Todaywe continue with the second installment of our top 100 albums of 2007 year endlist.
90. Graduationby Kanye West
I really wanted to seeKanye fall flat on his face with Graduation. His tantrums and egotismrub me the wrong way, but there is no denying that Kanye is one of the besthip-hop producers currently breathing oxygen. Graduation not only provesthis fact, but steps it up a notch by toning down the gloss andremoving the worthless skits. His lyrical shortcomings are what keep itfrom scoring higher on my list.
89. Global DrumProject by Mickey Hart/Zakir Hussain
While drums certainly drive the Global Drum Project, spoken word,chanting and a melodic punctuation around the edges make for an undeniablystunning adventure. The record charms with undeniably well-craftedtraditional elements, but Hart takes it over the top with a melding of stylesthat feature electronic sweeps of color. The album is layered and complex, butends up sounding effortless and engulfing, with a standout feature being theway pitched percussive instruments provide melody where their should be none.
88. Las Meridanzas by AlexDupree & The Trapdoor Band
Mid to slow tempo acoustic guitars, violins and banjos paint images of anantique log cabin deep in the Blue Ridge mountains,but at other times you find yourself in a small smoky bar, filled will cardigansweater wearing art students. Either way is fine with me, but it's AlexDupree's well executed (but not too polished) musical ideas that carry LasMeridanzas to somewhere near the top of the heap.
87. Memory Almost Fullby Paul McCartney
Contrary to the mixed reviews floating around, Paul has his groove back in abig way. The focused, diverse and well thought-out arrangements meldwonderfully with McCartney's legendary songwriting prowess, not to mention hisvoice, which is one of the most well-known in the history of popular music. MemoryAlmost Full oozes with an ease and confidence that only a true master canproduce.
86. Change! byThe Black Swans
Singer/songwriter Jerry DeCicca has a unique baritone voice, that althoughlimited, fits perfectly within the confines of the music his band creates. It'sa brooding, consistent effort that finds Noel Sayre's violin providingcompelling counterpoint to the traditional, albeit low-key, rockinstrumentation. The musical ideas, spirit and craftsmanship not onlycompletely cover the limitations of the band, but do so in a way that isreminiscent of Bob Dylan or Neil Young.
85. Conqueror byjesu
Golden picker Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and Napalm Death fame currentlyleads the drone doom band jesu (no capitalization). His newest effort continuesto appeal to dream pop and metal fans alike. It's an ethereal and dynamic workdevoid of cliché trappings. If you dig music that floats you like a handful ofpeyote buttons, I recommend you spend some time with this one.
84. Night ofthe Furies by The Rosebuds
One of my favorite bands from the great state of North Carolina continues a winning streakwith another fine effort. They keep their passion and their ear for a hook, butalso add a bit more darkness to the mix. This adds yet another layer ofcomplexity to the music as does a heavier use of electronic instruments.
83. Cassadaga byBright Eyes
Bright Eyes is growing up, but he is retaining his gift for melody andthe innate moodiness that made us take notice from the beginning. Cassadagais more sophisticated than I expected, and at times even epic. What at firstwas pleasant surprise has morphed into admiration, and so Ifind myself returning to this one regularly.
82. The BesnardLakes Are the Dark Horse by The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse ismy favorite kind of album. It instantly grabbed my attention with it's BeachBoys leanings and pop sensibility, but it's complexity and grandeur aresomething that you can savor as layers reveal themselves with each listen. Thisone is absolutely worth more than the price of admission.
81. The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard byRickie Lee Jones
Pitchfork gave this newalbum by Rickie Lee Jones a 3 out of 10 rating, which alone is enough toput it on my top 100 list. I admit that I've been a fan for quite some time, soI may be biased. But The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard is aback-to-basics work of art that lets the hypnotizing voice of Rickie Lee Jonesshine to the point where you'll be paralyzed by joy. She holds nothingback and if you've ever been a fan this record is critical.
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