The Best Albums of 2007: #50-41

Here is my take on the best albums released in 2007. By the end of the year, I will have built up to my #1 album of 2007, but I’ll start with some notable EPs, the albums that deserve an honorable mention, and albums #50-41.
In thinking about my personal take on 2007, the exceptional volume of good albums released stands out. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a better year–I look back at 2004 and 2005 and see some incredible releases on top-heavy lists, and I remember that while there was less of a clear distinction as to what my top 10 of 2006 would be, there was little drop-off in quality well down the list. And here in 2007, while I had planned on cutting off a formal list at 40, it now seems like 50 is the only way to go. So, better get things started.

First a look at some notable EPs, some honorable mentions, and then on to albums #50-41.


Extended Play

Gavin Castleton – Hospital Hymns

Hospital Hymns is the fifth solo release by Gavin Castleton, the second in the conceptual form of a character album. Castleton takes on the identity of a “76-year-old stockroom worker in a hospital whose spirituality makes his co-workers uneasy” and wraps himself up in five organ driven “modern hymns”. Each song is warm and carries with it its own kind of eccentricity, perfectly fitting of the character and story it tells. This is the first of three releases by Castleton in 2007, not including his many collaborations. The second is an EP titled A Bullet-A Lever-A Key that tells the story of his own life from now until his own death in 2054. The third is a full length album titled For the Love of Pete, which will be featured in a later installment.
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Telescreen – The Solar Sea

When 4/5 of the band Codeseven, who’s album Dancing Echos / Dead Sounds is one of my all-time favorites, decided to team up with Jarod Draughon of Classic Case, I was a bit hesitant to check it out. I was afraid that this new outfit would be unable to recapture the magic that made Codeseven so special. Much to my delight, these guys have managed to make this new project great. Now I’m thirsty for more, and looking forward to a full-length album.
Links: Last.FMMyspace

My Vitriol – A Pyrrhic Victory

This EP is really exciting, because it’s the first release by My Vitriol in quite some time–6 years to be exact, since the release of Finelines–and it gives a taste of what we might hear from their next full length. “War of the Worlds” is grand.
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

The Eclectic Collective – The Flux

I saw this band play with little idea of what they were and with no expectation, but ended up having as much fun as I’ve ever had watching a new band play. Looking around the room, I could tell I wasn’t the only one. For a band with more than your average number of players, they are very tight as a unit. Downright grooveworthy in fact.
Links: Last.FMMyspace

Streetlights – To Hold the World

Streetlights began 2007 by releasing their first EP To Hold the World, which gives a peak at their rich, upbeat sound. More to come, as the band is getting ready to enter the studio and record their first full-length album.
Links: Last.FMMyspace

Portugal. The Man – It’s Complicated Being a Wizard

In advance of their second LP Church Mouth, The Man released this heavily synthed and effect laden EP. Ten movements totaling 23:00 minutes make up the disc, which is something of an experiment and not all that similar to either Waiter: “You Vultures!” or Church Mouth. While parts of it are somewhat abstract, other parts are actually quite catchy. Consider bringing it along with you on a short car trip.
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace


Honorable Mentions

These albums didn’t make the top 50, but deserve some mention here.

Oceansize – Frames
A good listen, but I expected this to be top-10 good and Frames just doesn’t live up to 2005’s Everyone Into Position.

The Polyphonic Spree – The Fragile Army
Upbeat and fun, the performance of all 20+ members is quite a sight.

Band of Horses – Cease to Begin

Björk – Volta
Overall a good album. Earth intruders is far and away the best track.

OneSideZero – OneSideZero
Good to hear something from OneSideZero, with their first album in six years.

A Day to Remember – For Those Who Have Heart
Here’s a mash-up of genre’s I had never heard before: throaty metalcore and quick-tempo pop-punk. And now, thanks to A Day to Remember, here it is. It works surprising well actually.

Pineapple Thief – What We Have Sown

Coheed and Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV Vol. II: No World For tomorrow
Claudio Sanchez’s Amory Wars series has finally reached its climax. However, the accompanying albums peaked with In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, one of the best albums of the decade and a tough act to follow. It’s still early though, this could be another grower.

Armor for Sleep – Smile For Them
Armor for Sleep showing nice growth and improvement from 2005’s What to Do When You are Dead

Finger Eleven – Them vs. You vs. Me
Amazing what a few of the “right” singles can do for a band, going back to 2003’s self-titled album. Not quite on par with the last three albums, but good nonetheless.

Foo Fighters – Echos Silence Patience Grace

Rishloo – Eidolon

Shy Child – Noise Won’t Stop
Much like their parent group Supersystem, this album has a couple killer tracks (good for dancing, should you be inclined) and a bunch that I could take or leave.

Straylight Run – The Needles The Space
This is the first time I listened to anything by them, and it was pleasantly not what I expected.

Wintersleep – Welcome to the Night Sky

Moving Mountains – Pneuma

Caspian – The Four Trees


The Best Albums of 2007: #50-41

Interpol – Our Love to Admire

Though I don’t believe Interpol will ever replicate the kind of brilliance captured by Turn On the Bright Lights, they have succeeded in releasing their third solid album. And in fact, Our Love to Admire is actually an album in which they’ve shown some improvement over 2004’s Antics.
Song Highlights: Pioneer to the Falls, Pace is the Trick, The Scale
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Mel Gibson and the Pants – Sea vs. Shining Sea

In 2005 I had highlighted two rock/hip-hop fusion groups that had left an impression on me with their releases that year. Not long after that, the first group I had mentioned–The Gym Class Heroes–had exploded as a breakout success. The other group, whom I actually thought had the better album of the two, is still working hard at slowly building up their fan base two albums later. Their latest, titled Sea vs. Shining Sea is again an interesting clash of hip-hop lyricism, drum & bass, and angular guitars.
Song Highlights: Bit of a Buzz, Dead Baby Joke, That Ain’t a Knife, Spurs of Steel
Links: Last.FMMyspace

Sylvan – Presets

This is the sixth album by Germany’s Sylvan, but the first that I had stumbled upon. After a year of getting to know them and their back catologue where moody progression is a prominent theme, I can appreciate how the contemporary shift that their music has taken compliments their earlier work.
Song Highlights: For One Day, One Step Beyond, Hypnotized, Presets
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Film School – Hideout

This is the second album by Film School that I’ve heard, the first being their self-titled album released last year. This album left a better and more immediate impression, especially on the strength of songs like Two Kinds and Dear Me.
Song Highlights: Two Kinds, Dear Me, Lectric
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Ghost Brigade – Guided By Fire

Much like Katatonia, a band from which they draw many comparisons, Ghost Brigade strikes a good balance between melancholic doom metal and careful doses of melodic vocals and instrumentation.
Song Highlights: River at the Rails, Based On You, Disgusted By the Light
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight

Despite near-perfect execution of the nu-metal sound they now define on two albums, Linkin Park was prepared to do things differently for Minutes to Midnight. The music is better and worse off for it, having lost a bit of their edge, but also showcasing a new found maturity. Their trademark angst seems to have found something of a purpose for once, making this the most honest album we’ve seen from this band.
Song Highlights: The Little Things Give You Away, Hands Held High, In Pieces, Leave Out All the Rest
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Hopesfall – Magnetic North

Hopesfall has changed a lot over the years. The post-hardcore screams are almost completely gone, and their sound has continued to grow spacier and more melodic over the past two albums. In fact, the band lineup has changed so much that, starting with their next album, they’re not even going to continue using the same band name. So, if this were to be their final album, at least it can be said that it was a good one.
Song Highlights: Paisley; East of 1989, Battle of the Bay; Swamp Kittens
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Red Fox Grey Fox – In the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock

This is the debut album by this soft, almost delicate indie/pop group from Minnesota. The thing that stands out most on In the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock are the sweet, earnest vocals of Peter Miller. The keyboard and light guitars provide a warm, yet open feeling atmosphere for his light falsetto to float and linger through.
Song Highlights: Oh My Goodness! Oh Good Grief! Look at Those Clouds!, Up With Mittens, Down With Gloves
Links: Last.FMMyspace

God Is an Astronaut – Far From Refuge

Every year there are a handful of instrumental post-rock albums released that I will enjoy once, put on the shelf, and then forget about. For all of their beauty and careful composition, there are few that set themselves apart from the rest, and it’s true even of albums by such highly regarded groups as Explosions in the Sky, to name one. God is an Astronaut has always been one of the few groups that stand apart for me though, and they continue to do so with this year’s Far From Refuge.
Song Highlights: Far From Refuge, Sunrise in Aries, Radau
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

The first time I listened to anything by Tiger Army, this year’s Music From Regions Beyond, I wasn’t exactly turned on to it. One song in particular however, Forever Fades Away was simply too good to not put on repeat. And slowly, the rest of this album came along. Part of the process of learning to enjoy this album was the acceptance of the psychobilly style that peppers the album, something that was and is somewhat unfamiliar to me. Now that I have an appreciation for the rest of the album, it always makes for an interesting listen.
Song Highlights: Forever Fades Away, As the Cold Rain Falls, Where the Moss Slowly Grows
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace


The Best Albums of 2007: (#50-41)Audio Sampler (.mp3)
Some selected samples from some of the albums mentioned above. My hope is that these will plant seeds of interest. Happy listening.

Explore posts in the same categories: A Day To Remember, Armor For Sleep, Band of Horses, Björk, Caspian, Coheed and Cambria, Film School, Finger Eleven, Foo Fighters, gavin castleton, Ghost Brigade, God is an Astronaut, Hopesfall, Interpol, linkin park, Mel Gibson and the Pants, Moving Mountains, My Vitriol, Oceansize, OneSideZero, Portugal. The Man, Red Fox Grey Fox, Rishloo, Shy Child, Straylight Run, Streetlights, sylvan, The Eclectic Collective, The Pineapple Thief, The Polyphonic Spree, Tiger Army, Wintersleep

4 Comments on “The Best Albums of 2007: #50-41”

  1. Finger 11’s is pretty good. I think my fav of theirs is Tip (from 1999), with the 2003 s/t shortly after that one.


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