Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 25 Albums of 2007

25. Panda Bear - Person Pitch

Very relaxing music that keeps echoing back at you in waves. I treat it as if it were an instrumental album because he uses his vocals as a way to play with the space. The first 3 tracks, I keep going back to because they are so good. I'm reminded of being under the stars listening to nature's breathing.

24. Balmorhea - Balmorhea

At one point, this album was in my top 5, but it died on me as I got more and more albums. Not to size it down or anything because it's still a great record for what it is. There's not a lot of 'wow' factors, but it's very friendly to listen to.

23. Giants - They, The Undeserving

The twinkle-crescendo type of post-rock. The entire album stays consistence.

22. Aereogramme - My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go

Gentle voice plus loud guitar makes an interesting combination I would say. I still can't believe this band broke up after this album when their past albums were more 'heavy' so I couldn't get into. I really think their soft approach here was better.

21. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army

With 20 members in this band, they manage to avoid being cliché.

20. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

They rock so hard.

19. Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone

I'm sure some will disagree, but this band keeps getting better and better. They might not be able to top "The only moment we were alone" or come close to the heart of "your hand in mine," but as a whole piece, this is their best album i believe.

18. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

First 6 songs don't leave room to breathe. Second half isn't as catchy, but it's still good.

17. The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading

A bit theatrical I would say. Sounds exactly like a movie in music form, but it's not a lame musical. As a whole, it works together very well.

16. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover

So medieval. Reminds me of Arcade Fire.

15. Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere in the Between

All fun, all catchy, all crazy songs. I don't really pay attention to the lyrics, but the music always puts me in an upbeat mood.

14. The American Dollar - The Technicolour Sleep

When I first joined myspace, these guys added me and I accepted because they sounded good. Then nothing really happened for a long time. I just figured that this was another unsigned band in the post-rock world that didn't have anything special, but then their new album came out, still unsigned. and my goodness, if we're just taking about pure atmospheric music, this one wins. I can't really recommend a track, but there isn't really a bad track either. As a whole, the album's name is very fitting and it will help you sleep in color.

13. Okkervil River - The Stage Names

First 6 songs are phenomenal. The final 3 are okay, but I don't think they could ever top 'A Girl In Port."

12. The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim

I was afraid that the novelty might wore out because I haven't heard punk sound this good since....ever. I'm so used to hearing punk sounding like the lead singer is crying that I always passed it off as garbage. If I have to rate each song individually, nothing falls under 7. Sure, most of the songs share the same common flavor, but I don't get the sense of repetitiveness. And the lyrics stick with me to the point where they affect my own word banks.

11. Caspian - The Four Trees

Excellent post-rock. The album could have been near perfect if the second half was stronger, or deleted, or simply rearranged better. Both "Our Breath in Winter" and "The Dove" are great ambient sounding songs, but I felt that it killed the pace of the album by having it back to back, and the album closer "...Reprise" left a really really bad taste in my mouth. But I shouldn't complain, the band gave 40 straight minutes of excellent instrumental music and that's more than the average band in the genre.

10. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin

Too short of an album, but I suppose that's good because there's not a single bad song on the album. I really enjoy the guitar work here. Such a tight band. Solid.

9. Shady Bard - From The Ground Up

Gorgeous music that I don't think will appeal to everyone because of their soft spoken and mellow nature. But for me, if i was in a band, this is the type of music I would want to make. There's a lot of focus on the atmosphere and texture of the sounds. Lyrics are can be good, if you force them to apply to you, but I enjoy it more just by having it there to remind me of comforting times. I also like how in some songs, they'll have background vocals from a female to add a more earthly touch. I could pick a favorite song, but it changes so often, there's no point in picking one, seriously.

8. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War

I don't know how I let Stars slip pass me, i mean I had their past albums and semi-enjoyed it, but I wouldn't say I loved them till now. There was something about the guy's voice that ruined the band for me, but I did enjoy the songs where Amy shines. So on this album, they did more of what i liked (Amy), and less of the weird stuff (electronic). What I liked best was how songs like 'take me to the riot' and 'personal,' both of the lead vocals play off one another so well and when sung together, it fits so perfectly. They make it sound effortlessly. I wish they would play these guys on the radio.

7. YUI - Can't Buy My Love

I am not a fan of jpop or jrock, but YUI doesn't sound like typical Japaneses music. I know who the main ones are and they remind me of the TRL popstars that I've grown to hate. YUI doesn't have that high pitch baby voice and her songs have a lot more feeling and heart. The impressive thing about her 2nd album was that every song feels like it could be a single. I don't know how she does it. She rocks.

6. Kiss Kiss - Reality Vs. The Optimist

This is the only album I ever heard in my life where every song surpasses the song before it. Track 5 is better than Track 2, track 9 does everything better than track 6. I was sad to know that the 30 minutes of unexpected beauty cries and circus rock was ending and the last track "stay the day" just sealed away the album as one amazing unique, over-the-top masterpiece.

5. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

The first time I listened to this album, I was at my computer just surfing message boards. The first track just built itself into a total badass song so I kept listening and enjoyed pretty much everything, but the 1-2 punch of "Something Great" and "All my Friends" made me want to repeat those two songs again. The rest of the album is amazing too and it isn't something I normally listen to, but the music is very hypnotic.

4. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

I almost didn't listen to this album because the first 30 seconds seriously made me go "What the fuck is this shit? But a few weeks later, as I was clearing my computer out to make room for more music, I gave the album a honest-open listen and pretty much, it's something I never experienced before. After getting fond of the bashing vocals, every time I want him to scream in a song, he does it, but it isn't a kiddy scream, it's an eerie pitched that fits so well with the flow of the music. I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone actually. I think it's one of those love or hate albums, no in between.

3. The National - Boxer

I always liked this album since I first heard it, but around October, as I began to put together my best of 2007 list, I gave the album a few more listens to see where it would place, and I ended up getting caught in the mix. The lyrics aren't exactly personal, but more so as a window to what he sees. The music itself isn't going to make me want to sing along. There's something magical about the simple structure the songs are put together.

2. Immanu El - They'll Come, They Come

I wanted to give this album a perfect score for the first song alone. The spaciness, the back and forth movements of the sounds, the lush vocals. and it even climaxes well. I was afraid the rest of the album would repeat itself or try to drag out the success of the first song, but it delivers on such a high level of love. This is one of those albums that you could just have on in the background and it'll still enhance your awareness, but once you find the time to fully engage the album, it'll take you on a ride. The final two songs are why I love music.

1. Moving Mountains - Pneuma

The way I discovered them is probably not exactly the way the band would have wanted me to. I found them on a post-rock blog, so I was listening for the instruments more than the words and I honestly didn't like it as much as their demos, but on my second listen, as I got more familiar with the vocals and occasional shouts, I really liked how the vocals only enhanced the music. Like I'll sometimes will sing along with instrumental music, but make my own words. Moving Mountains's vocals blend in so well with the music, it's hard to not sing with it.

No comments: