SuperDee's House

Monday, December 24, 2007

My Favorite Albums of 2007

Many new musicians and bands got under my skin this year. Following are the albums that made up the soundtrack of my life this year. Here's looking back at the roller coaster of 2007 and ahead at the possibilities of 2008!

1. Rilo Kiley - "Under the Blacklight"
This album was like a bag of jelly bellys. It tasted so sweet and somehow I thought it might be bad for me but I kept going back in for more and more. And every time I went back into the bag, I found a different flavor that was even sweeter than the one I loved just before. The way I played this album over and over was a bit compulsive but these songs gave me a rush and made me smile over and over again.

2. Feist - "The Reminder"
Finally a true indie-rock darling made their way into my soul. This album is so rich with haunting and meandering melodies and poetry but it's that voice... That voice is so soft yet unnerving. "The Limit To Your Love" is the song that seriously shook me up - emotion just dripping out of the speakers. I got to see Feist a couple of times this summer to feed my new obsession. One was the awesome Bookeaters Revenge show where she read a kid's story about a peanut named Mystic Water and the other was at McCarren Pool where I stood behind Mischa Barton for the last half hour of the show - in gen pop too!

3. Wilco - "Sky Blue Sky"
Oh Jeff Tweedy, how I love thee. You and the boys really hit it this time... again. I read interviews where you described the songwriting experience on this album - everyone in the same room, creating magic, as a band fully realized. Oh why oh why could I not have been a fly in the wall of that room? Thanks for touring and for being a band that people really and truly care about. They care about what songs you choose to play, the banter you speak, the way you rock. Thanks for getting a total spaz for a guitar player that blows my mind. Thanks for writing words that I can hear loud and clear, understand, and make my own. I believe in you, Tweedy and Co., for being a band that is KEEPIN IT REAL. Thanks.

4. Steel Train - "Trampoline"
Touching stories, catchy melodies, emotive and interesting singing... these boys learned how to write an album! It's just so damn infectious. How can you resist singing along, "We are young and nearly faaaaaamous!" This album just feels good from beginning to end. My crystal ball shows me great things for Steel Train in '08. They are loved by jam kids, indie kids, college kids, and 30-something kids, too. They're like a yellow lab - what's not to love?!

5. Ryan Adams - "Easy Tiger"
This one was a big one this year, to say the least. All of the songs seemed to mirror life at one point. Ryan's voice, so strong. His lyrics, so fragile. The way he chooses just the perfect word to say for each moment is astounding. "When you get the time, sit down and write me a letter" - that word "get" says so much with so little. And this year saw a sober Ryan with many live performances (and subsequent downloads) that showcased these Easy Tiger songs even more heartwrenchingly. Ryan is an artist that makes you pray for his sweet soul. Keep on going, Rose, we love you!

6. Various Artists - "I'm Not There"
Yesssss!!! So many great things going on here! Jim James! Cat Power! Vedder, Tweedy and Malkmus! It's as if the producer and Todd Haynes crawled into my brain and hand picked all of my absolute favorites to sing these Bob Dylan songs. I did the trifecta of activities pertaining to this movie. I got the soundtrack, I went to the tribute concert at the Beacon, and then I finally saw the movie. While the movie was overall confuddled (except for the incredible performance by Cate Blanchette) and the concert was disorganized and uninspired (except for the incredible performance by Jim James), the album is all aces. A++++++!!!

7. American Babies - "American Babies"
The album itself is not nearly as good as the band has become in the last 12 months but nevertheless these songs made up a big part of my living soundtrack this year. Tom Hamilton wrote some gems and it was obvious how ready he has been to break out of his untz world. It's a pretty clear sign of something good when we, the audience, are singing along almost word-for-word after seeing them just two or three times. So many gratifying lines to belt out - "Baby, don't cryyyyyyyyyyyy!" I think I saw the American Babies more times than the number of shows they actually had. That's how it feels anyway, and I love it, and I'm not stopping. Bring on the merch! Kick some ass in '08, Babies! Yay Babies!

8. Perpetual Groove - "Livelovedie"
Yes, I still like jambands. (Oh wait, what's a jamband?) This album has bits of what gave PGroove their steam to come up through the noise of the scene as far as their abilities to rock out with songs like "Speed Queen" and "Mayday." But the heart of this album lies in the songs that tug at the heartstrings, for me anyway. PGroove, and Brock's lyrics and singing in particular, give us something very pure, not hidden behind smoke and mirrors. Just plain and simple truth. "You live, you love, you die."

9. Marco Benevento - "Live at Tonic"
Spawn out of a 5 week residency at the now defunct Tonic in the Lower East Side, Marco brings us three discs of amazing music. The whole nature of the shows was very spontaneous and this was truly captured in these discs. You can almost picture Mike Dillon banging on stuff and Reed Mathis flopping his head around. This collection serves as a nice preamble to Marco: The Residency, Part II. Thursdays in January at the new Sullivan Hall (that's the 2008 version of the Lion's Den, kids) will be filled with the blessed Benevento & Friends including all the Slip guys on different weeks, Billy Martin, Stanton Moore, Skerik, etc etc etc. Um, yay?

10. Radiohead - "In Rainbows"
When the music industry was looking over its left shoulder, Radiohead nonchalantly tapped on its right shoulder and said, "We're gonna go ahead and release our new album by ourselves in a week. And people are going to decide what they want to pay for it. Cool with you?" Revolutionary, exciting, ground-breaking, trend-setting, all that. Bob Lefsetz posed the question, "Did anyone actually listen to the album?" The answer is yes. And while it didn't stop war, cure cancer, fix global warming, wash windows, and massage your feet, it is still way better than what most people are putting out these days. A Radiohead album is like sex, and pizza. You see where I'm going with this. Listen to Radiohead while you're having sex and eating pizza.

So that's pretty much it for me at the moment. Before I sign off, an honorable mention to the additional 2007 albums that made a sizeable dent in my consciousness this year:

Elvis Perkins - "Ash Wednesday"
I'm From Barcelona - "Let Me Introduce My Friends"
Iron & Wine - "The Shepard's Dog"
Nathan Moore - "In His Own Worlds"
Band of Horses - "Cease to Begin"


2006 albums that got me this year:

Rotary Downs - "Chained To The Chariot"
Fionn Regan - "The End of History"
Lily Allen - "Alright Still"
Justin Timberlake - "FutureSex/LoveSounds"
LCD Soundsystem - "Sound of Silver"


You might be hearing more outta me this week. I got some time on my hands! Happy holidaze :)

3 Comments:

Blogger Some Dude said...

Not to nitpick but, Sound Of Silver came out this year - not '06.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Also, not to nitpick, but Lily Allen came out in the US in Jan. 2007; UK in 2006.

Great list. Totally agree with Sky Blue Sky and P-Groove on there. I would add John Butler Trio's Grand National as well.

10:51 AM  
Blogger neddy said...

Omigosh at the rate that the Rilo Kiley is growing on me, it'll be like best ever in about a month. Can't get enough. Good call, MsDee.

3:13 PM  

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