Friday, December 19, 2008

Mr. Trend's Best of 2007

As I did last year, I thought it would be fun to go back and look at my "best of 2007" list and modify it, now that the albums have had a good 12-23 extra months to sink in (depending on when they came out in 2007 and/or when I got them). And going back through this list, I actually expanded it a bit. This year has been pretty good, but there's no doubt that last year was an exceptionally amazing year for great music. So here's my best of 2007 (with the best of 2008 to follow soon).

1. Panda Bear, Person Pitch - I liked this plenty last year, but after more time (and good headphones), there's no doubt - Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) pulled off not just the best album of the year, but one of the best of the decade.
2. Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam - This was one of those albums that, for whatever reason, just didn't click with me for a long time. Around March of this year, it finally clicked, and I listen to it almost all the time now. It's definitely my favorite of Animal Collective's, and marked a great year for the guys.
3. Marissa Nadler, Song III: Bird on the Water - She has one of the most alluring, sensual, timeless voices I've ever heard, a quality her music matches. This album is as hauntingly beautiful as they come, and is one of those rare records where one listen alone made me go out and get the rest of the artist's work, and I didn't regret it for one second.
4. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible - It didn't get any worse - it just turned out that other albums got better.
5. Burial, Untrue - I didn't know about "dubstep" before it, and I don't know much more now, but I do know one thing - this is an amazing album.
6. PJ Harvey, White Chalk - Who knows what PJ Harvey will do to follow up her first "piano album," but she continues to amaze with every new step.
7. Radiohead, In Rainbows - Some of the songs have lost a bit of their power over time ("Nude"), but the best from this album ("15 Step," "Bodysnatchers," "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," "Jigsaw Falling Into Place," and "Videotape") is unmatched by anybody.
8. Blonde Redhead, 23 - I didn't actually hear this until a few months ago, but it's been with me since. The dreamlike qualities are outstanding, and Kazu Makino's voice hits me just right.
9. M.I.A., Kala - It has all the power of a punch to the gut and a slap to the face. The percussive nature of it is that great, and it keeps you coming back for more.
10. Liars, Liars - That this ended up at my 10 really is just evidence of how amazing a year last year was for recordings.
11. Nicole Atkins, Neptune City - Not as haunting and timeless as Nadler's work, but Atkins' debut was a lot of fun, with crooning ballads, Roy Orbison melodies, and Ronettes' charm.
12. Electrelane, No Shouts, No Calls - Hey, if you're going to call it a day as a band, this is an excellent album to go out on.
13. Charlotte Gainsbourg, 5:55 - Best pop album of the year.
14. Heliocentrics, Out There - It's still an amazing combo of jazz, hip-hop, and 1950s science fiction
15. Thurston Moore, Trees Outide the Academy
16. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
17. Deerhunter, Cryptograms - An excellent debut that really grew on me. This one really works best when listened to from start to finish - sporadic listening just doesn't do it justice.
18. True Primes, We Have Won
19. Love of Diagrams, Mosaic - An impressive, explosive debut that starts off in high gear and just rocks out for 35 minutes.
20. The Besnard Lakes, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse - Brian Wilson comparisons get thrown around way too much in musical reviews, but it's really unavoidable here. Besnard Lakes have the perfect blend of Wilson-like melodies with heavy reverb and deep textures, making them far from a Wilson knock-off.