The Favorite Music of 2007

Okay, end of the year time right? I only do top 8s, not 10s…sorry. Also, I’m probably forgetting some great ones that I’ll regret not mentioning. Oh well, here goes:

Favorite albums

1. Strawberry Jam – Animal Collective

A beautiful, weird, and challenging work. It connects to some primal musical language that has been lost in the haze of youth.

2. Night Falls Over Kortedala – Jens Lekman

Ambitiously lush and full of wonderfully cheeky lyrics.

3. Sounds of Silver - LCD Soundsystem

This is a fun fun album. Partly because it reminds me of the 80s and partly because it’s just plain smart. But mostly because it cheers me up.

4. There Will Be Blood – Jonny Greenwood

I wanted to be really snarky and call this the best Radiohead album of the year (technically not correct, but so what). Well, I will settle for calling this an amazing film score that also works as concert music in the modern classical sense. Greenwood is a very accomplished composer, and this is the first commercial use of his classical music talent to my knowledge. Just brilliant, as if he wasn’t awesome enough as a guitarist.

5. In Rainbows – Radiohead

Yes, this was also a good album. While lacking that experimental, edginess that characterized Kid A, it has some solid solid songs and is almost admirable for its modesty.

6. New Moon – Elliott Smith

Everything he does is great.

7. Ratatouille – Michael Giacchino

My favorite film of the year also has my favorite film score of the year. Unlike film scores of late, Giacchino is really very thematic in his approach. The song Le Festin is weaved into the score very subtly, and when it comes out as a declaration of the beauties of love and food sung in French, I get all choked up. The French would say, “Ca m’a plu.”

8. IBM 1401, a User’s Manual – Johann Johannsson

I wanted to throw in a classical composition, such as Gorecki’s Third String Quartet. But electronic artist Johann Johannsson really comes up with a really touching and compulsively-listenable album of mostly orchestral music. In fact, it is reminiscent of Gorecki’s Third Symphony. Sometimes for me there is great joy in listening to music that can hold a consistent mood and not toss my emotions around…this year this is it.

What are your favorite albums of the year?

Songs of the year (in no particular order)

1. D.A.N.C.E. – Justice

Daft Punk, watch out!

2. Colleen – Joanna Newsom

Another untouchable artist.

3. Umbrella – Rihanna

Sick of this song now, but boy, I got a lot of listening mileage out of it.

4. Le Festin – Camille

C’est magnifique et tres catchy.

5. Fireworks – Animal Collective

A touching and evocative song on a great album.

6. Kanske… – Jens Lekman

An unpronounceable title doesn’t prevent this from being my Jens song of choice.

7. Nude – Radiohead

A longtime fan favorite is also a standout on the album.

8. Intervention – The Arcade Fire

Loud pipe organ and strings and glockenspiel and singing about big issues…it just works!

9. Side With the Seeds - Wilco

Ha, I lied about only 8. This songs rocks in a pretty solid album too. I really dig the little freak out section.

Favorite songs?

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