Albums of the Year

It is getting close to the point where I am going to have to develop my list for the best albums released in 2007.

You may think that is is too early, ahhh, but this is where you are wrong, and it is my blog after all and I do whatever I want. Here’s to an early start. Albums may or may not be added to this list, we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the year goes. In the weeks to come I will begin to review the merits of each of these albums, hopefully that will bring us up to the end of the year where only one winner will remain. Here they are in no particular order:

Thurston Moore – “Trees Outside the Academy”
The most recent addition to the list has the indie rock god still showing everyone how it is done, while coming a long way from “Psychic Hearts”. I expected this to be a bit more Sonic Youth-y, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was very wrong. The addition of violin on the album is a very nice touch, and the song writing is quite polished, all in all a solid album and strong contender.

Interpol – “Our Love to Admire”
The major label debut for NYC’s Interpol is their best effort to date and my personal latest obsession. The album is solid all the way through, despite some rehashing of old material. Dark and beautiful and full of emotion, regardless of whether or not the lyrics make any sense whatsoever.

Matthew Good – “Hospital Music”
This was a surprise to me. I have heard many songs by Matt Good and the Matt Good band in the past, and nothing quite grabbed my attention. This album sat on my computer untouched for a while before deciding to finally listen to it, being sick of all the regular things I was listening to. The album made me stop what I was doing and demanded my attention all the way through. Quite a powerful piece of work from a dark period in the life of this Canadian singer/songwriter.

Air – “Pocket Symphony”
Successful albums, to me, are able to convey a feeling all the way through. The mood is set through the songs, it is the thread that ties each together, but the songs need to also stand alone too. This album is a perfect amalgam of almost, but not quite, ambient pop tunes with a hint of Kraftwerk minus the rigidity and math.

Marnie Stern – “In Advance of the Broken Arm”
Out of nowhere comes this shred guitar, prog, thrash album from a great guitarist with a very odd sense of rhythm (thanks to Hella’s drummer). These songs are catchy, fast, intense and a whirlwind of emotions presented by a captivating, convincing voice. The lack in sound quality on the album is more than made up for by the complex counterpoint of the multiple guitar tracks and almost exclusively finger-tapped guitar.

Of Montreal – “Icons, Abstract Thee” (EP)
Although this is only an EP (you can see already that this most likely will not make the cut) consisting of outtakes from the “Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer?” album, it is a concise and well crafted piece of work. This was my introduction to Of Montreal, and for that reason it holds a special place in my heart.

Shellac – “Excellent Italian Greyhound”
What can be said that hasn’t already been said about Chicago’s own Shellac. These intense math-rockers, fronted by the ever captivating and violently opinionated Steve Albini, never fail to deliver to their fans. Although this album does not necessarily break new ground as far as Shellac albums go, it is always great to have more. The production quality, the humor, the guitar tone that I drool over, Albini’s snide, sarcastic tone contrasted by Bob Westons inability to sing on pitch all add up to a demanding listen, although they falter on a few tracks.

That sums it up for right now. I have word that there are a few albums that may be missing. A friend recently told me not to leave out the Grinderman effort, as well as the new Ricki Lee Jones, and I mustn’t forget the new Tegan and Sara album. As soon as I check them out I will add them here. Check back soon to see reviews, and watch the contenders to see who will remain standing at years end.