Monday, December 3, 2007
Andy's lame top 10 of 2007 - nothing fancy here
#10 WILCO - SKY BLUE SKY
I know, super lame. But "Dad Rock" or not this album got me back into Wilco so it deserves it's spot. After the album 'Being There' I completely lost interest in this band, and through friends I always heard the most recent release but I never really got into it. Maybe I'm growing up but after listening to this guy I went back and took some time with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and was reintroduced to an old favorite... so thanks lame dad rock... let's all go buy Volkswagen's.
#9 RADIOHEAD - IN RAINBOWS
Two in a row! A band I completely lost interest in puts out an album that I really like. You know what it is? OK let me take you back a few years... (Wayne's World wavy transition) Radiohead puts out OK Computer, it blows every one's mind, including my fragile 17 year old brain... Radiohead is amazing, I have their posters on my walls and their import singles in my collection... can't wait to see what they do next... and I have to. I have to wait a LOOOOONG time, almost too long... but just long enough. Kid A comes out a little over 3 years later and it's good, not as good as OK Computer, but how could it be? I'm letting this album breathe and listening, really listening to it... letting it get into my now 20 year old brain and then WHAAAA??? They have a new album out? It's been 8 months??? fuck those guys, Amnesiac? did they forget that they just put out an album that sounds exactly like this? (get it Amnesiac - forgetting something, whatever) Now there is too much, I can't compute it all, I'm done, these guys can go the way of Pearl Jam, fill your arenas, become alternative rock gods, whatever, I'm out... make me wait and then shit out an album like you don't even care... (Wayne's World wavy transition) ok, so that about sums it up a few years ago... Now to the album at hand. It comes almost 4 years after their last actual album (Thom's solo work excluded) and the band, as you all know, released it themselves soiling the pants of record execs across the world, and it's good, really good, like, oh yah, this is why I liked this band good. Tracks full of blips and bleeps that you know just somehow came out of a guitar or a keyboard or something... Johnny Greenwood's genius making music sound fresh again, Thom Yorke twitching and screeching like some sort of lazy eyed banshee, this is Radiohead never growing old, fuck you Will Smith - Radiohead is Legend.
Hey everyone!!! Remember Peter Bjorn and John, the band that put out the best Swedish record of the year???
#8 JENS LEKMAN - NIGHT FALLS OVER KORTEDALA
Besides being jealous of the fact that he still gets hair cuts (and my hair refuses to come out from under my scalp) I love this record. I was unaware that I even enjoyed this type of over the top bombastic pop assault but I immediately took to this record like it was going to be the number 8 record on my top ten list. Jens croons his way through shimmery strings and things and from his opening number (it's more a "number" than a "track") you know you're in for an over-the-top show tune-esque experience... but it goes further than that, just a great record.
#7 DEERHOOF - FRIEND OPPORTUNITY
This trio has officially won me over. I was not a fan of this band until Secret DJ Bill convinced me to check out their most recent release about 10 months ago, skeptically I did and what I found was a group with a unique sound and fantastic abilities. Friend Opportunity is a fantastic record and I don't really know why, you try and justify a band whose lead singer almost sings in English and all the while musically changes tempo on a whim. This is my #7 - that is all.
#6 THE NATIONAL - BOXER
I admit, I didn't like this record. The main reason, he sings in a low octave and at the audio levels I was listening at I really couldn't hear him. I went on a long car ride in September and got a chance to really turn it up, blew me away. Matt Berninger sings about heartbreak, love and commercialism all with the same honesty and integrity. This album almost holds up without being able to hear him (the way I kinda started listening to this record) but I didn't realize at the time the lyrics make this album great. When I was out shoveling snow the other day I put this on again and wished my driveway was bigger, I didn't want to stop.
#5 IRON AND WINE - THE SHEPERD'S DOG
Sam Beam puts an entire band behind him and the results: magical
This record is almost tribal, a bit Paul Simon, but all Sam Beam. His voice rises above the drums the acoustic guitars, above the layers and layers of soothing sounds he has created and really makes the follow up to Our Endless Numbered Days stand above his past recordings. I knew he was onto something after he got together with Calexico a few year ago and this picks up right where that one ended. Exactly what I expected from this release - thank God.
#4 BLITZEN TRAPPER - WILD MOUNTAIN NATION
This was a big suprise for me, this record almost turns into an indie pop - a la Spoon - record but then borrows a little from Skynard, a little Southern sensability, basically a bit of a curveball. It contains quite a few tracks that stand up on their own and the record as a whole just works together (somehow). I don't know much about them as a band but I'm hoping that this is no fluke - only time will tell.
#3 ARCADE FIRE - NEON BIBLE
It's no Funeral but really... let's face it, they pulled it off, they actually made an amazing record after making THE amazing record.
#2 RYAN ADAMS - EASY TIGER
The poor Cardinals... (in my best Rodney Dangerfield) They get no respect I tell ya, and they deserve it. I've NEVER been a fan of Ryan Adams, too VH1 for me, too soft 'generic' rock for my tastes. This record changed that stance, I love this record. I can play it around friends and family, it won't freak out Grandma; but at the same time Easy Tiger has a way of getting on my Ipod and the next thing I know I'm on the last track. This album has encouraged me to check out Adam's old records and thanks to a little listening time, Ryan Adams has become one of my favorite artists... so thanks a lot Easy Tiger
which brings me to #1... I told you, no suprises:
#1 OF MONTREAL - HISSING FAUNA, ARE YOU THE DESTROYER?
Of Montreal has been one of my favorite bands for quite some time now (at least 5 years) and they have finally put out that album that I can push on anyone and say "see, I told you they are amazing" What else can I say, great album, great production, great lyrics, great sound... love it love it love it. Kevin Barnes has gone a bit darker since his divorce but his sense of melody and ability to stick a song in your head for days has not wavered. Completely addicting sugary pop adrenaline rush to the head. Of Montreal has solidified a place in my top 5 bands of all time.
and now for my very special top 5 songs of the year:
5. These Girls - Ryan Adams
4. Postcards to Nina - Jens Lekman
3. Learnin to Love - WEEN
2. Stronger - Kanye West
1. Favorite Book - Stars (if you haven't heard it you should check it out)
so that's all for now... thanks for reading.