Acontinuation of our top 100 albums of 2007 year end list.
Elvis Perkins is the son ofthe late actor Anthony Perkins, best known for his role as Norman Bates inAlfred Hitchcock's Psycho. His father died of AIDS in 1992 and hismother died when the plane she was on was flown into the north tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. AshWednesday focuses grief into a beautifully chilling andmelancholy album.
79. Friend AndFoe by Menomena
Friend or Foe was nominated for a Grammy award this year. Not for thepristine and offbeat music contained on the album, but for the CD packaging,which includes decoder rings and hidden messags. It's a shame that the Academydoesn't seem to be capable of doing what they should be doing a whole lot more of.Listening.
78. None ShallPass by Aesop Rock
Aesop Rock wins the award for jamming the most words possible into a singletrack. But the undeniable lyrical skill is not the only trick None ShallPass has under its hat. The record's crack production andsophistication also plays an important role in making this one of the besthip-hop releases of the year.
77. Beyond byDinosaur Jr.
Beyond is my second pick forgreatest comeback album of the year after Levon Helm's Dirt Farmer. Itdoes sound like the Dinosaur Jr. of 1988, and that is certainly not a bad thingif your familiar with the band. The fuzzed-up beauty is available in largequantities on this record. Enough to put a huge smile on my face everytime Ihear it.
76. FriendOpportunity by Deerhoof
On it's face, Friend Opportunity sounds like noise, or maybe theMars Volta jamming with Yoko Ono. But on closer inspection it becomes clearthat the band not only knows what it's doing, but is stretching the limits ofwhat music can be. This one requires a full three listens before its brilliancesinks in, but when it does, you'll nod your head, open your eyes wide, andwhisper, "ah... I get it".
75. Liars by Liars
Liars self titled full-length is a rock album that, as usual, takesthe group in a yet another direction. They keep some of their experimentalleanings, but have no fear of an electric guitar here. This is not easylistening, and as such takes some work to soak in, but you will be rewardedwell if you give it the time it deserves.
74. Back ToBlack by Amy Winehouse
I really wanted to ignore Amy Winehouse when I started selecting my best of2007 albums. I don't want to like, or support a violent, druggy loser.Especially a Grammy winning one. But this is about the music, and there is nodenying that Back To Black is a stunning record and Amy's nasal, soulfulvoice is one in a million.
73. We CanCreate by Maps
At first, the ethereal drone that permeates the record caught me off guard,but when the static disappears at key points, the dynamic punch can be feltlike flesh on flesh. A sensual, free and expansive world opens up and providespleasure for the duration of the albums 11 tracks. The record is more aboutcrafting texture than songcraft. It has just enough pop to keep the musicallyclose-minded interested, but the real accomplishment of We Can Create isthe galvanic fabric upon which the compositions are built.
72. Emotionalism byThe Avett Brothers
I saw The Avett Brothers atMerlefest in North Carolina twoyears back and they blew me away, so I was eagerly awaiting Emotionalism.It is an excellent lesson in simplicity and songcraft. The band is hooked intothe world of Americanamusic, but they go further and appeal wider. Good songs, great harmonies andsincerity will always win me over.
71. Dwight Sings Buck by DwightYoakam
I know a lot of music fanswho simply shun country music like a disease. Yea, I know, it's sad. When I runinto anti-country types there are a few go-to artists I try to use to crackdefenses, and open minds. Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakam canusually do the trick. And Dwight's reworking of the music of the great BuckOwens on Dwight Sings Buck is a major new weapon in my ongoing battleagainst country bigots.
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