Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Top Releases of 2007

Yes, the top single of the year is a YouTube video. MP3s aren't really singles, now are they? And although I listen to the radio, they would never play this song. And don't get me started on MTV. Anyway, Ever since I discovered The Charlotte Church Show, and the former opera ingénue's duets with British rock's middle to upper class such as her infamous "Beat It" duet with Amy Winehouse, "Seven Nation Army" with the Brand New Heavies and a rousing "9 to 5" with Fergie. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wince with empathy. "When Doves Cry" stands out mostly because of the awkward moment where Church reaches out and claws Patrick Wolf's stomach during the line, "Touch if you will my stomach/Feel how it trembles inside." His reaction, moving from surprise to tension to "fight or flight" (when he delicately makes a windmill motion to move her away, makes their stiff reinterpretation of the Purple One's almost-purple prose (uh… "This is what it sounds like when doves cry"—maybe that's more emo than purple) that much better. You all already know how I feel about Grinderman, so I wanna jump to Unklejam. This is also a video. I watch it on my iPod way more than I would listen to it. How can you not watch this and just smile? For those who know me Soulja Boy might seem like an eyebrow raiser, but I gotta say, after my cell phone accidentally downloaded the ringtone because I forgot to put keyguard on it, I've grown to love this song, too. I do the Superman now and again, when people aren't looking. Shh, don't tell.

As for my albums, the Long Blondes released a perfect album this year. So what if other critics put it on their lists last year— prompting the American fans that would buy it at a regular price to pay twice as much, and thus skewing its success here? This is one of the smartest bands around from their narrative about aging women (written by a man!) to their interwoven cheerleader-ska-indie-rock anthems. Black Francis released an album that could easily double as a Pixies slab, if it weren't about a Dutch junkie painter and M.I.A. has more than replaced Bono as the social crusader for the 21st Century. I defy anyone to find a better death-metal record than Obliteration's Perpetual Decay—written when the Oslo-based band was just 18 or 19 (better than any of the reunited deathsters' albums this year.) O'Death officially issued their goth-country masterpiece and Rufus Wainwright dabbled with Broadway crooning. When I first thought about making this list this year, my first thoughts were that it was a pretty uninteresting year for pop music. There weren't any major artistic statements (save Battles and the more-than-excellent Mayhem album), but looking at these lists, it was really a year of diversity. There was no one over-arching theme across music, and when you think about it, that's a very good thing. I'm looking forward to seeing what next year will bring.

Top 10 Albums of 2007

  1. The Long Blondes, Someone To Drive You Home
  2. Black Francis, Bluefinger
  3. M.I.A., Kala
  4. Obliteration, Perpetual Decay
  5. O'Death, Head Home
  6. Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars
  7. Baroness, Red Album
  8. Mayhem, Ordo Ad Chao
  9. Battles, Mirrored
  10. Panda Bear, Person Pitch

Top Singles/Tracks of 2007

  1. Patrick Wolf with Charlotte Church, "When Doves Cry"
  1. Grinderman, "No Pussy Blues"
  2. Unklejam, "Love Ya"
  1. Jesu, "Conqueror"
  2. Soulja Boy, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
  3. Battles "Atlas"
  4. M.I.A., featuring Bun B and Rich Boy, "Paper Planes" (Street Mix)
  5. New Pornographers, "Myriad Harbour"
  6. Animal Collective, "Peacebone"
  7. Dude N Nem, "McDonald's"

Top 5 Reissues of 2007

  1. Various Artists, Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration
  2. Young Marble Giants, Colossal Youth
  3. Pylon, Gyrate Plus
  4. Botch, American Nervoso
  5. Pink Floyd, Piper at the Gates of Dawn

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