Monday, January 12, 2009

The 2007 David Music Poll results

The 2007 David Music Poll Results

1. The Arcade Fire, The Neon Bible (41 votes)
2. Feist, The Reminder (34)
3. Radiohead, In Rainbows (24)
4. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (21)
5. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away (17)
Lily Allen, Alright Still (17)*
7. The National, Boxer (16)
8. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (15)
9. M.I.A., Kala (14)
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga (14)

Runners Up:
Iron & Wine, The Shepherd’s Dog (13); Peter, Bjorn, and John, Writer’s Block (12); Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha (12); Soundtrack, Once (11); Bright Eyes, Cassadaga (10); Tegan and Sara, The Con (9); Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (9); Band of Horses, Cease to Begin (9); Kanye West, Graduation (9)

My Picks

The Essentials

1. Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City

Bonus points go this year to albums that actually feel like albums, and this one certainly does, chronicling both the euphoria and pain of being a creature of the bright lights, big city. At first, I didn’t think it held a candle to Bloc Party’s debut, but now I like it just as much, if not more. And “I Still Remember” is hands down one of the year’s standout songs – unexpectedly sweet and nostalgic as the tunes around it grind and pulse.

2. Tegan and Sara, The Con

I’ve always liked Tegan and Sara, but this one just kicked them to a different level entirely, as their lyrics transcended journal-entryism and hit right on the truth. And musically, they embraced a more layered, completely transfixing sound. Pretty brilliant.

3. The National, Boxer

If, as one of the poll-participants states below, one is either an Alligator fan or a Boxer fan, I must put myself squarely on the Boxer side (“Mr. November” notwithstanding). There was so much hype around this record that I didn’t think it would be nearly as good as it truly is. (I know, that doesn’t give hype much credit, and in a year that hyped Arcade Fire and Feist as well, I should probably listen a little better.) I could listen to this once a day for months on end and still find new reasons to love it. (Now if only I knew what “Squalor Victoria” meant…)

4. Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position

Mostly, this ranking is on the strength of “Accident and Emergency” and “The Magic Position”, two of the greatest songs released this year. I hope indie success doesn’t go to Patrick Wolf’s head – I want him still on the fringe, making music like this. Poptastic at one moment, sweepingly orchestral at others – this is the direction Rufus Wainwright should have gone.

5. Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala

Tied with Regina Spektor for my favorite concert of the year, Jens also squeaked in with one of the year’s better albums. It was a slow-grower for me – I’d always loved “The Opposite of Hallelujah”, but it was the sublime “A Postcard to Nina” that provided the anchor for me to start really getting into the rest of the album.

Best Four-or-Five-Song Albums Stuck in Full-Length Albums

I feel this year was marked by a larger number of albums than usual that gave about four or five great songs and the rest were decidedly underwhelming. These include:

Editors, An End Has a Start (“Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” is an incredible song, but very few of the other songs on the album come close to matching it)

Feist, The Reminder (I love the upbeat songs like “I Feel it All”, “My Moon, My Man”, and “1234” – but damned if the slow songs don’t bore me in a deep, special place)

Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight (the schizo album of the year, with five really strong songs and at least three truly godawful songs)

The iPod Playlist Award for Guilty Pleasures

These are the albums (besides a few of the ones noted above) that I played the most, usually while walking to work, when my mind wanted nothing but pop goodness

Kelly Clarkson, My December
Matt Nathanson, Some Mad Hope
Jimmy Eat World, Chase This Light

The Lilith ’07 Awards

UK Division:
Kate Nash, Made of Bricks

US Division:
Ingrid Michaelson, Girls and Boys

Album That I Didn’t Think Would Be Nearly Essential (But Is)
Bruce Springsteen, Magic

Albums That I’m Not Surprised are Nearly Essential
The Arcade Fire, The Neon Bible
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga

Best Soundtrack

Songs of the Year
Regina Spektor, “Samson” (from last year, but I became obsessed this year)
Editors, “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors”
Kelly Clarkson, “Sober”
Patrick Wolf, “Accident and Emergency” / “The Magic Position”
Ingrid Michaelson, “Breakable”
Jens Lekman, “A Postcard to Nina”
Ben Lee, “Is This How Love’s Supposed to Feel?”
Augustana, “Boston”
Bloc Party, “I Still Remember”

Sarah W likes Girls and Boys

John Mayer, Continuum* (best single: Stop This Train)

Ingrid Michaelson, Girls and Boys (best single: The Way I Am)

Jack M is Slightly Sorry

Most Essential:
PG Six, Slightly Sorry

Euphoria, A Gift From Euphoria
Kanye West, Graduation
Sapat, Mortise and Tenon
Dungen, Tio Bitar
Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (and I thought I was totally over this guy)
Alicia Keys, As I Am
The Clientele, God Save The Clientele
Neil Young, Live at Massey Hall
Sandy Bull, Still Valentine's Day
Tarkus, s/t

Stuff I just discovered this year:
Joanna Nuisance...I mean NewsomSilver Apples
Koop (seriously, you gotta hear this one)
Michael Chapman
Eduardo Bort
Magnet, The Wicker Man soundtrack
Blues Control
Chris Darrow
Dorothy Ashby
John Martyn

The song that's been stuck in my head for the past 9 months:
Rihanna, Umbrella

Tara B is in the Boxer’s Corner

They might be obvious Essentials:
The National, Boxer
Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
Editors, An End Has a Start

Gayle Has Writer’s Block

It was kind of a tough year for me. Not a huge amount that blew me away. Here are my favorites:

Peter, Bjorn & John, Writer's Block
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: Once: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack --probably most essential
New Pornographers: Challengers

Megan is Back to Black

Most Essential: Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

Others to consider: Kanye West, Graduation
Tegan and Sara, The Con

Jake’s Singularly Pleased

Brannan, Half Boyfriend
Tegan and Sara, The Con
William Fitzsimmons, Please Don't Go
Bjork, Oceania
Stars, Look Up (: (: (: (: (: [still one of my favorites]

Maureen Lives in Cartoon Motion, Not Unlike Grace Kelly

#1 Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion

The Go! Team, Proof of Youth
Grant Lee Phillips, Strangelet
Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars
Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

Ben H. Doesn’t Need the Banshees

1) Siouxsie - Mantaray
2) Soundpool - On High
3) Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
4) Ulrich Schnauss - Goodbye
5) Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch - Twin Peaks Season Two and More
6) Christian Death - American Inquisition
7) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
8) Air - Pocket Symphony
9) Psychic TV - Hell Is Invisible... Heaven Is Her/e
10) Annie Lennox - Songs of Mass Destruction

Best thing I was way late getting on the bandwagon with:
The entire O.C. soundtrack for all four seasons which I diligently downloaded in sequential order. Yes, I had a lot of time on my hands this summer.

Best live performances:
Annie Lennox
Sinead O'Connor

Best Soundtracks:
The Water Horse, Sinead O'Connor and James Newton Howard, particularly the track, "Angus in Training"
Hairspray - "Welcome to the 60s," "Without Love," "You Can't Stop the Beat," and that new song for the film, "Come So Far (Got So Far To Go)"

Best Missing-in-action singer from the 70s/80s:
Paul Davis for his stellar hits "I Go Crazy," "Cool Night" and "65 Love Affair." They remind me of Rubik's Cubes and velcro sneakers and rainbow suspenders. Oh, those were the days.

Best CDs to drive across the country to:
1) Indigo Girls "Rites of Passage"
2) Band of Horses "everything all the time"

Best single from long ago I had never heard before but is now in my musical canon:
Michael Martin Murphey - "Wildfire"

Krist Will Sleep When You’re Dead

TOP Records of the Year (with links):
18. Soft Circle - Full Bloom : Somewhere between African dance and electronica, member(s?) of Black Dice make up this weirdly rhythmic music. It's one that grows on you.
Soft Circle - Stones and Trees
17. Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound .
16. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass ; Aesop ups and moves to my old home San Francisco and he makes his best album since Labor Days. Some of the real stand out tracks on this record are: None Shall Pass, Coffee and Getaway Car. Really liked this record.
15. Vampire Weekend - s/t .
14. Kanye West - Graduation (oops) ; His blackest album to date. I love this B side of him sampling Thom Yorke.
Kanye West - Us Placers (feat Lupe and Pharrell) .
13. 31knots - The Days And Nights Of Everything Anywhere . This is one of those bands that I try to convince every one of my "90's midwestern emo" buddies that they would fucking love. This is exactly what at the drive in might sound like if they weren't half hispanic and didn't become the mars volta. I love this fucking band.
31knots - Man Becomes Me .
12. O'Death - Head Home . Another entry in the best of 2007 that doesn't sound like anything else on here. Southern friend punk rock with bangos, oil cans and fiddles, this band from Brooklyn puts on pretty amazing live show. With barely a tshirt between the whole band, this sweaty bluegrass meets the energy of punk band put out a great lofi record. I am really looking forward to their next release.
11. Pelican - City of Echoes: Once again, my favorite instru-metal band makes a dynamic new record. This time, with acoustic meets long drawn out epic songs, City of Echoes, is really a different kind of metal album for me. This is the kind of metal album I want to listen to while I work, people watch or while I sleep. (yes, sleep.) It's a great record.
10. Elliott Smith - New Moon . A compilation from one of my favorite artists of all time. I really love some of these tracks and the acoustic versions of the two Heatmiser songs are like a gift from god to me. The only reason this isn't higher on my list is that cause of my friend Kevin, I have heard 80 percent of the tracks before.
Heatmiser - Not Half Right .
9. A Place to Bury Strangers - s/t: A great 80's inspired record, think early New Order, Joy Division, etc, recorded in what must have been someone's ass. Really catchy dark songs, if you can get past the awful production.
A Place to Bury Strangers - I Know Ill See You .
8. Radiohead - In Rainbows . something something, best band, something, self released. check it out.
Radiohead - Videotape (Live Demo)
7. LCD - Sound of Silver: LCD Soundsystem - All of my Friends (Live on WXPN) .
6. Battles - Mirrored; This band for some reason seems to polarize people. To me this band seems to be a real musician's band. With that being said, I don't have a fucking decimeter of musical talent, however, I like Rush and Don Caballero, so I am able to fake it. Battles is the best of both worlds for me; an intricate complicated band with a bit of soul and danceability to them.
5. Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature: Jose Gonzalez - Teardrop (Live) .
4. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible: So what can be said about this album that hasn't already been said over and over? Ill say this that it took me a bit to really get into this record and the more I listen to it the more I like it. I think THIS clip, believe it or not, made me totally reevaluate this record. A friend thinks this record sounds like an old Bruce Springsteen record. I think she meant it as a compliment.
the Arcade Fire - keep the car running (Live on SNL)
3. Menomena - Friend and Foe: I must be into the eclectic this year cause Menomena is not really like any other release on the top of thepunkguy. 3 singers, all playing at least two instruments (not at once.) As you know I have been a proponent of this band forever and when this record came out I was more than excited and I am so glad that it exceeded my expectations. And this band finally got the attention it's due. Anyway, Friend and Foe has horns, some guitars and a tons of great melodies.
Menomena - Wet and Rusting (live from the take away show) .
2. Beirut - the Flying Cup Club: Last year's number 1, this year's at a comfortable number 2. The Flying Cup Club is like a 20 year old moves to Paris, engulfs himself in French music, plays tons of horns and then recruits the dude from Final Fantasy to make a record that doesn't sound like anything else released all year. Wait, that is exactly what it is. It's different, in a good way.
Beirut - Nantes (live on KEXP) .
1. EL P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead: Living in New York City means finding the perfect soundtrack to walking around the city. Never in all of my almost ten years living here have I ever found a cd that felt so comfortable walking around the city. It's intricate, it's hip hop, it complicated and it's hard as fuck. I mean this record has everything for me. I really do love it and it makes New York fit just right.
EL P - Tasmanian Pain Coaster .

Glen B is Not the Destroyer

Here's my list:

1) Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
2) Peter Bjorn & John, Writer's Block
3) The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
4) Amy Winehouse, Back To Black
5) Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
6) The Bird and the Bee, The Bird and the Bee
7) Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars
8) Feist, The Reminder
9) Blonde Redhead, 23
10) Blitzen Trapper, Wild Mountain Nation

Alaya Defends the Criminally Under-hyped

Most essential album:

Imani Coppola, The Black and White Album (Criminally under-hyped, but she's my favorite new artist of the decade. Killer live, though she hasn't done a show in two years. Especially love "Springtime," "Woke Up White" and "In a Room.")

Other albums:

The 1990s, Cookies

The Roches, Moonswept

Richard Thompson, Sweet Warrior (any year with one of his albums is always a good one for me)

Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (most of it, anyway)

Lily Allen, Alright, Still

From previous years that I just discovered:

Komeda, Kokomemedada (2004. "Blossom" is sublime.)

Saul Williams, Saul Williams (2004. "List of Demands," "Black Stacey." Great videos, too.)

The Rakes, Capture/Release (2006)

Tribalistas, Tribalistas (2002. First heard the single, Velha Infancia, in an internet cafe in Sao Paulo. Beautiful.)

Jorge Ben, Forca Bruta (A classic of his from the mid-seventies)

Doll by Doll: Gypsy Blood, Remember, Doll by Doll (these three albums from the late 70s British cult band, fronted by Jackie Leven, were just re-released this year. Amazing stuff.)

Least essential, please-god-go-away album:

Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High (My sister loves them. I fail to understand.)

Singles I am embarrassed to catch myself enjoying:

Finger Eleven, Paralyzer (The lyrics are *terrible*! What am I thinking?)

Feist, 1234 (I object on principle to the endless parade of female singers with breathy voices. But whatever, it's catchy.)

Better Singles:

Gorillaz, Hong Kong (Off of D-Sides)

Jordan Doesn’t Need Bright Eyes to Turn Around

#1: Bright Eyes, Cassadaga


Joss Stone, Introducing Joss Stone

CeU, CeU (with an accent over the e's that I don't know how to make)

Iain’s Andorra Sweater

Most essential of 2007

Caribou, Andorra

Also essential in 2007

Von Sudenfed, Tromatic Reflexxions

Field Music, Tones of Town

Young Marble Giants, Colossal Youth (reissue)

Pylon, Gyrate Plus (reissue)

Really not that many albums released in 07 that I liked. Must be getting old. Also explained by iTunes-inspired cherry-picking rather than actually buying albums any more.

Other things I liked in 2007

Grinderman, No Pussy Blues

Bricolage, Footsteps

LCD Soundsystem, All My Friends

Howling Bells, Low Happening

The Fall, Scenario

King Creosote, Bombshell

Old things I liked in 2007

Can, Uphill

Gang of Four, Damaged Goods

Madvillain, the Red

Ken Boothe, My Heart is Gone

Alemayehu Eshete, Ambassel (fast)

Ramsey Lewis Trio, The "In" Crowd

Vordul Megilah, Handle That

Cannibal Ox, Ox Out The cage

Fire Engines, Big Gold Dream

Tim Buckley, I Had A Talk With My Woman

Scars, Horrorshow

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Way Out

Treecreeper, Debris

Sam and Dave, I Thank You

Bob Marley, The Heathen

New Moscow, C'mon Up

Midlake, Roscoe

Nina Simone, See Line Woman

Matthue Updates a Few Times, But Finds the Architecture Lovely

10) M.I.A., Kala
9) SoCalled, Ghettoblaster
8) Tim Armstrong, A Poet's Life
7) Clare and the Reasons, The Movie
6) Siouxie, Mantaray
5) Marissa Nadler, Songs III: Bird on a Wire
4) The Matches, Decomposer
3) Anaïs Mitchell, The Brightness
2) Macromantics, Moments in Movement
1) Tender Forever, Wider

i totally forgot that
1) Architecture in Helsinki, Places Like This came out this year. can you put that in my #1 spot? seriously, i'm desperate. it's so, so amazing.....i'll even burn you a copy for tomorrow if you want!

And, best indispensible song off a dIspensible album: ani difranco's
(finally!) all-out rock version of "untouchable face," from her best-of "canon."

Oh! and Radiohead, In Rainbows...and sticking it to the music industry!

Jonathan V. Goes National

My Main 2007 List (Top Ten Favorite Albums of 2007)

1. The National, BOXER
2. Arcade Fire, NEON BIBLE
4. Magnolia Electric Company, SOJOURNER
5. Okkervil River, THE STAGE NAMES
6. Radiohead, IN RAINBOWS
7. Iron & Wine, THE SHEPARD’S DOG
10. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, 100 DAYS 100 NIGHTS

Supplemental List (Top Ten Favorite Albums from previous years that were new to me in 2007)

1. Roxy Music, AVALON
2. The Hold Steady, BOYS & GIRLS OF AMERICA
4. The Format, DOG PROBLEMS
5. Sound Team, MOVIE MONSTER
6. Paul Anka, ROCK SWINGS
8. Roxy Music, FLESH & BLOOD
9. Girl Talk, NIGHT RIPPER
10. Tribe, Abort

My albums of the year are broken down into two lists. Albums that came out this year, and albums from previous years that became a part of my 2007 nonetheless. For the record, it breaks my heart to leave out so many awesome albums from the first list, in favor of brevity. (The Cribs, Modest Mouse, Spoon, New Pornographers, Great Lake Swimmers, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown…the list of missing coolsmiths goes on.) The albums below are just the albums that I refuse to go without. If I could only bring an iPod shuffle’s worth of tunes with me from 2007, these would be the albums I’d draw from.


1. BOXER – The National

Spare arrangements gently offer each melody, suggesting but not insisting, understating their own force. Straightforwardly poetic lyrics resonate quietly, tenaciously. Matt Berninger's voice, too, is deceptively powerful. Its conviction alone becomes mesmerizing, at times barely singing the words.

2. NEON BIBLE – Arcade Fire

Inspired at least in part by John Kennedy Toole's novel, NEON BIBLE certainly takes its moniker to heart, including gospel choirs and church organs in its sound environment at every opportunity, and feeling more than a bit like religious music...for atheists, at least. (Even the choir is more Danny Elfman than Grace Church.) Don't play it until you're ready to set aside headspace, and give yourself a long while to live with what you hear. NEON BIBLE may be the gospel of modern rock, but it sure as hell ain't good news.


If Bird's last CD seemed to swing back and forth between extremes, ARMCHAIR APOCRYPHA is as even-keeled as its title might suggest. A chamber album, if you will. Full of tunes as understated as they are ingenious, overseen by the gentlemanly demeanor of maestro Bird and the multi-faceted charms of his trusty that ever-present whistling. A mellow epic.

4. SOJOURNER – Magnolia Electric Company

Each of the CDs in this box set include songs from a different recording session, all with distinctly different moods. NASHVILLE MOON, the most straightforwardly country, employs the full band, and seems quite at home with its sorrow. It feels like a lazy mosey through the valley of the shadow of death. SHOHOLA catches Molina performing alone, wielding the powerful introspection of his solo work to produce a tone that’s borderline incantational. As for BLACK RAM, it explodes with a sound that’s larger and more foreboding than what we've heard from Magnolia in years.

5. THE STAGE NAMES – Okkervil River

One of my favorite moany, weepy bands, has produced something close to an honest-to-goodness feel-good record. Will Scheff’s lyrical prowess remains in full force, and his lit-major litanies still steep your heart in sorrow, but this time around, the desperation is gone, and the sadness is almost sweet. Scheff is not so much hanging his head low, as bopping it to the rhythm.

6. IN RAINBOWS – Radiohead

Despite its forward-thinking method of distribution (as a pay-what-you-will download from the Radiohead website), IN RAINBOWS features little of the electronic experimentation of Thom Yorke's recent work. This is an album by Radiohead the band, not Radiohead the hard drive, with instrumentation by actual instruments, and songs that are compact and precise. Somewhat mellower than what we're used to from a group that's more often gone for stone-faced dystopian splendor, IN RAINBOWS finds Radiohead at their most straightforwardly human.

7. THE SHEPARD’S DOG – Iron & Wine

The most audacious departure yet from Sam Beam's trademark minimalism, the album embraces harmonies, vocal effects and a sprawl of instrumentation. The good news is, Beam’s not changing for its own sake. Every addition here has been carefully considered, and each element falls perfectly into place. His choices, while untraditional, are hardly without precedent in rock or alt folk--and yet Beam explores with such a sense of discovery that they feel entirely new.

Tender without being cloying, slick without being cold—Feist’s new album will appeal to fans of frank, elegant female vocalists like Regina Spektor and Aimee Mann. Her breathy tones even recall Bjork, yet they remain more grounded, never losing that sense of gentle nuance. Gorgeous production, too: So intimate at times, it's like she's singing in your ear...and it’s safe to say that mine remained on loan to Feist for the duration of 2007.

THE FLYING CLUB CUP is one of those rare albums whose instrumental interludes do not feel like "breaks". This is not just a bunch of songs, this is music. Though it's rather solitary in spirit, even with the multitude of players keeping accordionist/frontman Zach Condon company at the carnival.

10. 100 DAYS 100 NIGHTS – Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Yikes, this is amazing. Jones is carrying the torch for classic soul singing, and The Dap Kings offer her the kind of band backup you've been craving since the days of The Godfather. (And I don't mean Don Corleone.)

1. AVALON – Roxy Music

AVALON is quite subdued, to be fair. Gone is the Brian Ferry of early Roxy, playing counterpoint to Eno's experimental sprawl. The smooth smoothie himself has been in the driver's seat for a while now, and the sound has rearranged itself around his voice. There's no freneticism or camp, and the lush instrumentals no longer make it sound like the album is dropping acid...they make it sound like it's getting laid. In fact, with Ferry's velvet tones finally given their opportunity to stand front-and-center, you won't hear much difference between them and the saxophone.

2. BOYS & GIRLS OF AMERICA – The Hold Steady

The CD is an evocation, at once sweet and spiny, of a low-rent "lost generation", misusing each other and themselves at the cost of what’s left of their youth. What Tennessee Williams was to Southern Belles, Craig Finn has become to The Hard-Partier...only he's a good deal more buoyant about it.

3. THE LEMON OF PINK – The Books

This is one of the most exciting things I've heard in years. So many awesomenesses come together on this CD: The tape loop experiments of Steve Reich, the deconstructed phonetics of Jean-Michael Jarre's ZOOLOOK, the use of sound for aural texture on the one hand and context on the other. Is it music? Is it a noise record? What's with the banjo? And everywhere on the tracks, laughter. Sounds of people having fun. Then all of a sudden, a fencing class. An airport terminal. It's music one moment, teleportation the next.

4. DOG PROBLEMS – The Format
DOG PROBLEMS periodically lapses from gentle pop into ELO chorals, Queenly harmonies, Beatles-esuqe orchestral flourishes and borderline bombast. What separates it from the "overproduction parade" of 2006 is that, for once, the scale of this project matches its worth. These are wonderful songs, and all of a piece--even as they switch from min to max and back again like a showoff Superfriend. The band's sound is teen, I'll warn you, but fogeyism be damned, DOG PROBLEMS is truly glorious.
5. MOVIE MONSTER – Sound Team

The actual sound of Sound Team is dense, with a foreboding layer of lowgrade digital fuzz that lead vocalist Matt Oliver's growl cuts through like a fashionably disheveled star entrance. The songs have relentless drive, and they never really finish, they just stop...leaving you no choice but to spin through the whole record again once they're done. Clever.

6. ROCK SWINGS – Paul Anka

Anka's setlist of 80s and 90s pop tunes, blown up to "swing" size with full orchestral arrangements, is loaded with daredevil selections (Bon Jovi's IT'S MY LIFE, Billy Idol's EYES WITHOUT A FACE) that you'd expect to slam head-on into the "novelty song" wall. Instead, the Ankafication proves revelatory--The Cure's LOVECATS becomes deliciously tender and moving, even Survivor's EYE OF THE TIGER stands up as a damn fine "modern standard" once stripped of its hair metal plumage.


It’s hard to call any of the tracks featured on LAUGHING STOCK ‘songs’ per say. The whole album, widely regarded as the English band’s best effort, represents a kind of musical continuum. Instruments drift in and out, often backed throughout by a steady percussive beat, like a stage onto which each sound passes, before disappearing just as mysteriously as it arrived. Hollis’ own voice occupies a similarly transient role, here one moment, gone the next, often for minutes at a time. The scarcity of the singing lends weight to every word.

8. FLESH & BLOOD – Roxy Music

If you like the cool neon glow of AVALON, you’ll find much to enjoy about its creepy kid brother. At its best, FLESH & BLOOD is the synths-a-blazin’ pop equivalent of being in a pastel-saturated 80s romantic thriller, the kind where everyone wears sunglasses at night, so they they can...

9. NIGHT RIPPER – Girl Talk

A quixotic mash-up for the terminally attention-deficient, NIGHT RIPPER combines the work of well over a hundred different bands and rappers into a pop imbroglio. My sister's description of it is less flattering: "Every song I've ever tried to avoid once." Smashing Pumpkins. Young Jeezy. Fleetwood Mack. 50 Cent. Elton John. Biggie Smalls. It's a suite of perpetual guilty pleasure.

10. ABORT – Tribe

I used to know a guy who was forever lamenting the breakup of Tribe. An under-appreciated nineties band from Boston, they only managed two albums (this one and 1993's SLEEPER) before heading off into the wild blue yonder. What's left are two CDs of solid rock, with a lead singer whose powerful vocals (and sense of drama) recall Siouxsie Sioux, backed by a "wall of sound" of ceiling-to-floor guitar growl. Think Curve, or even My Bloody Valentine. Though SLEEPER contains a few of the band's best songs, ABORT (their debut) is definitely Tribe's signature album.

Megan S Goes Ga Ga Ga Ga Over Spoon

Most essential album - Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga

Other essential albums:
Feist, The Reminder
Okkervil River, The Stage Names
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Bishop Allen, The Broken String
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Best movie soundtrack – Once
Best underrated sophomore album – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder
Possible essential band of 2008? – Vampire Weekend

Best Older Album Discoveries of 2007:
Johnny Cash, American IV
New Pornographers, Mass Romantic
Andrew Bird, The Swimming Hour

Micol Goes By the Bible

Most essential: Arcade Fire, Neon BibleAlso essential: Peter, Bjorn & John, Writer's Block
You Know That Jason B’s No Good

essential: Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (and bonus points for her track on the Mark Ronson record) Feist, the ReminderEddie Vedder, Into the Wild sdtkBand of Horses, Cease to BeginTegan & Sara, The ConRyan Adams, Easy TigerMika, Life in MotionBeirut, The Flying Club CupJustice, (that weird cross-like symbol)!!!, Myth Takes can i add something about Kate Nash and Basia Bulat kicking the asses of those Colbie/Sara girls?

Paula Checks Out Cassadaga

Here are the albums I enjoyed this year:

Bright Eyes, Cassadaga

Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City

Maria Taylor, Lynn Teeter Flower

Paramore, Riot!

Dntel, Dumb Luck

Dashboard Confessional, The Shade of Poison Trees

Feist, The Reminder

Armor for Sleep, Smile for Them

The Shins, Wincing the Night Away

Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer?

Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight

Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass


Once, Music from the Motion Picture

Juno, Music from the Motion Picture

Most Essential, based on the fact that I listened to it the most:

Once, Music from the Motion Picture

Best song to sing along to in the car with your little sister:

Paramore, Misery Business Best 'I know it's an Ipod commercial but it's still a really fun song'


Feist, 1234

Jennifer A. Needs No Reminder
1. Feist, The Reminder

2. St. Vincent, Marry Me

3. Beirut, The Flying Cup Club

4. The used record Hugo bought me called 1920s Hot Hits (I may be paraphrasing the title)

5. R. Kelly, Double Up

6. Brisa Roche, Takes (but it exists only in France)

7. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

8. Lily Allen, Allright, Still

9. Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion

I didn't really buy many cds at all this year. Just did lots of illegal downloading.

Best videos

Bat for Lashes, What's a Girl To Do?

L'il Mama, My Lipgloss

Bill B, All Neon Like

Thanks for doing this! Here are my votes:

Most Essential: Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Also Essential: Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha

Thoroughly enjoyable singles:

Feist, 1234
Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson, Valerie
Spoon, You Got Your Cherry Bomb
Michael Buble, Everything
Andy Samberg, Iran So Far
Natasha Beddingfield, Love Like This

Darin Stands By Amy in Her Time of Need

1) Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
2) Modest Mouse – We were dead before the Ship even sank
3) Peter Bjorn and John – Writers Block
4) Feist - The Reminder
5) M.I.A. – Kala
6) Kanye West – Graduation
7) Radiohead – In Rainbows
8) Jay-Z – American Gangster
9) Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
10) Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs – Is, Is (EP)
Song of the Year: The Fratellis – "Flathead"/LCD Soundsystem – "Someone Great"
Biggest Disappointment – Interpol – Our Love to Admire

Reunited, and it Feels So Good to Drew

1. The Weakerthans, Reunion Tour

Runners up (no particular order).

Gaslight Anthem, Sink or Swim

Sundowner, Four One Five Two

Bomb the Music Industry!, Get Warmer

Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

American Steal, Destroy Their Future

Tim Barry, Rivanna Junction

Bright Eyes, Cassadaga

Emmy the Great, My Bad EP

Limbeck, Limbeck

Tegan and Sara, The Con

What a phenomenal year of music. God, I don't have anything witty to say.

Cindy Likes the Little Voice

Most essential:

Bareilles, Sara. Little Voice.
“Gonna quit my job and move to New York/ 'Cause somebody told me that's where/ Dreamers should go/ Gonna quit my job and move to New York/ And tattoo my body with every Broadway show” from the song “Vegas.” I also love “Fairytale”: “…‘cause I don’t want the next best thing/ no no I don’t want the next best thing.”

Sherri, not from Montreal, but Of Montreal

1 Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

2 L.C.D. Soundsystem, Sound of Silver

3 Caribou, Andorra

4 Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Living with the Living

5 Panda Bear, Person Pitch

6 The Ladybug Transistor, Can't Wait Another Day

7 Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam

8 The Go-Team, Proof of Youth

9 !!! / chk chk chk, Myth Takes

10 Imperial Teen, The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band

Jason G., Strange Weirdo

10. Strange Weirdos - Loudon Wainwright III
For the last several years, Loudon has had a popular resurgence thanks to Judd Apatow. It's interested cause he made his best albums in the seventies after appearing on M*A*S*H*. Since being welcomed into the Jew Crew's inner-circle with acting roles on Undeclared and Knocked Up, his musical output has once again hit a new peak. Strange Weirdos is the soundtrack to Knocked Up, even though more than half the songs don't appear in the film. What made Loudon's early albums so great was their mix of political commentary, his sharp wit and his anti-folk mentality. Truth is, he hasn't been this sharp since his mid-seventies masterpieces (1979's A Live One is a great introduction) and it's a welcome return to form. BEST TRACKS: "Grey in L.A.", "Feel So Good", "Daughter"

9. Wincing the Night Away - The Shins
The album leaked in October of 2006 and I'm still listening to it. And while The Shins haven't improved as a live act, this album is definitely an excellent step forward for them musically. Every song on this record is strong. It also keeps getting better, with the second side stronger than the first side.BEST TRACKS: "A Comet Appears", "Girl Sailor", "Turn on Me"

8. The Reminder – Feist
Get past how overplayed "1234" has become and what you're left with is one of the best records by a female artist. It's an album that will one day be considered a classic on par with Joni Mitchell's Blue, Kate Bush's The Whole Story and Sinead O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. It's a record that entices you with a warmth, but that is lyrically stinging and angry as all hell. BEST TRACKS: "1234", "My Moon My Man", The Water"

7. We'll Never Turn Back - Mavis Staples
When I heard that Anti- Records (home to Tom Waits and Nick Cave) signed Mavis Staples I was pretty surprised. The legendary Stax superstar hasn't released anything worthy in years. Well, We'll Never Turn Back is fantastic. Ry Cooder produced this masterpiece that lets her saintly vocals shine to the heavens. The album standards and originals that deal with the civil rights movement, but while some of these tracks may be very old, it's amazing how much the album feels like it's talking about the aftermath of Katrina and the sad state of racism in America that still seems to exist. It's a powerful album. In fact, without even trying, Mavis has made her most spiritual album in decades.
BEST TRACKS: "My Own Eyes", "99 and 1/2", "Down in Mississippi"

6. Boxer - The National
Alligator was a really good record, but Boxer is an excellent record. It's the type of album that you wish U2 would still make. The love/war metaphors keep bringing me back to Boy-era U2, with "Start A War" being the album's centerpiece. You can also feel a slight Springsteen influence hidden underneath some of the feedback. The more I listened to it and the most I soaked up Matt Berninger's lyrics, the more I fell in love with this album.BEST TRACKS: "Fake Empire", "Start a War", "Apartment Story", "Slow Show"

5. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - Of Montreal
Hissing Fauna is the album that Elephant 6er Kevin Barnes has been threatening to make for years. It's by far Of Montreal's most accessible album and it's also their poppiest, but it's also their most creative. By toning down some of their eccentricities and lyrical pogoing, Barnes and company are able to actually shine in a way that they have never been able to before. While Beck's Sea Change is an album about that horrible period after breaking up in which you still think you love the person, Hissing Fauna is all about seeing the emotional scars that a relationship can leave on your body. Barnes paints such a vivid picture of this troubled world, but keeps it wrapped in a surreal sense of hope and optimism. Nothing they've ever done has matched the depth and beauty and sadness and heart that is Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?BEST TRACKS: "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse", "Suffer for Fashion", "She's a Rejecter", "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal"

4. In Rainbows - Radiohead
Fucking A. Thom Yorke and his merry band of pranksters are the best band in the world. In Rainbows may not be the most insane or creative albums they've ever released, but it is on par with their best (Kid A, OK Computer, The Bends). While some fans have complained that they prefer the demo versions of "Nude" or "Arpeggi," the album versions of these songs are masterful. "House of Cards," a song full of metaphors about falling in love with your best friend and risking it all, is just heaven sent. "Jigsaw Falling into Place" and "Bodysnatchers" are blast and then you have an added second disc that is just as awesome as the first disc. I can go on and on, but you should know that this is worth every penny I paid for it.BEST TRACKS: "House of Cards", "Reckoner", "Jigsaw Falling into Place", "All I Need", "4 Minute Warning"

3. The Con - Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara have made the musical equivalent to The Slums of Beverly Hills. It's a near-perfect coming of age album that is much more intelligent and complex than the first listening/viewing could get across. On the most basic level, the album is an ambitious step forward for the sisters. It's by far their most musically complex and adventurous album, but it's the lyrical themes and the pulsating hooks that make this album so stellar. "Floorplan" and "The Con" are two of the most powerful songs the pair have ever written. The beauty of the album is how perfect it works as a whole, from start to finish. Every song evolves into the other and it all works so perfect.BEST TRACKS: "Nineteen", "The Con", "Floorplan", "Hop On A Plane"

2. Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Production: Perfect. Beats: Killer. Grooves: Out of this world. Lyrics: Off the hook. Album: Beyond awesome. Live: Even more beyond awesome. No album made me lose my shit more this year than LCD's Sound of Silver. Having seen James Murphy and co numerous times of the years, I never expected him to drop such a fucking amazing album. All in all, the album delivers some of the best anthems of the year. Songs like "North American Scum", "Get Innocuous!" and the absolutely brilliant "All My Friends" are enough to make this album a near tie for my number one spot, but it gets so much extra love because this album has no filler. No filler. All killer. BEST TRACKS: "North American Scum", "Get Innocuous!", "All My Friends", "Watch The Tapes", "Someone Great", "New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down"

1. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
Forget the Springsteen and U2 comparisons, in ten years no one will remember that people said those things because this record will be standing on its own as an absolute masterpiece. Every song on this album is an absolute classic. Every song compliments the next. Every song stays inside you and gets better and better with repeat listening. It's an album that not only feels important, it is important. It's music you want to share. It's music you want to keep private. It's music you want heal, to love, to listen, to feed off, and to have sex to. It's just brilliant and in ten years when this band is headlining arenas or broken up, it's an album that people will still consider absolutely perfect. BEST TRACKS: "Windowsill", "The Well & The Lighthouse", "Keep The Car Running", "No Cars Go", "Intervention", "Ocean of Noise", "Neon Bible", "Black Mirror", "(Antichrist Television Blues)", "Black Wave / Bad Vibrations"

Sarah: Into Beauty and Crime

My pick for most essential:

Suzanne Vega, Beauty and Crime

The song "Unbound" is my post-divorce anthem.

Cat Provides Her Historical Conquests

The most essential
Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (August 2007)

The album that came completely out of nowhere, cracked me on the back of the head and knocked me on my ass
Rodrigo y Gabriela (October 2006, but they toured mostly in 2007)

Other essentials
Radiohead: In Rainbows (October 2007)
Cold War Kids: Robbers and Cowards (October 2006)
Beirut: The Flying Club Cup (October 2007)
Once: Soundtrack (May 2007)
Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (March 2007)
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away (January 2007)
Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha (March 2007)
Vampire Weekend (January 2008)
Brandi Carlisle: The Story (April 2007)
M.I.A.: Kala (August 2007)
Lily Allen: Alright, Still (January 2007)

** I realize some may be disqualified due to release dates, but it was in 2007 that they all received the heaviest rotation on my iPod. : )

Bryant is His Real Name, not his Stage Name
Here are my entries:

Most Essential Album of 2007:
Okkervil River, The Stage Names

Other Essential Albums of 2007:
The Thrills, Teenager
Bloc Party, Weekend in the City
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Feist, The Reminder
Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Most Essential Pop Singles of 2007:
Beyonce, Irreplaceable
Carrie Underwood, Before He Cheats
Lil' Mama, Lip Gloss

Essential Indie Singles of 2007:
Andrew Bird, Imitosis
Bloc Party, Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
Okkervil River, Plus Ones
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder
Modest Mouse, Dashboard
Feist, My Moon My Man
Jens Lekman, A Postcard to Nina

I'd like to think up eighteen more categories, but alas, it's time to grade some pop quizzes on Jamestown.

Ders Tempts Our Eardrum

In no particular order, here are my top picks of 2007: Talib Kweli, EardrumSharon Jones & The Dap Kings, 100 Days 100 NightsThe National, BoxerRadiohead, In RainbowsQueens of the Stone Age, Era VulgarisIron and Wine, The Shepard's DogMos Def, True MagicBattles, MirroredEccentric Soul: Twinights Lunar Rotation (Various Artists)Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Annie K Goes M.I.A

Essential Albums:

1. M.I.A., Kala

Lupe Fiasco, The Cool

The National, Boxer

RJD2, The Third Hand

The New Pornographers, Challengers

Best Remix of New Song With an Old Soul: Rakim & Kanye West & Nas & KRS One, "Classic" (Better Than I've Ever Been DJ Premier Remix)

Best Spanish Language Cover of a Song by the Band That Originally Performed It Anyway: Anything Box, Carmen – Castellano

Wani is a Rainbow Warrior

Radiohead, In Rainbows (Most Essential)

The National, Boxer

No Age, Weirdo Rippers

Black Kids, Wizard of Ahhs

Neil Young, Live at Massey Hall 1971

Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (Just Kidding)

New York, Laura D. Loves You But You’re Bringing Her Down

Most Essential (a tie for me):

LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver Because I'm a closet electronica lover and I love the way they mix it up (including that special shout out to our hometown: New York, I Love YOu But You're Bringing Me Down--ha!)

AND Radiohead, In Rainbows

Other mentions/essentials:

Feist, The Reminder (I think 1234 is the catchiest song of the year)

Wilco, Sky Blue Sky

Shout Out Louds, Our Ill Wills (blatantly appealing to my hankering for college days with The Cure, The Smiths, et al!)

Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

Dan P. Knows the Magic Position

It was a close call. Here are mine (in order of essentiality):

1. Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position
2. The National, Boxer
3. Lavender Diamond, Imagine Our Love

Some extras I've listened to plenty, but which I wouldn't necessarily proclaim, "YOU MUST GET THIS RIGHT NOW," more like, "Hey, check this out when you get a chance":

Patty Griffin, Children Running Through
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
Annie Lennox, Songs of Mass Destruction
Joshua James, The Sun is Always Brighter

Nico’s Zero and X


1) Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero

*After a super-weak “comeback” in 2005 with the With Teeth album, I wasn’t expecting much out of Trent Reznor this time around. But when NIN went on a pre-album-release tour of Europe in the early spring and mysterious YEAR ZERO songs were appearing on USB drives planted in men’s restrooms of the concert venues, when certain letters/numbers on tour shirts were highlighted to reveal secret Web sites and toll-free numbers to call for song previews, and when all sorts of crazy sh*t started happening, I was much more hopeful. This album has renewed my faith in Trent Reznor and his musical capabilities, and it’s hands-down my favorite album of 2007 (sorry, Kylie). Seriously, I’ve never heard music like this. The album goes from expertly engineered electronic cacophony that still manages to have a danceable/head-bang-able beat to the most delicate and melodic vocals of I’ve ever heard out of dear ol’ Trenty, and I’m so in love with this album it’s not even funny. It came out in April, and I STILL can’t stop listening to it. NOW ALL HE HAS TO DO IS TOUR IN THE STATES!!!!! Well, the whole thing is a concept album of what America looks like 15 years in the future, after the Religious Right has taken over and basically destroyed the world, so maybe he feels that America didn’t deserve a YEAR ZERO tour. He managed to go to South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe (twice), but there’s supposedly a YEAR ZERO sequel coming in 08, so I hope to see the new songs live then. Ugh. Sorry for the rant.

2) Kylie Minogue, X

*Note that this isn’t out in the US till February 08, but I had to put it on here. I nearly cried when I heard this album for the first time. When 13 leaked tracks from this album appeared in June, I was beyond excited. They were amazing, and I had high hopes for Kylie’s return-from-beating-breast-cancer album. But when I later found out that only 3 of the 13 leaked tracks made the final cut, I was worried. Turns out it was for no reason. The album is packed full of the most joyous pop music I’ve heard…um…ever. I’d say Madonna’s Confessions album comes close, but where that album is a bit more removed emotionally from the music (I just think that Madonna is all about the dance-dance-dance on that record), Kylie’s X just sucks you right in. It has some fantastic mid-tempo electro-pop numbers (“Like a Drug,” “The One”), unashamed disco throwbacks that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Daft Punk album (“In Your Arms,” “Wow”), and all sorts of fun. I can’t even put it into words. Obviously.

3) Kosheen, Damage

*Also only came out in Europe this year, and like Kosheen’s last album, will probably not be release here. Boo. I love this album. It fuses the drum-and-bass/techno elements from their debut album Resist and the more melodic, acoustic sounds of their sophomore album Kokopelli, and the result is quite pleasing.

4) M.I.A., Kala

*Oh my god. Insanity. This album is insanity, and I love every minute of it. “Bamboo Banga” is one of my favorite songs of the year.

5) Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad

*I think the best lyrics on this album is from “Breakin’ Dishes”: “I’m roastin’ marshmallows on the fi-yah / And what I’m burnin’ is yo’ attie-yah (attire)”  “I’m breakin’ dishes (on your head) / All night (uh-huh) / I ain’t gon’ stop until I see police lights (uh-huh) / I’ma fight a man tonight / I’ma fight a man tonight” (repeat, repeat, dance, sing your heart out, dance, repeat, etc., blah blah blah)

6) Nine Inch Nails, Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (YEAR ZERO REMIXED)

*The Faint, Ladytron, and others have their way with YEAR ZERO, and the results are amazing. Really unique music that just blew my mind. And two NIN releases in 6 months?! Maybe sobriety ain’t such a bad thing!


Britney Spears, “Gimme More” (how can one resist—and what a perfect opening line…and WHAT A PERFORMANCE!!!!!!!)


1) Marilyn Manson: Eat Me, Drink Me.

*More like Slay Me, Bore Me. This came out on my birthday, so I was reasonably excited. And? BOOOOO!!!! I swear, I’ve never been so bored by Manson’s music. I even passed him up on his multiple NYC-area tour stops, because I hated the new songs so much. It’d take too much room to fully express my disappointment in this guy, so I’ll stop. There’s just no UMPH to anything on this album. Well, minimal UMPH, at best. Production is uninteresting. Songs all blend together. Ok. Now I’ll stop.

2) Bjork: Volta

*Um…eh. Maybe I need to listen to it more, but “eh” about sums it up.

3) Tori Amos: American Doll Posse

*I thought we were gonna get to see “Crazy Tori” again on this album. That’s what I’d heard, anyway. She brought the “crazy” on her tour (one of the best shows I’ve ever seen by her), but did we see it on the album? No. More adult-contemporary, Top 40 wannabe bullsh*t. Leaps and bounds above Beekeeper, but still. I wanted more.


Girls Aloud, The Sound of Girls Aloud – This is just the kind of unashamed Europop I’ve been craving, and Girls Aloud’s best-of album (which includes a superfun remake of the Pointer Sisters’ “Jump”) has been seeing a helluva lotta play on my Nano

Wow, that was rambly.

All in all, 07 was the best year for new music for me in a long time. I’m a happy boy.

Michael T Ceases to Begin

1: Band of Horses, "Cease to Begin"
2: Handsome Furs, "Plague Park"
3. Feist, "The Reminder"
4. Panda Bear, "Person Pitch"

Andrew Goes West (But Is Life Peaceful There?)

Most Essential:

Lucinda Williams, West


Elizabeth Cook, Balls

Patty Griffin, Children Running Through

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, Raising Sand

Lori McKenna, Unglamorous

Bruce Springsteen, Music

Kelly Willis, Translated From Love

Most Essential of 2008 So Far:Various Artists, "Juno" Soundtrack

Jenny Goes Apocryphal
1)Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocryphra (also my newest discovery this year!)

2)Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga

3)LCD Sound System, Sound of Silver

4)Stars, In our bedroom after the war

5)Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

6)Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

7)Kanye West, Graduation

8)P.J. Harvey, White Chalk

9)The Cat Empire, Two Shoes

10)The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the movie "Once."*

**Essential Single: The Decemberists, "The Apology Song." (Off of "5 songs.") (This is one of the best songs I've ever heard!)***

Neil’s Silver Sounds
1) LCD Soundsystem-Sound of Silver 2) Andrew Bird-Armchair Apocryphra 3) Kanye West-Graduation 4) Spoon-Ga Ga Ga Ga 5) Stars-In Our Bedroom After The War 6) Arcade Fire-Neon Bible 7) Jay-Z-American Gangster 8) The National-Boxer 9) M.I.A.-Kala 10) Art Brut-It's A Bit Complicated 11) Iron & Wine-The Shepherd's Dog 12) White Stripes-Icky Thump

Little Boxes for Jonas

Here's my number one:

Kim Richey, Chinese Boxes

And this year's contenders:

Kelly Willis, Translated from Love
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
Lucinda Williams, West
Ween, La Cucaracha Dash
Rip Rock, Hee Haw Hell
Bad Brains, Build a Nation
Son Volt, The Search
Jesse Malin, Glitter in the Gutter
John Doe, A Year in the Wilderness
The Smithereens, Meet the Smithereens
Feist, The Reminder

Thanks to Juno for introducing me to Moldy Peaches & Kimya Dawson -- I'm voting them "Folk's best response to Punk."

And best discovered music:

Penelope Houston, The Pale Green Girl

And best discovered bedroom pop:

Carla Bruni, Quelqu'un m'a dit
Keren Ann, La Bibliographie De Luka Philipse

Jenny F Catches the Wave

My contribution is:

Chris Bathgate, A Cork Tale Wave

Brandi Lights a Fire

Most essential album (though I loved them already, sealed as essential after seeing them at Judson Memorial Church):
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

New surprise:
Bowerbirds, Hymns for the Dark Horse

Almost forgotten, but rediscovered:
The New Pornographers, Challengers

Other essentials:
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The National, Boxer
Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger (he just goes and goes)
!!!, Myth Takes
Feist, The Reminder

Antonio’s Big Awakening

I am very bad when it comes to lists and such because my brain is so scattered. But I can tell you that I give a big vote to the SPRING AWAKENING cd!! (If you haven't heard it yet, go listen! go listen!) As for an awesome artist/album I've recently discovered: Loreena McKennitt, The Mask and Mirror.

Pam, Armchair Fan

My most essential album of the year:

* Andrew Bird; Armchair Apocrypha

Other essentials:
* Loney, Dear; Loney, Noir
* Fionn Regan; The End of History
* The Cribs; Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever
* Datarock; Datarock
* O'death; Head Home
* Tim Fite, Gone Aint Gone
* Le Loup; The Throne of The Third Heaven of The Nations' Millenium Geneneral Assembly
* Luke Temple; Snowbeast
* The Mugs; Here Tomorrow
* Rufus Wainwright, Release The Stars
* White Rabbits, Fort Nightly

Matthew U. Gives Us a Story

Most essential:

Brandi Carlile, The Story

Biggest disappointments:
Lucinda Williams, West (though with a few good songs)
Patty Griffin, Children Running Through (though with a few great songs)
Annie Lennox, Songs of Mass Destruction

Guiltiest pleasure:
Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion

Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass
Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars
Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Kelly Willis, Translated from Love
Nellie McKay, Obligatory Villagers

Thu’s Feisty

1. Feist, The Reminder2. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky3. Jose Gonzalez, In Our Nature4. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, Once Soundtrack5. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver6. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible7. Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity

e.kuo Visits the Scene of the Crimes

in no particular order:

Radiohead-In Rainbows
The true followup to "OK Computer," this is the album I wish "Hail to the Theif" had been. And the initial download release reminded me of going to midnight sale CD releases in college to buy an album as soon as I could. It's amazing that that they managed to suddenly reawaken that excitement of being one of the first to hear an album along with the rest of the world, rather than finding a leak online weeks before the official date. And of course, wanting the vinyl, I shelled out for the discbox.

Okkervil River-The Stage Names
Something like an indie rock version of Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty," this album bemoans the life of an indie rocker and turns the lens on itself. Commenting on the various pressures and ennui of being in a "mid-level band," Okkervil River manages not only to update Jackson Browne's portrait of being in a band in the aughts, but also puts themselves in a direct historical path, showing how the more some things change the more they stay the same.

Rhymefest-The Man in the Mirror
Mark Ronson and the "Best Kept Secret" remix Michael Jackson's discography and let Rhymefest do his thing in tribute to the King of Pop. Amazingly, the album actually benefits from its skits, which, with tricky editing, take the form of studio chatter between Rhymefest and Michael Jackson as they make the album. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of MJ, but I find myself coming back to this. There seems to be such joy in the creation of it, which never ceases to put a smile on my face.

I'm not even completely clear on what dubstep is, but the dark murky soundscape of this album and the skittering beats offer themselves as the children of Massive Attack and the cousin once or twice removed of Dizzee Rascal. A fitful late night descent into a dancing darkness. Or something like that.

Kanye West-Graduation
How does he do it? I'm amazed at the level of quality he's been able to sustain in the hip hop arena. I'm not even sure what to say about this other than it's more of what you've come to know and expect of Kanye while managing to exceed and rise above it. How else would he continue to be so fresh?

Jens Lekman-Night Falls on Kortedala
If Okkervil River are channeling the spirit of Jackson Browne, Jens Lekman is like a Swedish Van Morrison. But instead of becoming subsumed by his 60s and 70s R&B and AM radio influences, he filters them through a sweet Swedish precision. Almost too precious by half, there's something infectious in the seemingly simple way he plays with and through his influences. It's music by a lover of music.

Blonde Redhead-23
Airy, lush production propels this album foward in an almost hypnotic state. An autumnal dream-pop album, I assauged a few dark late nights with this small gem.

While perhaps not her best album, it's Bjork! And while some songs seemed to meander to the point of almost becoming lost, others reaffirmed Bjork as one of the most distinct voices in contemporary music.

Bettye Lavette-The Scene of the Crime
In a year when Sharon Jones released her third soul excercise in 60s revivalism, and Amy Winehouse borrowed Jones' band to put her own brand of funk on it, I found myself returning to Bettye Lavette's Muscles Shoals-like album, recorded with the Drive-By Truckers. While not as raw as her previous outing (the fantastic "I've Got My Own Hell To Raise"), the fuller sound brings a new warmth to the proceedings and the band does great work supporting Lavette's voice, growls, and phrasing. As a side note, she'll be playing February 8th in New York as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook presents series. And, in a move that I have long wanted and hope will become the norm, the LP comes with a free coupon to download the music as an mp3.

Notable reissues:
Betty Davis-Betty Davis
Betty Davis-They Say I'm Different
Her first two albums serve thick powerful slabs of 70s funk. Married to Miles Davis (for a time) she turned him onto Jimi Hendrix and psychadelic rock, influencing "Bitches Brew" in the process. The first album features Sly and the Family Stone's rhythm session and backing vocals from the Pointer Sisters. I read someone somewhere call her the Janis Joplin of funk, an apt comparison.

Dan E is Still All About the Reissues

Yes, I am still all about the reissues:1) Sly and the Family Stone / The Collection2) Pink Floyd / Piper at the Gates of Dawn3) Grandmaster's Remix Album: GZA vs. DJ MuggsYou'd be proud; I actually managed to go as recent as 2005 on the third choice, so perhaps I'm evolving. (On second thought...)

Hong Goes for the Panda Bear

Most essential:Panda Bear, Person Pitch

Others essential:

Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Block

LCD Soundsystem, Sounds of Silver

UNKLE, War Stories

Bat for Lashes, Fur and Gold

Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Essential single:José González, Down the Line from In Our Nature

Get Margo a Pink Martini!

my vote for 2007 is:

Pink Martini, Hey Eugene

Siobhan’s Survey Says….

1. Peter, Bjorn and John - Writer's Block 2. Panda Bear - Person Pitch 3. Loney Dear - Loney, Noir 4. Night Falls Over Kortedala - Jens Lekman 5. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away 6. Taken By Trees - Taken By Trees 7. Sea And Cake - Everybody 8. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Coolest Album Packaging
Bright Eyes - Cassandra

Best Live Show
M. Ward @ Town Hall

Artist Who I Will Probably Love But Can't Seem To Convince Myself To Buy Her Records For Whatever Reason: Feist *i bet she's in the D.M.P. top five. maybe that will finally tip the scale for me.

Cassandra Knows the Cool

Most Essential:
Lupe Fiasco, The Cool

Other Essentials:
Paramore, Riot!
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Common, Finding Forever
Jill Scott, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3
Keyshia Cole, Just Like You
Alicia Keys, As I Am
Jay-Z, American Gangster
Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High
Alice Smith, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me
Chrisette Michele, I Am
K-os, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
Kelly Clarkson, My December
Pharoahe Monch, Desire
Timbaland, Presents: Shock Value

What Does Elizabeth E. Looks Like Under the Blacklight?

Well, with the state of award shows in jeopardy, I wanted to take my time with this as your list will be THE music industry event of the year (take that Grammys!).

Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight

The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Feist, The Reminder
Peter Bjorn and John, Writer’s Block
Matt Nathanson, Some Made Hope
Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once: Music from the Motion Picture
Sara Barielles, Little Voice
The Academy Is…, Santi
Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards
Silversun Pickups, Carnavas

Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” was a must on my gym workout

Shiny Toy Gun’s “We Are Pilots” would have been my essential 2006 album, if I bought it in 2006…

Brenda Winces the Night Away

1. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
2. Feist, The Reminder
3. Radiohead, In Rainbows

1. The Editors, Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors
2. Bloc Party, I Still Remember
3. Sara Bareilles, Love Song

Kevin W. Plays with Reality

Hey, David, here goes:

1. King Khan and the Shrines, What Is?! -- There is no reality, only King Khan. Plus, he can change from leather punk rock gear to a sequin dress during a guitar solo.

2. The Black Lips, Good Bad Not Evil -- So, yeah, this is a lot slicker than they're past efforts, but if you're willing to forgive the fact that they've risen from the murk, you'll find that they're still as anti-social and maladjusted as ever.

3. Harlan T. Bobo, I'm Your Man -- At first, I thought I wasn't going to like this sophomore effort, but I've found that it's exceptionally difficult to keep this out of my cd player. He alternately channels "Mutations" Beck, spoken word Lou Reed, and the straight country-rock sound of the city he calls home: Memphis.

4. Len Price 3, Rentacrowd -- Actually, I've only heard a few tracks from this. But it's obvious all these guys want to do is write songs that sound like "The Kids are Alright." That's what I call a "good idea," and I suspect that when I finally own this thing, it will quickly occupy a loftier spot.

Blue Rodeo, Small Miracles

I have it on good word that The Cripplers are back together and that they're going to release a new album that will be just as rollicking as the last one.

ALBUMS FROM 2006 THAT FLEW UNDER THE RADAR (or at least my radar love):
Bamboo Kids, Feel Like Hell -- Whaddya know, they still have kids playing angry and loud in Brooklyn.
Born Liars, Exit Smiling
Hymns, Brother/Sister -- This is a long way from my penchant for the garage, but you've got to take it easy once in a while.

Myths of Eamon’s Near Future

Most Essential
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future

Honorable Mentions
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (NY I Love You, But You're Bringing Me true)

Maps - We Can Create (bringing back shoegaze...hopefully the new MBV will be on here next year)

Fujiya Miyagi - Transparent Things (goofy fun)

The Good, the Bad & the Queen - The Good, the Bad & the Queen (Damon Alburn does it again)

Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis (um, genius)

Mark Ronson - Version (Overlook the cover of Toxic)

Rufus Wainwright - Release the Stars (I’m so tired of you America)

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger (his best/most consistent since Heartbreaker)

Most Overrated
Feist - The Reminder (sorry…)

Most Overplayed
Peter, Bjorn & John - Writer's Block (though this officially came out in 2006, and somehow I still like it. It’s like Swedish crack)

1, 2, 3, 4, Trevor

Here is my list of essential albums for 2007:

1- Feist, The Reminder
2- Maritime, Heresy and the Hotel Choir
3- The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
4- Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
5- Chuck Ragan, Feast or Famine
6- Iron and Wine, The Shepherd’s Dog
7- Radiohead, In Rainbows
8- Explosions in the Sky, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
9- Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War
10- Interpol, Our Love to Admire
- Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Ann Marie H. Plays Arcade Games

The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Cecil’s Holding on to the Foundations

Kate Nash / Foundations

Feist / The Reminder

Rufus Wainwright / Release the Stars

Uh Huh Her / I See Red

explosions in the sky / All of a sudden I miss everyone

Kyle Hearts Conor

Most Essential:
1) Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

Other Essentials:
2) The Rocket Summer - Do You Feel
3) Hard-Fi - Once Upon A Time In The West
4) Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
5) Feist - The Reminder

Most Essential To Listen To Under Fear of Social Alienation and Excommunication:
Britney Spears - Blackout

Most Essential Mainstream Breakout:
Jordin Sparks - Jordin Sparks

Best New Discovery:
Brandi Carlisle - The Story

Best Return To What They Do Best:
Daft Punk - Alive 2007

Zac Takes a Weekend in the City

Most Essential Album 2007:
Bloc Party, A Weekend the City

#2 Most Essential Album 2007:
Girlyman, Joyful Sign

#3 Most Essential Album 2007:
Beirut, The Flying Cup Club

#4 Most Essential Album 2007:
Sara Bareilles, Little Voice

#5 Most Essential Album 2007:
Wilco, Sky Blue Sky

#6 Most Essential Album 2007:
Peter Bjorn & John, Writer's Block

#7 Most Essential Album 2007:
Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War

#8 Most Essential Album 2007:
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

#9 Most Essential Album 2007:
Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog

#10 Most Essential Album 2007:
The National, Boxer

# 11 Most Essential Album 2007:
Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala

#12 Most Essential Album 2007:
Feist, The Reminder

#13 Most Essential Album 2007:
Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

#14 Most Essential Album 2007:
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver

#15 Most Essential Album 2007:
!!! (Chk Chk Chk), Myth Takes

(My) Most Essential Discovery from 2006:
William Fitzsimmons, Goodnight

Most Essential Postmortem Release:
Elliott Smith, New Moon

Most Essential Sleepytime Album:
Lewis and Clarke, Blasts of Holy Birth

Most Essential You-Wish-It-Wasn't-Essential Album:
Fallout Boy, Infinity on High

Biggest Letdown 2007:
Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight

Kevin K. Takes Us Through the Year

I have decided to list my favorites this year in the order they were added to my iTunes library.


The Shins / Wincing the Night Away - The first purchase of 2007 was added two weeks early when iTunes accidentally released it before the street date!

Of Montreal / Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? - If the 2007 David Poll was limited to the month of January, this would have been my #1 choice.

Field Music / Tones of the Town - The "sleeper" selection for January. I am so happy I purchased this based on the PASTE recommendation.


Patty Griffin / Children Running Through - This woman can do no wrong.

The Broken West / I Can't Go On I'll Go On - This was one of those "leap of faith" purchases based on hearing one track. It turned out to by my "Sleeper CD of the Year."

Peter Bjorn and John / Writer's Block - I don't watch GREY'S ANATOMY. The line in the song "Paris 2004" about drawing a wedding ring on a finger while sleeping is classic.


Arcade Fire / Neon Bible - I have discovered that there are two camps of Arcade Fire fans - those who love FUNERAL and those who love NEON BIBLE. I belong to the later. This is easily my #1 favorite CD of 2007.

Amy Winehouse / Back to Black - Do you know how many times I watched the YouTube videos from this CD before it was released?

Andrew Bird / Armchair Apocrypha - Seeing him in concert was the "live" music highlight of 2007.

LCD Soundsystem / Sound of Silver - I knew I shouldn't have stopped taking cow bell lessons. This release proves that March was the best month of 2007.


Bright Eyes / Cassadaga - It took me about six months to really get into this CD. When it clicked I was hooked.


Feist / The Reminder - I picked this up the day I returned from a trip to Disney World. The perfect cure for my mouse hangover. My biggest disappointment of the year was when my wife's friends won tickets to see her in concert AND TOOK MY WIFE INSTEAD OF ME!

Wilco / Sky Blue Sky - Is it YANKEE FOXTROT HOTEL? No. Is it still better than 90% of the crap being played on the radio? Yes!

The National / Boxer - This would not have made my list until I had the honor of talking to Josh Jackson, editor of PASTE Magazine, one night at dinner. He encouraged me to listen to it again, because like me he wasn't a big fan until he gave it another try.

The Avett Brothers / Emotionalism - I had a chance to see them in concert in Seattle but passed it up. Luckily I was able to make up for that mistake a few months later in Ann Arbor. If they are playing in your town, run don't walk to the show.


The White Stripes / Icky Thump - One of the only bands doing anything exciting and original on a consistent basis.

The New Pornographers / Challengers - Through an unnamed source I was able to obtain a copy of this CD three months before the release date. The Canadian collective has become one of my top five favorite bands of all time!


Spoon / Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - There is not a weak song on this very solid CD. What makes this statement more amazing is that each track is really different.

Tegan and Sara / The Con - This is my youngest daughter Rachael's (age 3) favorite CD of 2007. Eat that HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL!


Okkervil River / The Stage Names - My favorite "discovery" of 2007. Easily in my top five of the year and not because HARP Magazine picked it as there #1 of the year.

Josh Ritter / The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter - This man is the nicest guy in music. After a show he talked to my wife and I for like ten minutes and then hugged us both.

Over the Rhine / The Trumpet Child - If you only pick it up for the track "If A Song Could Be President" it will be worth it.


Bishop Allen / The Broken String - Another CD purchased based on a PASTE Magazine review. Ended up picking up all of the EPs from 2006.

Jens Lekman / Night Falls Over Kortedala - If you ask me tomorrow, this may be my #1 of 2007. Thank you David for introducing me to this genius!

Nick Lowe / At My Age - Listen to it and tell me you do not think a few tracks sound like he is channeling Elvis.

Iron and Wine / The Shepherd's Dog - He is coming to Kalamazoo in April! Forgive my excitement, but Kalamazoo is not exactly a premiere stop.


Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings / 100 Days, 100 Nights - It is hard to believe that the Dap Kings were the backing band for both this CD and the Amy Winehouse release.

M.I.A. / Kala - She is two for two! I could listen the entire CD over and over again. Another CD in my Top Five of 2007.

Bruce Springsteen / Magic - Believe the hype. The best Bruce has rocked since I was in middle school.


Various Artists / I'm Not There (Original Movie Soundtrack) - Being a Dylan freak I was afraid of this CD, but after listening to it one time I was a fan.


Justice / The Cross - I listen to this on my iPod when I am shoveling snow.

Various Artists / Juno (Soundtrack) - The best Soundtrack of 2007!

Billy M’s Kala-fornication

Yay music poll...

Essential! = M.I.A. - Kala

Constant Play:
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Eisley - Combinations
Tegan & Sara - The Con
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Is Is (Ep)

Late Discovery:
Joanna Newsom - Ys (2006)

Addictive Pop:
Rihana - Good Girl Gone Bad
Kylie Minogue - Kylie X

Favorite single track:
Bamboo Banga - M.I.A.
Hologram World - Tiny Masters of Today

Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Patty Griffin - Children Running Through

Rufus Wainwright - Release the Stars
Tori Amos - American Doll Posse

Michael R’s For the Bird

Most Essential: Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha

Also essential, though somewhat less so

LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala
Feist, The Reminder

Gabe Rides the New Wave

It took me a while to remember which albums came out this year, and which didn't (guess Amy Winehouse was 2006?). Anyway, here's my contribution to the Music Poll (Heath Ledger Memorial edition):

Against Me - "New Wave" (most essential)

Other essentials:

Band of Horses - "Cease to Begin"
Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible"
Spoon - "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" (how many "ga"s in there, again?)
"Once" (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Annie M is Alright, Still

Most Essential, 1st-place tie between:
Lily Allen, Alright, Still
The Shins, Wincing the Night Away

Honorable mentions:
Feist, the Reminder
Sinead O’Connor, Theology
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Tegan & Sara, The Con
Lucinda Williams, West
Norah Jones, Not Too Late

Sophie Says Yes, Yes, Yes to Rehab

Most Essential:
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

Other Essentials:
Lily Allen, Alright Still (yes, again! It's that good, people.)
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The Pipettes, We Are The Pipettes

Albums I Wish I'd Bought, Because I Hear They Rule:
Feist, The Reminder
Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab
Okkervil River, The Stage Names
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
Explosions in the Sky, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

Best Songs on Albums Not On My Lists:
"Foundations", by Kate Nash
"Thou Shalt Always Kill", by Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip

Essentials Not Released in 2007:
The Kinks, Something Else

Erin C. Fills Her (Dean and) Britta

I’m giving up on being cool and just going with the album with which I was truly obsessed for most of the year: Dean & Britta, Back Numbers. A close second would be Amy Winehouse, Back to Black, but I think it may have come out at the end 2006, and I cannot in good conscience support the crack addiction . . .

Kimberly Loves the Ladies

For me, 2007 was all about the ladies:

1. FEIST The Reminder
2. AMY WINEHOUSE Back to Black
3. LILY ALLEN Alright, Still

Alex Preaches for a Certain Canadian Band


Essential: Arcade Fire "Neon Bible"

Just about Essential: The National "Boxer"

Runners Up:
Lavender Diamond "Imagine Our Love"
Bat for Lashes "Fur and Gold" (released 2006 in UK)
Los Campesinos "Sticking Fingers into Sockets" EP/mini-album
Lily Allen "Alright Still" (released 2006 in UK)
PJ Harvey "White Chalk"
LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver"
Pipettes "We are the Pipettes" (released 2006 in UK)
Vampire Weekend "Blue CD-R"
Calvin Harris "I Created Disco"
Iron & Wine "The Shepherd's Dog"
Deerhunter "Cryptograms"

Essential Singles not included on my essential records above: (and singles only, non-single tracks disqualified)

Los Campesinos "You! Me! Dancing!" (I cheated on this one since its so amazing, song of the year!)
Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Thou Shalt Always Kill"
Kate Nash "Foundations"
Calvin Harris "Merrymaking at My Place"
New Young Pony Club "Ice Cream" (technically this may be older than 07?)
Arctic Monkeys "Flourescent Adolescent"
Band of Horses "Is There a Ghost"
Soulsavers "Revival"
Black Kids "I'm Not Gonna Teach My Boyfriend How to Dance With You"
Justice "D.A.N.C.E."
Klaxons "Golden Skans"

[Although I have to agree with P4K and say in this modern age of downloads etc "singles" is an outdated concept, "individual songs" is a better separate list to "full albums"]

Angie and Bob Pit Canadians Against Each Other

We battled it out, but Bob won for Arcade Fire. It is most essential. The Feist is a close number two.

Arcade Fire. Neon Bible
Feist. The Reminder
Mika. Life in Cartoon Motion
The Puppini Sisters. Betcha Bottom Dollar
Blue Scholars. Bayani
Lily Allen. Alright, Still
Patrick Wolf. The Magic Position
Brandi Carlisle. The Story
Sondre Lerche. Dan in Real Life (soundtrack)
Amy Winehouse. Back to Black

Elise Loves the Bible’s Verses

Top 3 albums:

Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Juno soundtrack
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Best single:
Amy Winehouse, Rehab

My all-time favorite song of the year is Imogen Heap's Speeding Cars--do you know that one? I don't think it's a 2007 release, but I only discovered it this year.

There Will Be Ronnie’s Picks

This was a lousy year for soundtrack scores, except for two amazing releases:

Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

I hate to leave it at that, so here are my picks for best use of a song in a movie 2007:

Homer Simpson/Spider-Pig [The Simpsons Movie]
Antsy Pants/Vampire [Juno]
Engelbert Humperdinck/A Man Without Love [Romance & Cigarettes]
Survivor/Eye of the Tiger [Persepolis]
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova/Falling Slowly [Once]
Three Dog Night/Easy to Be Hard [Zodiac]
Donovan/Hurdy Gurdy Man [Zodiac]
Antony & the Johnsons/Knockin' on Heaven's Door [I'm Not There]

Terra Releases the Stars

1. Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars
2. Allison Krauss & Robert Plant, Raising Sand

Best New Discovered Artist: The National

What’s the Frequency, Joel?

PlayRadioPlay! - The Frequency
Feist - The Reminder
Colbie Caillat - Coco
Paramore - Misery Business
The Maine - The Way We Talk (EP)

Essential Singles (though they may not have all come out this year):
Jesca Hoop - Summertime
A Rocket to the Moon - I'll Be Your Sunset Scott Simon - Umbrella (Cover) Jason Reeves - Photographs and Memories Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Go Radio - I Wish It Would Snow

Flinn: The Fire This Time

MOST ESSENTIAL: Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
The National, Boxer
Feist, The Reminder
Patty Griffin, Children Running Through
The New Pornographers, Challengers
Okkervil River, The Stage Names
Explosions In The Sky, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dona Got A Ramblin' Mind
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, 100 Nights and 100 Days
Rilo Kiley, Under The Blacklight
M.I.A., Kala
Tegan and Sara, The Con
Bat For Lashes, Fur and Gold

Adam R. Goes Canine with Iron & WIne

Most essential:
Iron & Wine / The Shepherd’s Dog

Other essentials:
Modest Mouse / We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
M. Ward / Post War
Nick Drake / Family Tree (limited box set containing all three of his albums plus a booklet and DVD)

The duo-auteur album I wish had been recorded but wasn’t:
Beth Orton and Gillian Welch

Scott T Takes it in the Shins

Y'know, I used to be extremely strict with what I considered "essential". I'd leave off even great albums if I felt the artist had done superior work previously. No longer. Like baseball writers who suddenly decide Goose Gossage is finally a Hall of Famer after dissing him for 10 years on their ballots (even though he hasn't pitched a single inning since 1992), I'm going to start being far more lenient for no other reason than to have names on my ballot. If I took the effort to buy the CD, and I wasn't letdown, it's now "essential: in my book. So...

Essential Album of the Year 2007
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

Other Essentials
Underworld - Oblivion with Bells
Freezepop - Future Future Future Perfect
Editors - An End Has a Start
The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Air - Pocket Symphony
Anjunabeats Vol. 5 Compilation

Essentials Discovered in 2007
Easy Access Orchestra - The Affair (brilliant lounge and space age bachelor pad music)

Brian M, Still Deluded About GNR, Goes for a Wednesday

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do the list this year because it seemed so daunting...I've purchased more music this year than any year in my life, which you can imagine means endless piles of cds. BUT then I knew I couldn't punk out on tradition and it gave me a reason to go through and reduce the hundreds of discs cluttering my office.

So here's rather long list (and this after making 3 edits...what can I say, they're all essential):

Most Essential:
Elvis Perkins, Ash Wednesday
Guns N Roses, Chinese Democracy (that came out this year, right?)

Katie Jane Garside, lalleshwari lullabies in a glass wilderness
Richard Swift, Dressed Up for the Letdown
The Good The Bad & The Queen, s/t
Alamo Race Track, Black Cat Tom Brown
Menomena, Friend and Foe
Indigo Moss, s/t
Soulsavers, It's not how far you fall, it's the way you land
Manic Street Preachers, Send Away the Tigers
Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals
Buffalo Killers, s/t
o'death, head home
Babyshambles, Shotters Nation
Kings of Leon, Because of the Times
Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
Arctic Monkeys, Favorite Worst Nightmare
Omar Rodriguez Lopes, Se dice bisonte, no buffalo
Pagoda, s/t
the Boggs, Forts
White Stripes, Icky Thump
Interpol, Our Love to Admire

Essential EPs:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Is Is
The Nova Saints, The Draft ep

Essential Re-issues:
Manic Street Preachers, Everything Must Go 10th Anniversary

Essential singles:
The Cool Kids, Black Mags
The Verve, The Thaw Sessions

and last, but not least...the oversights from last year that I only got in this calendar year:
Man Man, six demon bag
Hot Chip, The Warning
Morning After Girls, s/t
The Dolly Rocker Movement, Electric Sunshine Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards Black Mountain, s/t Women and Children, Paralyzed Dance Tonight Sunset Rubdown, Shut Up I'm Dreaming Black Angels, s/t Johnossi, s/t

Melissa W and her Band of Horses

(1) Band of Horses, Cease to begin
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Merle Haggard, The Bluegrass Sessions
B Spears, Blackout

2006 but I found it this year: Taylor Swift, "Taylor Swift"... I'm a sucker for country-pop.

Sarah-Maria, the Good, the Bad, and the Queen

Best Album of the Year:
The Good, The Bad & The Queen, The Good, The Bad & The Queen

Most Essential:
Bright Eyes, Cassadaga
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Baby 81
Kaiser Chiefs, Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Arctic Monkeys, Favorite Worst Nightmare
Richard Swift, Dressed Up for the Letdown
The Fratellis, Costello Music
The Magic Numbers, Those the Brokes
Mando Diao, Never Seen the Light of Day
Alamo Race Track, Black Cat John Brown
Elvis Perkins, Ash Wednesday
Soul Savers, It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s the Way You Land
Interpol, Our Love to Admire
Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future
Marilyn Manson, Eat Me, Drink Me
The White Stripes, Icky Thump
Gogol Bordello, Super Taranta!

Shortcoming of the Year:
HIM, Venus Doom

Melissa M’s List, Fit for a Queen

Super duper no. 1 best album of the year ....
The Good, The Bad, & The Queen.

1) Common - Finding Forever
2) The White Stripes - Icky Thump
3) MIA - Kala
4) LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
5) Kanye West - Graduation
6) Radiohead - In Rainbows
7) Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
8) Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
9) Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta
10) Lupe Fiasco - The Cool

Everything’s Blue Sky for Ann Marie W

1- wilco sky blue sky
2-bright eyes- cassadaga
3 thurston moore - trees outside the academy
4 iron and wine -shepherd's dog
5-modest mouse- we were dead....
6-suzanne vega- beauty and crime
7 pj harvey white chalk
8 radiohead in rainbows
9-interpol our love to admire
10-new pornographers- challengers

Abby R, Written in Neon

Essential #1:
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Essential Also (in no particular order, since there are all kinds of apples and oranges here that I don’t want to compare):
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
Lupe Fiasco, The Cool
Bebel Gilberto, Momento
Justice, Cross

Brant, National Treasure

Some 2007 Albums, Essentially:
The National, Boxer
Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight
The New Pornographers, Challengers
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once
Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
The Go! Team, Proof of Youth
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
M.I.A., Kala
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Some 2007 Songs I Liked:
Tegan and Sara, “Back in Your Head”
Feist, “I Feel It All”
Rilo Kiley, “Breakin’ Up”
The National, “Apartment Story”
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, “When Your Mind’s Made Up”
Bat for Lashes, “What’s a Girl to Do?”
M.I.A., “Boyz”
Wilco, “Impossible Germany”
LCD Soundsysterm, “All My Friends”
Jimmy Ibbotson, “The Ballad of Monon Bell”

Other Albums That Hit Me in 2007:
Graham Nash, Songs for Beginners (1971)
The National, Alligator (2005)
Ray Charles, The Genius Hits the Road (1960)
The Radio Dept., Lesser Matters (2004)
The Frank and Walters, Grand Parade (1998)
The Concretes, In Colour (2006)
Johnny Thunders, L.A.M.F. (1977)
Chris Bell, I Am the Cosmos (1978)
Band of Horses, Everything All the Time (2006)
John Prine, Sweet Revenge (1973)

Order Some Iron and Wine for Nick

As usual, it's a bit early in the year to consider myself caught up with last year's releases. I still haven't heard new albums from Trembling Blue Stars, Dolorean, and a few other artists that usually rank high with me. And I haven't devoted much time to Bright Eyes, Peter Bjorn & John, and a few other albums that I'm pretty sure will grow on me. But of what I have heard (and truly listened to), these are tops:

1. Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
2. Jens Lekman, Night Falls over Kortedala
3. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
4. The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
5. Peter Bjorn & John, Writer's Block

Special award for Best Album for the Gym:

Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad

It was a really close call for #1. The Jens album has easily my favorite song or two of the year, but it also has a few songs that annoy me. The Iron & Wine album is more consistently enjoyable. The Shins also may have ranked higher, if it had come out later in the year. I've overplayed it a bit.

Despite the gaps, I think this was a much better year than 2006!

Joe M Rides Rainbows

this year, I was really disappointed by almost everything I bought, with the exception of a song here or there, except for:

Radiohead, In Rainbows (Yeah, on of the benefits of being up till 2-3:00 am with a baby is being able to download the album - I paid 7lbs - within 24 hours.) This album is fantastic, and harks back to my favs of theirs, OK Computer & Kid-A.
Once (Soundtrack) - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Loved the movie, loved the soundtrack, and now am a Frames fan.

Leslie M. Feels it All

Feist, The Reminder

Radiohead, In Rainbows

Amy Winehouse, Frank

Patrick F’s Accidents and Emergencies

Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position
MIA, Kala
The National, Boxer
Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight
The Twilight Sad, Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Burial, Untrue
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga
The Arcade Fire, The Neon Bible
Kanye West, Graduation
Daft Punk, Alive
Justice, [cross]
Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future

Anica Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

Most essential:
Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

Also essential:
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Feist, The Reminder
Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha

Expected to prove essential, once I get around to buying it:
The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

Most essential 2006 album purchased in 2007:
Bonnie Prince Billy, The Letting Go

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