The seventh installment of our top 100 albums of 2007 year end list. Number 21 through 30.
Tunng produces artsy folk music with the perfect amount of electronic highlights and British-accented vocals. The band's latest effort on Thrill Jockey Records is titled Good Arrows, and it's much like having a warm cup of hot chocolate, naked in the mist, after sex.
Rolling Stone Magazine critic David Fricke has given Bruce Springsteen's new album Magic a 5-star review. And although Rolling Stone lost most of it's credibility decades ago, I must agree with them on this one. The Boss comes through big, and like Bob Dylan, continues to show the world what "legend" really means.
Neil Young has recorded more albums than most people own. And being a legendary songwriting machine with the maturity of experience behind him, you can usually count on something good to exceptional from him. Chrome Dreams II falls into the exceptional category. No heady instrumentation or arty shtick required. Neil has stood the test of time for a reason -- talent, and this record reflects it well.
What do you get when you take some of the best jazz musicians and vocalists on the planet, and combine them with the unique beauty of songs written by the great Joni Mitchell? Well, you get something so gripping that it's impossible not to be captured completely in its spell. Hancock takes these songs and exposes the brilliance behind their composition even better than Joni could. Wayne Shorter's saxophone is especially riveting.
Ghostface Killah is one on hip-hop's most impressive voices, and he's been on quite a winning streak of critically acclaimed albums. It's hard not to listen to the new album without being influenced by this frame of reference. But once the beats grab you, it becomes clear why Ghost is so hyped, and that he deserves every kind word written.
LCD Soundsystem have a masterpiece on their hands here. Sound of Silver is a mind bending combination of incredibly infectious electronica, epic vocals and rock power. The production is clean, but non-glossy, and repetition is used to mesmerize the listener just enough to help James Murphy drive his art home. Sound of Silver makes you feel dirty and alive.
The Flying Club Cup is better than the band's debut, which was quite a good album itself. Zach Condon has found a niche with his theatrical French pop delivery and velvet crooning. And he takes full advantage of the sound he's developed, but even without the brilliant arrangements and spot on vocals the songs would stand alone.
Vega's newest record is a loose concept album in the vein of Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. Although it's formed somewhat around the attacks of 9/11, the aftershocks, and New York City, she avoids cliché and the political demagoguery we've been fed up with for the last 6 years. Suzanne takes a personal and poetic tact that's an approach she has mastered and made her own. Being a positive force in the face of pain is a hard thing to do musically without coming off as tacky or forced, but Vega has succeeded beyond measure here.
Nick Lowe is reveling in his old(er) age and his new album At My Age shines with a maturity and wisdom that will last eons longer than any group of 20-something punks making music today. His smoky-smooth voice is wonderfully appealing and backed by some of the most professional and tasteful arrangements I have heard this year.
Dungen returns with the much awaited follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2005 album Ta Det Lugnt. Tio Bitar, which means "Ten Pieces", has the much-desired 1970's analog production sound that warms up any room made cold by the digital production of today. Gustav Ejstes, the band's driving creative force, makes swirling, psychedelic prog rock that has enough folk flavor to prod your mouth open a crack so that he may jam the whole damn album down your throat.
Continue to #41 to #50
Return to #21 to #30
- Bruce Springsteen