my non-definitive top 50 albums of 2007

ofcourse, this isn’t a ‘greatest albums of 2007’ as much as my favourite albums of ’07. pedantic!

they aren’t in any stringent order, but there’s still some significance of preference (atleast in terms of the top 10 being separate from the rest, i guess)

50. Modern Life Is War – Midnight In America
49. Calla – Strength In Numbers
48. Pg.Lost – Yes I Am EP
47. Art of Fighting – Runaways
46. Hrsta – The Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes
45. Meneguar – Strangers In Our House
44. Okkervil River – The Stage Names
43. The One AM Radio – This Too Shall Pass
42. Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
41. epic45 – May Your Heart Be The Map
40. Redhooker – The Future According To Yesterday
39. Beware of Safety – It Is Curtains
38. Giants – They, The Undeserving
37. Marissa Nadler – Songs III, Birds On The Water
36. The Cinematic Orchesta – Ma Fleur
35. Maps – We Can Create
34. Bloc Party – A Weekend In The City
33. Moving Mountains – Pneuma
32. Rosetta – Wake/Lift
31. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
30. Dinosaur Jr – Beyond
29. Baronness – Red Album
28. Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War
27. Troubles – Sen’taur
26. James Blackshaw – The Cloud of Unknowing
25. This Will Destroy You – This Will Destroy You (album is supposed to come out in ’08, so dunno about its legitimacy here)
24. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
23. Phosphorescent – Pride
22. Caribou – Andorra
21. Wolves In The Throne Room – Two Hunters
20. Parts and Labour – Mapmaker
19. Efterklang – Under Giant Trees
18. Balmorhea – Balmorhea
17. Blonde Redhead – 23
16. Caspian – The Four Trees
15. Do Make Say Think – You, You’re A History In Rust
14. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
13. Feist – The Reminder
12. Ghastly City Sleep – Ghastly City Sleep
11. Alcest – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde

10. Stars Of The Lid – …And Their Refinement Of The Decline
I don’t know how these texans continue to do it. Absolute masters; that’s what they are. The usual superlatives apply, soft glacial terraces floating around in soothing space. If you close your eyes, I swear you’ll see something vast. No, not a fat person, but just vast plains that may be glaciers (there it is again!) or just salt plains. They manage to evoke a ridiculous sense of association while putting you out in a place you’d be hard-pressed to find someone else. If that makes any sense. The seemingly simple drone masterpieces are deceptive, there’s a lot more hidden magic underneath.

9. Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals
I hear trappings of Animal Collective, african folk, TV On The Radio, David Bowie, Freak-Folk. Perhaps best explained as Animal Collective meets TV On The Radio in the serengeti. Lush songs full of things going on and in all directions, and never masking the remarkable pop-sensibilities hiding undernearth. All the clapping and maracas give it a real carnival-esque atmosphere without it ever falling into sheer gimmickry. Gorgeous, textural album. Also has one of the best singles this year in 2080.

8. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga mp3: Spoon – The Underdog
From the start of Don’t Make Me A Target, you’re hooked, till the song’s magnificent climax and the album itself. There’s something about the vocals from these stalwarts, all the way to the callous way the music walks around. The production is fantastic and has a hand to play in the way the album’s panned out too. Best example of this is The Ghost Of Your Lingers, where the vocals are panned and there’s delay on the keys, turning into something poppy yet uncharacteristically surreal. And ofcourse, there’s the delicious Rhythm And Soul.

7. The Shins – Wincing The Night Away mp3: The Shins – Phantom Limb
So much can be said about The Shins, kings of the understated pop gem. Two albums in, they’ve gotten even tighter and more restrained with this album, all the while expanding their repertoire. That’s not to say they’ve added a brass section, but more so that they’ve expanded to more than just your latent pop melodies. Sleeping Lessons, the opener, is one such example. It’s still a pop song, without doubt, but the arpeggiated keyboard and all make it more than just a ‘hummable’ tune (if at all), providing just another plane of sound for the band to operate on. Still, a fantastic album (and their best in my opinion) for simply the best ending with its triple song attack; Split Needles, Girl Sailor, A Comet Appears.

6. Beirut – Flying Club Cup some videos
Initially, it’ll sound a lot like Gulag Orkestar. Make no mistake, it isn’t. Despite the appearance of horns and brass quintets, this albums sounds vividly french. Cliched, but i dare you to imagine something other than the wine fields of Auxerre and Bordeux, or the intricate cobblestone streets of some Parisian neighbourhoods. Gone is the seemingly happy hum-drum of Bratislava’s gypsies, replaced by a distinct french melodicism. Condon’s lyrics are still not remarkable, but with his voice slurring and all, they don’t need to be. We know what he’s saying without needing him to translate that into poetry. The post-verse beauty of the horn/brass interplay comes to the fore in Guyamas Sonora, accentuated by the harmonium, to just come full-circle a melancholic yet triumphant moment.

5. Burial – Untrue mp3: Burial – Archangel
Jesus Christ. I don’t know how to explain this album for those who’ve never heard dubstep. Why? Because i’m at a loss for words. This may very well be the one album you’d hear this year and left completely stumped at its sheer weight. Some total poundage beats, coupled with ethereal next-door neighbour (yes, irony!) vocals imbued in reverb/echo/reversals and synths rising up from the pheonix ashes. They come and go, and the atmosphere is distinctly urban, yet never overwhelming. You can see the London of the rain and urban concrete when you hear this though, without missing a single beat. A headphone album though, without a doubt.

4. Eluvium – Copia mp3: Eluvium – Prelude for Time Feelers
It’s Matthew Cooper, for fucks sake. All of you should bow to this musical genius. Copia doesn’t have Cooper falling back upon Talk Amongst The Trees era ambient/electronic, but more of a mixture of Lambent Material meets the classicism of An Accidental Memory In The Case of Death. So what we get are essentially classical pieces, movements in songs with normal lengths and a fair sense of minimalism (though this is NOT a minimalist album), drowning in swathes of subtle, gorgeous synths and strings. It’s subtle, hardly forceful, and as always with Cooper, extremely emotive.

3. 65daysofstatic – The Destruction Of Small Ideas
Their last album was more aggressive, though still less so then their first. Destruction takes all that down, substantially. The visceral aggression is gone, but has been replaced with a more mature sense of sound (and noise!). Added instrumental interplay with violins and glockenspiels and brass making more than just fleeting appearances also adds to the maturity of the band in terms of their sound. It isn’t as easy to discern what 65dos are made up of anymore. They’re still post-rock meets IDM at heart, but the lines are now increasingly blurry. And they’re all the better for it.

2. Low – Drums And Guns mp3: Low – Breaker
It’s Low. Instead of chucking out producer Dave Fridmann after some of the negative press they’d gotten regarding The Great Destroyer, they just kept with him and all the better of it. This album is a cracker! Fridmann’s production mastery has lent a brave hand to Low’s experimental side as they’ve forgotten to convalesce and coerced instead an album of sheer noise and at times ‘beats’ with layers of the duo’s (Sparhawk and Parker) angelic vocals. Dragonfly, Breaker, Violent Past are all Low classics. Dragonfly especially is incredibly haunting.

1. The National – Boxer mp3: The National – Fake Empire
Genius.

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4 thoughts on “my non-definitive top 50 albums of 2007

  1. strayangel: they’re mostly from all over. there’s indie, post-rock, freak-folk, noise, hardcore, post-punk, black metal, electronica, ambient, classical, shoegaze, grunge, post-hardcore, indie-pop blah blah.

    sorry if i sound like an elitist there, by the way.

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