Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Favorite Records of 2007

Because year end lists are so fun!  BTW if you've never read it, please do yourself a favor and check out Steve Turner's Imagine:  A Vision for Christians in the Arts.  And why not buy one of these records and try an exercise in discernment!  (

10) "Andorra" by Caribou
Gorgeous Beach Boys harmonies, Allman Bros. "Live at Fillmore" drums, with restrained electronics mixed in.  The first five or six songs are all great, the second half tends to drag.  

9) "At My Age" by Nick Lowe
I put off getting this on emusic for too long.  Lowe wrote "Cruel to Be Kind" to give you some context.  Great song choices--I'm still trying to figure out which ones are originals.  Self-assured, bright and very British music with minimal production and a great horn section throughout.  

8) "Cease to Begin" by Band of Horses
Great Neil Young inspired tunes following in the vein of the Shins.  They've almost surpassed their Sub-Pop mentors--these songs have better hooks and are less self-aware than anything off "Wincing the Night Away." 

7) "God Save the Clientele" by The Clientele
You won't like The Clientele the first time you hear them.  It took me a good while to "get it." 
As British as you can get, Alisdair is an incredible lyricist and an even better mood-setter. These songs are the brightest he's written and this is now my favorite Clientele record.

6) "Raising Sand" by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
T Bone Burnett produced this release, which I got to hear two months early from my friend who works at Rounder (thanks T!).  Perfect song choices for their voices, and a Lanois-esque southern gothic vibe.  Hard to believe that Alison Krauss's voice could get any prettier--it really is next to Robert Plant's harmony.  

5) "The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter" by Josh Ritter
I got into "The Animal Years" late in the game but jumped on this one right after it came out. 
These songs are much better than anything from his previous release.  This one feels like a classic album from the 70's.  

4) "Armchair Apocrypha" by Andrew Bird
Maybe my most listened to album of the year.  Plucking violins,  guitars with just the right amount of tasty reverb, and great jazz inspired songs.   
3) "Magic" by Bruce Springsteen
Just got it.  Some critic said this was almost better than "Nebraska" so I had to check it out.  It's not anywhere close to "Nebraska" but EVERY song is great.  So unpretentious, soo good.

2) "Neon Bible" by The Arcade Fire
I got to see them at the Judson church in Washington Square.  Even though the sound was horrible, it was one of the best shows I've ever seen.  This is a great follow-up to "Funeral." 

1) "In Rainbows" by Radiohead
Glimpses of OK Computer, lots of guitars, huge atmospheric bridges, and Thom Yorke's inimitable voice.  I paid $7.   


Andytown said...

I did not know Steve Turner had written a book but will definitely check it out. His poem CREED is awesome (if I'm thinking of the same guy).

I've only listened to band of horses once and didn't really get into it. obviously our disagreement on IN RAINBOWS is a matter of degree - you think its awesome, i think its okay.

same with josh ritter; i'm curious that you think this is his best - i think it's his worst . . . but i still like it. in fact i'm about to give it another listen. i didn't really dig the plant/krauss album - to me r.p. only sounds good when he's doing his leather-pants thang, but obviously i'm in the minority. never got into nick lowe or andrew byrd. i like caribou, still haven't heard the clientele.

i'm so glad you see the merits of the boss's new album. everyone else seems to be shrugging it off, but to me it's easily the best thing he's done since GHOST OF TOM JOAD (another boss effort I love more than everyone else - though I also really liked DEVILS & DUST). and arcade fire is just amazing - totally agreed...

the one album i would move up on my list after more listens is of montreal's new one. it's a lot angrier than their dwarf/mimey toads/club-rock catalog, but still holds true to who they are.

what though, no Wilco? didn't you dig their latest? what about Spoon? I think, weirdly, Josh Ritter is channeling them on his new one.

anyway, it's a good list, and you have more evolved music tastes than me, so you the man.

Jenny O said...

haha, I think I could have guessed your top 5. I am confused about why Fergie isn't number 6.

Sarah said...

I had Caribou's first album . . . and I don't know. This one is worthwhile, huh?

Josh Ritter - welcome to the club. I even liked Hello, Starling (which is not his best, but still some melodicky goodness).

We're fans of the Boss now (I think you have to be if you live in NJ) and we even stayed in Asbury Park last weekend. We're like lame groupies.