The year is almost over, so I thought I’d share my absolute favorite albums of the year with everybody. Over the course of the year I think I’ve listened to nearly 100 albums, and with such a huge selection of music to choose from, it was pretty difficult to come up with a list of my favorite 7 albums.
This was definitely one of the best years for music that I’ve ever experienced, and I’m sure that I could have easily made a list of my favorite 25 or 50 albums. I can only hope that 2008 is just as amazing, but that might not be possible. So many bands released an album this year, that there may not be any good new albums next year. Hopefully I’m wrong, or hopefully a slew of new bands will come around and surprise me.
Anyhow, here are my 7 favorite albums of 2007:
7) Jens Lekman / Night Falls Over Kortedala
The first time I heard Jens Lekmans’ Night Falls Over Kortedala, I immediately knew that this was going to be one of my favorite albums of the year. Overall, the album is extremely cohesive, and I absolutely adore every song on it. His song writing is still filled with longing, melancholy, and the problems with love, but his songs are cheerier than previous albums and you feel genuinely happy listening to them.
My favorite songs on the album are Sipping on the Sweet Nectar, A Postcard to Nina, Your Arms Around Me, Shirin (lyrics from this song gave the idea to the cover of the album), and the last song, Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo. This album definitely brings Jens Lekman into the forefront of indie pop music, and I can’t wait to get a chance to see him live.
6) Panda Bear / Person Pitch
If there was one album on this list that summed up the summer of 2007, it would definitely be Person Pitch by Panda Bear. Person Pitch mixed the weird randomness of Lennox’s main project, Animal Collective, with the laid back vibrations of the Beach Boys. The album ended up being a brilliant fusion of the two, creating a truly amazing album filled with hypnotic, droning vocals, and 70’s sounding drums and jangly guitars.
My favorite tracks on this album are definitely Bros and Good Girls/Carrots. Bros seems a bit redundant and repeating, but I don’t get sick of it no matter how many times I hear it. This will be a classic for years and years to come.
5) Beirut / The Flying Club Cup
Number 5 on the list falls to Beirut who in that last two years has come out with two albums and an EP, all of which got better and better as they came. This year he released The Flying Club Cup, expanding upon his Balkan/European sounds and making a happier, less morose sounding album compared to his first release, Gulag Orkestar. On this album he was also joined by Owen Pallet, who musically goes by the name of Final Fantasy. Pallet contributed not only string arrangements to the album, but also vocals to the song Cliquot, one of the best on the album.
I was able to see Beirut live a few months back, and impressively, they sounded even better live. It seems to me like it would be pretty hard to replicate the sounds of their albums live, but they ended up playing incredibly. Listening to this album makes me even more excited for their next, whenever that maybe coming out. My favorite songs on the album are Nantes, Cliquot (as I said before), Forks and Knives, and Cherbourg.
4) Voxtrot / Voxtrot
I’d been a fan of Voxtrot’s for a while and I enjoyed their EPs, but they were definitely due for a formal album. When the self-titled release came out I popped it in and listened to the first song, aptly titled Introduction. I can’t remember the last time I heard such a strong opening song on an album. Ramesh Srivastava’s vocals are almost perfect, and the build-up of the song is amazing, getting you ready for near-perfect album. There are a couple of songs I’m not completely in love with, but overall it’s really easy to listen to the album all the way through.
My favorite songs on the album are Introduction, Stephen, and the last song, Blood Red Blood. However amazingly the album starts, Blood Red Blood is an even better way to end the album. Take all of the energy and emotion from the entire album and put it into one song and you get Blood Red Blood. Like I said about Beirut, I can’t wait for Voxtrot’s next album, although they must avoid the dreaded sophmore slump.
3) The Thrills / Teenager
The Thrills newest album, Teenager, was one that really surprised me. Their last two albums have had a couple of stellar songs on it, but overall they lacked a punch. But somehow they pulled themselves together and came out with an amazingly cohesive album that doesn’t have a song on it that I don’t like. I’m slightly in love with Conor Deasy’s vocals, which are kind of raspy and sexy, though he doesn’t sound Irish at all. Most of the songs on the album are about youth and love, but I could definitely relate to everything, even at the ripe old age of 25.
My favorite songs on the album are Nothing Changes Round Here, Restaurant (which gets me a little emotional, haha…), and Teenager. To me, this album has very few flaws in it, though some of the songs can sound a little repetitive. But obviously this doesn’t bother me, as it’s my third favorite album of the year. Also of note, the cover of the album is really amazing, especially the multi-colored title of the album. I’d totally hang the record on my wall.
2) Radiohead / In Rainbows
This album by far was the biggest question mark on the musical landscape this year. It’s been four years since Radiohead’s less-than-thrilling release of Hail to the Thief, I wasn’t really sure how this album was going to turn out. But things started to get exciting when the band stated that the album was coming out in 10 days, and it would be released online for whatever price you wanted to pay. This perked the ears and opened the eyes of pretty much everyone, though it didn’t give any hint as to how the album would be.
Thankfully, In Rainbows ended up being amazing. The sound of it was all over the place, taking from jazz, punk, even a song that sounds vaguely like Broken Social Scene. Even the second disc, which was included with the limited edition box set, turned out to be great as well. My favorite songs on the album are Nude, Jigsaw Falling Into Place, and Videotape. Radiohead is supposed to tour in 2008, which is extremely exciting to think about. I’ve seen them twice so far, first around the time Kid A came out, and then after Hail to the Thief came out. The first time was amazing, the second time was disappointing. The third time will hopefully be amazing yet again.
1) The Clientele / God Save The Clientele
After much internal struggle, I decided that my favorite album of the entire year of 2007 was… God Save The Clientele by The Clientele. It feels like kind of a weird choice, but I feel like it was the catchiest, best produced, most diverse, easiest to listen to record of the year. I can honestly say that every song on the album is amazing, ranging from upbeat, to really mellow. The album feels like it fits any season, or anytime, no matter what your mood may be. It’s filled with melodies that sound like they came from the 60’s and Alasdair MacLean’s vocals have never sounded dreamier.
It’s hard to narrow down which songs on the album are my favorites, because honestly every song on the album has something really amazing about it. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say I Hope I Know, From Brighton Beach to Santa Monica, Winter on Victoria Street, The Queen of Seville, No Dreams Last Night, and Bookshop Cassanova. Like I said, this song is filled with such great music it’s hard to say what’s best.
Definitely buy this album. I can’t imagine that anyone could hate this album, unless their favorite band is Slipknot, then maybe.