Sunday, July 22, 2007

Best Songs and Albums of 2007

We're 55.3% of the way through the year, so you know what that's time for another Best of 2007 update!

Best Albums of 2007

1. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black. Still the freshest, most unique album of the year, no matter how many times she gets on a magazine cover.

2. The White Stripes, Icky Thump. I'm not a huge White Stripes fan by any stretch of the imagination, but this is just such a strange, fun album...easily my favorite from WS. It really came pretty close to unseating Back to Black.

3. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible. My opinion still changes every time I listen to it, but this was certainly a nice step forward for The Fire.

4. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky. I actually look forward to Volkswagen commercials now.

5. Pat McGee Band, These Days (The Virginia Sessions). This album gets penalized for being so short (9 songs, nothing particularly long), but it's strong throughout, and there are three brilliant songs, which you'll see on the list below.

6. The Ike Reilly Assassination, We Belong to the Staggering Evening. The biggest surprise on the list. I bought it on a whim after hearing a couple good things, but I didn't expect a lot. Strong licks and extreme wit make for a really fun listen.

7. Blue Scholars, The Long March EP. We're cutting spending afer our big purchase a couple weeks ago, otherwise I would have purchased their June full-length by now. This is a lengthy EP (9 songs), and this is some of the strongest storytelling I've seen from hip hop in a while.

8. Brother Ali, The Undisputed Truth. Knocked from the "Best Hip Hop Album" slot by Blue Scholars, but it still has the best hip hop song of the year, "Truth Is".

9. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Living with the Living. All sorts of variety on this one, a nice mix of R&B and rock...with a little Rage Against the Machine thrown in.

10. Bright Eyes, Cassadega. Ups and downs abound here. The high points are brilliant emotional efforts ("I Must Belong Somewhere" has significantly grown on me), but there are some weak points like "Make a Plan to Love Me". Dude's got charisma and skill, though.

11. Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris. A letdown after 2005's fantastic Lullabies to Paralyze, this is still pretty strong. Only a couple truly great songs, but everything's good.

12. Paul McCartney, Memory Almost Full. I liked it more than I thought I would...though I guess it says something that I still put it below Queens of the Stone Age.

13. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. I'm all over the place with this one. I almost slipped it into the Top 5, and then it ended up #13. Sorry, Isaac and Johnny.

14. Elk City, New Believers. Quirky, quirky, quirky.

15. Ozomatli, Don't Mess with the Dragon. A great band that tries to sound a little too much like Black Eyed Peas on this one.

Best Songs of 2007
1. "Rehab", Amy Winehouse (sorry, haters...this song's still great)
2. "Maybe It's Time", Pat McGee Band
3. "Truth Is", Brother Ali
4. "I Must Belong Somewhere", Bright Eyes (this one keeps working its way further up my list)
5. "On and On and On", Wilco (sad and optimistic)
6. "You Know I'm No Good", Amy Winehouse
7. "It's Hard to Make Love to an American", The Ike Reilly Assassination (the perfect IRA song to my ears...strutting and witty)
8. "You Got Me", Elk City
9. "Conquest", The White Stripes (the weirdest, most fun cover of the year)
10. "Spitting Venom", Modest Mouse
11. "What Light", Wilco
12. "(Antichrist TelevisionBlues)", Arcade Fire
13. "Tears Dry on Their Own", Amy Winehouse
14. "Icky Thump", The White Stripes
15. "Me & Mr. Jones", Amy Winehouse
16. "Side with the Seeds", Wilco (best guitar work of the year)
17. "I Don't Think I'm Listening", Pat McGee Band
18. "Effect and Cause", The White Stripes
19. "Suture Up Your Future", Queens of the Stone Age
20. "We're Not Alone", Dinosaur Jr. (second-best guitar work of the year)
21. "Back to Black", Amy Winehouse
22. "How Come You Don't Hold Me No More", The Hot Puppies
23. "Dashboard", Modest Mouse
24. "End of October", Pat McGee Band
25. "Gallina", Ozomatli
26. "Dance Tonight", Paul McCartney (slight point deduction from the "iTunes commercial" overkill, but this song annoys the crap out of The Butterfly, so...yeah, it stays on the list!)
27. "The Sons of Cain", Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
28. "How Do I Let a Good Man Down", Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (I found out the other day that the Dap-Kings were the backup band from Amy Winehouse, so I guess I should congratulate them for getting 6 songs on the top 30)
29. "8 More Days Till the 4th of July", The Ike Reilly Assassination
30. "2 O'Clock in the A.M.", Swati

So the next question is...what albums have I missed so far this year? At some point, I'll end up with Blue Scholars' Bayani, along with earlier 2007 releases from Rufus Wainright and Arctic Monkeys...anything else that this list just doesn't work without?

Add to Technorati Favorites