note)
MP3 | From The Plantation To The Penitentiary
The only true jazz record on my list this year, this is an invigorating listen that touches a myriad of jazz styles including the trumpeter’s New Orleans be-bop sound. It is also a highly political album that is meant to engage both the intellect and the soul. Read the full post here.
43. Iron And Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog (Sub Pop)
MP3 | Lovesong Of The Buzzard
Loose and lazy swamp folk perfect for the front porch that (at times) has an almost primal and rhythmic feel to it. Sam Beam’s breathy drawl and gentle acoustic guitar strums evoke images of the rural South straight out of a William Faulkner novel and carry the weight of the humid Florida heat. Read the full post here.
42. Bloc Party – A Weekend In The City (Vice)
MP3 | MP3 not posted
Back in January of 2007 I posted a Bloc Party track from this record and was swiftly asked to remove from my blog by someone in the band’s camp. While I was cool with the request, it may have negatively colored my perception of this record that I’ve only recently begun to get into. Their debut was my favorite record of 2005. You can see that list here & here.
41. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)
MP3 | Plasticities
Armchair Apocrypha‘s cerebral indie pop is filled with looping violin, otherworldly whistling, and virtuosic violin playing that creates a rich and vividly colored sonic tapestry. Like a 12 hour time machine made of feathers and bubblegum, it almost seems to run backwards in time from pre-dawn back to just before the previous day’s sunset. Read the full post here.