One more list that no one cares about

As promised, and somewhat timely as well, I bring you my top 25 (that’s right, I was gonna do 10, but I upped it – although I’m only going to extrapolate on 10) music picks for 2007. And without further ado:

1. Recoil – Subhuman

Formerly the side project of Depeche Mode’s Alan Wilder, Recoil became his focus after jumping the DM ship in 1995. I’ve been a fan of all of the Recoil works, although each album had a track or two that I disliked or tended to skip. Subhuman, however, is another story entirely. A sonic soundscape mixing atmosphere with blues, I had this spinning in my car continuously for more than a month after I got it. It’s even better on surround sound. Favorite track: The Killing Ground

2. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

You know, a year ago, I didn’t even know this band existed. Then Pandora stuck a track of their’s from an earlier album on a playlist, and I ended up picking up that album plus the newly released Hissing Fauna… at the same time. Since then, I have gone scavaging around, picking up as much as I can of their melodious and quirky back catalog. Favorite track: Gronlandic Edit

3. Bjork – Volta

Sometimes Bjork can be great, sometimes she can be okay, sometimes she can be downright irritating. After a couple of albums I either didn’t like (Vespertine) or liked only when in the right mood (Medula), Bjork has managed to put out a great album again (although the packaging, while visually interesting, is completely impractical and annoying – seriously, since when is a sticker an ideal way to open and close your CD). I don’t know yet if it’s as good as Homogenic, but it’s certainly a contender. Favorite track: My Juvenile

4. CocoRosie – The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn

I’m not really sure how to describe these quirky sisters – once has an operatic voice, the other a broken raspiness, and the music arrangements are odd and almost otherwordly. Somehow, it all works. Favorite track: Japan

5. A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Tout New Age

While their official CD release, Scribble Music Comic Journal, certainly had its moments, I liked this internet-only release much more. If you like your music ambient and drone-y with ethereal vocals, this may be your cup of tea. Favorite track: The Ossifrage (Tout New Age)

6. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Technically released in the UK in 2006, it didn’t make it over here until ’07. Considering that I had picked up her first album, Frank, several years ago as an import (because it didn’t get a US release until about a month ago), I was a little surprised when this one hit so big in the US, and more than a little disappointed that she immediately became a tabloid train-wreck. However, the music speaks for itself, and she was amazing when we saw her perform at Coachella, so I’m not going to jump off the Amy bandwagon just because of everyone in America that jumped on. Favorite track: Tears Dry On Their Own

7. Mark Ronson – Version

Speaking of Ms. Winehouse, her producer also released an album of his own this year, featuring a bevy of guest vocalists (including you-know-who) covering other people’s songs. While not all the guests were great (I’m looking at you, Phantom Planet), most turned in wonderful performances, notably newcomer Daniel Merriweather on the Stop Me Medley (combining the Smiths’ Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before and The Supreme’s You Keep Me Hanging On) and Tiggers’ great take on Brit-Brit’s “Toxic” (the only Britney song I ever liked to begin with – note that her album is nowhere on my list). Favorite track: Lily Allen’s take on the Kaiser Chief’s Oh My God

8. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81

Why are the airwaves filled with emo poseurs when they could be playing the wondrous rock of BMRC? Not as stripped down as Howl, but not as Jesus & Mary Chain-y as their first records, Baby 81 is a perfect mix. And they put on a damn fine live show as well. Favorite track: Berlin

9. Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog

Sam Beam & Company have a way of sounding warm and homey, even if the lyrics may belie that feeling. They seem to get better with every release, and this is no exception. Favorite track: Innocent Bones

10. Rufus Wainwright – Release the Stars

As much as I loved Poses, Rufus’ two Want albums did pretty much nothing for me. I picked this one up anyway, because that’s the kind of completest I am, and was delighted to find Rufus back in top form. Granted, he’s not a performer for everyone, but when he’s on, it’s a beautiful thing. Favorite track: Between My Legs

11. Joan as Police Woman – Real Life
12. Bat for Lashes – Fur and Gold
13. Mum – Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy
14. The Pipettes – We Are the Pipettes
15. St. Vincent – Marry Me
16. The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit-Pop Gems of the Last Millennium – god, I love Rhino Records
17. Arctic Monkeys – Favorite Worst Nightmare
18. Nina Nastasia & Jim White – You Follow Me
19. Blonde Redhead – 23
20. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
21. Laura Viers – Saltbreakers
22. White Stripes – Icky Thump (so, so, so much better than that last piece of crap that inexplicably got all the critical raves)
23. Pink Martini – Hey Eugene!
24. The Fratellis – Costello Music
25. The Noisettes – What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?

Alright, now to start anticipating the best albums of ’08!


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