Thursday, January 03, 2008

Top 20 Of 2007: 20 - 16

As always, I’m sure that I have missed some true gems. Last year, it was the Long Winters’ fantastic Putting the Days to Bed. This year, I can already tell that Raising Sand, the album that pairs Alison Krauss with Robert Plant, should be on this list. So until I get it, these will have to do.

20. Jesca Hoop - Kismet
“Jesca Hoop's music is like a four-sided coin. She is an old soul, like a black pearl, a good witch or a red moon. Her music is like going swimming in a lake at night.”
-Tom Waits

Oh yeah, and she was his kids’ nanny. Do you need more? Go get this album! It’s wonderful and dark, refreshing and true. How can Tom Waits be wrong?

19. Battles - Mirrored
Pitchfork describes Battles best:
“You know the costume parties where everyone gets lazy or cops out-- bad sweaters, sunglasses, funny hats-- and then someone shows up in a full-on gorilla suit? That would be Battles.”
Apart from being incredible musicians, Battles also love what they do. Their desire to make great music seeps through every note of this album, making it one of this year’s most enjoyable records as well as one of its most challenging.

18. Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Sam Beam’s been getting mad props since his first record, and I had kind of begun to resent it. His music was great, sure, but he wasn’t stretching his sound at all. He stuck to the sensitive mountain man thing. The Shepherd’s Dog finally completes his growth into a band leader, and a wonderful one at that. It is a rich, complex album full of gypsy melodies and circus imagery. Drive with it at night.

17. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Panda Bear and Avey Tare had quite a busy year. Panda had another album that will show up later on this list, and Avey spearheaded Strawberry Jam, the most fully realized and consistent Animal Collective album to date. Whereas Panda’s album soaks in gorgeous harmony, Strawberry Jam is full of percussion, chopping and propelling the songs from frenzy to downright insanity. It doesn’t let up for a minute, each song building on the last until you actually feel like you may be going insane. But then you turn it back on the next day.

16. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Last year’s 45:33 Nike mix first introduced me to LCD Soundsystem. I ran to that album, I drove to it, I worked to it and I wrote to it. It was a wonderful piece of work. Sound of Silver is just as good but in a completely different way. Rather than being a single piece designed to track a mood, it is a collection of completely awesome singles. They don’t hang together as a single piece, but they don’t need to. They rock on their own merits. No other album this year has made me want to shake my booty like this one.


Blogger Tara said...

I'll have a look at that Jesca Hoop. Long live Tom Waits.

My list is up!

8:12 PM  

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