Winners and Losers of 2007

Hello friends,

Rather than contributing a “Best of” list…I thought we could take a look at who came out ahead in 2007…and who crashed and burned. (Note: just because an artist is in the “Winning” category does not mean that said artist released a good, or even mediocre, album).

-tower

Losers

Linkin Park: This being the year that Chester Bennington and Co. discovered that A). Rap-rock died during Dubya’s first term in office B). Most people who want angry political rock are still listening to Green Day’s American Idiot C). Sometimes even expert production from golden boy Rick Rubin and a tour with My Chemical Romance can’t bring a band back to the level of popularity of its debut.

Britney Spears-Apart from her personal problems, Brit’s latest release debuted at number 65 on the Billboard charts…a big disappointment, considering the incredible commercial success of her past.

Axle Rose: He’s more than 7 years late on the “new” Guns & Roses album Chinese Democracy, he’s still notorious for not showing up for his band’s concerts…and he honestly believes his hairstyle is a good idea.

Smashing Pumpkins: If you bought the band’s “comeback” album (featuring only drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and the ego that is Billy Corgan), you already know why the Pumpkins are on this list. If you didn’t waste twelve valuable dollars on Zeitgeist..don’t.

Dr. Dre: Promised to release Detox in 2007…which never materialized. Oh yeah…and he admitted that Eminem writes most of his lyrics. So much for street cred.

Blake Lewis: Lost American Idol, and managend to market his debut album withone of the most ridiculous album covers the world has ever seen.

Winners

Radiohead: Band quits label. Band lets fans pay whatever they want for new album. Band still makes millions…and possibly changes the music industry forever.

Bruce Springsteen: Two years shy of 60…still fresh yet classic.

See Also

Rilo Kiley: Followed Death Cab for Cutie’s route in turning a cult following into quasi-commercial success. Plus, frontwoman Jenny Lewis is one of the two hottest redheads in music right now, alongside Paramore’s Hayley Williams (sorry…had to go there).

Aaron Gillespi: …and speaking of Redheads, the carrot-topped Underoath drummer took a break from his screamo outfit to sing and record every instrument for his side project, The Almost. Crafting a sound that took the melodic parts of his metal band and mixing them with his own musical loves (the chug-chug guitar in “Say This Sooner” sounds like a tribute to Johnny Cash), Gillespi filled a niche that took him to MTV, Warped Tour…and nearly eclipsed the popularity of his main band.

Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus: Stop acting like you don’t know who this is. The 14 year old daughter of one-time country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus is pretty much The Beatles to Gen-Y tweens.

Arcade Fire: Great album? Check. Authentic Canadian heritage (a plus in the indie scene…for whatever reason)? Check. Props from everyone from David Crowder to Bruce Springsteen? Check.

Pete Wentz: While it’s doubtful that anyone old enough to hold a driver’s license would call Fall Out Boy’s latest effort, Infinity on High, a masterpiece…there’s no denying the pint-sized bass player’s knack for hitting commercial gold. In addition to F.O.B. hitting #1 on the Billboard Charts, Wentz also helped build the careers of Gym Class Heroes, Panic! at the Disco, Boys Night Out, Cute is What We Aim For, and The Academy Is… He talked Jay-Z into a cameo on F.O.B.’s latest release, worked with R&B producer Babyface, and is rumoured to be courting Brit rockers Tonight is Goodbye, who very well could release the next homecoming-dance anthem. Even if he annoys you, be glad Wentz is a big supporter of Invisible Children.

As a closing note…check out Chicago rockers Made Avail. They’ve steadily grown a very loyal support base in Chi-town as well as in the east coast cities they’ve played. The band had a great year in the Chi-area music scene, and I’m excited to see what these guys do in the future.

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