Don’s Best of 2007
Nancy Elizabeth – Battle & Victory
Following her outrageously good debut ep The Wheel Turning King she’s dropped her surname (Cunliffe) and released a striking debut album. Surprisingly the album features none of the songs from the EP and is entirely new material. It’s beautiful in a way I was half expecting and hoping for.
Fave tracks: I’m Like Paper, I Used To Try
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Well, what can be said about this? Clearly the best album Radiohead have released. Surely, the perfect blend of “crazy” radiohead and “guitar” radiohead? But obviously not for some folk who still just wished they wrote an album of ten Street Spirits. For someone who thinks Street Spirit and Creep are both ignorable, I’m always surprised by this. Either way, after two listens I was convinced it was the best thing they have done. Not the best songs by them of course but consistently good all the way through. Although now, I now consider quite a few of the tracks to be some of their best work.
And for those of you who haven’t heard the second cd of In Rainbows I advise you to find it. Or buy the £40 box set for it. It is equally awesome. It almost makes you wonder why they didn’t record maybe two more songs and put out a double album…
Fave Tracks: Videotape, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, Last Flowers
The View – Hats off to the Buskers
I was surprised by how much I was drawn to this album. Quite simply, it has some of the best three/four minute pop songs on I have heard in a long time. Held together by a raw garage-y sound that’ll probably all be cleaned off when they get another producer to do their next album. Probably the best recent band to sound like they made their records 30 years ago.
Fave Tracks: Wasted Little DJ’s, Same Jeans, Face For The Radio
Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
You know what this sounds like so I don’t need to talk about it too much! Maybe they look like nob heads but what band doesn’t? Every song is fucking class. One of the only albums I’ve downloaded this year that I then went on to buy. I should be ashamed of this fact but I’m not.
Fave Tracks: Golden Skans, Magick, Totem on the Timeline
Maps – We Can Create
Can’t claim to be cutting edge here. Heard a track when they were nominated for Mercury Music prize. Loved it. Still loving it. Sounds kinda like Stone Roses being good if you can comprehend such a sound.
Fave Track: It Will Find You, To The Sky
Prince – Planet Earth
And no, I didn’t get the Daily Mail to get my copy. My mum went to his gig and got her free copy there. She kept the copy from the Daily Mail for herself! Prince has always been decent but he’s just so often over the top and someone really needed to tell him “shut up! We don’t want a 3 cd album!”. So he managed to put all his decent songs onto one record with hardly any filler. And then foolishly, or not so foolishly, gave it away for nothing. Surely, there can be nothing finer than Prince coming on your mp3 player after 65daysofstatic. Haha, coming on my mp3 player sounds like the kind of thing Prince would do too.
Fave Tracks: Guitar, Chelsea Rodgers
Februus – The Power of Your Fear
Shut up. Yes, I can have my own band on here. After a significant development we finished this and although I’m sure it’s not to everyone’s tastes it certainly has an ambition which still makes me sit up and take notice each time I listen. I probably love all the bits you don’t on this album – and that’s cos I may have put those bits there.
I also felt good that a song we did in four days came out so well. And that the lyrics were so pointed at the war in Iraq. although, I was allowed to sharpen them a little. It sounds weird but music and weddings apart, 2007 was a bit shit, and – besides my ghostsmut work and the wild stuff me and Aythan are working on – one of the things I’m most proud of from last year is the Bush and Blair sample-fest I created for the end section of the Memory Regained.
Fave Tracks: A Memory Regained, LXI, From The Outside In, Nailed
Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur
I thought this lot had split up as they kinda vanished for awhile. Got into these guys ages ago when I was systemically downloading everything signed to Ninja Tune to find new good music. I even remember telling my good friend Guy D to check them out and now he loves them too. Haha, infected! Man, that must be in a post somewhere when he was asking for stuff to download from allofmp3.com. Anyway! This album is beautiful, Cinematic Orchestra’s previously outings have been nu-jazz if you will, and this album is quite a drastic change. Shorter songs and more lyrics, but still lovely pieces of lush instrumentals with it. I think it’s my favourite album by them.
Fave Tracks: To Build A Home, As The Stars Fall
Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
I’ve liked this band since they came out but really their 3rd album is fucking outstanding. Starting with a 7 minute long song is not what you would expect from an album that gets to no 1 in the charts. They have developed their songs with lots of layers that really build the album into something great. This is the album that is still in our kitchen cd player for every time we cook, eat or wash up.
Fave Tracks – Knocked Up, Ragoo, Charmer
Temposhark – The Invisible Line
What can I say? I’ve already mentioned this in a 2007 post. It is the best album of 2007. I love every track. And some make me lose place of where I am in the world and do funky head bopping even when at work or on a bus. I’ve been following this band since 2004 and for them to finally get around to releasing such a great record for their début makes me very happy indeed. Sure, if you don’t like great pop songs you won’t find anything you’ll like here. But if Girls Aloud pop joyousness is your bag then you will love this album as much as I do.
And to top it off, this and Radiohead get their official release on CD this year so they’ll both be on my top albums of 2008 list too!
Fave Tracks: Knock Me Out, Joy, Blame, Not That Big (feat. Imogen Heap), Little White Lie, Invisible Ink.