Tuesday, 1 January 2008

2007 - A Brief Summary (I)

Ranking releases in any kind of order is always frought with difficulties. All I can say about this is that I know I enjoyed each of the top 10 here more than each of the 20-30 bracket, and each of them more than all the other 2007 albums I listened to this year that aren’t listed at all. But is Fourteen Autumns a better album than Untrue? Did I enjoy Five Roses notably more than Chromophobia? It’s impossible to say – this is a rough estimate only. I will say that I fully expect Untrue to be the most perenially appealing record of the year; along with other consensus-finders like In Rainbows, Sound of Silver, and Kala. If there was such a thing as an objective year-end list, they would be the toppers (but lets not get into that argument right now). For some other reason, the Twilight Sad album hit me harder than anything else I heard. My love for that record was also consolidated when I saw them live twice in tiny Edinburgh venues (my Skinny review of the first of those gigs here).


The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

Appeals to the young Scottish male in all of us. You too. I wrote the Skinny review but am thoroughly embarassed by it now: mostly, though I stick by the 5-star rating. It seems others agreed with that (if not the dubious Mogwai reference), as the writers collectively voted it the Album of the Year. I also interviewed James Graham, the lead singer.

Burial – Untrue

Inspiring an interest in dubstep. Have I been missing more like this? But this is more ambient than most, I think, and makes me want to move to east London just so I can listen to it through my Sennheisers on a late-night walk home from a bar. Anyone in such a privileged position should do so.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

Often unfairly maligned as a solid-but-unremarkable record. All My Friends and Someone Great would be enough to get it somewhere on the list, but there’s no filler here either. If this goes down as the album of the year according to THE CANON, that's alright with me.

Radiohead - In Rainbows

Could, possibly, maybe, be better than Kid A. Just bought it on vinyl – because good music deserves to be paid for – and sounds even better. My review for The Skinny, another 5-star job, which I wholly stand by.

Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

Initially a difficult, exhausting listen. The pulsing intro to the first song, Peacebone, is almost painful. There was much debate on the Stylus staff message board about whether an album that is unenjoyable on first listen deserves more time. I gave it the benefit of that doubt, until it finally began to make sense after several listens, and grew into a remarkably complex, idiosyncratic and melodic record, far exceeding (imho) Feels.

M.I.A. – Kala

Moreso than Sound Of Silver, Kala is a record which is boosted immeasurably by two (or three) particular tracks. Much of Kala is minimalistic Timbaland-style beats that, on their own, don't excite me much. But Jimmy – who knew Bollywood and Italo-disco would merge so smoothly? – was my favourite song of the year, and Paper Planes was another strong candidate.

ps. If you ask Google Images, Kala is all-natural, aye.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Scribble Mural Comic Journal

My Stylus review here. Also, a Skinny review here. In summary – hazy and beautiful and slightly dirty, like the band name suggests.

The National – Boxer

Soft-rock for trendy accountants who wish they were actually journalists because they understand words as well as numbers. In a good way.

Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog

Eloquent and elegant, grandiose and intimate.

Future Of The Left - Curses

Nonsensical sloganeering and Fugazi-like riffs. "S-s-s-sausage on a stick!" is actually quite funny.


Panda Bear - Person Pitch

Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

Jens Lekman - Night Falls over Kortedala

The Field - From Here We Go Sublime

Robert Wyatt - Comicopera

Kanye West - Graduation

Okkervil River - The Stage Names

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights

Battles - Mirrored

Efterklang - Parades (My slightly too-breathless Stylus review)

Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew - Spirit If...

Brother Reade - Rap Music

Ricardo Villalobos - Fabric 36

Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

Miracle Fortress - Five Roses (Skinny review here)

Gui Boratto - Chromophobia

Elliot Smith - New Moon

Caribou - Andorra

Ulrich Schnauss - Goodbye (Stylus review here - the first I got published)

The Besnard Lakes - Are The Dark Horse

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Have I been missing more like this?"

no. well except the first one.