There's a lot of great music (like Jens Lekman) that I never quite got to in time to rank among my favorites, but I'm continuing to listen to albums that were pretty damn good. Here's a little roundup:
White Williams - Smoke
Totally strange cover with girls smoking from a hookah and crying rainbow wax tears. Evidently Joe Williams saw some girl at a party who's boyfriend had just broken up with her. She was bawling her head off, but kept stopping to take hits of weed from this big hookah. He thought that was hilarious and made it into the concept of the album. It's kinda like a mellow T. Rex album with a lot of cool sonic experiments going on. It's classic rock at heart but has a prog rock face. It really is sweet and listenable and I find myself hearing something new and pleasing at every listen. The main misstep? Who really needed to cover "I Want Candy" again? Ugh. I hate that song.
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
A goddamn solid album that hit a lot of people's lists. Kinda like an old school Elton John / Billy Joel kinda modern rock scene with smart lyrics. There was only one slot for a band like this on the list and basically The National won the day. It shouldn't diminish that this is a damn enjoyable album.
Amon Tobin - Foley Room
I love Amon Tobin, and am glad to see him do a new album that's not a video game soundtrack. There's some great stuff in here. I especially like the track "Esther's", but it's not the kind of excellence of his best.
Burial - Untrue
I never even heard of the dub step genre, but some people are calling this their favorite album of the whole year, so I had to hear it. Turns out the guy who does Burial is totally anonymous and no one knows who it is. Anyway, the music is pretty damn cool... it's like a scratchy urban electronic music. I underestimated it, even so, for a long time, and I have to say the last half of the album is what I love. "Etched Headplate" is one of the most impressive and subtle sonic landscapes I heard all year.
Robert Plant / Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
Who would have guessed? This is a beautiful album and more than just a VH1 cash-in. I have a feeling this will end up being a lot of hipsters' secret love.
Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
Tough, vicious cocaine rapping over fresh Neptune beats. Why listen? Good rhymes, good beats. Momma, I'm so sorry, I'm so obnoxious: got two hot rocks in my pocket. It's bratty, amoral, conflicted and kinda fucked up. That's what makes it good rap.
Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
Amazing emotional bluegrass-inspired music. If the whole album were as good as it's 4 best tracks it would have been a shoe-in. "The Weight of Lies" is just amazing:
Disappear from your hometown
go and find the people that you know
show them all of your good parts
leave town when the bad ones start to show
Go and wed a woman,
a pretty girl that you never met
Make sure she knows you love her well
but don't make any other promises.
I've thought that very same thought before myself.
Wow, I have more of these than I thought. I may have to do one more roundup. Plus, I keep working through other people's 2007 lists. It's like gold!
I'm ready for 2008 albums anytime!
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