So here's where I post some thoughts on music that came into my life in 2007. Keep in mind this is not necessarily music that was released to the world in 2007, but just music that was added to my library in 2007. But before we get to 2007 ....
2006 Left Overs
Here's some music that for whatever reason I added in 2006, but didn't come to notice til 2007. Here's a link to my 2006 version of this article.
Justin Timberlake - Futuresex / Lovesounds
Most of it's been said before. That being that this album is great. I still need to put it on here because of a little track called "Lovestoned / I Think She Knows Interlude". The interlude is easily in the top 10 minutes of music for the last 2 years. In March of 2007, I even created my own holiday called "Lovestoned Week" where I listened to this song at any given moment. And at that time, I was thinking exactly what John Mayer said a few months later.
Jason Mraz - Selections for Friends
There's no new content on this album, but it's a solid solid collection of the hits. The 30 minute non-stop performance of his first EP is clearly awesome as are God Rests In Reason, Did You Get My Message?, Childlike, Wildlike, Song For A Friend and finally an officially released version of 10,000 Motherf'rs.
Damien Rice - 9
I know I'm not breaking any ground here, but this album deserves my nod. If you can see this simultaneously morose whilst very funny dude in concert, he always brings something great to songs you may feel you already know intimately.
And now ...
The Best of 2007
2007 was a very solid year. I don't think it was as good on the whole as 2006, but there were some serious show stoppers. In general I think the craziest trend of the year for me was ... chicks. I really think I tend to listen to mostly male artists, but 2007, the females were bringing the heat.
I absolutely could not leave these off the list.
Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
Best album of the year. Period. 14 tracks. FOUR 5-star songs! Three 4-star songs. Five 3-star songs. 7 of these songs have over 100 plays for me. Here's my take on the KoL. If you get there with the Kings, your life will be better. That's all there is to it. Get there, people. "She's at my PARtay-ah!"
Feist - The Reminder
Canadian! Female! Do it! Looking back at her first album "Let It Die", this girl REALLY figured something out from album to album. Lots of different sounds on this album, but it all comes down to some great melodies and Leslie's sweet sweet voice. Oh and I realize the iPod commercials basically killed 1 2 3 4, but that song's not that good anyway. Past In Present, I Feel It All, Intuition, that's where it's at. "This kinda letter is in black!"
Mute Math - Mute Math
New Orleans! Creative instruments! You-yeah! These guys put together a solid album with a full full sound throughout. Put it on and put it on loud. "At least it was never until I noticed / You and your ways ..."
Paramore - All We Know Is Falling and Riot!
Chick Singer! Punk! (I think.) Look. I really didn't see it coming. I kinda sorta liked the acoustic version of Misery Business, but never thought that buying the whole album would be a good investment. But then Andrea and JM reco'd Paramore at the same time. That did it. I bought the albums 12/11/07 and listened to them basically every day of my 25 day trip to Ecuador and Peru. Probably should call 'em PERUmore! Eh!? No? Okay. "This time we're not giving uuuuuuuuuuuuuuup!"
Dear and the Headlights - Small Steps, Heavy Hooves
Phoenix's best band ever as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, that's right. Sit down, Gin Blossoms. This album is wall to wall gold! (Except for "I'm Bored You're Amorous" which is 1,000,000,000 better on the demo version. Find that version if you can. Sorry, DATH.) And just when you thought all these songs were crazy powerful, go see them live and learn about DATH's glory all over again. "Putting on your make up every day before he wakes up, he can stomach YOUR face WELL easier than he could without it!" (Sort of a dark quote I know, but listen to Grace and you'll love it too.)
The next tier of greatness.
K-OS - Atlantis - Hymns for Disco
Canadian! Hip hop! What an MC is supposed to be! K-OS (which stands for Knowledge of Self) raps, sings, play instruments. He does it all and the man lays down some beats. Roll Sunday Morning and Born to Run, fall in love and then roll the rest. "Same old thing on the RADIO!"
Tegan & Sara - The Con
Canadian! Lesbian! Twins! My favorite sisterly duo comes through again. The album didn't hit me hard right off the bat, but after a few rolls, the whole thing is gold. Who would have thought that such depressing content could come across in such a happy fashion. "Dark Come Soon" is great great times. "Everything I love ... get baaaack ... to me now."
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Probably the most critically acclaimed artist/album on my list. And while that's all well and good, the album is just great to listen to. My favorite random story about this album is that I have one friend who told another friend that the Neon Bible sounds like it stemmed from and is a semi-tribute to Bruce Springteen. This remark resonated with friend #1 and as a result friend #1 pretty much stopped listening to the album. How's that for a confusing review?
Raul Midon - State of Mind
Blind! Strummer! This guy can play some guitar. I was introduced to him via Jason Mraz and then this YouTube clip was the turning point for me: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ynk6W3qM9-w. Good luck not being blown away. I mean, the crowd (an f'ing talk show crowd!) takes time to applaud the damn solo! The solo! I've never ever ever heard such a thing. The album is just percussive guitar gold.
Sara Bareilles - Little Voice
Cutest. Singer. Alive. Love this girl. People are dead set on comparing her to Fiona Apple, but I really don't see it at all. Sara is nice, writes songs that don't make you want to kill yourself and kills Fiona's voice if you ask me. "Love on the Rocks" is my favorite. Buy this album. "We met on a raaaaaainy evening in the summertime."
Gold Plated Diapers
The best of the rest.
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Sam Beam! Sam Beam's sister! The super hairy dude does it again. Another album of gold. This album is obviously much more "Woman King" than it is "Our Endless Numbered Days" but the arrangements are so great. Every instrument adds something to each song. "Carousel" is my favorite by far.
Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child
Bearded lead singer! They're very young! Apparently most of these guys are too young to drink at the clubs they typically play in ... which is pretty impressive considering they've already opened for the likes of the Kings of Leon. Anyway, this album is a solid rock album. You might even say rock-solid album. Too cheesy? I agree. "I gotta take what I'm makin' and turn it into something!"
Marc Broussard - S.O.S.: Save Our Soul
Motown! What else do you need to say. One of the already more soulful dudes around decided to do an album of Motown covers. From track 1 (You Met Your Match), you're hooked. And then he gets around to covering my favorite Marvin Gaye song "Make Me Wanna Holler" (previously covered by John Mayer).
Kanye West - Graduation
I dug his first album and then wasn't too crazy about his second album as a whole. But this album serves as a great junior effort. (Are you allowed to say "junior" referring to the third of something? Cuz people say "sophomore" referring to the second of something all the time. I say yes.) I love "I Wonder" and "Flashing Lights". "Somethin' in your blouse got me feelin' so aroussssed."
2007 sleeper hits
Here are some individual songs that I've had for a long time, but man were they workin' during 2007.
One Way Out - The Allman Brothers Band
This one's off the "Almost Famous" soundtrack and somewhere along the line this year I decided the wailing guitars on this song are ... incendiary ... incendiary. Does anyone remember laughter?
Out of the Sky - Van Hunt
I got this album a couple years ago based on someone at SPIN's top 10 list and the album was decent, but not remarkable. This song came on randomly one day and I decided it was awesome. It has three distinctive parts and they all rule.
Shoot to Thrill - ACDC
I know this album has sold like 10 billion copies so I'm not breaking any ground here, but man this song is great. The breakdown is on par with some of my favorite rock breakdowns of all time. "Shhhhhhoot ya down."
In summary ...
It was a big year for Canada. It was a big year for chicks. Can't wait to see what 2008 has to offer.