Albums of '07


27 jan 2008, 12:47

It's a bit late I know, but to be honest I posted this on my blogger about a month and a half there you go!

(in no, really)

Radiohead - In Rainbows

It was a long time coming, too. After 5 years of silence, Radiohead finally released their follow up to Hail To the Thief. And it was good. It was amazing. It was everything I wanted and more than that as well. 10 songs, the albums reminisces of the extremely strong flow of Kid A, but with the band sounding confident, rather than sounding like they are going into new sounds without a clue of how they think they sound themselves. They sound like they are enjoying their work, that they are properly proud of what they are done, and instead of passing off as arrogant, it translates into sheer quality. after 2 months of listening, It's already up there with Kid A as one of my favorite albums.

It's probably the most uplifting Radiohead release there's ever been. Well, aside from Videotape, which is frightening in it's own right. Someone said on a message board that the album sounds haunted, and since I've seen that I have always related to that description. The oohs, the instrumentation, the way the album has been designed is of detecting subtlety, its not all in your face this time, most of it, there are a couple of familiar Radiohead moments with paranoia and madness (Bodysnatchers), but its more soulful than any of the other albums. From the sexy 'Nude', to the amazingly symbolic and beautiful climax 'Videotape', this is an album that will stick. It's an experience, it's got something we can all relate to, and it's just a reminder that Radiohead are not losing any sort of talent as they age.

Listen To:
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15 Step
Then the whole album.

Burial - Untrue

This album came from nowhere, I had no idea who Burial was up until around a month ago, where I was bored, and decided to download some new music. I can sum up Burial quite well in a sentence. Massive Attack of the dance genre. It fits, and it mentions another cool bunch. Multi-functional, like an egg. So yes, in case you're not familiar, I'll explain.

Burial is an anonymous artist, who released a debut last year, and this is his follow up. Its dance music with minimal instrumentation, usually just beats with some bass, and a lot of tinkered-with vocals. It sounds like euphoric club dance music for the more mature minded fellow, none of your cheesy shit, its dance music representing isolation. It's almost as if your self-conscious side has made a club, called it "Ibiza Fever" and brought a bunch of bad emotions to the launch party. It's a scary album, no doubt about it. It creates an unsettling atmosphere unlike many dance artists (they're all about the happiness..), and this just makes it much more delicious. Not for the faint hearted, because you sensitive pricks will probably just start crying.

Listen To:
Near Dark
Then the whole album.

The National - Boxer

Boxer came out quite a long time ago. Like, near the beginning of the year, therefore it is impressive how it still has a strong influence over me. It has aged well. It's moody music for the moody. That's pretty much exactly what it is, it also has Sufjan Stevens guesting on piano on a few songs, what more do you need really?

I think the best thing about this album is it's fantastic use of strings as atmospheric walls of sound. Sure, its not sigur ros style walls of sound, where everything is lengthened by like ten minutes and made much more epic than a man with a arguably womanlike voice, but still, its use is still as great. A midnight album it is, walking down those streets at night, watching the lights trail across, moving things, shadows, rustling. Who's gonna hear rustling when you listen to music? but, it's there. Oh, it is there. The vocals are so deep to a point where it's almost impossible to understand, but that just adds to the beauty, something different, something eerily beautiful. Like a sock, with a lion on it.

Listen To:
Fake Empire
Start A War
Squalor Victoria
Then the whole album.

Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

That's some might fine jam, mistress, may I have some more, before I slap your leather-stretched arse and rape you dirty with a whip?

Just one of the many fine situations Strawberry Jam can be a soundtrack for. Animal Collective are stupidly happy, or the majority of their songs are, They sound like a bunch of hyper 10 year olds given guitars and a full studio to work with, and this is the outcome. That may sound slightly demeaning, but it's the key to AC's brilliance. Strawberry Jam is just another lovely entry into an already solid back catalogue of material.

'Fireworks' is one of the best mid points of an album I have ever heard, it's incredible, a driven energetic piece with Avey Tare belting over the noise of the samples and drums being blasted through the speakers. It's a loud album, with a lot of white noise, and it's still got the charm of the 10 year olds, these kids have discovered electricity. Electricity has never sounded this fun. First single, 'Peacebone' is probably the closest to a generic form of song that Animal Collective have come towards. It's a piece of genius, like most of this album.

You'll either love it or hate it, but if you love it, you're in for a hell of a lot of loving. Where's my toast and jam?

Ah, scrumptious.

Listen To:
For Reverend Green
Then the whole album.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver

LCD Soundsystems second album is fantastic, its dance music that doesn't sound as if its just there to liven up a party. It has substance. I'll say that once again, just to enforce the conclusion. It has substance.

I like to think as the album as some badass shizzle, but it's a perfect of example of dance music being both meaningful, and great to dance to. 'All My Friends', 'North American Scum' 'Get Innocuous', they are all lovely pieces of music, with lovely lyric sheets as well.

That said, it's pretty obvious what you'll be playing at the next party, and that will obviously be the mighty sound of silver. I wonder what the sound of gold is like? of the sound of platinum, hopefully better than this beauty, it will be tough to beat.

Listen To:
Get Innocuous
All My Friends
Someone Great
North American Scum
Then the whole album.

The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

It was quite a while ago that Neon Bible was released, I remember listneing to it the first time back in March, thinking this was a fantastic album. Guess what? nothings changed, except one thing, and that is that I don't think it beats Funeral. That being said, Funeral was so high up on its own pedestal it was almost impossible to best it. Neon Bible is a great winter-y album, it's got that darkness to the sound that just thrusts you into thinking mode. It's a nice feeling when you find music like that.

It also has it's moments of sheer madness, the extremely powerful 'Intervention' is my favourite, I am a sucker for organs, and this song uses it wonderfully. It's just but a fraction of what The Arcade Fire are about. No Cars Go is another classic. It's beautiful, like donnie darko.

Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City

Another of the 'aged-well' albums, I reviewed AWITC a long time ago, on this very blog, and I (believe) gave it a ten out of ten, that rating needs to be reviewed...

It's dropped a bit, I give it about an 8, as some songs I have come to hate truly, like Sunday. I hate Sunday, I wish it died a horrible death, but it can't, it's still there, and it's played live all the time. Why, I ask. Why?!!

Regardless, it's a top album, with such blistering tunes as 'Waiting For The 7.18' and 'The Prayer', and I will refuse to follow the huge backlash that it had after its release, I will never forget how shocked I was, it was getting so much hate from everywhere, it was pretty harsh. Anyway, if you want more, read that review, I think its in April, or something.

Listen To:
Waiting For The 7.18
Song For Clay (Disappear Here)
Hunting For Witches
Then the whole album.

Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity

Beautiful, fun, big, mad, ridiculously cool. These are just a few of the feelings I get when I listen to Friend Opportunity, which came out January of this year. It really has some classic beasts on that little disc, like '+81' and 'Believe E.S.P' and ' Matchbook Seeks Maniac'

All little songs with a big attitude, like a small child unable to play football, but believes hes better than any other cunt on the planet.

Damn you, Children!

Listen To:
Believe E.S.P
The Perfect Me
The Galaxist
Then the whole album.

Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass

White men can't jump, but they can sure as hell rap, when they have some nice fine and dandy potential. Aesop Rock is one of these fine white-boys, with some abaolutely delicious beats, and even more tastier bass lines. It makes me want to listen to more hip-hop, which is impressive, considering I usually stay away from the genre, as the mainstream stuff is absolute shite (bar Outkast).

He differs from the norm in the most important way, the lyrics. This ain't some shit where you sing about some bitch named Kim and how much you hate her/want to kill her/slim shady stand up. This is intelligent, quirky stuff, nice fast wit for those looking for some enjoyable badass music. I must admit, I don't know what most of the songs are actually about on the album, but you know its not some random ghetto shit or an equivalent, how the man fits some of these phrases into a rap so well, I'll never know. I just hope he keeps going.

Listen To:
None Shall Pass
Catacomb Kids
Getaway Car
Then the whole album.

The Go! Team - Proof Of Youth

One of the many things to come out of the amazing Connect Festival experience, was being introduced to The Go! Team. I had time to kill before going to see the Beastie Boys, and had seen a couple of videos of them on TV at other festivals, and the energy interested me (and Ninja, the super hot MC of the band). So, off I went, not having a clue what to expect.

It was a good move. I felt like a 10 year old girl, jumping about, waving my arms, screaming at ridiculously high was unbelieveable.

I invested in some album downloading afterwards, their new album was due out a few days after Connect, so I obtained it and listened. And it was good. Cop themes, mad girl band sounds, ridiculous child-like energy, it was just sensational. I don't know how I clicked on to them, I could see the formula failing miserably in other situations, I should not like this, but I can't help it, I love it to bits. And so should you...

Listen To:
Keys To The City
Doing It Right
Grip Like A Vice
Titanic Vandalism
Then the whole album.

Battles - Mirrored

Ever wondered what it will be like 20 years on from now? flying cars, bullet proof rappers, metal idiots, teenagers with actual problems. Maybe those will come, but I think we get a clear glimpse into the future of sound with this album.

Mostly Instrumental (Vocal is really treated as an instrument), Mirrored is more an experience than a piece of music. It has its quirks, it has some boring bits, but overall, its pretty great. A jam band of space proportions (the good kind, not that Muse shite). I am in love with the drumming on this album, some of the beats are fantastic, so simple, but the settings on the drum sound are sublime, it's almost like little explosions. And that's all I have to say about that. Oh, and Atlas for song of the year. In case I don't do a chart for songs, it's my song of the year officially.

Listen To:
Atlas (again)
Atlas (yet again)
Atlas (keep on dancing bitch)
Then the whole album.

Thurston Moore - Trees Outside The Academy

Thurston Moore + Sonic Youth songwriting - Crunchy, loud guitars + some nice girl backing vocals + strings = Trees Outside The Academy

Need I Say More? Yes? Fuck off then, and just listen to it. Oh, okay, I'll give you track recommendations...

Listen To:
Honest James
Frozen Gtr
Off Work
Then the whole album.


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