Friday, December 28, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2007

Because I'm an important music blogger one of the top 999,999 most read music bloggers on the internets, The Hype Machine wants to know what I think the top 10 albums of 2007 were. There's just one problem. I have no idea what the top 10 albums of 2007 were. The truth is I don't keep up with new music nearly as much as I used to, and most of the posts on this blog are (by design) about old music. Few people are less qualified than myself to decide what the best albums of 2007 were.

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?


Guy said...

"Boxer," by the National, was pretty good. The Grinderman record was awesome and funny, in a really dark and mean way. Finally, "Class War," by The Dils remains Single Of The Year for the 30th year in a row. Congrats to them.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I thought my car speaker was rattling when Karma Police played back in the 90's. That's my only major Radiohead association. I so do not get it. I think it's a case of the Emperor's new music calcifying. Nice list

Peter Hennig said...

My favorite new releases of 2007 happened to be released in 2006. But I'm sure that says more about my record buying habits than the quality of music this year.

But I do think the new Iron & Wine Lp is excellent - thanks Pete for the vinyl copy. A real treat.

I have never followed Bright Eyes and never cared much one way or the other about their music but "Four Winds" caught my attention and I think deserves some sort of recognition for representing the dark side of 2007, shame the accompanying Lp was not up to the same level.

And I'm going to dl the Sharon Jones record right now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great year. Always cool stuff. Anyway to re-up Mr. Cope's "World Shut Your Mouth" ep? It seems more relevant than ever. Good luck in 2008.