Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This is K talking.

Here are my top twenty-five albums of 2007. As usual, my fear of the unknown means at least a three month lag between when something comes out and when I actually listen to it. So logically, I should wait until March to compile this list. Like the Oscars. But Christmas is really the only time when I don't feel guilty spending time compiling something this frivolous.

So here goes:

25. Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem - Pitchfork Review

This album has taken awhile to grow on me. But it has some really stellar tracks.

24. Open Field - Taken by Trees - Pitchfork Review.

This semester, I was ecstatic to see a flier for Camera Obscura on campus. I hadn't heard them but I knew they were Scottish and had been compared to Belle and Sebastian. I downloaded their album in anticipation of the show. I wrote an email to all my friends here getting them fired up for the show. Then I found out that Camera Obscura shares their name with a local hardcore outfit who sucks. And so it goes here in paradise. The good news is that the Camera Obscura album (Let's Get Out of this Country) is absolutely awesome, and would not have been notched by me if not for this happy accident. Their album came out last year

What does this have to do with Taken by Trees? I think they sound similar. And the lead singers look almost exactly the same.

23. We Walked in Song - Innocence Mission - Pitchfork Review.

When I was just honing my crying skills in college, I bought a tape at Wal-Mart by the Sundays called Static and Silence. Boy - I did love that album. Some people may think that liking bands like this (Sixpence None the Richer, Cardigans, St. Etienne, etc.) speaks ill of my manliness. I think that is fair.

22. New Moon - Elliot Smith - Pitchfork Review.

Because Elliot Smith stabbed his heart several years ago, he is no longer making videos. My apologies.

21. † - Justice - Pitchfork Review.

My #1 album of 2006 was French. So is my #21 album of 2007. Pretty rad video this.

20. Love - The Beatles - Pitchfork Review

So George Martin got senile enough that his kid was able to take advantage of him in a moment of weakness. The result is a delicately remixed album of Beatles tunes that serves as the soundtrack for the Cirque du Soleil show, Love. Sounds pretty awful, huh? It isn't. It sounds phenomenal. Of course - I am a Beatles dork from waayyy back.

19. The Budos Band II - The Budos Band - Pitchfork Review

This video is awesome. Great instrumental album of latiny jazzy grooves. A little like last year's Quantic.

18. Walls - Apparat - Pitchfork Review

This year I discovered that IDM stands for "Intelligent Dance Music." Isn't that obnoxious? Here is a song of this description being used as a soundtrack to someone's travel film.

17. Kala - M.I.A. - Pitchfork Review

I just started listening but I love it so far. This song is my favorite.

16. The Reminder - Feist - Pitchfork Review

I think I am safe in assuming everyone has heard this artist by now. "1-2-3-4 . . "

15. Octopus - Band of Bees - Pitchfork Review.

Totally unique sound. Well - I guess not that unique because Pitchfork says they are "like the Beta Band without all the artsy detours and experimental tendencies." I guess you could be worse things. This band is just called The Bees in the U.S. (there is another Band of Bees). Cool video.

14. Armchair Apocrypha - Andrew Bird - Pitchfork Review

This year, I listened to a lot of new albums from bands that had made good things in the past. I really couldn't get into most of them. Clap Your Hands Say "Eh." But this new album is really stellar and probably the best I have heard from the A-bird. Please watch this video if you like him. I get a little emotional each time I see it.

13. Cozy Endings - Artanker Convoy - Pitchfork Review.

Completely off-the-wall and fun. Take a listen.

12. Wizard of Ahhs EP - The Black Kids - Pitchfork Review

When their full length comes out, be ready. It will be the hottest thing ever. Every song is really a gem but this is the one that is paying the bills. And yes - they do sound like the Cure.

11. Emotionalism - Avett Brothers - Pitchfork Review

I am sure that Caroline would want me to tell you that this is her #1 for the year. Of course - she may be exaggerating to make a larger point. I am not bringing any decent alt country music into the relationship leaving her to her three year-old Gourds albums, Ryan Adams, and even new Robert Earl Keen songs (gross). Instead, I make her listen to Animal Collective and Grand Buffet. It is a wonder she is still around.

This video is mostly for her.

10. The Stage Names - Okkervil River - Pitchfork Review

OK. Now we are getting into the good stuff. I came to love Okkervil River when they made comically slow sad music ala the Silverjews. Now they make kicking sad music and I like them even more. Especially great is the appropriation of the Beach Boy's "Sloop John B" for their final dirge. Good stuff.

9. Graduation - Kanye West - Pitchfork Review

Another great album by Kanye. But nothing compared to what will come in the wake of his mother's tragic and profoundly significant death. Lil' Wayne sounds shitty on "Barry Bonds" and "Drunk and Hot Girls" is pretty weak also but Kanye takes chances and has better batting average than the aforementioned slugger. Included is the fantastic alternative video for "Can't Tell Me Nothing."

8. In Rainbows - Radiohead - Pitchfork Review

I would have never imagined a new Radiohead album would rank outside the top five. This video is silly.

7. No Shouts, No Calls - Electrelane - Pitchfork Review

Now this album was a revelation. I have to say Stereolab because that is what everyone says. But it is just those breathy vocals. The songs themselves strike me as far more exciting than anything Stereolab did. Great driving music.

6. Night Falls in Kortadella - Jens Lekman - Pitchfork Review

Did you know that Jens Lekman was just about to quit the game. He had been touring for years and nothing was happening. Then someone at Pitchfork got their hands on Oh You're So Silent Jens, a mishmash of b-sides and cast-offs, and he was on his way. Now he has put out the #6 album of 2007. Check out this wonderful video of his covering Arthur Russell.

5. Andorra - Caribou - Pitchfork Review

Top five time. Caribou is awesome. Not as awesome as Grizzly Bear, but pretty dang awesome nonetheless.

4. From Here We Go Sublime - The Field - Pitchfork Review.

Simply stunning soundscapes. Goes great with drugs of all sorts.

3. Boxer - The National - Pitchfork Review

The first National album, Alligator, was a dud in our house. It just doesn't jump out at you. In our setup, albums get played off our 20G ipods. Everyone gets their shot at the big show but, if they fail to impress within a month or two, most albums get shuttled off to the external hard drive never to be heard from again. In rare instances, albums are brought back for another try.

Boxer is the album that brought back Alligator. It is a stunner. Please give it a try.

2. Person Pitch - Panda Bear - Pitchfork Review

Magic. This album will be a fork in pop music's evolutionary tree. I know Animal Collective is far more experimental and risky. But this album strikes me as the distilled essence of everything great about Animal Collective. Of course - by great, I mean listenable. And by listenable, I means listenable by people in their thirties.

1. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - Of Montreal - Pitchfork Review

This album came out last February and within a few weeks I was ready to crown it my number one. It is hard to overstate how much I love this album, this band, and in particular, Kevin Barnes, the lead singer. It is nice to see a man having a nice time. And having a bad time.

If you have the opportunity to see this band live, I recommend it. That means you, Dacks.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Thank you once again for serving as my music maven. It saves me so much work.

We saw Andrew Bird here in D-town a couple months back and it was the best live show I had seen in several years.