Top 10 Albums of 2007

This was the best year for music in a long time. I can't remember the last time I really had to think about what I would put in my top 10 and what I'd leave out. Established acts released albums that were actually good (for the most part), and I got into a lot of new bands for the first time in a while. Sadly, I don't expect 2008 to be nearly as good.

On to the list...

10. David Usher- Strange Birds: This album mixes the low-key feel of If God Had Curves with the subtle electronic touches of Hallucinations, basically taking the best parts from each. It makes for a solid album, although it doesn't have the high points of either one.

Favorite Songs: Science, Ugly is Beautiful

9. PJ Harvey- White Chalk: This is a challenging album for me as a PJ fan because I enjoyed Uh Huh Her so much. this album is so quiet and delicate in comparison. I didn't know what to make of it. plus it's really bad car music. After I took the time to really listen to it and get comfortable with PJ singing in a higher register, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Although I still hope she goes back to the guitars on her next album.

Favorite Songs:  Dear Darkness, The Devil

8. Beirut- The Flying Club Cup: One of the new bands I "discovered" thanks to some friends. I instantly took to the old-world Frenchie style songs that make up this album because the sounds were so different from anything else I'd heard. and Zach Condon's voice fits in perfectly with it all.

Favorite Songs:  The Penalty, Cliquot

7. Silverchair- Young Modern: This is the part of the list where I ruin my "indie coolness" and pick an album by a band that everyone's actually heard of. I've always thought Silverchair had the potential to make good albums once they started to find their own sound. The album is diverse, interesting and unexpected. unexpected in a "this is Silverchair?" and "I think I kinda like this song" kind of way. But it is a good mainstream sounding album that is better than most mainstream modern rock bs you hear today.

Favorite Songs:  Mind Reader, Those Thieving Birds (Part 1)/Strange Behaviour/Those Thieving Birds (Part 2) -yes that is 1 song

6.
John Vanderslice- Emerald City: While I don't think this album is as good as Pixel Revolt, it still has some great songs on it and almost everything you love about JV, the exception being songs about bunnies, corrupt cops, or something equally as random.

Favorite Songs:  White Dove, The Parade

5. Sondre Lerche- Phantom Punch: This album was my hands down best of the year until about July and then it got run over by 4 other albums. Of all the albums this year, this was the one I was most anxious for, especially after hearing the title track. I wanted to hear what a rockier Sondre Lerche album sounded like, and it didn't disappoint. While there are more electric than acoustic guitars on this album compared to his others, all the hooky indie-pop songs are still there, getting stuck in your head.

Favorite Songs:  Phantom Punch, Airport Taxi Reception

4. Tegan and Sara- The Con: Filling the spot desgnated for female Candian artists this year (usually occupied by Emm Gryner), is the album with the most earworms. as i write this, "The Con" is playing in my head, which has been par for the course with this album. So many great songs, so many things to get stuck in your head. such diversity in the sound but still making a cohesive album. It was really tough to pick my 2 favorite songs. I'm known for being pretty anti-female singers because 9.5 times out of 10 they're annoying, whiny and/or trying to rock when they can't. this is the other .5. Viva Canada!

Favorite Songs: Knife Going In, Like O Like H

3. Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga: What I love about this album is that it mixes "classic" sounding Spoon songs (Don't Make Me a Target, Don't You Evah) with songs that incorporate r&b and Motown horns (You Got Yr Cherry Bomb, The Underdog). and like what I think a great album should be, this album has layers to it. There were songs that I instantly liked the first couple of times I heard them and then as I listened more, there were other songs that would get my attention as well. I really like the direction they seem to be going in. This is probably one of my favorite Spoon albums.

Favorite Songs: Eddie's Ragga, Black Like Me

2. Radiohead- In Rainbows: I wasn't expecting to have a Radiohead album in my top 10 this year, but here it is. and if 2008 sucks, I'll put it on next year's list too since the official release is Jan 1st. For the first time since OK Computer we have a Radiohead album that feels like a Radiohead album. and not just because it's less experimental than their last 3 albums. It feels like it was more of a group effort and there's more emphasis on lyrical content. This is one band I have faith in to not put out an album full of crap.

Favorite Songs: Videotape, House of Cards

1. The Good Life- Help Wanted Nights: I was a little bit apprehensive about this album just because the last one was not very consistent- the good songs were really really good but everything else was blah. So when I first heard this album, I wasn't sure what to do with it. nothing stuck out as being good or bad the first few times I listened. But as I listened more, I went from thinking, "this song isn't bad" to "this song is great". Basically a grower album. And really, I'm a huge fan of Tim Kasher's storytelling, so I couldn't not love this album, and eventually I had every song in my head, much like with the Tegan and Sara album. This album is good from start to finish and the songs are some of my favorites of the year.

Favorite Songs:  A Little Bit More, Your Share of Men


Dishonorable Mention:

Chris Cornell- Carry On: go back to Soundgarden and let the Beast out.
New Pornographers- Challengers: half the songs are decent, the others....bleck. They totally screwed up the female vocals on the album.


Looking forward to in 2008: Emm Gryner, Black Keys, David Usher