The Best Albums of 2007: #40-31

Continuing the countdown of the best albums of the year.

Recap: #50-41

50. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
49. Mel Gibson and the Pants – Sea vs. Shining Sea
48. Sylvan – Presets
47. Film School – Hideout
46. Ghost Brigade – Guided By Fire
45. Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
44. Hopesfall – Magnetic North
43. Red Fox Grey Fox – From the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock
42. God is an Astronaut
41. Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

The Best Albums of 2007: #40-31

Damiera – M(Us)ic

What sets Damiera apart from much of the post-punk/hardcore genre is the difficulty and complexity of their song structures and guitar rhythms. And like any band that adopts a more progressive approach to their song writing, it does take some time to get into M(Us)ic, an album that seems to never let up or slow down. Eventually however, you can really appreciate how smartly everything fits together. I really have to admire the skill of guitarist Rock Whittington, who’s quick and challenging guitar parts are especially impressive. Unfortunately, 3/4 of the band (except for singer David Raymond) decided to quit the band not long after the national release of M(Us)ic, leaving Damiera to continue on with new members.
Song Highlights: Via Invested, Immure, Broken Hands
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times

The Sleepytime Gorilla Museum have returned with their third exposition In Glorious Times, following the acclaimed successes of their Grand Opening and Closing and their exhibit Of Natural History. The museum continues to utilize unusual instruments in their pieces, including the Slide-piano Log, the Electric Pancreas, the Pedal-action Wiggler, and the Lever-action Lever; all the handmade creations of curator Dan Rathburn. The exhibits themselves continue to perplex and intrigue most anyone unfamiliar with the museum’s 90-year ties to futurism, dark mathematics, and anti-humanism, but the group’s goal has remained the same through this third display: the use of rock music to deconstruct rock music. Stated simply, they are “rock-against-rock”.
Song Highlights: The Companions, Helpless Corpses Enactment, Formicary, Angle of Repose
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Chevelle – Vena Sera

Now on their fourth album, Chevelle have stayed pretty close to the pattern that made their three previous albums so successful (and good), and it all has to do with their excellence at laying out incredibly catchy, heavy grooves. Meanwhile, singer Pete Loeffler sounds as intense as ever. I’m perfectly happy to hear them stick with what works.
Song Highlights: I Get It, Well Enough Alone, Antisaint
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81

For the longest time, I held off on checking out Black Rebel Motorcycle Club simply because of their name. Black rebels? Bikers? It’s not exactly the image I have of them after listening to their music. Maybe there isn’t much in a name, but how else was I going to take them seriously? As it turns out, I was impressed when I first heard their 2005 album Howl. Baby 81 is even better, bringing a bit more grit to go with their throwback blues-rock sound. (The actual story on the name is that it comes from the 1953 Marlon Brando film The Wild One).
Song Highlights: 666 Conducer, Weapon of Choice, Berlin
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Feist – The Reminder

I never figured that Leslie Feist’s biggest break would come on the back of television commercials. People really started taking notice of Feist after Broken Social Scene made waves in 2002 and 2003, and her second solo album Let it Die garnered critical acclaim in 2004, but it’s a commercial for iPods that ends up making her sweet voice one of the most widely heard of 2007. I suppose Apple (and Verizon to a lesser extent) should be applauded for recognizing a true talent, and it is nice to see this worthy songwriter receiving the attention she’s gotten.
Song Highlights: I Feel it All, My Moon My Man, 1234
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold (US Release)

The music of Bat For Lashes reminds me a lot of Björk‘s music. It’s artsy and mysterious and offbeat at times, and there is an unmistakable talent in Natasha Kahn.
Song Highlights: What’s a Girl to Do, Horse & I, Trophy, Tahiti
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Holy Roman Empire – The Longue Durée

The next two albums and artists bear so many similarities that it’s difficult to separate them. They both play energized pop-punk, and they’re both fronted by exuberant fiery-red-headed female vocalists. Both Emily Schambra and Hayley Williams possess voices that command the listener’s attention with power and feminine grace. And in all honesty, even when framed by the sounds of their respective bandmates, I could easily mistake one for the other because the styles of both bands are very similar. And so, even though Holy Roman Empire are relative newcomers to the scene, its only fair that The Longue Durée be named here alongside Riot!.
Song Highlights: Hail Mary, The Ace, An Alliance of Thieves, Action Figures
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Paramore – Riot!

But still, it’s Paramore that get the slight edge between the two here. Riot! is actually an album that I didn’t take to immediately, even thought I loved All We Know is Falling. I think it’s fair to say that the album has a few more missteps when compared to Holy Roman Empire‘s The Longue Durée, or even their own debut. But the high points are also higher, and I’ve always believed that an album is only as good as it’s best songs. And this is where Paramore have shown that their experience has paid off. It also doesn’t hurt that the success of All We Know is Falling has afforded them more resources while recording, which they’ve put to good use.
Song Highlights: That’s What You Get, Misery Business, Crushcrushcrush
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

!!! – Myth Takes

Back when chk chk chk were just starting out, I remember hearing the song Intensify and being impressed by their dancy ska/punk/funk sound. Unique as it was, many of the songs on that self-titled album droned on aimlessly. The next album Louden Up Now was a big step in the right direction, especially with Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story) becoming something of a hit. Myth Takes brings the band up another notch, now clearly leaders within the disco-punk genre that has lately risen in prominence. The new album is considerably tighter and more consistent from beginning to end, easily making this !!!’s most listener friendly album.
Song Highlights:Heart of Hearts, Myth Takes, Must Be the Moon, All My Heroes are Weirdos
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Stateless – Stateless

I heard about Stateless when reading about a collaboration with songwriter Gavin Castleton. Even though this by itself gave me fairly high expectations, I was immediately impressed upon hearing their debut album. The band’s style is kind of a mix between downtempo jazz-rock and electronic trip-hop, completed by a warm atmosphere and smooth vocals. The album is in fact so easy on the ears that I fully expect this to become one of the next big things out of the UK.
Song Highlights: Exit, Bloodstream, The Language, Down Here
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace


The Best Albums of 2007: (#40-31)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: Bat For Lashes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Chevelle, Damiera, Feist, Holy Roman Empire, Paramore, sleepytime gorilla museum, Stateless, Uncategorized

2 Comments on “The Best Albums of 2007: #40-31”

  1. Danno Says:

    Ive definately gotta spin Damiera…..been hearing lots of good about this album.

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