Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 Year-In-Review


2007 was a spiffing good year for British imports. Whilst returns to psychedelic rock and post-punk were most impressive, shoegaze and space rock were (are?) also on the rise. Here I've selected the top 10 albums and top 30 songs of the year. Neither the albums, nor songs were given rankings within their respective groups. It's largely irrelevant, since on any given day, any given mood might shift #30 to #1 and vice versa.

Year end lists will always be sketchy, if only for the fact that there is always something out there the compiler has yet to hear. Consumer-driven publications will dumb down their content enough to attempt to quantify an art form using rational standards, which actually does fill a niche, offering the easily digestible information which most people seem to crave.

For more serious music-devourers, who ingest compulsively, selectively, because it soothes, drives and haunts them: I offer my lists. Unlike most year-end lists, they are not meant to force feed information or spark some 15 second trend, but rather to share experiences, to spark ideas and feeling and, ultimately, to get you closer to God. Alright, maybe not the God thing, but then again you never know . . .

Top 10 Albums

The National: Boxer
- Subtly gorgeous orchestration, angsty idealist lyrics in Matt Berninger's seductive baritone. Oh yes, I'll have that.

Mystery Jets: Zootime - Nearly the same album released in the UK last year; this US release still makes the cut.

iLiKETRAiNS: Elegies to Lessons Learnt - You know that sound when noir and Expressionist films melt together and form into massive icebergs whose pieces crack thunderously and crumble in a rush of white foam into the frigid black sea? No? Well, this is that sound.

Beirut: The Flying Club Cup - The best Balkan minstrel rock you'll hear this year. But seriously, it brings to mind Tom Waits' Black Rider masterpiece, which, in my experience, is never a bad thing.

The Horrors: Strange House - Manic, spastic, grisly freak-beat to have an epileptic seizure to . . .

Okkervil River: The Stage Names - Just when you thought Will Sheff had nowhere to go but down . . .

Electricity in Our Homes: The Shareholder’s Meeting EP - Phenomenal debut EP from this stripped-down, stacattoed post-punk band out of southeast London's robust music scene.

Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam - Quirky noises and songs with funny names are usually transparent ruses musicians use to hide their horribly dull and cliched indie rock. This, however, is a smashing success.

Klaxons: Myths of the Near Future - Space Rock, Rave Pop -- who really cares when it's this good?

Dragons of Zynth: Coronation Thieves - Afro-Psych with intelligent lyrics and sounds ranging from delicate melodies to rocked-out fuzzy bliss.

Top 30 Songs

Hatcham Social - 'Til the Dawn

The National - Mistaken For Strangers

The Black Lips - Cold Hands

Patrick Wolf (feat. Marianne Faithfull) - Magpie

Ulrich Schnauss - Medusa

The Horrors - She Is the New Thing

Animal Collective - Peacebone

Battles - Atlas

Deerhunter - Cryptograms

Blood Red Shoes - I Wish I Were Someone Else

Editors - Bones

Maps - It Will Find You

Lightspeed Champion - Midnight Surprise

The Draytones - Keep Lovin’ Me

Dragons of Zynth - Breaker

Klaxons - Golden Skans

iLiKETRAiNS - The Deception

Interpol - Pioneer to the Falls

Bloc Party - Hunting for Witches

Neils Children - You Didn’t Care

Beirut - Nantes

Nervous Cabaret - Sleepwalkers

Sea Wolf - You’re a Wolf

Spider and the Flies - Metallurge

Sunset Rubdown - Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days

Andrew Bird - Imitosis

Electricity in Our Homes - We Don’t Need Honesty

SHITDISCO - Emanator

Artefacts for Space Travel - Recoop

Time.Space.Repeat - The End of the World

1 comment:

God Is In The TV Zine said...

Hey LA Bryan, really good review of the year. Thanks for mentioning TSR people can download both tracks here: