Here it is - I tried to be succinct about my explanations! There is always a disclaimer before such lists, because of how haughty some people get regarding one's own opinion. Just remember that I haven't had a chance to listen to every release of 2007 (i.e., Neon Bible), which may be because I don't have lots of cashish and it's not my job to listen to music all the time. These are my personal favorites of 2007, and I wouldn't expect anybody else's list to look exactly the same - the beauty of differing opinions. What are your top ten releases of this year?
01 Motion City Soundtrack, Even If It Kills Me
Even if I wasn't, ya know, it would still be at the top of my list. I've enjoyed every release from Motion City, and I think their musical evolution is near flawless. Each album is better than the last, and I thoroughly appreciate the 90s alt-with-synth sound of EIIKM. The lyrics continually mesmerize me, because the brevity of the words are often disguised by the pop of the music. Favorite song: "Last Night"
02 Tegan & Sara, The Con
The Con resonates like an album I would have made had I had any musical talent. Certain lines stand out and hit me hard ("Nineteen"), sometimes the sound of the music itself would haunt me as I lay down to sleep ("Dark Come Soon"). But most of all, the sisters Quin have created a complete album creatively and emotionally. Favorite song: "Call It Off"
03 Dashboard Confessional, The Shade of Poison Trees
I struggled between Dashboard and Ryan Adams. Both amazing albums, but for the longest time I couldn't decide which I liked better. My final decision proves that though both singer/songwriters have been favorites of mine for more than five years, TSOPT's risky effort bested Adams' safer "commercial return." Though Dashboard also called his album a return to form, the lyrics aren't whiny and there is (thankfully) more than just his voice and an acoustic guitar represented. I guess this is growing up, right? Favorite song: "These Bones"
04 Ryan Adams, Easy, Tiger
Ryan ranks as one of my top five artists of all time. That said, with his myriad of releases since 2000's Heartbreaker, Ryan's voice has never sounded so good. The songs are reminiscent of previous releases - "Goodnight Rose" recalls his Cardinals records, "Halloweenhead" injects a little of his dot com releases, and "I Taught Myself How to Grow Old" could have been on Heartbreaker. Each track delivers - something Ryan's struggled with in his past couple of albums. Favorite song: "Halloweenhead"
05 Against Me!, New Wave
You should know by now I'm a big fan of fist-pumping. I can appreciate a band with songs that have a message and a good hook. It was my first time seeing them live in September, and I was mesmerized. Thank you, Jesse, for passing along the album. In a year replete with sugary pop-punk, it was good to find some rock and a growl. Favorite song: "Thrash Unreal"
06 Lily Allen, Alright, Still
Gotta love a girl with sass. I could bounce down the street with this album every day. Even in the dead of winter, with the wind lashing at my face, I listen to this album and smile (no pun intended) because it feels like summer shining down on me. I love how it sounds so happy, but if you listen to what she's saying, she's calling someone a twat. And it's usually a dude. Favorite song: "Alfie" (right now, but it switches between "LDN" and "Knock Em Out," too)
07 Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Okay, we all know I love Dave Grohl. If anything, the Foo Fighters are consistent. Nothing, in my opinion, has surpassed The Colour and the Shape, but ESP&G rocks, rolls, and soothes. It's quite a mix of the hard-hitting and the acoustically memorable. Dave even brings out a piano for one of my faves on the album, its heartfelt ender - "Home." Favorite song: "Stranger Things Have Happened"
08 Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High
Yes. FOB has made my tops of 2007 list. The album's infectious! It started out my year with my girls. It's fun to hear a band that knows exactly where they stand - delivering lines like "he tastes like you only sweeter" to their gaggle of fangirls waiting to eat up Wentz's lyrics. It's tantalizing sugar ready to be consumed; Babyface knows what's up. Favorite song: "Better with a Pen (Fame>Infamy)"
09 M.I.A., Kala
I didn't much like this album when I first heard it, but after giving it another try last month, I've come to love it. Arular is one of my favorite albums ever, and though Kala doesn't quite live up to its predecessor, the global beats remain riveting, her use of sampling is fun and intriguing and her lyrics have grown even more compelling. Favorite song: "Paper Planes"
10 The Photo Atlas, No, Not Me, Never.
Admittedly, I heard this album at the end of 2006 after rocking out to them at CMJ. However, it was officially released in March this year, and I still enjoy the hip-shaking, hand-clapping beats. It's hard to listen to this album sitting down...or walking down the street: I always want to dance. Favorite song: "Handshake Heart Attack"
Jimmy Eat World, Chase This Light.
Various, Across the Universe Soundtrack.
Sherwood, A Different Light.
Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War.
The White Stripes, Icky Thump.
Say Anything, In Defense of the Genre. An attempt at epic-ness that falls short. However, this album could turn out to be like Return of Saturn, an album I initially hated for a year before realizing its amazingness. I highly doubt I'll come around on the album as a whole. There are about five songs of its 29 that are listenable. Bemis, if your pretentious lyrics are being bested by the likes of Wentz, you've failed.
Great albums new to me in 2007 (aka bands I hated for silly reasons and Jesse made me love, FANX):
Say Anything, ...Is a Real Boy
The Format, Dog Problems
* Note: an enjoyable record, if not recycled-sounding. Too many skippers to be in my tops. But! Hayley is proving to be this generation's Gwen Stefani - not in sound, but in significance to teenage girls. I can appreciate the fact, as this generation was not around when "Just A Girl" broke. I have much more to say on Paramore, but that would be another post altogether.