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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Belated 2007 Albums rundown

Ack! I have been so busy that I failed to offer my Best albums of 2007 list to the deluge of other lists that have been circulating around the blogosphere. I have a tough time ranking albums, so I am going to base my decisions largely upon the following questions:
  1. What is the album's play count in my iTunes?
  2. How long has my excitement about the album lasted?
  3. Does it work as an "album," or are there just specific songs that I like?

Top 5

  • Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
    • This album got me more excited about music than anything has in a long while. I had sampled their Everything All at Once last year, but for some reason, it didn't stick. I must have played Cease to Begin 10 times through, back to back, when I first got my hands on it. I have subsequently come to enjoy their previous release as well. I love the indie-croon, I love the harmonies that remind me of something off the O Brother Where Art Though soundtrack. The beard frightens me, but I can get past that.
  • Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
    • Along with the Four Winds EP, Connor Oberst has again impressed me with Cassadaga. I can even forgive the country twang on a few songs due to the overall strength and musicmanship of the rest of the album. I LOVE the strings on the album, am still impressed with Oberst's poetry, and am very glad that his vocal skills have improved yet again, as with each previous succeeding album. My wife still says he sounds like a Billy goat, but thats fine with me.
  • Radiohead – In Rainbows
    • I hope all of the hubbub about this album doesn't leave a bad taste in peoples' mouth. When Radiohead is "on," I love them. When they are "off," I can't stand it. Kid A didn't do it for me. In Rainbows takes what they do best and projects it down fresh and new paths. It is an odd album in that respect. It all feels very familiar, but doesn't smack of repetition. It doesn't feel like they are simply repeating tired formulas. With each listen I like it more.
  • Domo – Baby Mercury
    • Why hasn't anyone heard of this band? I have readily admitted my penchant for indie-punk-pop. This Tempe, AZ 3-piece packs a mighty punch! Guitarist and main vocalist Captain Advantage - AKA Jason Sukut (previous keyboardist for fifteen minutes fast) has an unbelievable talent of consistently writing some of the most catchy hooks I have ever heard. Their previous 2006 self-released Sweet Creepy is equally impressive. I hope this band breaks big. I also hope that Sukut's membership in the Source Victoria doesn't distract him from giving us some more Domo albums!
  • Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice
    • This album was a pleasant surprise. I liked their Menos El Oso, but I didn't love it. However, I love Planet of Ice. It features the best parts of the pre-Menos El Oso era, and incorporates the good innovations from Menos El Oso. It seems like a reconciliation of two styles - like the band was trying to sort through and come to terms with the various sounds they have been toying around with. However, in being such, Planet of Ice fails to break much new ground. Thats fine with me though, because it rocks my socks off! Also, I don't know what it is about the albums title, but it perfectly fits the feel of the music. Weird, I know, but true.

Close Runners-Up

Good enough to get significant play-time in my iTunes

OK, but disappointing


  1. I think that Radiohead's In Rainbows was an excellent choice; it really was a great album. However, I have to disagree with you on the Matt Pond PA albums; I thought they were pretty good, although I liked Last Light more than If You Want Blood. I thought that they have moved forward as far as their songwriting and LL showed that. To each his/her own, right?

  2. My top album of 2007 wasn't on your list. Its actually more of a compilation of songs released by Bishop Allen in 2006. He made an EP for every month of the year that included 4 tracks for each week, excluding August which was a full 14 track live album. You should check out The Broken String album.

    In close second was Coconut Records(also not on your list)the Nighttiming album. This band is a solo project by Jason Schwartzman who was the drummer for Phantom Planet and is also better known for his acting.

  3. Jeff - Bishop Allen has been suggested to me by a few people. If I'm not mistaken he was touring this fall with John Vanderslice - that is what initially caught my eye. I'll check him out. Ahh . . . the Schwartzman. I definitely prefer Phantom Planet's album when he was still in the band. Thanks for the tip on his solo project - I wasn't aware of it.

  4. I have quite a different list from yours but thats to be expected. I'll have to check out some of those I havent heard on your list. I still think you need to give Sky Blue Sky a few more spins before giving up.

    I think I found one that I might add to my top ten and that would be the Juno soundtrack....if we are allowed to put in compilations. :p