I need to start by saying I'm sure the metal community has brought sickness to brutal new heights this year. I'll leave that to Trohman though.
Tom Waits: Orphans
On his worst day (and a man this prolific has probably documented it) Tom Waits is still our greatest living American songwriter. His records are a consistent rite of passage for indie rockers and people who generally want to sound intelligent (is it working?). Ignore the hype, close the blinds, and enjoy the gift that Tom Waits has for expressing all facets of the human experience using only a junkyard and some imagination.
Jay Z: Kingdom Come
So there I am in Sony Studios with Jay, Beyonce, LA Reid, Young Guru, and Bleek thinking to myself that A) I'm whiter and nerdier than anything Weird Al can come up with B) What am I doing here, and C) This is the best fucking record I've heard in a long time. Two words: Just Blaze. I'm telling you, that's the future. Most under-rated producer alive. Kanye and John Legend. So good it's disgusting. Jay? Duh.
Justin Timberlake: Futuresex/lovesounds
It's easy to forget that this is a Timberlake record as Timbaland is so prominent and effective. But JT holds up. He sings circles around just about every other dude that's not Nat King Cole or Stevie Wonder and he even adds a little Bowie/Eno Berlin feeling to the R&B funk which is pretty much my taste to a T.
My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade
I was living with Bob Bryer at the Oakwood apartments in Burbank while My Chem was recording this and FOB was recording Infinity on High. We had a barbecue on the 4th of July, bought as many inflatable cactuses as we could find, and watched Grizzly Man. When I moved out I left a hell of a mess. Sorry Bob. Neat freak. Memories. PS, Ray Toro is a shredder.
Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere
I'm sure this record is going to get name checked enough, so I'll just say this: Cee-Lo has been making astounding use of his astounding voice since Goodie Mob (and his brilliant solo records) and it's high time that he got the attention he deserved.
John Mayer: Continuum
Mayer is single handedly making the Stratocaster cool again cause he can actually play the thing. And I mean PLAY. I also think his voice is an underestimated weapon. Kinda reminds me of a funny Van Morrison.
Christina Aguilera: Back To Basics
Probably the most capable vocalist I've ever had the luxury of seeing live. Holy shit. Should be noted too that production by Premier and Mark Ronson are pretty sick too.
The Who: Wire & Glass
I haven't had time to really sit with the new album "Endless Wire" so I'll just say that this 6 song mini opera is better than the last two Who albums combined...and every band who've ever emulated the Who (excepting Green Day).
Nelly Furtado: Loose
So Timbaland's back again. Huge. He hasn't done a lot of straight hip hop this year and I think it's taking it's toll on the genre. If Lil Wayne isn't on it and it's hip hop, it probably sucked this year. Instead, Timbo lent his genius to the worthy pipes of the suddenly funky Furtado on her third record that totally ditches the folky stuff. She actually brought the sexy back. I have no idea what "No hay Igual" means.
Beyonce: B Day
I know that movie Deja Vu isn't out yet but I'm already sure the song of the same name is gonna overshadow the shit out of it.
I love seeing an artist who appreciates production and vocal skills in his or her taste in music. I'm sure FOB will be in the tops of my 2007 list, and it will probably be attributed to Patrick's amazing vocals.
Yay and nay. I like that he recognizes talent and isn't afraid to put Beyonce and Christina Aguilera on his list; at the same time I wish he would have put some lesser knowns down. I'm not even that surprised since I know he sways a lot toward R&B but a good list nonetheless!