Here it is. As always, this was very difficult to compile and that’s mainly because this year produced more brilliant songs and tours than excellent albums that were truly compelling from beginning to end. The overall consensus on the Internet seems to be this year was good, but by no means great, which I’d have to concur with. My list is after the click. What did you think?
10. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Austin, Texas’ Britt Daniel and crew has had a solid formula going for five albums. Did you really expect them to falter now? Their latest finds them doing some experimenting again; at the same time though, it’s another straight up Spoon record. The vivid grooves are there, melodies are catchy as ever, and Spoon dances with even being soulful at times like an old Motown record. These 10 tracks fly by in 36 minutes, but with monumental tracks like ‘The Underdog’, (Jon Brion produced) you will quickly want to revisit this classic again and again.
9. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
After ‘Funeral’, AF would have had to make a follow-up LP of just silence to deserve the sophomore slump title. We all knew Neon Bible wouldn’t match its older brother. (Alexander!) That debut was simply that perfect. Luckily for them though, they brought back the same formula that worked three years ago and concocted another album that is at times dark, but always beautiful. Besides another album of superb orchestral-pop, we also were graced with another full-fledged tour, or for some, maybe even the bill of the year.
8. Private – My Secret Lover
This is perhaps my guilty pleasure of the year. But then when these 10 songs are that infectious and arranged so brightly, why would I even have to apologize for liking this? A little bit of MJ, some Prince, and enough catchy melodies to appease any fan of pop music. Don’t hate.
7. Midnight Juggernauts – Dystopia
Australia don’t play. Maybe if Daft Punk took vacation in space for a while and on the way back landed face first into David Bowie’s place. Perhaps. Otherwise, it’s unearthly synths laced with pounding beats that very well could have been created in the early 80’s. “Into the Galaxy” is one of my favorite songs of this year. Thanks, Justice.
6. Sea Wolf – Leaves in the River
At times, a folk album that is arranged in a truly gorgeous manner; other times, Sea Wolf create orchestral like pop songs that evoke a smile, even though the topic at hand is rather somber. Sea Wolf is the perfect amalgamation of Arcade Fire and the Shins. Simply, this is a beautiful record that yearns to be heard.
5. !!! –Myth Takes
This time around, they got it completely right. No politics, just straight up fun that is all backed with simply some of the best instrumentation arrangements in ’07. Funky, beyond danceable, party lyrics, etc. This album holds what is most likely my favorite song of 2007, “Must Be the Moon.” Even if Simon was sleeping, it still deserved to be on blast!
4. Vampire Weekend – Blue CDR (Not official, I suppose)
Yacht rock, Ivy League pop, or whatever you want to say about these four gentlemen from Brooklyn will work for me. They have constructed some of the most accessible new wave, jangly rock that is at times backed by tribal like percussion that you’ll maybe ever hear. Their official LP is being released in early ’08. VW are simply an iPod ad away from being not the next big thing, but the must hear group of 2008. Seriously.
3. Earlimart – Mentor Tormentor
Earlimart create simple, yet engaging tracks that scream with somber verses and are held together by sunny harmonies. The piano plays a very prominent role throughout all of ‘Mentor Tormentor’ and that’s what initially hooked me into this LosT Angeles band. Maybe not upbeat or unique enough for some, but Earlimart produced a record this year that subsequently made me pull an Austin and spring for their whole catalog. Says something, doesn’t it?
2. Maps – We Can Create
Around here on MiS, we respect one-man jams and James Chapman (Maps) is exactly that. The man sculpts atmospheric soundscapes with layers of keyboards all while his soothing voice whispers over 12 truly unique tracks. ‘We Can Create’ is at times dreamy, at other times a spacey updated shoegaze record, but ultimately, a record worth your time.
1. LCD Soundsystem –Sounds of Silver
Nine cuts. No bullshit. LCD’s latest is another rock record that’s infused with disco, just like the previous, but by no means is this your mother’s Saturday Night Fever vinyl. There is a reason that this LP is on so many best of lists. The opener, ‘Get Innocuous’ sets the stage for an absolute banger of an album from start to practically finish. (Sorry, NYC)