50. EL-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
What I like most about this album is the collaborations this guy does variety of different of artists (Trent Reznor, Aesop Rock, The Mars Volta, Cat Power), which made for some pretty interesting tracks. My favourite track is Poisenville Kids which is the track with Chan Marshall ‘cause I loves me my Cat Power.
Best Track:Poisenville Kids No Wins/ Reprise (This Must Be Our Time)
49. !!! - Myth Takes
Dance punk? Yes plz.
Best Track:All My Heroes Are Weirdos
48. Jesca Hoop - Kismet
Jesca Hoop’s vocals remind me of Wilson Phillips. And that’s not a bad thing. Unlike Wilson Philips, the songs are not cheesy.
47. Editors - An End Has A Start
This band takes the new Brit Rock position since the newest Bloc Party album was such a disappointment. This isn’t on par with Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm or anything, but it’s pretty solid. These guys are also pretty good live.
Best Track:Escape The Nest
46. The Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
Everyone seems to rag on this album a lot, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Sure, it had some rough spots and a track that went 5 minutes too long but there was some decent tracks on here and it’s still nice to hear some new Smashing Pumpkins after all these years. “That’s The Way (My Love Is)” Is a great song. Obviously it’s not on the levels of Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie but it’s decent. I personally favor the band’s electronic sound during the Adore/Machina era. Hopefully they take that direction if they make another record.
Best TrackThat's the Way (My Love Is)
45. Jay-Z - American Gangster
I've always written Jay-Z off in the past because I assumed his albums fit the mold of most mainstream rap (probably because of “Big Pimpin”). This album proved otherwise.
44. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
Like last year, I neglected to check this band out till later in the year. Listened to it last week and it’s pretty excellent.
Best Track:Is There a Ghost
43. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
Yup, this album is pretty good!
Best Track:For Agent 13
42. Apostle of Hustle - National Anthem of Nowhere
More goodness from the BSS family.
Best Track:National Anthem of Nowhere
41. Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird On The Water
Vocally and lyrically beautiful. The Joanna Newsom record for 2007 for me
Best Track:Thinking Of You
40. Menomena - Friend and Foe
Muscle N’ Flo yo! Also has one of the best album covers ever XD
Best Track:Muscle ‘N Flo
39. Against Me! - New Wave
This band gets a lot of flak for “selling out” and abandoning their anarchist beliefs by siding with a major label. The music may be a little more polished but the lyrical content retains the bands roots. The lead singer exclaims “We can control the context, the presentation” on the opening track which is what is basically comes down to. Album is solid.
Best Track:Trash Unreal
38. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
I only downloaded this because I thought the cover was hilarious/confusing but it turned out to be pretty cool. Not everyday you hear a band out of Scotland
Best Track:Cold Days from the Birdhouse
37. Joel Plaskett Emergency- Ashtray Rock
First time listening to a Joel Plaskett record and I’m realizing it was long over due.
Best Track:Fashionable People
36. Iron & Wine - The Shepard's Dog
Really digging the hippy folk-rock this year
Best Track:Boy With a Coin
35. Frank Turner - Sleep Is For the Week
Acoustic folk-rock at it’s best. “The Ballad of Me and My Friends” is an ideal drinking song.
Best Track:The Ballad of Me and My Friends
34. Kate Nash - Made of Bricks
Kate Nash is so cute that you can forgive the corny and sometimes cringe worthy lyrics. That and the fact that a lot of the record is too damn catchy.
33. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Living With Living
Been hooked on this band since seeing them open for Death Cab last year. The new album did not disappoint. They incorporated some interesting reggae vibes on this. Good stuff.
Best Track:Bottle of Buckie
32. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Hey, it’s that band from Garden State. Natalie Portman was right all long. Ah, Natalie.
Best Track:Phantom Limb
31. The Most Serene Republic - Population
There’s so much going on a lot of these tracks it takes a few listens to really appreciate. Sometimes it seems like too much, but it’s hard to criticize. Musically, it’s fantastic. Love the horns. Another winner in a long list of Arts & Crafts records this year.
Best Track:Humble Peasants
30. Tegan and Sara -The Con
Another group that I didn’t check out till this year. Apparently they’re older records aren’t as guitar/snyth heavy as this. I’m gonna have to check out their back catalogue.
Best Track:The Con
29. Emma Pollock - Watch The Fireworks
I started getting into The Delgados after they broke up so it was nice to hear one of the lead singers was releasing a solo record. Most of it sounds like it could be on a Delgados record so I was pretty happy. Love her voice.
Best Track:Paper and Glue
28. Blonde Redhead - 23
Dreamy-pop that’s almost shoe-gaze. I could listen to “23” all day. For some reason some clod had them playing at the same time as Stars during Virgin so I missed their set.
27. Beirut - The Flying Cup Club
Didn’t think this guy could rival a track like “Postcards From Italy” on his last record but “Nantes” comes damn close. He uses a hundred different instruments on the record but apparently no guitars. Pretty amazing stuff from this gypsy : )
26. The Go! Team - Proof of Youth
Rock, pop, funk, and hip-hop all rolled into one you are. This band’s records are really fun to listen to and this year’s is no exception
Best Track:Grip Like A Vice
25. Interpol - Our Love to Admire
By Interpol’s standards, this album is a little disappointing compared to their first two records. Maybe it’s because the album is more self-indulgent and there are less ballads, I dunno. Most of it is pretty solid otherwise.
Best Track:No I In Threesome
24. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Best Track:My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
23. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Album kicks it into high gear from the first track and blends in a few ballads for good measure
Best Track:Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe
22. The Field - From Here We Go To Sublime
Yar, this album served me well at those lonely nights at sea. Seriously, it was the best album for me to fall asleep to. Not quite sure why, but a lot of the tracks invoke feelings of nostalgia. Ambient and amazing.
Best Track:A Paw in My Face
21. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
This album basically features 3 amazing tracks, but these tracks make this record. Not that the other songs are bad, some are better than others but “All My Friends”, “Someone Great” and “Get Innocuous” are in a leaguer of their own. Especially “All My Friends” which is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year.
Best Track:All My Friends
20. The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour
Virtue the cat left : (
Best Track:Night Windows
19. The New Pornographers - Challengers
While this another album that somewhat disappointing given the bands standards, its still enjoyable. It’s just really inconsistent as some of the songs in the middle are pretty mediocre. But it also includes a few of the best songs they’ve written (“My Rights Versus Yours”, “Challengers”, “Adventures in Solitude”). “Adventures in Solitude” is amazing and I can’t fathom how this track isn’t the album as it would have been perfect. Instead it ends with the mediocre “Spirit of Giving”. Album could also do with more Neko Case vocals. But when it’s good, it’s really good.
Best Track:My Rights Versus Yours
18. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Bands like Animal Collective to may take a while to get into or “get” but if given the time the music becomes really rewarding. This album is just crazy. I can’t describe it.
Best Track:For Reverend Green
17. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
Ranges from up-beat-hand-clap jamberoos (The Magic Position, Accident & Emergency) to kinda haunting ballads (Magpie) both of which are excellent.
Best Track:The Magic Position
16. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
I thought this was way better than their debut record last year. Spencer Krug can’t really do any wrong with these side projects. “The Mending of the Gown” and “Taming of the Hands” alone make this record worthwhile .Can’t wait till new Wolf Parade.
Best Track:The Taming of the Hands That Came Back to Life
15. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
I didn’t think much of this at first but after a while I found it to be the most consistent Bright Eyes record to date. I found a lot of the albums this year peter out near the end but this one actually gets better . The No One Would Riot For Less/Coat Check Dream Song/I Must Belong Somewhere/Lime Tree string of tracks are pretty flawless. Plus, despite having a suspiciously similar riff of “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, “Four Winds” is a fantastic alt-country-folk song. I’d put this record about the two Conor released in 2005. The album decoder thinger it comes with is pretty cool too XD
Best Track:Four Winds
14. Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
I think this is the best record Stars have recorded. It’s more consistent than Set Yourself on Fire and I love bands with dual male/female vocalists
Best Track:The Night Starts Here
13. Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew - Spirit If…
Basically sounds like a Broken Social Scene record, which is a good thing. Obviously lacking some of the supporting cast, but Kevin’s song-writing really shines on most of the tracks. Looking forward to Brendan Canning and the other “BSS presents” solo records.
Best Track:Frightening Lives
12. Rilo Kiley- Under The Blacklight
This album is definitely not bad like a lot of RK fanboys are saying. A lot of fans were aghast because of the “poppy” approach the band took with this album but its well executed. “Silver Lining” and “Angels Hung Around” maintain that classic RK sound while dance-pop “Breakin’ Up” and “Dreamworld” round out an album with only two skippable tracks.
Best Track:Breakin' Up
11. Handsome Furs - Plague Park
The second side-project from the other lead Wolf Parade singer. I think I prefer Dan’s Wolf Parade tracks to Spencer’s and the same hold true for their respective bands. That said, both albums have made the anticipation for the new Wolf Parade even greater.
Best Track:What We Had
10. Kanye West - Graduation
Not quite as good as his first two records, but it’s still maintains Kanye’s innovative song writing. Dunno what he was thinking with “Drunk and Hot Girls” but at least he got rid of the skits on this record. Favorite track would probably be Good Morning. Any record that reference’s Back to the Future gets points in my book
Best Track:Good Morning (Intro)
9. Matthew Good - Hospital Music
Hospital Music falls between White Light Rock and Roll Review and Avalanche in terms of Matt’s solo catalogue. On the MG/MGB scale, probably rank it 4th out of 7. All it needs is some filler to be cut. That, and the voice samples. Matt always likes to incorporate them on his albums but this time he goes a bit overboard. The albums best track, Champions of Nothing would have been better if it 20-30 seconds were the continuous loop was cut down in the beginning. Other than that, the album features some of Matt’s best work. “Born Losers” is fantastic, and easily his best single since “Weapon”. Other stand outs include “A Single Explosion”, “Odette” and “Black Helicopter”
Best Track:Champions Of Nothing
8. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
After hearing “Disintegration” on the band’s Stay on my Side EP I was hoping the band would take a more progressive/experimental route on this album. The only song on this album that comes to close to that sound (“Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues”) has potential but it doesn’t really go anywhere. The rest of the album is pretty up-beat and poppy which is what the route I was hoping they wouldn’t visit on this record. Chase This Light is their most “poppy” effort but it’s also really well done. A little over-produced, but there’s nothing terrible other than “Electable”.
Wish they took a more experimental route. Despite not wanting a collection of radio friendly pop songs, it’s hard not to love “Here it Goes” which is the most addictive/catchy tune of the year. The album is also missing a 23-esque ballad closer. That said, the album is pretty fun.
Basically, this album is a lot more like Bleed American, except less ambitious. Which is fine because is really good at what they do, but I really hope the band progresses more on the next record.
Best Track:Here It Goes
7. The National - Boxer
“Fake Empire” is an example of how to recording an amazing opener. The slow piano opens as a ballad and climaxes with an amazing guitar riff and horn section. Love the horns. The song, and album itself sounded even better live. The National are probably my favorite “new” (new to me at least) right now. Boxer and Alligator are superb records. Lyrically, and musically, it’s hard to decide which is better.
Best Track:Fake Empire
6. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
A lot of people ragged on this album unfairly. While it’s not as good as Funeral, the band set the bar high with that record that I wasn’t expecting it to be as good. It is by no means bad though, it’s actually pretty fantastic throughout. The only weak point is “My Body Is A Cage”. I wasn’t really a fan of “No Cars Go” when it was release on their self-title EP but the new version they recorded for this album is a 100x better with an epic climax. Other stand outs include “(Antichrist Television Blues)”, “Keep the Car Running” and “Intervention”.
Best Track:No Cars Go
5. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
I don’t understand the hate a lot of MM fanboys have for their last two albums. Good News For People That Love Bad News had a lot of great moments despite some filler and the same remains true on this album. The band still retains the roots of their older sound, albeit a little more poppy. But they do it well, and tracks like “Dashboard” and “We’ve Got Everything”. “March into the Sea” is one of the strongest album openers this year and the rest of the album is solid despite a few skippable tracks.
Best Track:Spitting Venom
4. Feist - The Reminder
Despite all the over-exposure of “1234” recently I’m still not sick of it. The Reminder easily trumps Let it Die and it’s nice to hear Feist finally receiving some recognition.
3. Lupe Fiasco - The Cool
This album took forever to leak (1 week before release!) but it ended up living up to the expectations set by his debut last year. If there were more records like The Cool, I’d be listening to a lot more hip hop. Lupe is a breath of fresh air in a genre of self indulgent cookie cutter rappers (50 Cent, Soulja Boy, etc.). Lupe’s rhymes are witty and clever and politically conscience with songs that incorporate actual melodies.
I really wish the album opener, Free Chilly was longer than 1 minute. It sounds epic, and would probably be the best track on the album if Lupe had thrown a few verses on it. “Hip-Hop Saved My Life”, “Superstar”, and “Intruder Alert” round out some of the album’s best tracks. I hated “Dumb it Down” at first but the lyrics and rhymes are pretty insane as Gemini plays the role of the generic rapper chastising rapper for not “dumbing down” to the standards of most rappers that sing about cars and ho’s which Lupe cleverly retorts in between verses.
Pretty disappointing to know that he’s only going release one more album after this though.
Best Track:Hip-Hop Saved My Life (Featuring Nikki Jean)
2. Radiohead - In Rainbows
This album lived up to all the expectations and then some. Definitely worth the four wait since their last record. Musically, it sounds like it’s taken the best parts of Kid A and The Bends and the end result is fantastic. Just got the vinyl today and the packaging and artwork is amazing. The second disc complements the album well and most of it could have easily made the first disc (Down is the New Up, Up on the Ladder). There isn’t really a weak track on the entire set. Probably rank it 3rd overall behind OK Computer and Kid A.
Best Track:All I Need
1. M.I.A. - Kala
I was looking forward to this album when I heard the 30 second clip of “20 Dollar” over a year ago. Back then it was simply known as “Talk About Moi” and it would be about 9 months of listening to that damn loop before hearing the studio version. The heavey synth beat is so weird/sci-fisih and extremely addictive at the same time. Despite the long wait, it was worth it, as the result was an album that blows her debut, Arular, out of the water.
Kala is by far the year’s freshest sounding record, deriving from a variety genres that results in an album that has a “world sound” with songs tracks featuring samples by The Clash and New Order to Bollywood sampled “Bamboo Banga” and “Jimmy”. Each track has it’s own unique style and beat mixed with Maya’s clever social and politically conscience (i.e. anti-Western) lyrics. I’m glad she didn’t cave in to the pressure of sacrificing substance for style (apparently Timbaland tried to convince her to make the album more mainstream accessible because her sound is “out there”). The only sound that sounds like it could have been done by a typical r&b artist is “Come Around” which features Timbaland, so that’s not surprising. That said, it’s not that bad of a track. Maya recently stated that she’s done with music for the time being. Really hoping that’s not true because music, and this genre especially need more albums like this.
Best Track:Bamboo Banga