+2007 favorites+

I’ve been procrastinating on this for a while (it’s January 9, after all), but here are my 10 favorite albums from 2007. That doesn’t mean I think they’re the best; I just enjoyed them the most.

Good Charlotte - Good Morning Revival
10. Good Charlotte – Good Morning Revival
I realize that by making this the first album you see on the list, there’s a good chance you won’t even bother to read the rest. But it’s okay–I’ve taken so much grief from my friends for listening to Good Charlotte already that I’m used to it. It takes courage for me to buy their albums, but it’s worth it. This album has some very catchy songs on it. Nothing revolutionary from the D.C. boys, but I’ve found myself listening to it a lot during my commute. And the albums by Interpol, Tori Amos, Idlewild, Bjork, Stars, and The Chemical Brothers (some of my very favorite artists) were disappointing enough that they’ve been beaten out by an emo-pop band. Sad, I know, but…here we are.
Favorite track: Keep Your Hands Off My Girl
Other goodies: The River, Dance Floor Anthem, Break Apart Her Heart

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
9. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
I find the tracks on Neon Bible to be musical snapshots of a man broken down by societal expectations, religion, and maybe even God. And while the music sounds uplifting, the message is very, very oppressive. For this reason I’ve only been able to handle Neon Bible in short sessions. Even so, I can still appreciate what a beautiful album it is, how much thought clearly went into it, and how Arcade Fire have progressed artistically.
Favorite track: Windowsill
Other goodies: My Body Is a Cage, Black Wave/Bad Vibrations

Tegan and Sara - The Con
8. Tegan and Sara – The Con
I reviewed this album on my old blog, and my initial thought was that it was underproduced and disorganized. I still believe that, but this record holds some of Tegan and Sara’s best songs. When I would listen to it around other people, they always enjoyed it. I played it a lot, so I know I ended up enjoying it a great deal too. In some ways I miss the old Tegan and Sara, but The Con certainly has its moments.
Favorite track: The Con
Other goodies: Nineteen, Like O, Like H

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
7. Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
Ryan has a knack for making it onto these lists of mine. He’s been somewhat silent since the three-album blitz of 2005, but he’s back with an album where each song seems to come from a different one of his earlier albums. I appreciate that Ryan is rarely pure country, so “Halloweenhead” was a welcome song for me. I could live without “Off Broadway,” but otherwise, every song on here is fantastic…and classic Ryan Adams in all the best possible ways.
Favorite track: I Taught Myself How to Grow Old
Other goodies: The Sun Also Sets, Rip Off, Two

M.I.A. - Kala
6. M.I.A. – Kala
This album was preceded by a lot of hype which especially surrounded the single “Bird Flu,” a song most people love. But it was “Bird Flu” that nearly kept me from buying this album, which I reluctantly purchased when it went on sale at my local shop. I’m glad I picked it up after all and made it past “Bird Flu,” which I still find atrocious despite numerous listenings. I was surprised to find that M.I.A. has expanded her sound. Songs off her first album, Arular, seemed far more focused on vocals, whereas the vocals on Kala are more a part of the overall sound, which is full of creative beats. I’m glad M.I.A. didn’t get to work with Timbaland on this album–she did just fine on her own.
Favorite track: Paper Planes
Other goodies: 20 Dollar, Mango Pickle Down River, World Town, XR2

Manic Street Preachers - Send Away the Tigers
5. Manic Street Preachers – Send Away the Tigers
Oh my, how I had been waiting for this one, and I was not to be disappointed. It took some time for the lead single, “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough,” to grow on me, but once it did, I was more accepting of the rest of the album too. “Imperial Bodybags” blew me away with its urgency, both musically and lyrically. And after spending recent time with Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield’s two solo albums, I was pleased to hear Nicky’s cutting lyrics being sung once again over James’s impeccable guitar playing. Hooray for a much anticipated album that did not disappoint.
Favorite track: Imperial Bodybags
Other goodies: Underdogs, I’m Just a Patsy, Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
4. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
It’s funny. I don’t really consider myself a huge Modest Mouse fan, and I only own two of their albums. But those two have both ranked high on my year-end lists, and I was a bit surprised to see myself putting this record at number four. I’ve been listening to it on repeat in the car for the past two days, though, and it absolutely deserves all praise. What I like most about We Were Dead and their previous effort, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, is that the records each have prevalent themes that make them into cohesive wholes. We Were Dead seems to be about the impossible situations and the futility of life. In two different songs you get the lyrics “like trying to save an ice cube from the cold” and “like a rickshaw being pulled ’round by another rickshaw” to express how pointless and contradictory life can be as it happens to you…and it is certainly happening to you if you believe Isaac Brock, who should be commended for recruiting Johnny Marr to the MM cause. His guitars have added a technical and melodic flourish that MM might have needed more than they’d care to admit.
Favorite track: Little Motel
Other goodies: Florida, We’ve Got Everything, Dashboard, People As Places As People

Mr Sam - Opus
3. Mr Sam – Opus
It’s absolutely ridiculous the amount of trance music I’ve listened to this year, and its influence has made its mark on my top three. I first noticed Mr Sam when a chillout remix of his song “Surrender” snuck its way up my last.fm charts and firmly planted itself at number one. Then I fell in love with his song “Lyteo” on the first Thrillseekers compilation and had to find out more. Mr Sam seems to have come out of nowhere on the DJ scene, but he is burning it up. I think he is still rather unknown (every piece of information on him at Rate Your Music was put there by yours truly), but I doubt that will last long. And while I like his Lyteo album, I was more impressed by his DJ mix compilation, Opus. This double CD set is full of amazing trance tunes, and I still haven’t stopped listening to it. It’s a terrific set for those of us who enjoy new, unusual sounds without losing the quality elements of true trance. He’s already working on the next Opus set, and I’m already saving up money to import it.
Favorite track: Global Experience – Madras
Other goodies: Solar Stone & Alucard – Late Summer Fields (Vocal Mix), Mojado – Alma Gemella, Funabashi feat. Angelina – Shelter Me

Eisley - Combinations
2. Eisley – Combinations
Eisley’s album Room Noises was number four on my list two years ago, and I’m even more in love with Combinations. From the moment I saw the video for “Invasion,” I knew Eisley had not lost the thread. The Dupree sisters have what might be the prettiest, more stunning voices (and harmonies) in the business, and their vocals are snuggled into songs so rich and warm they’re unlike anything else out there right now. Some of the magical surrealism has been lost from the lyrics, but the songs are still full of imagery that feels antique yet glittering and new at the same time. I can’t say enough good things about this band.
Favorite track: A Sight to Behold
Other goodies: I Could Be There for You, Come Clean, Invasion

DJ Tiësto - Elements of Life
1. Tiesto – Elements of Life
Damn right I’ve got a trance album at number one, because Tiesto has outdone himself and just about every other DJ with this artist record. Not long after buying Elements of Life, I began to suspect it would be my favorite album of the year. It’s incredibly true to trance, and the nonvocal tracks are just as impressive as the vocal ones. Every song has its own personality in a genre where most people find the music monotonous and the songs difficult to distinguish from one another, and the album starts strong and finishes stronger. I could do without the bonus track (from Pirates of the Caribbean), but otherwise, this is a cohesive, danceable record full of songs that are sure to become trance classics. And come on, I have “In the Dark” as my ringtone. That’s how much I love this record.
Favorite track: In the Dark
Other goodies: Dance4Life, Sweet Things, Ten Seconds Before Sunrise, Do You Feel Me

Only one thing left to do. The video is shite, but here’s my favorite song of the year. Enjoy, and don’t be afraid to groove a little.

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~ by Jennifer Cunningham on January 9, 2008.

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