Tuesday, January 01, 2008

'07 Part I: Excellent and Disappointing

In advance of my annual Top 20 Albums list, I thought I'd talk about some of the best and worst things that happened in music this year, ranging from albums that didn't quite make the Top 20 to trends that excited and/or infuriated me. We'll start with the good, in no particular order.


1. Rogue Wave - Asleep at Heaven's Gate
They trip up plenty here, but they make some interesting steps forward too. Nice job.

2. Grinderman - Grinderman
Nick Cave doing what Nick Cave does best. Not his best songs, but enough energy and bile to make up for it.

3. Pay What You Want
Radiohead was the most famous example, but Trent Reznor and Saul Williams also experimented with a new business model this year. And you can almost smell the record company fear. I love it.

4. Amy Winehouse
She’s a powerhouse singer, but there’s not enough yet to show me she’s not gonna get boring. We’ll see if she can keep her shit together long enough to do something different. In the meantime, long live the beehive!

5. Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water is Life
I just found this album, and if I had found it earlier it may have cracked the top 20. It’s awesome nomadic music that sounds as if it’s been around forever. Check it out, seriously.

6. Burial - Untrue
If I still lived in New York, this would be in my top 10. It’s wonderful, moody music to wander the streets to. All my New York readers, you’d be well served to check it out and soundtrack your next long walk with it.

7. Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
Fab again, and how sweet it is.

8. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
More of the same from Spoon. And that’s a good thing.

9. All Songs Considered podcasts
Bob Boilen may be pretentious, but the guy knows his shit. Consistently one of the best music podcasts around.

10. Live Nation and Madonna
Fuck. Record. Companies.


1. Lyle Lovett - It's Not Big, It's Large
It's not good, it's bad. He sounds like a shadow of his former songwriting self. I hope it’s just a fluke.

2. Dan Deacon
You look like a creepy pederast and you act like Richard Simmons. No thanks.

3. The Overexposure of Feist
For someone whose politics are as left-leaning as Leslie Feist, I can’t cotton to her lending her talents to shill ipods and Verizon phones. I’ll take “Practice What You Preach” for 600, Alex.

4. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning got me to reconsider my hatred for Bright Eyes, but this album is just plain boring.

5. Patty Griffin - Children Running Through
Not a challenging song in the bunch. Come on.

6. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
God, how I tried! This is, without a doubt, the most disappointing album of the year. “Impossible Germany” is a gem, but I want to flush the rest of the album down the toilet. I don’t expect YHF every time, but I do expect something besides boring Dad Rock.

7. The Go! Team
Go! away.

8. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
I really don’t see what the big deal is. I could throw a rock in Brooklyn and hit six dudes who are in bands that sound just like this.

9. Kanye vs. Fiddy
Yeah. Awesome way to remember September 11. Jackasses.

10. The term "Math Rock"
Stupidest micro-genre name ever.

Stay tuned for my list of the Top 20 Albums of 2007. Whoopee!!


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