11.29.2007

Best of 2007

That's right. The year is close enough to it's end that we feel comfortable closing the book on it. Here's some of what stood out to us.

Songs

Best songs that sounded like they were recorded 30 years ago
Caribou - Melody Day
Black Lips - Veni Vidi Vici

Best opening songs on an album
Blitzen Trapper - Devil's a Go-Go
Radiohead - 15 Step

Best song that sounds exactly like everything else they've ever put out
Spoon - You Got Yr Cherry Bomb

Best cover
Britt Daniel - Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)

Best song by someone that looks just like Alastair's roommate
Elvis Perkins - While You Were Sleeping

Best song with unintelligible lyrics
Battles - Ddiamondd

Best old song that I'll admit I only just heard for the first time
ABBA - Ring Ring

Best use of harmony since 1969
Dr. Dog - My Old Ways

Best reason to play a video game
Still Alive (The closing theme song from Portal)


Best Albums of 2007

Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Far and away the collection of songs that I listened to the most this year. I can't completely understand why I enjoy it so much. The song structures are straight-forward and unsurprising and the subject matter is rather pedestrian, but the lyrics are full of interior rhymes and form fun little rhythmic puzzles that I still don't have figured out yet.

Radiohead - In Rainbows
Everyone's been waiting 4 years for this one, and it didn't disappoint. It's got all the things that make Radiohead albums so great: tricks with rhythm and meter, occasional glimpses of instrumental virtuosity, whatever the fuck Thom Yorke is saying. But it also slows down a bit about half way in, and starts to groove very gently. A song like "House of Cards" is a testament to their skills. A song in which absolutely nothing happens, but still compels you to listen to every second of it.

Dr Dog - We All Belong
All the best parts of music are in this album.

Field Music - Tones of Town
This band follows to the letter the Rule of 50%. The rule is that in order to keep a listener involved and interested, you must spend half the time confirming what he expects, and the other half surprising him. Their songs are hummable and tuneful, but constantly taking you down hidden pathways that open up between the beats and notes of their melodies.


I think that'll do it for now. Tune in next week when I fill in all the gaps that I left here.

alstr

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