Rather than contributing a â€œBest ofâ€ listâ€¦I thought we could take a look at who came out ahead in 2007â€¦and who crashed and burned. (Note: just because an artist is in the â€œWinningâ€ category does not mean that said artist released a good, or even mediocre, album).
Linkin Park: This being the year that Chester Bennington and Co. discovered that A). Rap-rock died during Dubyaâ€™s first term in office B). Most people who want angry political rock are still listening to Green Dayâ€™s American Idiot C). Sometimes even expert production from golden boy Rick Rubin and a tour with My Chemical Romance canâ€™t bring a band back to the level of popularity of its debut.
Britney Spears-Apart from her personal problems, Britâ€™s latest release debuted at number 65 on the Billboard chartsâ€¦a big disappointment, considering the incredible commercial success of her past.
Axle Rose: Heâ€™s more than 7 years late on the â€œnewâ€ Guns & Roses album Chinese Democracy, heâ€™s still notorious for not showing up for his bandâ€™s concertsâ€¦and he honestly believes his hairstyle is a good idea.
Smashing Pumpkins: If you bought the bandâ€™s â€œcomebackâ€ 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 didnâ€™t waste twelve valuable dollars on Zeitgeist..donâ€™t.
Dr. Dre: Promised to release Detox in 2007â€¦which never materialized. Oh yeahâ€¦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.
Radiohead: Band quits label. Band lets fans pay whatever they want for new album. Band still makes millionsâ€¦and possibly changes the music industry forever.
Bruce Springsteen: Two years shy of 60â€¦still fresh yet classic.
Rilo Kiley: Followed Death Cab for Cutieâ€™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 Paramoreâ€™s Hayley Williams (sorryâ€¦had to go there).
Aaron Gillespi: â€¦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 â€œSay This Soonerâ€ sounds like a tribute to Johnny Cash), Gillespi filled a niche that took him to MTV, Warped Tourâ€¦and nearly eclipsed the popularity of his main band.
Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus: Stop acting like you donâ€™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 sceneâ€¦for whatever reason)? Check. Props from everyone from David Crowder to Bruce Springsteen? Check.
Pete Wentz: While itâ€™s doubtful that anyone old enough to hold a driverâ€™s license would call Fall Out Boyâ€™s latest effort, Infinity on High, a masterpieceâ€¦thereâ€™s no denying the pint-sized bass playerâ€™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 Isâ€¦ He talked Jay-Z into a cameo on F.O.B.â€™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 noteâ€¦check out Chicago rockers Made Avail. Theyâ€™ve steadily grown a very loyal support base in Chi-town as well as in the east coast cities theyâ€™ve played. The band had a great year in the Chi-area music scene, and Iâ€™m excited to see what these guys do in the future.