Hey all! Unfortunately (or fortunately) I'm on vaca in Florida so I wasn't able to make this list as extensive as in years past, nor have I been able to write small blurbs for each choice. I'll be continually fleshing it out over the next week if you want to come back and read further into my choices. Another year chock full of great music. So much so that I originally had fifty or so releases to narrow down from, no easy task. I love where music is going; as it becomes less and less a plastic product for a consumer market, true talent begins to shine through and legitimate artists are winning recognition. Thanks for following our exclusives and contests this year and please stick with us in '08 as the music industry continues to go through awkward puberty-like metamorphosis.
Top Albums of 2007
1) The Dear Hunter – Act II: The Meaning Of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
-Casey Crescenzo is composing and choreographing the most comprehensive, entrancing, and musical plot-line around. The music evokes all kinds of rustic scenery and guignol dramatics and the amount of planning invested in creating multi-layered and interconnected experience for the listener is obvious. If Casey can continue to deliver wailing vocals, masterful storytelling, and intricate soundscapes, he might just have a multi-act masterpiece on his hands.
2) Say Anything – In Defense of The Genre
-Max can’t stop won’t stop and on this record he fucks pop-rock in every orifice and makes it his bitch. His luny, abrasive diction, cigarette-rusted vocals, and tongue-in-cheek pop sensibilities combined to inspire many songs I couldn’t stop myself from screaming along to and several others that tickle my ears in the most unusual ways. I am thankful for his artistic presence and his unrelenting drive to create.
3) Chase Pagan – Oh Musica!
-I heard a rumor this record sold 69 copies in its first week. If that’s true, there is no justice in this world. Chase’s banchee-like falsetto meanders above waltzing pianos and below Americana acoustics and the end-product is something unique. It jingles and jangles in all sorts of directions and sets the stage for a newcomer with limitless potential. Everything good about music lies beneath Chase’s fingertips.
4) The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
-This year birthed many records seeking to encapsulate the pre-apocalyptic anxiety of a generation resenting the imminence of global warming and nuclear war; but no one did it better than Arcade Fire. They manage to face reality and escape it simultaneously.
5) Radiohead – In Rainbows
-It’s all been said already. Check out Disc 2 also! Lots of extra gems.
6) Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
-Press play, sit back, and make way for blue skies. Airy grooves and soulful licks abound on the year’s chillest rock record.
7) Dear and The Headlights – Small Steps, Heavy Hooves
-One of my favorite up and comers. They really chose not to sound like everyone around and instead make some awesome almost electric-folk.
8) Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
-Haunting, heartbreaking, and strangely memorable. Sounds like TV On The Radio's vocals creeping over a diary of cabin-locked acoustics.
9) Once Soundtrack
-Check out the film, the soundtrack, and the musicians who star in the movie. They’re all grade A. Glen Hansard’s popular-folk gives the heart a voice.
10) Coheed and Cambria – No World For Tomorrow
-Click here to read my review
11) Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
-The lyrical mastermind refuses to slip-up or slow down, but he does some growing up. "Soul Singer" & "No One Would Riot" are two of my favorite songs of '07. Another generation-defining artist I'll stand behind 'til the end.
12) Saves The Day – Under The Boards
-Not as fiery as Sound The Alarm and not as memorable as Stay What You Are, but a nice in-between. I like where this band is at right now. But then again, I’d follow them anywhere.
13) Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home
-Who knew he had it in him? Great popular-americana sound. The fact that Dustin's vocals can rock a song like "Paper Tigers" and still croon out a jam like "I Knew You Before" attests to the man's great talents.
14) Portugal. The Man – Church Mouth
15) Three – The End is Begun
16) The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
17) The Snake, The Cross, The Crown – Cotton Teeth
18) Kiss Kiss – Reality vs. The Optimist
19) Okkervil River – The Stage Names
20) Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
21) Alicia Keys – As I Am
22) The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
23) Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab
24) Straylight Run – The Needles The Space
25) Jay – Z – American Gangster
26) Kanye West – Graduation
27) Rilo Kiley – Under The Blacklight
28) Stacy Clark – Apples & Oranges
29) Steel Train – Trampoline
30) A06 – The Chronicles of A06 Volume 1
1) The Reign of Kindo – Self Titled
2) Alberta Cross – The Thief and The Heartbreaker
3) Bright Eyes - Four Winds
4) As Tall As Lions – Into the Flood
5) Days Away – Ear Candy For the Headphone Trippers
6) Whetherman – Bull
Songs of The Year
Radiohead – Broken Flowers
The Dear Hunter – The Lake and The River
Jay-Z – Blue Magic
Amy Winehouse – Rehab
Whetherman – My Window
Bright Eyes – No One Would Riot For Less
The Junior Varsity – The SKY!
Kanye West – Flashing Lights
Relient K – Deathbed
Bon Iver – Re: Stacks
Bright Eyes – Cartoon Blues
My American Heart – The Shake (Awful Feeling)
As Tall As Lions – 505
Maria Taylor – No Stars
The Arcade Fire – My Body Is A Cage
Coheed and Cambria – Mother Superior/No World For Tomorrow
Chase Pagan – Prince To The Queen
Glen Hansard – Falling Slowly
MGMT – Time To Pretend
Wilco – You Are My Face
Dear and The Headlights – Hallelujah
The Shins – Phantom Limb
Producer/Person of The Year
-Holy shit! How many hits can you make? He collaborated with everyone who's anyone in music, helmed some of the greatest pop records, and owned the charts all year long.
1) Michael Ian Black – I Am A Wonderful Man
2) Nick Swardson – Party!
3) Michael Showalter – Sandwiches and Cats
1) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
3) Rescue Dawn
6) Knocked Up
7) American Gangster
Days Away and Reign Of Kindo getting some love on the ep list(both in my top 5 EPs, along with Dustin Kensrue(considered it an ep bc of length), The Classic Crime and Nightmare of You) and Dear And The Headlights getting some mad love too, great CD will be in my top 20
chase pagan has been horribly underrated thus far and i hope he gets more exposure in 08 because he really is phenomenal, especially live. i love what you had to say about under the boards as well; i completely agree.