Monday, December 3, 2007
2007 Albums Were Sexy...
So that time of year has come again...
When every music fan feels they deserve a say in what was the best albums released over the past year...
I have seen some lists already which have made me laugh my ass off...
Like some people listing their top 100 albums or even their top 50...
How can you tell the difference between the album you position at number 96 to the one sitting at number 54?
How can you justify listing that many records?
It doesn't make sense and you end up looking like a pretentious dick.
I'm keeping mine under the 20 mark...
A top 16 to be exact...
I would like to say that all of these records WERE released in Ireland in 2007...
They might have been released in The States (or elsewhere) last year, but once they were released in Ireland this year then they are legit enough to be included in this list...
I have incorporated a compilation by Various Artists into the top 16...
It's a fantastic record and I felt it deserved to be in the list...
There is also an 8-track EP which makes an appearance...
It deserves to be there because it is quite simply better than most albums I have heard this year...
Without further ado, I give you my Top Albums of 2007:
16. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank:
I hate the way people dismiss Modest Mouse nowadays just because their sound has become a lot more accessible than their previous albums which had Seasick Steve at the helm. This is a fantastic follow up to Good News For People Who Love Bad News!
15. The Valerie Project - The Valerie Project:
I posted about this a month ago or so. It's terrifically esoteric and creepy. Grimm Brothers / Nosferatu / fairytale music. A pleasure to listen to.
14. Future of the Left - Curses:
Made up from ex members of McClusky & Jarcrew - this Welsh based trio released a stomper this year of alternative rock. Singer/Guitarist Andy "Falco" Falkous is one of the great British frontmen. His lyrics are laugh-out-loud fantastic.
13. Hauschka - Room to Expand:
Hauschka is the alias of Düsseldorf–based pianist and composer Volker Bertelmann. His work is based upon an exploration of the possibilities of the prepared piano, which he then turns into playfully disruptive songs. It is genius.
12. Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss:
Pantha Du Prince is the solo project of Hendrik Weber, fusing house, techno & shoegazey indie. Each track on this record is bittersweet take techno that'll appeal to dancefloors as well as living rooms. Listen to it with the lights out - You'll love it.
11. Alex Delivery - Star Destroyer:
Hailing from New York, Alex Delivery is a collective that takes influences from many different bands and genres to create a highly dense and psychedelic sound. The album can be seen as a combination of Krautrock, Musique Concrete, Space Rock, Prog Rock, Experimental & Electronic music with repetitive rhythms, jams, dense collages of abrasive noise and effects and a taste for inconvenient. I am certain this album would have slipped under your radar. Don't let it happen twice. It's quite simply a masterpiece...!
10. Love of Diagrams - Mosaic:
This Australian three piece floored me when I heard this album. Taking the Nu-Wave / Post-Punk sound of 1980's New York and making it sound fresh & original in 2007 is no mean feat. Fans of The Pixies will fucking love this album. A certain journalist was in his car listening to this album and without realising it - he was going over 120 mph. That's how fast & furious this record is.
9. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover:
Spencer Krug has got to be Mr. Indie 2007. The multi-instrumentalist from Wolf Parade produces gold after gold. When I first heard this album, I instantly thought it sounded like very-very early Arcade Fire. When the Montréal giants played the Phoenix Park a few weeks ago, guess who they were playing before they came on-stage...?
8. Various Artists - A Kind of Awe & Reverence & Wonder:
Can a compilation be included in an End of Year Poll? Of course! There's no rules implied to any polls. This has EVERYTHING you could possibly want on it: 12 intoxicating droplets of contemporary progressive rock, Eastern psych, folk and concrete siphoned from natural sources in England, America, France and Wales.
7. Enter Shikari - Take To The Skies:
They made the kids go crazy. They made me go crazy. They certainly made security at Oxegen go fucking insane to the point where they tried to stop the show because everyone was going wild for the St Albans 4-piece. A mammoth debut album that managed to fuse post-hardcore and heavy use of synthesised sound effects.
6. El Ten Eleven - Every Direction is North:
It's never easy for a band to follow up a debut album which is completely flawless. But ETE managed to do it quite easily. This LA-based 2 piece are probably my favourite band around. I can't get my head around the fact that the these 2 dudes can write music this beautiful. If ever there was an album to listen to in the Summer time - this was it.
5. Interpol - Our Love To Admire:
Aaaah, my boys break the top 5. I know a lot of people are not going to take this one serious as I am an obsessive and totally biased. But OLTA is an amazing album. So Banksy's lyrics are little less obscure and a little more tedious. So the music is a lot more Pixies than ever before. But you can't escape the sheer fact that they have progressed as a unit and this album is a much-much better follow-up album than Antics was.
4. MIA - Kala:
I'm going to sound like a juvenile shit now but she is the hottest piece of ass in music at the moment. This album comes thumping at you with powwa-powwa. An absolute force to be reckoned with. Switch and Diplo making magic happen here (along with Maya herself), this album has so many hooks, skips, beats & raps going on - it amalgamates them all into 12 tracks which will take you all over the world in under 50 minutes.
3. Cadence Weapon - Breaking Kayfabe:
Rollie Pemberton is changing hip-hop. He's making it old-skool again. He's an indie-kid who writes, produces, raps, thumps, screams and hisses the best rhymes you'll hear all year. Although it's 2 years old, this album only got released in September for the first time in Ireland. Prepare yourself for his new album in March 08. You wont hear anything else like this.
2. Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime:
Those of you who read this blog will have seen this one coming. Released in Canada last year but received its Irish release in February, TPC wrote an incredible EP consisting of 8 songs and put them all onto 1 little disc. There's a languid undertow on the EP, frontman Monks pulling you in with a slow, warm-water voice only to let his pals bludgeon you with just-so rhythms that, even in flight, last a sharp, fast two minutes on average. Debut album coming in March.
1. Emanuel - Black Earth Tiger:
Who??? (is probably what you lot are crying)!! Black Earth Tiger is Emanuel's second album, clocking in at 43 minutes and consisting of 11 songs which are so in-your-face raw and aggressive and melodic, it was a no-brainer to make this the best album of 2007. Matt Breen's vocals and lyrics are cynical & weary, yet he managers to turn them into massive sing-a-long anthems. Closing track Whiteflag (Reprise) is the best song I have heard all year. Please check this band out - they're too good to go un-noticed by music snobs.