I've been sitting on this Top Ten list for the better part of a month now, all because I couldn't come up with a clever introduction to yet another Top Ten list. The real problem, however, was that my lack of something to say that plagued my intro certainly did not carry over to writing about the albums themselves. Each album write-up ended up being slightly longer than what I originally planned, and I didn't want to cut anything down. So rather than posting one gargantuan post, I've decided to break this up into a series of ten posts. Yes, I'm going to make this as painful as possible for everyone involved.
Now, I realize many may not particularly care what albums I think are the best of this past year, but I'm going to grace you with my opinions anyways. The thing I'd like us all to keep in mind, however, is what exactly the word "best" means.
Now, applying a term such as "best" to music is a very difficult thing to do. I don't know what makes an album better than another album. Seriously. I think a lot of people THINK they know, but i don't think they actually do. What I DO know though is what albums I've enjoyed the most throughout the past year. And that's what you'll find here. A completely subjective list of my favorite albums. I tried to take into account the potential "staying power" associated with an album, meaning is there a decent chance that an album might still be in regular rotation with me in 5-10 years. If so, I considered it for Top Ten status. If not, it was demoted. So, I hope you enjoy reading about the albums I've enjoyed, and I hope I do a decent job of conveying why I particularly like each album, all I ask is that if you enjoy any of these songs, or albums, that you purchase the albums mentioned. These are the albums of 2007 that I think are most worth your money. Also, I'd love to hear your opinions. So, if you've got time, let me know why you like (or don't like) these albums. I'd love to hear some most likely better thought out opinion's than just my own.
So, without further ado, on to the list....but first I should mention a few albums that just barely missed the cut. These five albums were all good enough to be included, but as I'm limited in the number of albums I can include, they were unfortunately left off.
My Honorable Mentions
Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
My favorite Iron and Wine album remains the coeffort with Calexico. I really think the backing band adds an extra element to Sam Beam’s song writing that enhances most of the songs. The Shepherd’s Dog follows a similar format for the first time, with a backing band approach compared to the more solo previous record Our Endless Numbered Days. The Shepherd’s Dog also comes off slightly more eclectic than Beam’s previous efforts. I very much enjoyed the direction he decided to take with this album.Iron and Wine - The Devil Never Sleeps
Bishop Allen – The Broken String
Most of the songs on this album were accumulated from their monthly EP effort from 2006, making it a “greatest hits” of sorts. The
A gem of an album that I gotta give total props to eMusic for. I had never heard of Pela, but thanks to some bored, emusic surfing, I stumbled upon Anytown Graffiti. It’s a collection of mostly uptempo indie rock songs, few of which disappoint. Its been one of my most pleasant surprises of 2007.Pela - Tenement Teeth
The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
Wincing the Night Away, on the other hand, was one of my more disappointing albums of 2007. Not THE most disappointing album (Billy Corgan is holding down that spot with his Smashing Pumpkins “resurrection”), but disappointing nonetheless, despite finding its way into my Honorable Mentions. I realize a lot of people think very highly of this record, but after The Shins first two albums, I was expecting something that was going to stick with me a little more than this one has. Regardless, its not a bad album, I just wanted a little more.
I think the fact that Icky Thump didn’t even make my Top Ten says more about the quality of new music in 2007 than it does about the record itself. Icky Thump is a very strong album, containing, quite possibly, the rockingest song of 2007 in its title track. That heart-thumping drumming, and weird instrumental solos puts it as one of my favorite songs of the year. There’s more to the album though, it’s a good collection of hard rocking songs that were absent for the most part from their previous effort.
Finally, the list:#10 Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
So, Ryan Adams puts out a lot of albums. We’re all pretty confident that’s a valid statement. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t read an Adams-related article or review without him being accused of being “prolific” as if to indicate this was an insult or an unwanted quality from a song-writer. Now listen, I’ll be the first to admit…not every Ryan Adams song is an “Oh My Sweet Carolina” and not every album a Heartbreaker. But that doesn’t mean that