Saturday, December 22, 2007

My favorite non-rap albums of 2007

I'll be posting my list of my favorite rap albums of 2007 next week, so here are my picks for the best of the other genres. Sadly, this is also pretty much my list of the only new non-hip hop albums i listened to in 2007. Ever since I started writing for in July, it seems like all I listen to is hip hop. One of my resolutions for 2008 is to listen to more new indie music, and less gangsta rap.

so, in no real order:

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apochrypha - The Chicken raising, violin playing whistler came out with a solid release this year. At his mellowest he can get a little Sting-like, but this still was one of my favorite albums of the year.

1900s - Cold and Kind - Basically an alt-country Fleetwood Mac.

Elliot Smith - New Moon - Rarities and unreleased stuff from his early days. Beautifully sad.

The Field - Here We Go Sublime - I haven't managed to track it down, but I've listened to it online. It's pretty, IDM-ish trancey electronica. I never listen to electronica anymore, and the Field are a reminder of how good it can be.

Deerhunter - Cryptograms. I just got this, so i'm not sure how brilliant it is, but from the first few listens, it sounds like the 2nd coming of My Bloody Valentine, and should suffice until MBV actually put out a new record.

St. Vincent - Marry Me and Feist - The Reminder - Both are beautiful albums by talented female performers.

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - By far the best live act i've seen this year or this millennium. Their albums don't quite capture the energy they have on stage, but they are still wonderfully audacious, and one of the more exciting and interesting bands around.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver - James Murphy is rad. By all rights he should have faded into hipster irrelevance, being one of the main purveyors of a passe genre, disco-punk. Instead he proved that he could actually write great songs. For proof, check out "All My Friends" and "Someone Great". Also rumored to be brilliant live.

The National - Boxer - Sad and gorgeous (or is that gorgeously sad?), Boxer is an actual album, one that demands multiple listened, and isn't nearly as good on shuffle. The National were my favorite discovery this year, and all of their past albums are worth checking out.

I think that pretty much does it for what I listened to and liked in 2007. There were a handful of other releases that passed my way but didn't rock my world. No doubt there were also some brilliant albums I never got to hear. Maybe i can make amends in 2008.....

On a final note, I have to say that I am starting to feel old and out of place in regards to music. The punkier, more energetic stuff that I would have loved as a youth now just leaves me cold; The singer-songwritery indie stuff tends to bore the shit out of me, and I find it really hard to care about the fifth generation of bands inspired by the flying burrito brothers/joy division/ Gang of Four/ slowdive/ whaever other obscure "seminal" band that is only slightly overrated. I love rap, but so much of it doesn't speak to me, and I get tired of having to ignore bullshit offensive lyrics in order to appreciate the beats. In short, I'm too young to retire to the pastures of the mellow and inoffensive, too young to listen to the angry angsty music i used to love, and too "non-urban" to really ever feel a part of a lot of what hip hop is putting out. Yes, it truly is hard out here for a thirty something white guy. As Dr. Evil once said, there is nothing as pathetic as an aging hipster.

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