Best Albums of 2007

If I’m gonna talk s**t on everyone else’s top ten list, I guess I should compose my own…I’m not gonna lie. These aren’t necessarily the best albums of 2007, they are just the ones I like the best. I say that because, how can someone say they know what the best music is? Music is subjective…but for those of you who just want some recommendations…here ya go. To me, to make the this list, it doesn’t have to be “soooo different” or the most original thing ever, it just has to be something that I want to put in my CD player over and over again….which to me, is not Radiohead, Bright Eyes, or M.I.A. Personally, oversythesized digital loops get old after awhile, and there’s something to be said about a good guitar, real drums, and talented vocals that are actually understandable. Please note, these are in no particular order, as I don’t really think any of these are that much better than each other…they all have their ups and downs, and they all make me happy, in many different ways. Also note, I was a little out of the music loop as I was swamped in my class for a good part of the year, but I think I still did okay šŸ˜‰

Leave me a comment and let me know what your top albums of 2007 are, or what you think of my list (go ahead, talk trash, I can take it). If you find one new song, CD, or band you love on here, I will consider my life fulfilled šŸ˜‰

Chiodos “Bone Palace Ballet”
This is a great rock/alternative album. This album is so well crafted, emotional, and just plain awesome. I’ve already recommended this album, but I can’t say enough good things about it. I love the instrumentation, I love the emotion, and I f’ing love this album.

Sixx A.M. “The Heroin Diaries Sountrack”
Also recommended these guys already…this album is nothing short of a masterpiece…in a dark, eerie, drug-induced way, yes, but masterpiece none the less. Why they didn’t make any other top album lists, I have no idea…probably because those guys are too busy getting high to “In Rainbows” to remember how to actually rock out.

Rilo Kiley “Under the Blacklight”
What can I say? I may have a little girl crush on Jenny Lewis, or her voice at least. This is indie pop at it’s best, and it’s not extremely different or experimental or anything, but it’s fun, catchy, intelligent, and addicting. “Silver Lining” has lyrics that anyone who’s been through a breakup and moved on to bigger things will be sure to appreciate and the porn-influenced “The Moneymaker” is supersexy, and immediately loveable. For some reason radio hasn’t picked up much on Rilo Kiley–though they are still pretty well known–but I guarantee you’ll hear these songs (if you haven’t already) in movie and TV soundtracks for years to come…much like “Portions for Foxes”.

Modest Mouse “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank”
This is one of the few albums that has successfully followed a band’s big break. “Good News for People who love Bad News” introduced most of the world to Modest Mouse, and most of the time, the follow up album to something like that would be too mainstream or the band would all of a sudden decide to “go in a new direction” and fail (ie-Panic), but Modest Mouse did a great job of staying true to their sound, while still growing musically, and not blurring their sound into mainstream pop-rock.

Kanye West “Graduation”
This is hip hop, yes. But hip hop at it’s best. I bumped this album in my car for weeks because I am so hardcore. This is a hip hop CD for those of us who haven’t listened to hip hop since the days of Biggie, and Pac minus the occasional Jay-Z. Singing a song about sweat dripping down balls, or girls kissing girls just doesn’t do it for me…but living the “good life”, definitely does.

Hard-Fi “Once Upon a Time in the West”
Another past recommendation…my new UK love…Hard-Fi. Their old album “Stars of CCTV ain’t so bad either. This is just consistently good music with a unique sound that still remains commercially appealing…but not commercially popular. People will catch on one day…mark my words…it will probably be 2 years from now after I’ve listened to the album so many times I’m sick of it, but it will happen…just wait.

Aesop Rock “None Shall Pass”
Heard of Aesop Rock? No? Funny, he’s been around for a LONG time. I guess it’s pretty underground hip-hop, but it’s better than everything else out there, so I can’t understand why it hasn’t hit mainstream. Oh yeah that’s right, people who like rap music apparently couldn’t possibly process intelligent lyrics that deal with something bigger than body parts, dance moves or drinks. Yes, I do judge people who say their favorite artists are Li’l John or Flo rida…I think their brains must be smaller. It does have some experimental sounds and digital samples, so I guess I’m with the critics on this one.

Ben’s Brother “Beta Male Fairytales”
I’ve already ranted about this CD on my latest recommendations, but it is rare that a CD is so laid back with mostly slow music that I actually love. Lyrically, these guys are really talented, and musically, they are very moving. If you like Keane, James Blunt or Snow Patrol, check out these guys.

Spoon “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”
Here’s another one that actually ranked pretty high with the critics…definitely a different sound, so that makes sense, but unlike a lot of the other experimental bands that made the other lists, “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” is actually pleasurable to listen to from beginning to end. There are a lot of different sounds going on here, and it’s one of those albums that takes a few listens to actually appreciate all the intricacies and really get into it. Plus, Spoon is awesome. I saw them in concert at Canes a few years ago and they just killed it. I can’t say that I liked this CD as much as “Gimme Fiction”, but it was one of the best follow ups to a breakthrough album… a lot like Modest Mouse’s was.

Ben Harper “Lifeline”
Ben Harper has a history of making good music, and his newest album doesn’t disappoint. He mixes blues and rock with such soul that you just can’t help but be soothed. “Lifeline” is great if you want to just chill out, or if you need some music to help you de-stress. I feel like somehow Ben still flies under the radar even after huge success and popularity and I can’t understand why the radios aren’t flooded with the song “Fight Outta You”. His music is so uplifting, his voice is so emotional, and the acoustic guitar, piano, and other melodic elements are so well crafted, I am amazed this didn’t make top ten anywhere else. I guess real instruments don’t mean as much as synthesizers and samples these days.

Best Albums of 2007 Honorable Mentions:

So the other lists weren’t completely electronic Indie crap…I listened to a few albums from there that were good…maybe not my favorites, but good and I discovered Wilco-who definitely deserves mentioning. So here are few other albums that are definitely worth buying, but don’t quite make the “10 best of 2007” title.

Wilco “Sky Blue Sky”
Apparently these guys have been around for awhile, but I totally missed the boat on that one. This sounds like a younger version of Ben Harper in a lot of ways with mixed with some Springsteen, Dylan, and Spoon and a few killer electric guitar solos for good measure. I think this is one of those albums that grow on you, as the first listen didn’t really jump out at me, but I can’t argue with the Indie bloggers on this one, it is pretty darn good music. These are some of the best lyrics I’ve heard in awhile, although sometimes the music gets a little boring…enter sweet little electric guitar solos. They really almost make the album. It still didn’t make most critics top 10, but then again, it didn’t quite make mine either. If you like good lyrics, Spoon style music, or the old singer songwriter sound, this is sure to satisfy. Don’t look to rock out to this one though.

The Hives “The Black and White Album”
This album is one thing…fun. If you’re looking for something to run or workout to, or get you pumped up before a night out, this album does the trick. While the lyrics are nothing to write home about (who writes home besides soldiers anyways?), the rockin’ guitars and catchy choruses are addicting and fun. They’re not doing anything groundbreaking, or anything particularly moving, but if you’re looking for a good rock album, check them out.

Mary J. Blige “Growing Pains”
This is my R&B pick of the year. Mary J does it again. This is arguably not as good as some of her previous albums, but as far as R&B goes, no one does it better than Mary. The beginning of the album is full of slower love songs with catchy choruses…my favorite being “What Love is” which is just a pretty song about the ups and downs of being in love. If you’re looking for a fun dance song that doesn’t talk about big booty hos…check out her collabo with Ludacris “Grown Woman”. There are definitely a few songs that I skip on the CD including “Smoke” which sounds like an old 70s TV track, but if you give us 19 tracks, having at least 12 solid tracks is enough to get my vote for top ten

The Used “Lies for the Liars”
The Used were one of the first bands I started listening to once I got over my hip-hop phase (thank god) so they hold a special place in my musical heart. Although their sound is very prominent among rock/emo-screamo/altnernative music right now, they were one of the first bands to sound like that and do it well, so that gives them extra cred in my book. “Lies for the Liars” is not as good as their older album “In Love and Death”, but they stayed true to their sound and still produced some good music. If you liked “Welcome to the Black Parade” from My Chemical Romance, this is definitely something to check out. This album, to me, was the less impressive version of Chiodos’ “Bone Palace Ballet”, but still one of the better albums of its genre this year.


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