The sixthinstallment of our top 100 albums of 2007 year end list.
50. White Chalk byPJ Harvey
PJ Harvey can belt out avocal without much trouble when she feels the need. But here on White Chalk,she takes on a more delicate air that works to convey despair without eversounding contrived, or having you wishing for something to happen. To thecontrary, I am completely happy and tuned in every time I hear it. An artistictriumph.
49. The Good,The Bad & The Queen by The Good, The Bad & The Queen
The Good, The Bad & The Queen is an album bya supergroup consisting of members of Blur, The Clash, The Verve and FelaKuti, and produced by Danger Mouse. Obviously, with that frame of reference inmind, there was a good deal of hype around this release. But lucky for us, thealbum lives up to it, and the group sounds as if they've been creating musictogether for decades.
48. Comicopera by OfRobert Wyatt
At 62, Robert Wyatt has created one of the year's best albums. Comicoperais political and diverse, the music is perfectly structured and neveroverbearing, but it's Wyatt's voice that really shines and brings the wholething to a level that most artists can only dream of reaching.
47. Becoming AllThings by Zookeeper
You won't find this on manyyear-end lists. Zookeeper is still, for the most part, under-the-radar. Thenewest project of former Mineral and The Gloria Record member Chris Simpson. BecomingAll Things is a sweeping, pop-infused epic of an album that was a truesurprise. Don't miss it.
46. TheReminder by Feist
Feist found the holy grail of the :15 second spot with the selection of hersong "1234" for inclusion in an Apple iPod commercial this year. Thissuper-hooked gem of a track instantly caught the ears of countless millions.But The Reminder is much deeper than "1234", hopefully some ofthe millions who downloaded the track took some time to listen to the wholealbum.
45. AnytownGraffiti by Pela
Pela has working class roots, but this ain't no John Cougar or BruceSpringsteen (although Bruce is sited by the band as an influence). AnytownGraffiti treads on Arcade Fire territory, but without the same degree ofpomp, or art-school wussiness. It has more rock at it's core, but istempered by wonderfully creative hooks and clarity.
44. Maths +English by Dizzee Rascal
Boy In Da Corner was a classic album that put British hip-hop on the mapwith it's jerky, accented rhymes. His second record debuted at # 8 on the UK album chartsand this, his third, debuted at #7. The album is incredibly fun to listen to,and takes work to absorb the lyric. Dizzee takes many different approaches on Maths+ English, but executes them all masterfully.
43. ArmchairApocrypha by Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird's 2005 album The Mysterious Production Of Eggs gainedmuch admiration with it's quirky pop sound and expert whistling, not tomention having the best album cover of the year. Although the album art on ArmchairApocrypha is notably worse, the music has taken yet another step forward.Mr. Bird has officially earned the title of "heavyweight" with thisrelease.
42. Forts by TheBoggs
The production on Fortsis all over the map. Sometimes it sounds like your sitting in a cave with theperformance echoing around you like so many bats, other times its airy anddramatic, and still others, it's up front and immediate. Forts has afragile nature, as if it's being held together by a single taut thread, but theatmospheric guitars and keyboards, tribal rhythms, strings, horns and acousticguitars help paint the best work of Friedman's career.
41. Boxer byThe National
The National's latestrecord will probably land higher on many critic's end of year lists thanit has on mine. But I do agree this is a moody work of art. Boxerfinds the band discovering the power of consistency and using it to greateffect. I had a hard time placing this one, but #41 is not a bad place to be.
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