Monday, 16 April 2012

List: Top 10 Albums of 2007


Some people refer to it as 'the last great year of music', other beg to differ. This list is one of the hardest to layout because of the sheer amount of great albums that were released. Because of this, some albums will be left out, but I will do my best to mention those that didn't quite make the top 10, but are still very, very good albums. Keep an open mind when reading this list, it wasn't easy, and it's very open-minded from my point of view. So here are those lucky albums to review a mention, but unfortunate to miss out on the big 10.

Of Montreal  -Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer
PJ Harvey - White Chalk
Andrew Jackson Jihad - People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World
The National - Boxer
Caribou - Andorra
Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals 
No Age - Weirdo Rippers 
The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters 
Low - Drums and Guns
HEALTH - HEALTH
Dizzee Rascal - Maths + English 



10.  Justice -


Material on Cross predated the 2007 album release, with 'Let There Be Light' and 'Waters of Nazareth' being released as a single in 2005. The concept came about, then Cross was born. The 'disco' concept is vivid and left to the imagination of the listener. The basics are present, but the sheer power of the synths and abrasive distortion take away the melodramatic disco sounds almost entirely. These powerful tracks are the best electro music to come out for a very long time and Justice have excelled in creating one of 2007's most energetic and memorable albums with singles 'D.A.N.C.E' and 'DVNO'.



9. M.I.A - Kala


Kala is a feminine album with many ethnic instruments which sum up M.I.A's life up to this point. The vocals are very good and have guest vocalists ranging from Timbaland to some indigenous Australians. What we have here is an album full of Asia and Africa, it's tribal and it's rave-like. It has samples and it pays homage to Pixies, to nu-rave and Hip-Hop. M.I.A is politically fuelled, but it doesn't get in her way of recording a decade defining album in 'Paper Planes' and the bass heavy '20 Dollar'. The key tracks to me are the louder and fast paced tracks such as 'Boyz' and 'Bird Flu'. It's a step above her debut album Arular and has style.



8. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible


Arcade Fire reached a height of excitement with the critical acclaim backlash of 2004's Funeral. It's our pick for the best album of 2004 for a reason and Arcade Fire needed to carry their success over a hurdle of expectation and pressure to withstand the predicted lengthy career ahead of them. Neon bible was released in the first quarter of 2007, and what an impact it had. The weltering 'Keep The Car Running' had all the noise and synths of a 70's anthem with a matured sound and a clear drum rhythm that makes my heart beat fast. The whole album is one compact piece of noise with tons of droney effects and reverb which has been mixed in our delight. The singles are the true standout, but the little tracks in between give it the flow and position on this list. 'Intervention' has a strong organ sound which has an epic vibe and a standard acoustic guitar riff which builds up with passion and ends in furious noise. 'No Cars Go' has been re-worked and produced extremely well. The hooks are fantastic and the chants are well needed since 2004's 'Wake Up' broke windows. 'My Body Is A Cage' is the ideal ending to the Canadians second studio album.



7. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver



The album with one of the best tracks of the year (and decade) is also the album which set LCD Soundsystem alight. The powerful 'All My Friends' is anthemic and stands as the strongest alternative dance song ever recorded. The structure is above-par for LCD Soundsystem and the lyrics take a second look on life with complete imagery and sophistication. It's the unnatural tracks such as 'Someone Great' and 'Us V Them' that showcase the heavier and more 'artsy' material a la Talking Heads. This album turns corners for electronic music and fills the stage with dance, disco and post-punk. It has the anthem, the single, the loud and progressive track. The final track 'New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down' is so melodic and has this vague drumming pattern that gives me this tremendous positive/negative view of NYC.



6. Radiohead - In Rainbows


You know it's a good year when Radiohead fail to make my top 10. The truth is, although In Rainbows does have some of the strongest Radiohead material since 2000, it's massively lacking in atmosphere. It's almost designed for the listener to ask questions about the vibe and atmosphere, because it seems to be hidden. 'Reckoner' has the riff and the tracks an absolutely beauty. '15 Steps', again has an outstanding riff and a hard bass riff. it's just the odd little things that bring it down in my opinion, that's not to say it's a bad album.. It's just lacking in certain areas. If it wasn't for the following five albums, it would be the best album of 2007, but it just isn't. 'Videotape' has to be noted as one of the best tracks of the year.



5. Burial - Untrue


The eerie soundscapes and heavy beats create a vivid atmosphere of confusion and tranquillity on Burials second studio album Untrue. He stepped further and further away from his 2005 debut 'South London Boroughs'. The two step garage had become what is known as 'Dubstep', and Burial's creations were at the thick of it. This album was remarkable for it's superior textures and ambiance, whilst staying fresh which many thought would be difficult after his strong self titled debut one year prior to Untrue. It remains to be seen if Burial will release a third album, but what we have here is his latest and more official recordings, with rave textures and trip-hop influences. 



4. Panda Bear - Person Pitch


We're deep in the thick of it now.. Panda Bear rightfully has his place amongst the top five. Some readers would argue his position on this list, just look below at the top three and you'll understand why. This album captures the visions and the sounds of a textual theme that separates itself from the hooks and the structures of the norm. The soundscapes are truly stunning and the faint, vocal layers are the ultimate standout for me. The vocals and the other worldly beats create a futuristic sound which only Panda Bear can position himself and sing with his faint, high pitched and heavily effected vocals. it's a very chill album with several tracks mixing psychedelic pop with dub and ambient. 



3. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam


Strawberry Jan is the Animal Collective album that finally adds hooks and loops to the frame of mind. Animal Collective take a more commercial and poppy sound with their loops and hooks, stepping away from that 'experimental' and psych-folk sound which they had going at the beginning of the decade. Tracks like '#1' and 'Fireworks' had the textures and synths droning, whilst the pop smashers such as 'Peacebone' and 'Chores' set the album alight with energy and electronic madness. The album is consistent and raised their game in the industry.



2.  Deerhunter - Cryptograms


Deerhunter released their punk debut in 2005 to mixed opinions by both critics and the band members. They decided to change their direction all together, and what an effect that played on this album. Cryptograms is one long, eerie piece of shoegaze and drone tracks with layered vocals which are withdrawn with plenty of delay and distortion. The album has the eight minute thriller 'Octet-Stream' and the hazy 'Hazel St.' which has more of a pop structure within it's ambient and shoegaze atmosphere. It's influences were in place, with My Bloody Valentine at the heart of the band. Deerhunter improved everything since 2005's Turn It Up Faggot, every detail of sound was severely better and more experimental and acsessable.



1. Battles - Mirrored


Battles broke on to the math rock/post-rock circuit in 2007 with their stunning debut album Mirrored. It captured the industrial imagery and the machinery vibe with it's progressive loops and glitch drum beats which separated them from the oncoming mediocre math rock bands and more towards the textured music of post-rock. The vocal drones and beautiful riffs of  'Atlas' are a stone apart from anything 2007 shot out. The drumming was above standard and Tyondai's experimental roots really showed through. The synths were in place and were used to add dynamics and more heavy material. It's the odd sounds that are both obscure and completely different that makes the listener return to this album with an open mind. It may be an album for a select few listeners, but in my head and in the heads of many music appreciators, this album stands strong as the best album of 2007 by a long shot. It's always hard to call the top three, but Battles were always going to make the number one slot for this year, Mirrored is just a step above any other release.. And genre for that matter.

~Music Review Database

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