Favourite albums of the year

Posted: December 13, 2007 in music

Tis the season for making lists, so here are my favourite albums of the year:

  1. Raising Sand (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) – I fell in love with Alison Krauss’s American roots music after discovering her on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and have always had respect for Plant as a singer and a musical adventurer. This seemed like such a bizarre pairing but it proved to be the year’s most inspired and surprising combination with a brilliant selection of songs selected by producer T Bone Burnett. Best tracks: Gone, Gone, Gone; Please Read The Letter.
  2. Collie Buddz (Collie Buddz) – Brilliant debut album from Bermuda’s finest. The soundtrack to Bermuda’s summer. He’s white, you know … Best tracks: Come Around, Mamacita, Blind To You.
  3. Goin’ Home: Tribute To Fats Domino (Various) – I’ve always been a huge Fats Domino fan and this 2-CD collection featuring Robert Plant (again!) playing with The Soweto Gospel Choir, Neil Young, Toots & The Maytals to name just a few was a delight. Best tracks: Valley of Tears (Plant), Be My Guest (Ben Harper & The Skatalites).
  4. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Spoon) – Did anyone write more delicious rock-pop tunes than they did in 07? Best tracks: Finer Feeling, Don’t Make Me A Target.
  5. Neon Bible (Arcade Fire) – It was the year I also caught up with another great Canadian band. The Montreal art-rockers topped Funeral in my opinion with this one. Best tracks: Anti-Christ Television Blues,The Well and the Lighthouse, Keep The Car Running.
  6. Under The Blacklight (Rilo Kiley) – This was the year I belatedly discovered the fabulous Jenny Lewis and the boys. This wasn’t as good as More Adventurous but knocked spots off most of the opposition. Best tracks: 15, Silver Lining.
  7. Challengers (New Pornographers) – Got into this quirky Canadian band with their epic melodies and poetic lyrics in a big way this year. Best tracks: Myriad Harbour, Go Places.
  8. Night Falls Over Kortadela (Jens Lekman) Often bizarre but beautiful and catchy album from a multi-talented Swedish DJ. Best tracks: Friday Night At The Drive-in Bingo; Your Arms Around Me.
  9. Version (Mark Ronson) – Another DJ-turned performer/producer. Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse and Kasabian were among the guests who turned out cracking new versions of modern classics like The Zutons’ “Valerie” and The Smiths’ “Stop me If You’ve Heard This One Before”. 
  10. Favourite Worst Nightmare (Arctic Monkeys) – What second album syndrome? Alex Turner is developing nicely thank you into the best chronicler of his times since Ray Davies. Best tracks: Do Me A Favour, Teddy Picker, 505.

Best greatest hits album: Mothership (Led Zeppelin) – I always liked LedZep but was never a fanatic. This remastered set was a powerful reminder of just how brilliant they were and of a legacy that seems to grow with each passing year. Its success along with the reunion gig wrapped up one hell of a year for Robert Plant. Honourable mentions I also really enjoyed this lot:

  • Golden Opportunities (Okkervil River) – terrific indie band from Austin
  • Magic (Bruce Springsteen) – The Boss back on near top-form
  • Sawdust (The Killers) – Their Lou Reed collaboration was one of the year’s highlights
  • Memory Almost Full (Paul McCartney) – Old Thumbs Up still lands a few surprises
  • Shotter’s Nation (Babyshambles) – Shock as Doherty and the boys stay in tune for almost an entire album
  • Panic Prevention (Jamie T) – once memorably described as a “one-man Arctic Monkey” and “like the bastard lovechild of Billy Bragg and Mike Skinner doing his best Joe Strummer impression”. 
  • The Good The Bad & The Queen (The Good, The Bad & The Queen) – Damon Albarn’s latest side project was a winner
  • Dylanesque (Bryan Ferry) – Few do Bob better than the Old Geordie Smoothie.
  • The Reminder (Feist) – long overdue success for the Nova Scotian indie star

One To Watch Shout Out Louds are an infectious indie band from Stockholm band that my Toronto buddy Chris Young just turned me onto (along with Spoon). Our Ill Wills was a superb second album. A top ten contender had I heard it earlier this year! What was your top ten this year? Post ’em here!

  1. […] I finally got around to finishing it over Christmas.>> See “Tracks of my Years”>> My Favourite albums of 2007  Published […]

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