Thursday, December 20, 2007

Albums of the year

By no means is this meant to be some professional critic’s list but rather simply my list of the albums I enjoyed the most over the course of the past year. Enjoy.

Daft Punk “Alive 2007”

Some of you may remember my raving on about the Daft Punk show I saw in Vegas back in October. This is the reason why. This was taken from a show they did in Paris in June and it will rock your pants off. It's layer upon layer of the thickest beats and sleaziest breaks only the best in the business could deliver. From atop a glowing pyramid. Between “Touch it/Technologic” and the 10-minute freakout of “Prime time of your life/Brainwasher/Rollin’ & scratchin’/Alive’” and the wicked show-closer “Human/Together/One more time/Music sounds better with you”, it’s the best thing I heard this year. Seriously. Check this:

Radiohead “In Rainbows”
The boys dust off the guitars, lose the skittering and rediscover emotions other than paranoia. And record some of the best songs of their career. Even the distribution broke new ground.

Kings of Leon “For the Times”

From “Knocked Up” right on down through “Arizona”, there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. This album was easily the best southern album of the year. Unless you count Band of Horses.

Band of Horses “Cease to Begin”
The Band moves from Seattle home to Charleston and records another stunner of an album about ghosts and oceans and unseasonably warm weather and love gone right and wrong. Stellar. Hearing a lot of these songs last summer at the Hollywood Bowl helped.

Modest Mouse “We were dead before the ship even sank”
Wow. I listened to this one non-stop during the early part of the spring as I was hatching my plan to escape from Atlanta. The one-two punch of “Parting of the sensory” and “Missed the boat” was for me the best of the year. And "Fire it up."

Panda Bear “Person Pitch”

I bought this album the week I got to LA during a trip to Amoeba as the summer was kind of beginning and it captured it all in song. “Bros” may be my single of the year.

Arcade Fire “Neon Bible”
During my aforementioned “escape from Atlanta” this album was like the light above my bed. I must have listened to it 100 times during at least as many runs around as many blocks as it all came down.

Amy Winehouse “Back to Black”
Like most Americans I heard her name sometime last spring and as soon as I heard her voice, I was hooked. And like everyone, I hope she cleans it up because I wanna hear more of it.

Spoon “Ga-ga-ga-ga-ga”
The Austin boys make the album of their career with more great songs like “Black like me”, “Eddie’s Ragga”, and the incomparable “My little Japanese cigarette case.” Wall-to-wall stellarness.

Battles "Mirrored"
Most of you probably won't notice I slipped this into the list after initially publishing of the original list. But this one is good. They're like the Daft Punk of rock and roll. Math rock? Whatever it is, it rocks.

Britney Spears “Blackout”
Just kidding. That bitch is whack.

The Good, the Bad and the Queen “The Good, the Bad and the Queen”
My man, Damon Albarn, rounds up the best in the bidness and makes the album we’d all been dreaming about. Here’s hoping that’s not a one-off project ‘cause I think they were just getting started.

LCD Soundsystem “Sound of Silver”
I bought this album the day it came out and heard “Get Innocuous.” That was it for me. “All my friends” ended up being my favorite song on the album but they all rocked.

Honorable Mentions:

Andrew Bird “Armchair Apocrypha”
Oddly beautiful. Same story about seeing him at the Hollywood Bowl.

The Shout out Louds “Our Ill Wills”
Swedishly beautiful

Interpol “Our love to admire”
Claustrophobically beautiful

Wilco “Sky Blue Sky”
Mellowly beautiful

Feist “The Reminder”
Liltingly beautiful

M.I.A. “Kala”
Worldly beautiful

The National “Boxer”
Melancholy-ly beautiful

Ryan Adams “Easy Tiger”
Sadly beautiful

Arctic Monkeys “Favourite Worst Nightmare”
Rockingly beautiful

Justice “Cross”
Frenchly beautiful


Blogger Tania Rochelle said...

He'll never admit it, but I believe you're Biggy's music guru.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Whitney said...

has anybody ever told you that you're good? daft punk forever!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

Tania and Biggy, I'm just glad someone still reads this thing and gets anything out of it. I swear sometimes it's almost worth reading.

And Whitney, half the stuff on the list is thanks to you. But you know that. Daft Punk 4eva.

Cheers, all.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Howard, I read this thing and I love it. I also am really loving "I'll kill her." by Soko. Maybe that will make a cameo on your list next time.

10:32 PM  
Blogger biggy said...

of your 12 albums, I've got 5 of them and been meaning to get another 2 of them, so I would say we're musically N'sync.

12:14 AM  
Blogger me jeff b said...

nice! on the same page except for the KOL. Almost included that album on my biggest dissapointments list. I still can't get over how retarded their lyrics are.

10:06 AM  
Blogger krr said...

What about Jarvis or Grinderman? I think you're getting soft living in LA, man! You need more nights at the Dog.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Montgomery Maxton said...

yay for kings of leaon. i like "fans"

2:42 AM  
Blogger erschen said...

enjoyed your list....Covert sent me your link. Not sure if he sent you mine......bug him for it, if he didn't

Hope you are doing well.


9:07 PM  
Blogger Tania Rochelle said...

You're killing me, Howard. Post already.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

Tania, your timing couldn't be better. Just got back from a little skiing and am tidying up the pics as we speak. You might even recognize some of my cohorts.

6:52 PM  

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