Readers of the ReleBlog, what were your top 10 this year? I’d like to know. And for some incentive to share your favorite albums with me, my favorite list posted will win a CD package of some of my favorite albums from the past year (package includes: Andrew Bird-Armchair Apocrypha, The Acorn-Glory Hope Mountain, Blonde Redhead-23, The New Amsterdams-At the Foot of My Rival, St. Vincent-Marry Me, and a few more that are in my top 10! (including my #1 album of the year!)). So in celebration of the season, let’s share good music with each other. I’ll pick a winner on December 8th.
but I want to share a few other great albums from the year first, here’s my personal 11-25:
25. Blonde Redhead – 23
This album changed my opinion on Blonde Redhead. When a band maintains itâ€™s artistic integrity whilst taking steps to relate to a broader audience, Iâ€™m impressed. 23 brings melodies and textures together to create a unique delivery that gives Blonde Redhead a new sound of maturity and intrigue.
The first of many Swedish-related albums on this list is Tio Bitar. Psychedelic rock and roll might be one of the most timeless forms of the genre, but when itâ€™s done right, it can be the hardest rocking music imaginable. You donâ€™t have to understand the words to know that Dungen speaks a universal language of good old rock and roll.
23. The Dirty Projectors â€“ Rise Above
Avant-garde is still somewhat new to me. Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa made a deep enough impression on my ears to convince me that bands that make music in disregard of the masses do so with strong freedom. Rise Above immediately struck me as the sort of music that will appeal to the few, not because the music is of poor quality, but because the venue the artists chose to set themselves in is selective.
22. The New Amsterdams â€“ At the Foot of My Rival
This one is a surprise for me. I never really liked the music of the New Amsterdams before, but At the Foot of My Rivalâ€™s melodies and subtleties were just so pure and pleasant that I found myself returning to their myspace page at least once a week since the album was made available for full-stream. This music brings out the nice-guy in me.
21. Black Dice â€“ Load Blown
This is the avant-garde I keep coming back to. Iâ€™ve listened to this album a lot, and I just love the blend of chaos and comfort that the Black Dice sputter at me. Experimental music is usually to each his own, but I have to wonder what a band is doing when they have me coming back to their album for repeat listens.
This is the surprise of the list. Cities tapped a youthful root in my musical tree, and blossomed with energy and pop. Sometimes we just need catchy music, and Anberlin is figuring out how to work that melodic muscle without falling into cheesy clichÃ©.
19. Jose Gonzalez â€“ In Our Nature
Hereâ€™s another Swede. He makes quiet music, lullabies about nightmares. Jose is an acoustic guitar virtuoso, and his unique approach to songwriting is a force to be reckoned with. He puts Chris Carrabba to shame.
This album is deep. Musically, lyrically, and spiritually, Neon Bible is an album that cannot be listened to flippantly. Arcade Fire certainly have harnessed their self-importance and used it to their advantage.
17. Laura Veirs â€“ Saltbreakers
Possibly the most underrated album of the year. Veirs has one of the most enjoyable voices youâ€™ll likely hear, and her songwriting abilities are delightful. This music is fun, cohesive, and quirky.
Ah, Chicagoâ€™s great hero of present day. I donâ€™t know if Andrew Bird will ever be able to succeed himself after Mysterious Production of Eggs, but Iâ€™m not sure if he can do any wrong either. And heâ€™s still the best show youâ€™ll see today. Violin or whistle, he’s incredible.
15. Rosie Thomas â€“ These Friends of Mine
No, Iâ€™m not a girl, Rosie Thomasâ€™ music just appeals to my emotional side. And a Denison Witmer and Sufjan Stevens hand in the Friends of Mine project is almost too cute to be true. This is cute music. Thatâ€™s about it.
14. St. Vincent â€“ Marry Me
This is the indie girl of 2007, Annie Clark. She opened for the National, garnered hosts of comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, and put out a great full-length debut. Sheâ€™ll only pick up speed from here. Still a young talent, St. Vincent may someday become the next Bjork. Weâ€™ll see what happens.
13. Shout Out Louds â€“ Our Ill Wills
Sweden. This time, they’re doing the indie-rock-dance-pop. The Shout Out Louds have a singer who sounds imperfect, a girl keyboard/accordion player who doesnâ€™t smile, and a solid album that beckons you back to listen again and again. Charming fun.
12. Dan Deacon â€“ Spiderman of the Rings
Dan Deacon exploded in 2007. With the biggest crowd at Pitchfork Festâ€™s smallest stage, and a non-stop goof-ride tour, Deacon reminded us that thereâ€™s an artistic side to the city of Baltimore. If you can stand it long enough, you’ll begin to appreciate this silly electronic indie-pop.
11. The Acorn â€“ Glory Hope Mountain
This is probably the album on my list that most people havenâ€™t heard of. But let it be heard! The Acorn is wonderful! Like a more accessible version of Califone, The Acorn creep comfortably into your soul and remind you of the good things in life.
Albums 1-10 to be announced December 8th.
Well, how would you finish this list off? or, would you have put some albums higher up in the ranks? My favorite top 10 will get a big package of CDs sent to them. It’s Christmastime folks! Time to share the good stuff with those we care about! and you, dear readers, are people that I care about. Thank you for sharing your time with me.
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