• I like ranking things: 2007

    29. Dez. 2007, 4:09

    I'm bored.
    And I like to rank things.
    So here are my 15 favorite records of 2007.
    There are undoubtedly more.
    But these records were the ones I listened to the most.
    And enjoyed the most.

    15. Dan Deacon spiderman of the rings

    best song: Wham City

    Spiderman of the Rings was probably one of the most inventive albums of the entire year. The record is a kaleidoscope of Looney Tunes influenced beats and drones that could be dismissed as too absurd to even listen to. For some, maybe it is. For me though, the thing just works. Behind the aura of Dan's imagination is a classically taught musician who can pump out some serious melodies. It might be a scary first-listen. But if you give the album time, I promise you will be dancing to Woody Woodpecker loops before it all ends.

    14. Iron And Wine the shepherd's dog

    best song: Lovesong Of The Buzzard

    When I heard Iron & Wine would be coming out with a new record, I was excited. When I first listened to the record, my excitement for it kind of went limp. Although Sam Beam's transformation from a soft whisperery neo-folk musician to a full band world music ensemble has, for the most part, been a smooth transition, the result is a surprising shift that I wasn't ready for. The album has grown on me, I just wish he could cross a balance between both the hushed southern folk and the new-look Iron & Wine.

    13. Joe Hedges curvature

    best song: Futureflies

    As a long time fan of Joe's former band, July For Kings, I was pretty disheartened when I learned they would be breaking up. Fortunately, Joe's solo album was good enough to fill that void. In what is probably one of the most underrated and unknown records out there, Curvature relies on Joe's ethereal melodies and progressions in bringing one of the most wonderfully creative pop albums in years.

    12. Radiohead in rainbows

    best song: Nude

    It's not my #1. Nor even in my top #10. Kind of weird, eh? It's a good record, don't get me wrong. It's just not as good as other Radiohead records. And because of this, I didn't spend enough time listening to it as much as I probably should have. Any other year, this may have been my favorite record. This year was so strong though that I rarely had a chance to listen to it. Over time, I know it will grow on me. But it's not nearly as good as critics praise it to be.

    11. Band of Horses cease to begin

    best song: The General Specific

    What makes Band of Horses work is still a mystery to me. Their 2006 CD, Everything All the Time, caught me by surprise. Initially, I compared their sound to My Morning Jacket. Lately, I've heard comparisons of them to Built to Spill and The Shins among others. The fact of the matter is, with the success of last years album and this new record, they have now stapled their sound into the Indie Rock scene. They are Band of Horses. No one else. And they are damn good.

    10. Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew spirit if...

    best song: When It Begins

    Although this album can sometimes be mistaken as a new Broken Social Scene record, it is in fact, Kevin Drew's solo record. Not surprisingly though, it sounds just like a Broken Social Scene record (which is a good thing). Songs like F–ked Up Kid may give a clue as to who writes a big portion of the supergroup's songs. With the success of Feist, Stars, Do Make Say Think, and Kevin Drew -- I think it's safe to say this was a good year for Broken Social Scene's side projects.

    9. Andrew Bird Armchair Apocrypha

    best song: Yawny At the Apocalypse

    Andrew Bird is probably one of the most talented musicians out there right now. The classically trained multi-instrumentalist may have made one of his best with this new one. At times, it seems like his ability to make beautiful music just comes effortlessly. That may be so. His peaks on this record, and in concert, seem to always come when his violin and whistle loops become so thick and layered, they transform into unearthly orchestrations only the likes of Steve Reich would appreciate. Underrated and under-appreciated at best.

    8. Arcade Fire Neon Bible

    best song: Keep the Car Running

    It's not as good as Funeral. Fortunately, it is a good record. In fact, it's really good. The main (and only) fault with the album lies in the fact that it is nowhere near as consistent as Funeral was. There is no track on Funeral that I'm inclined to skip. With Neon Bible, there are definitely a few on the album that are skippable. The strength of songs like No Cars Go and Intervention more than make up for this weakness though. A very strong second effort.

    7. Beirut The Flying Club Cup

    best song: Elephant Gun

    Ok, so the track above isn't on The Flying Club Cup, but it is on an EP released this year. Just like Band of Horses, Beirut is all ready becoming a prolific group having put out 2 full length CDs in only 2 years. Musically speaking, the Balkan influenced band is as wonderfully cultured as they come. They utilize a plethora of instruments I've never even heard of. They know how to make it sound good though. The band is led by a the 21-year-old New Mexican native, Zach Condon, who boasts an almost operatic voice, bed-head, and a sleazy white t-shirt at all times. Condon is one dude that I am jealous of. I usually have bed-head. I have a bunch of sleazy white t-shirts. The only thing I'm missing is an booming deep-voice and a slew of multi-instrumentalists. Oh, and I guess talent. He has a lot of that too.

    6. Do Make Say Think You, You're a History in Rust

    best song: A With Living

    I did not expect this record to be this good. It is though. Probably their best to date. Up until this point, Do Make Say Think have always been a post-rock instrumental outfit. Well, the instrumental portion is now optional. They sing at a couple of points on this record in some of the most memorable songs of the album. The additions of vocals adds an almost freak-folkish, Akron/Family type of style to their all ready infectious instrumentation. It's a nice and hearty addition. This was definitely my biggest surprise of the year. For sure.

    5. Caribou Andorra

    best song: Sandy

    Caribou is a new artist to me. I am glad I found him though. Albums like this only come every so often. There is not a bad song on it. Often described as an almost trippy 60's psychedelic experience, Andorra is that, and much more. Maybe it's just me, but the whole album feels like it should be accompanying a Wes Anderson flick. Maybe it should.

    4. Animal Collective Strawberry Jam

    best song: For Reverend Green

    Animal Collective is weird. There is a difference between being weird though, and physically trying to be weird. Animal Collective is just inherently weird, and that's a good thing. For some people, this album may be a little bit of a stretch. I am weird though. Inherently weird. So I enjoy it. The beauty in Animal Collective that most people do not see often lies within the subtle nuances in their songs. The melodies they create are often hidden by a plethora of noise and effects. If you dig in though, you'll find that both of these elements actually delicately complement the melodies they create. This record is a fine example of how they combine these to make beautiful songs.

    Even if this record sucked, the sheer awesomeness of For Reverend Green and Fireworks back to back would put it my top 10 anyway. I had the problem of listening to those two tracks at least a couple times a day for about 2 months this year. The closing track, Derek where Panda Bear gets his turn, is just as good. Thankfully though, the rest of the album doesn't falter. The album is consistent at being good. And consistent at being weird.

    3. The Field From Here We Go Sublime

    best song: Everday

    I never thought a techno album would even grace my list. Or even an electronic album. From Here We Go Sublime combines both. I'm just as surprised as you. This Swedish album proved to be the most soothing record I was able to listen to all year. With techno, and electronic music in general, it's easy to make the mistake of creating something so repetitive that it ultimately becomes redundant. This record thrives on the exact opposite, which is why I regard it so highly. Each song on this record is cut from different songs and often the best part of every track is the end. It's when it's finished that some of the songs reveal their true identity. The best example of this is A Paw in My Face, it's not until the end that the song cuts into normal speed, and uncovers itself only to show that it was devised out of a Lionel Richie song. Subdued moments like these on the record make it one of the years best.

    2. The National Boxer

    best song: Fake Empire

    I've heard people say that if Leonard Cohen was still making music, this is what it would sound like. That's an awfully big complement to The National. Yet it's appropriate. I listed to the Boxer more than any other album this entire year. I picked the album up because of recommendations, and had no idea what to expect. The first time I listened to it, I didn't like it. At all. I decided to give it another try. And then another. And then another. After a couple of weeks listening to it, I realized that I hadn't gone a day without listening to it. By far the most infectious record of the year, Boxer is an album that could be coined as a "grower" and probably should be. One listen is not enough. If you don't let the album evolve, or you don't have the patience to listen to it more than once, you will not like Boxer. If you have open ears though, you will not be able to live without it.

    and finally....

    1. Panda Bear person pitch

    best song: Bros

    Although it was close, Person Pitch was undoubtedly my favorite record this year. It's often described as sounding like a psychedelic Beach Boys album circa Pet Sounds, which is accurate. Just like Animal Collective, what makes Panda Bear's songs so interesting to listen to are the subtle nuances laced in and out of each track. Where Panda Bear seems to succeed more compared to Strawberry Jam lies within how well we incorporates these subtleties. Take Pills is a prime example of how well he creates this effect. The whole track feels like you are on a sea-shanty with Noah diving into the ocean, swimming past sea creatures. Songs like these remind me of Joanna Newsom's Ys album from last year. Both feel like a transition of music that can transfigure into a visual experience.

    The last song, Ponytail is by far the best closing track on any record this year as well, it is definitely one of my favorites on the disc. All of these combined to make Person Pitch my favorite of the year. The beautiful and euphoric aesthetic of the album will make it a staple as one of the best of our time. Our era now has its very own Pet Sounds.


    close calls
    Albums that were close to making the list... whether they were too short or simply not good enough. This year was pretty good musically, so there are a quite a few.

    Akron/Family love is simple
    best song: Love, Love, Love (everyone)

    Battles mirrored
    best song: Ddiamondd

    Explosions in the Sky all of a sudden i miss everyone
    best song: So Long, Lonesome

    Feist the reminder
    best song: The Park

    Norah Jones not too late
    best song: Until the End

    The Polyphonic Spree the fragile army
    best song: Section 32 (The Championship)

    Robert Plant & Alison Krauss raising sand
    best song: Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)

    The Shins wincing the night away
    best song: Phantom Limb

    Sigur Rós Hvarf/Heim
    best song: I Gaer

    Spoon ga ga ga ga ga
    best song: My Little Japanese Cigarette Case

    Stars in our bedroom after the war
    best song: The Night Starts Here

    Wilco sky blue sky
    best song: Either Way


    top songs
    Here are my top songs of the year. It wasn't even close.

    15. The Field - Everday

    14. Akron/Family - Love, Love, Love (everyone)

    13. Beirut - Elephant Gun

    12. Panda Bear - Ponytail

    11. Feist - The Park

    10. Sigur Rós - I Gaer

    9. Dan Deacon - Wham City

    8. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running

    7. Kevin Drew - When It Begins

    6. Panda Bear -Bros

    5. Do Make Say Think - A With Living

    4. The National - Fake Empire

    3. Andrew Bird - Yawny At the Apocalypse

    2. Animal Collective - Fireworks

    1. Animal Collective - For Reverend Green