Top Albums of 2007

I’m a little behind in getting my Top Albums of 2007 list together… but late is better than never, right? You can see that a lot of what I listened to this year wasn’t actually from 2007. “That’s OK. That’s alright,” to quote one of my top artists from last year (Albert Hammond, Jr.) Here the are:

Albums of the Year

  1. Sound of Silver, LCD Soundsystem (listen)

    LCD Sound System continues to amaze me. I saw them live twice this year, each better than the previous time. There’s only one flaw on this album which may be the worst song ever written (“New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”.) Other than that I could have listened to it all day long every day. Great interview from Fresh Air here.

  2. Yours to Keep, Albert Hammond, Jr. (listen)

    I didn’t see any mentions of Yours to Keep on anyone else’s list. I love it. It was released late 2006 in the UK but not until March here in the States. Albert Hammond, Jr. is rhythm guitar for The Strokes. With just a few exceptions Yours to Keep has a totally different feel. Refreshing to hear an upbeat album from someone normally so loud and down. Trivia: he’s the son of Albert Hammond (duh) who penned “It Never Rains in Southern California.”

  3. Raising Sand, Alison Krauss & Robert Plant (listen)

    Raising Sand was a surprise for me. I had no idea it was coming and generally don’t care for either Alison Krauss solo (weak w/o Union Station) nor do I really like Robert Plant on his own. They work surprisingly well together, though.

  4. In Rainbows, Radiohead

    I haven’t cared for much from Radiohead since OK Computer but In Rainbows is fantastic. I paid $10 even though the album was released in a “pay what you want” experiment. Money well spent!

  5. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, Modest Mouse (listen)

    I discovered Modest Mouse late but really took to them. I was looking forward to the album and they didn’t disappoint. Perhaps the addition of former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was what they needed to take them from good to great. It certainly didn’t hurt; this album hit #1 on Billboard.

  6. The Reminder, Feist (listen)

    Not sure what to say about The Reminder other than it is great. Better, even, than Let It Die. Must-have if you’re soft for female vocalists.

  7. Icky Thump, The White Stripes (listen)

    While not as good as Get Behind Me Satan or Elephant it still shows why Jack White is awesome. Recorded in just three weeks, nearly every track on this album gets me tapping my foot and trying to hum along.

  8. Sky Blue Sky, Wilco (listen)

    This album was less “experimental” than previous efforts, which means a) that front-man Jeff Tweedy must not have been on drugs and b) there are more songs on this album. Still not as good at Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, in my opinion, but the best since.

  9. Person Pitch, Panda Bear (listen)

    This one was a late find and came to be courtesy of Jamie Berger. I listened to it the last week of the year and fell in love. If you dig Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys buy this. Brian Wilson is channeled perfectly.

  10. Neon Bible, Arcade Fire (listen)

    I waffled about whether or not to put this on my top 10. Neon Bible got lots of play right after I purchased the album and saw them at Coachella but steadily got less and less play as the year wore on. I’ve even revised some of my ratings down a few stars, with the final track that gets so much acclaim (“My Body Is A Cage”) getting only two stars.

Song of the Year

Portal Theme Song, Jonathan Coulton

iTunes says the Portal theme song is my most-played song released in 2007. It’s so catchy I can’t get enough of it. It is now my ring tone, for crying out loud! Valve must agree as they’re now selling the Orange Box sound track… which can only be selling based on the strength of this one song. The rest of the soundtrack is forgettable.

Honorable Mention

Up Front & Down Low, Teddy Thompson (listen)

Up Front & Down Low is a collection of covers by Teddy Thompson, a
British folk singer who loves American country. I like his solo stuff
much better but this is pretty good stuff, too. Definitely one to give at least a brief listen to.

Disappointment(s) of the Year

Our Love to Admire, Interpol
Wincing The Night Away, The Shins

I’m a big Shins fan but Wincing The Night Away was over-produced and self-indulgent. Someone please take away their money (and Death Cab for Cutie’s, while you’re at it) so they won’t be able to spend months in the studio again. And someone give Interpol a kick in the ass. I didn’t need a third album that sounded exactly the same. Use some of your fabulous wealth to evolve a little.

Both bands need to take a cue from The White Stripes.

Other good lists from my friend Spiff and his buddy Adam. NPR also has an awesome collection of 2007 “best of” lists. And, of course, why not post your own?

1 thought on “Top Albums of 2007

  1. I’ve got a couple of 4-star songs on Our Love To Admire and listened through the album 5 or 6 times, so I didn’t necessarily hate it but was expecting a lot more from their third major label effort.

    The same is true of Wincing The Night Away. I gave many of the songs 4 stars but based on the strength of Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow I was, again, expecting way more.

    I hear what you’re saying about no surprises. After I finished my list I read through a ton of others that I had queued up and was a little bummed that I agreed with so many other “critics” – I thought my tastes were a little more eclectic than that :)

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