Still I'd like to participate in shaping the zeitgeist. So I'm asking for help from my readers. I'm listing some albums that might be included on a best of 2007 list and asking you to rank them for me, and add any suggestions of your own. I'll then synthesize the results into a tidy top 10 list. (I'm only considering new music, not reissues or archival releases).
Some albums I bought and liked:
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (I wrote a bit about this album before. While this got a mixed critical reception, it is possibly my favorite Wilco album, and might have been my favorite album of 2007).
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd’s Dog (Another excellent album, also possibly my favorite of 2007).
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights (Wow! Sharon Jones is the real deal. Sharon can really sing, and the Dap-Kings hit a hard groove. Maybe this was my favorite of 2007? Thanks to Adam for alerting me to Sharon.)
Teddy Thompson - Upfront & Down Low (I haven't seen Teddy's collection of country covers show up on any year-end best-of lists. That's a shame because it's fantastic. I've been meaning to do a full post on this album for months--I may yet get around to it.)
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare (Thanks again to Adam for alerting me to this. I kinda figured The Arctic Monkeys were another post-punk wanna be act. Maybe they are, but the music is undeniably fun).
Linda Thompson - Versatile Heart (Another strong release from the Thompson family.)
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (While I think we are all burned out on reading about Amy Winehouse's exploits, her voice cannot be denied).
Richard Thompson - Sweet Warrior (A good, but not great, release from Richard Thompson).
Dean & Britta - Back Numbers (I didn't listen to this as much as I expected to. It's good though).
Fiest - The Reminder (I bought this for my wife, but I like it a lot too).
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Magic (Ho-hum, another great Springsteen album).
Kristen Hersh - Learn To Sing Like A Star (Another good album that I haven't listened to a whole lot).
Albums I've been meaning to pick up:
Nick Lowe - At My Age (I hear this is fantastic).
PJ Harvey - White Chalk (Good buzz on this, but I haven't heard it despite being a fan).
Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II (I'll get this eventually I'm sure).
Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond (Another pointless reunion, or brilliant return to form? Not sure I care, but I guess I'm at least curious).
The New Pornographers - Challengers (I always like their stuff, but haven't gotten around to picking this up).
Stuff that's over-rated (in my opinion):
Radiohead - In Rainbows (This is on virtually everyone's year-end list, but I just don't like Radiohead. Actually, I'm not sure that's even the right way to put it. I find nothing objectionable about their music when listening to it--in fact, sometimes it impresses me while I listen. But nothing, nothing this band has ever done has made a lasting impression on me, or moved me emotionally. If you put a gun to my head, I could not hum a single Radiohead tune to save my life. I don't know if that's a criticism or not, but I just am not a fan. And yes, I paid for the download).
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (Been there, done that).
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Ditto).
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away (For a pop band, they sure don't write very catchy music).
So help me out folks. What should make the cut and what shouldn't? What did I miss? What order should this stuff be in?