Here it is, the second to last volume of the 365 albums endeavor. This block was filled with a lot more unfamiliar stuff than the other two volumes — music friends turned me on to and stuff I discovered on my own (drum and bass dj sets, grime, Colombian tropical, 60s French pop) — which consequently led to some wonderfully surprising listens. Of course, there were the usual “revisits” here as well, which when listened to again — in this manner — only added to my affection and further blew me away with their contemporary relevance; My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, Violent Femmes’ Violent Femmes to name a few.
The next installment of this project will be capped off with an end of the year top 10 list of some sort; either the best new music in 2008 or the best music I listened to over the course of this project… maybe both — I’ve still got a little over a month to decide. Until then, here are a few recommendations of some albums from 2007 I picked up in 2008 that would’ve made my top 10 list in 2007 had I picked them up then and done a list.
2007 Redux (2008 style)
The National, Boxer Maybe I’m partial to baritone voices in pop music because they are simply no longer in vogue — at least not since the 80s anyway — or that I sing with one myself, but dammit, this album gets me. These are dark, dramatic brilliantly melodic pop songs. A perfect example of the band evolving with each successive release.
Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals A Fuzzy, Indie, Afro-Asiany, beat driven Psychedelic cobb salad… sort of. If Peter Gabriel, Love and XTC got together for a one off meeting of the minds, with a hookah and a studio full of friends, you might get something similar… you might. Big ideas, big music, big blend and time spent with it won’t be regretted. What’s not to love about an album that closes with, “I have met so many people I deeply care for/I’m so blessed to have spent that time with my family and the friends I love with my short life.”
Loney, Dear, Loney Noir I’ve already wrote about this record in a previous post, but I think it deserves mentioning again in this context, because if this were a top 10 list for the best albums of 2007, this record would be at the top hands down — this is Swedish pop music at its jangly, achingly melodic best. Put on some headphones, close your eyes and take this album for a spin — from start to finish with no other distractions — and unless you don’t have a heart, you’ll be disappointed when it ends.
Beirut, The Flying Club Cup The influences seem to be shifting a little further south on this disc, but it definitely won’t be confused with anything other than another Beirut record… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s as wonderful and idiosyncratic as previous recordings and as adept at transporting you to another time and place.
Justice, (Cross) Okay, here’s where 30 sec. previews on iTunes or Amazon won’t do it for you. I heard all the hype on this one, but when I previewed it, I just couldn’t see it. Still, I wanted to understand what I didn’t, so a couple of weeks ago I downloaded it, and let me just say, I get it. It won’t change your life, but it’s fun, almost tongue-in-cheek, mid-ranged, fuzzed out, highly danceable, growling, turn it up to 11 house music.
Burial, Untrue Like the Justice album, I couldn’t understand where all the fawning was coming from, but then again, trying to understand something this ethereal, wide-open and cinematic in 30 seconds is a fool’s errand. This is what a dark, lonely, fog filled night might sound like if it were music. No doubt, there’s still a little dubstep left in Untrue, but Burial is now working with a bigger palette… albeit a gray one.
As usual, if you decide to check out anything I recommend or that’s on the 365 album list (or if you already own something I recommended or that’s on the list), let me know what you think. Also, if you have and any recommendations of your own you’d like to share– whatever the genre — then by all means, drop me an e-mail or leave a comment… I can never have too much new music.
For those of you in the States have a happy Thanksgiving, and for those of you elsewhere in the world, have a splendid week.