Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My Favorite Albums Of 2007


I am going to be compiling some best of 2007 lists in the next few weeks, but I must admit that musically 2007 for the most part left me cold. Last year I was able to construct a very solid list of albums for a best of 2006 but frankly more and more I am feeling increasingly shut off from the modern music world.
Still there were a few truly great albums that I heard, so here are a handful that inspired, thrilled and moved me.

1. WHITE CHALK by PJ Harvey
The most intriguing and haunting record of the year is still astounding me. The record incredibly improves when one hears the live recordings that have surfaced since its release. Polly Jean Harvey is modern music's absolute powerhouse to my ears.

2. SEND AWAY THE TIGERS by Manic Street Preachers
A stunning return to form by the best rock band in the world. Easily their best work since EVERYTHING MUST GO ten years ago and featuring some of the best songs and playing they have ever done. A Truly inspirational album.

3. GOOD BAD AND THE QUEEN by Good Bad and The Queen
An actual supergroup that delivered. Damon Albarn's newest group is one of the most heartfelt and brilliant in the world, and the first album is track for track absolutely smashing.

4. OCEAN'S THIRTEEN by David Holmes
Holmes delivers another winner with his newest score. This ranks among his finest albums and it is joyously inventive, alive and as funky as hell.

5. ICKY THUMP by The White Stripes
The welcome return of Jack and Meg turned out to be a real romp featuring some of the best songs of their now decade long career.

6. THE REMINDER by Feist
Leslie Feist's follow up to her masterful LET IT DIE is beautiful, heartfelt and absolutely majestic. A bit of a slow burner but repeated listens are incredibly rewarding.

7. VOLTA by Bjork
It is a tribute to Bjork that one of her weakest albums is still close to a masterpiece. Song for song no where near her best, but still a valuable chapter in her career.

8. MEMORY ALMOST FULL by Paul Mccartney
How Macca can still keep delivering albums this good is frankly extraordinary. Not as solid as his last album but still incredibly refreshing and strong.

9. SHOTTER'S NATION by Babyshambles
The second album from Pete Doherty's new group is much better than their first. He still hasn't reached the heights of his work with The Libertines but he is getting there.

10. YES, I'M A WITCH by Yoko Ono
Not everything works but damn if this isn't her best work since SEASON OF GLASS over 25 years ago.

11. POCKET SYMPHONY by Air
Sublime and well worth the wait.

12. BABY 81 by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Not among their best albums but these guys absolute dedication to rock and roll remains inspiring.

REISSUEs OF THE YEAR:

THE COLLECTION by Sly and the Family Stone
Stunning remastered box set of almost all of the key albums from one of the greatest bands God ever gave us. Essential, timeless and with an albums worth of killer bonus tracks to boot.

FOREVER COOL by Dean Martin
A really great collection that works as an important step in reminding people on how towering and truly influential Dean Martin was.

MUSIC DVD OF THE YEAR:

LORD DON'T SLOW ME DOWN by OASIS
Capturing the great band on perhaps the most pivotal tour of their career, LORD DON'T SLOW ME DOWN is funny, heartfelt and filled with songs frankly too good for modern music. Stunning...

RIP OFF OF THE YEAR:

IN RAINBOWS by Radiohead
It has been awhile since I have given a damn about Radiohead but their ploy of releasing an inferior sounding download of an album months before its actual release in stores (with proper sound and bonus materials) really rubbed me the wrong way. Add on that I found the album derivative, boring and not a shadow on their best work makes Thom and crew a bit null and void for me at this point.

I know I am forgetting some stuff, especially some reissues but I thought all of the above releases, with the exception of the Radiohead, were really great and worthwhile.

2008 promises to be even better with rumored new releases from My Bloody Valentine,
Portishead, Roxy Music (with Eno!!!) and Coldplay (with Eno producing!!!).

7 comments:

Steve Langton said...

Sad to say, 2007 left me cold as well. I did buy The Good The Bad And The Queen and agree with you. It's a simply wonderful album, and I hope we get a 2nd later this year.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Steve,
Yea, it wasn't the strongest year was it? I am struck also that most of the people on here aren't exactly new acts...oh well, everything hopefully cycles and something truly great will come along and kick out the jams again...

I love Good Bad and the Queen...did you get to see them live by any chance. I thought seeing clips of Damon and Paul on stage were chill inducing...great band and incredible album...can't wait for #2...thanks for commenting

Mariana said...

And don't forget a new Bauhaus album, and I think a Peter Murphy solo too! It's going to be a great year.

Rogue Spy 007 said...

I don't listen to a lot of artists of today. That was an interesting list however. The two CDs on it I have are Ocean's 13 and Forever Cool. I love both those albums.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Mariana,
I didn't know Bauhaus were planning a new one...I love Murphy. One of the most intense shows I have ever seen was him solo in the mid nineties at a club in Ohio...he is a really great figure. Bauhaus of course are one of the great bands...

Thanks Keith,
Isn't it great that FOREVER COOL turned out so well???

Steve Langton said...

Haven't seen them live, Jeremy, as I haven't had much cash to travel to gigs in the last 3 to 4 years. Like you, I've seen clips and they do look terrific. Great news re Bauhaus. Saw them live half a dozen times, and I'm pleased to read they are recording again.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Steve,
I have to travel for gigs as well so I don't see anywhere near the amount I used to...