I suppose I should like this time of the year. Looking back...picking favorites. Actually I always end up aggravated and changing my year end album list 749 times. Anyway, I'm not doing that this year. Here is my opinion - the 21 best LP's of '07, preceded by my video of the year.
Serj Tankian - "Empty Walls"
21) Fionn Regan - The End of History
20) Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
19) MIA - Kala
18) Liars - Liars
17) Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold
16) The Veils - Nux Vomica
15) Loney Dear - Loney, Noir
14) The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
13) Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
12) Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
11) Cloudcult - The Meaning of 8: I have a top 11 because my number 2 may or may not be a legitimate pick. Plus I really didn't want to leave this one off the top ten - so it kinda is and it kinda isn't. I'm happy about that. An uplifting album about death. How is that pulled off?
10) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible: Coming off the amazing album Funeral and the hype that surrounded this one, I never thought this would be in my top 10. But I listened the other day and thought, very nice. "Ocean of Noise" is a fave, plus those last 2 tracks may just end the album better than any album on this list (besides my number one).
9) Feist - The Reminder: Just a gorgeous record. It's one of those albums you put on and immediately everything feels familiar - you can almost sing along during listen one.
8) LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver: Has an 80's vibe that doesn't feel cheezy or forced. And so much shorter and better than the debut.
7) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights: Go ahead give it a listen. Tracks from this album should be played on R&B radio stations around the world, to remind people what the genre should sound like. Damn they are some sweet vocals.
6) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga: I keep wondering when Spoon is going to make a crap record. Doesn't seem to EVER happen.
5) Grinderman - Grinderman: A straight rock record from Nick Cave and friends. Somehow the sound is fresh. It's even humorous at times.
4) Battles - Mirrored: The thing with this record is...you don't quite get it...is it supposed to sound like that?....are those drums in time? It's damn confusing and even after you decide it's close to genius, in order to listen, you still must be in the mood for it. If someone walks in on it unprepared and unfamiliar they might either punch you in the face or ask you to turn it off. Or they may name it to their album of the year list. Quick question: Am I hearing those lyrics correctly? "Eat a sandwich"?
3) The National - Boxer: This album was number one for the majority of the year. I still listen to it a lot even though it's pretty old at this point. Passionate.
2) Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago: Not sure if this is even a legal pick. It was released independently earlier in the year, but now it's unavailable until early '08. I guess I'll just have to put it on both years top 10. Brilliant record that Justin Vernon recorded after he spent some time in his fathers hunting lodge in deep despair.
1) Radiohead - In Rainbows: I know what your thinking, "Oh come on, you always pick Radiohead!" Not true, neither Hail to the Thief or Amnesiac were my number ones the year of their release. It flows seamlessly, making the Radiohead fact - that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts - stand true once again. Bodysnatchers is the best RH song since In Limbo. Nude, though it's been in the RH catalog for years, feels new, yet it's an instant classic. Or something like that. And the last 2 tracks - A perfect ending to a great year.
Some honorable mentions: Okkervil River, Burial, Patty Griffin, Jens Lekman.
Short on Hip Hop? I know. I spent a lot of my Hip Hop listening this year on old stuff, but I did like: Brother Ali, JayZ, Common, Joel Ortiz and Pharaoh Monch among others.