07’s Eleven

I should first note, I haven’t looked at MiS in weeks, as to avoid the other top lists. I’m actually posting this message through Word 2007, so I haven’t been swayed by Jason and Dave’s invaluable lists. That said, 2007 was an incredible year for music and this list could randomly be reordered and I would be left still pleased. I guess for me, it’s the year of the singer-songwriter. I hope for 2008 to be the year of the dissertation and job relocation. I also missed so many albums, I’m actually contemplating going digital in 2008. Advice? I start with my first selection…

1. Feist, The Reminder

Perhaps a popular and trendy pick for the top slot, but f-it. It’s my favorite album of the year and my favorite album ever by a female vocalist.

2. Nick Lowe, At My Age

What an album for Lowe. It perfectly captures his evolving oeuvre, while also offering an insight to his life in the late 50s. He’s still a class-act, and now a father for the first time. His charming interview and performance on NPR’s Fresh Air was reaired today as one of the most memorable of 2007. Yes, indeed.

3. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away

Will this be their classic? I hope not, but it is thus far. In any other year it would be my first selection probably, but perhaps I’m thinking they’re on their way to creating a good decade plus of brilliance. “A Comet Appears” nearly brings tears.

4. Richard Hawley, Lady’s Bridge

I was new to Hawley, now I hope he can tour Stateside again, and the first time for me. As a former member of Britpop bands The Longpigs and Pulp, it’s becoming very clear how talented so many of those bands were in the age of Cool Britannia. See Graham Coxon.

5. Good Shoes, Think Before You Speak

Cool Britannia rises again? Maybe, with these guys and Little Man Tate, there’s no shortage of phenomenal, young and talented bands.

6. Little Man Tate, About What You Know

See Jason’s review….these guys kick ass.

7, Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

No sophomore-slump here. Brilliance, with organ. “Intervention” is one of my favorite songs of the year. It should probably be higher, especially considering the pressure the band must have felt after Funeral.

8. Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War

A romantic tilt by my favorite Canucks. A beautiful album that takes a little ripening, after their previous, instant indie classic. Incredible songwriting, led by the sublime “Barricade.”

9. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Living with the Living

How do I keep missing these guys in concert? He’s sorely underrated. This album is not only the best political album of 2007, but it’s classic pop/punk, with some of my favorite songs of the year.

10. The New Pornographers, Challengers

Perhaps the most disrespected indie release of the year, as recently discussed in a Pop Culture Press cover story. My favorite by TNP. When you have this many talented songwriters, it’s hard not to produce one of the year’s best. Oh, Neko!

11. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

These guys are like your favorite, reasonable restaurant that’s always consistently great. They never blow me entirely away, but that might be a good thing in many ways. Because they might one day, and it would likely be one of my top albums ever. They’re a true rock band.

Honorable Mentions

The Besnard Lakes, Are the Dark Horse

Montreal meets Brian Wilson. Magnifique.

Travis, The Boy with No Name

Still solid, still great songwriters. Maybe too safe.

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, No More Beautiful World

My favorite Americana band. Their devout touring base is well-deserved, if a bit intimidating to a newcomer.

Bright Eyes, Cassadaga

“Four Winds” is an incredible song, but the rest of the album disappoints me ever so slightly after that barnstormer.

Most Anticipated Release of 2008

Amsterdam, Arm In Arm

Listen to the title track, performed on BBC2. (late February)

New R.E.M in April (rumors are it might be the album fans have waited years for…)

Single and Album Discovered a Year Later

One of my most listened to songs of the year, but released in 2006 from Popium’s excellent album The Miniature Mile. I got pulled over speeding (joining “Laid” by James for that distinction) along the foothills to this reflective, ultimately sad to me, pop semi-masterpiece.

“Happy to the Core”


3 Responses to “07’s Eleven”

  1. January 2, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Yea, dude. You’re no doubt getting old. Whatever. I had a bunch of those old people releases on my list as well. I really dig your attitude about putting Feist as number one. Fuck it is right!

    You can tolerate all those British accents though??

  2. January 2, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    The age of a particular artist or band should have no reflection on musical tastes of course, but even so, I think there is a fairly even distribution among all these selections. This is a solid list and makes me appreciate the combination of all of our lists even more.

    You talked for months about Feist as your favorite album of the year, so had you changed, I would have been completley shocked. I’m glad you went with it. Your list also reminds me to pick up albums from Good Shoes and Travis.

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