The Best Albums of 2007: #30-21

Continuing the countdown of the best albums of the year. Here’s what has already been mentioned:


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 – Far From Refuge
41. Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond


40. Damiera – M(Us)ic
39. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times
38. Chevelle – Vena Sera
37. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81
36. Feist – The Reminder
35. Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold
34. Holy Roman Empire – The Longue Durée
33. Paramore – Riot!
32. !!! – Myth Takes
31. Stateless – Stateless

The Best Albums of 2007: #30-21

Maserati – Inventions for the New Season

Maserati is post-rock with a pulse. Rather than sticking to the usual precepts of instrumental-rock, where sounds and textures fade and crescendo, they use layer upon layer cyclic guitar rhythms and percussion to make a b-line straight for your eardrum. As each song unwinds itself, you almost feel like you’re moving, like you’re cruising down the open road without a care in a fast european sports car.
Song Highlights: Inventions, 12/16, Show Me the Season, The World Outside
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

theSTART – Ciao, Baby

theSTART were one of the groups who fueled the revival of new wave in the late 1990’s. Their music has its roots in punk music and is heavily adorned with electronic pop glamour. Ciao, Baby is the band’s third album, and like the first two, it hits in all the right spots with Jamie Miller’s catchy hooks and Aimee Echo’s fluttery voice.
Song Highlights: Wartime, Fix, Blood On My Hands
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

Neon Bible is the long awaited successor to The Arcade Fire’s sensational debut Funeral. The new album shows that the band has grown in some ways since then, with a slightly different slant to their music and lyrics. No Cars Go is the album’s biggest highlight, and the fact that the best song pre-dates Funeral might be my only complaint with Neon Bible. It kind of takes the wind out the album’s sail a bit. Other than that though, it’s difficult to find a lot to complain about as The Arcade Fire have really put together another fine collection of songs.
Song Highlights: No Cars Go, Black Mirror, Windowsill
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice

The thing about Minus the Bear that originally got my attention, several years ago before I had ever even heard any of their music, was their penchant for funny and ridiculous album and song titles. Hey, Wanna Throw Up?, Let’s Play Guitar in a Five Guitar Band, and Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!! come to mind. And with a listen there was something different and interesting about their music as well. The song Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco® Twister from Highly Refined Pirates remains one of my favorite MTB songs. The band no longer has as much fun while titling their albums and songs, but I think that now through Planet of Ice they’ve continued to improve musically. Guitarist Dave Knudson in particular has really set himself up as one of the most unique and gifted guitar players in rock, in part but not limited to his polyphonic two-handed tapping technique.
Song Highlights: When We Escape, Knights, Burying Luck
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Anberlin – Cities

The follow-up to 2005’s Never Take Friendship Personal, Cities builds on Anberlin’s prominent strengths: energetic, catchy guitar riffs and clean, strong, hooky vocal melodies. In fact, Stephen Christian has one of the better voices in rock music, and is definitely the key to Anberlin’s sound.
Song Highlights: Alexithymia, Godspeed, Adelaide, There is No Mathematics Between Love and Loss, Hello Alone
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Editors – An End Has a Start

The american release of the Editors‘ first album seemed a bit lost in the shuffle of other prominent british bands making waves in 2004 and 2005, including Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. Though The Back Room wasn’t fresh at that time, it was arguably as good as the albums by the aforementioned groups. And now, after two albums, with all due respect to Bloc Party‘s A Weekend in the City and thanks in large part to Franz Ferdinand‘s tank-job on the ironically titled You Could Have it So Much Better, the Editors are decidedly my favorite of the group so far. My favorite “moment” of the album, if you can call it that, is the wailing siren-esque guitar on Escape the Nest.
Song Highlights: Escape the Nest, An End Has a Start, The Racing Rats
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

3 – The End is Begun

3 makes difficult progressive rock that is both technically impressive and musically approachable, which is not an easy combination. The End is Begun is the kind of album that Coheed and Cambria should be aiming to get back to, which is a realistic hope considering the two bands have toured together and Co&Ca’s former drummer, Josh Eppard, is the brother of 3’s lead guitarist and vocalist Joey Eppard. The End is Begun is the fifth album by 3, and their last album Wake Pig is high on my list of albums to check out in the coming year.
Song Highlights: The End is Begun, All That Remains, These Iron Bones, Been to the Future
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Ken Andrews – Secrets of the Lost Satellite

In a roundabout way, I’ve been enjoying the work of Ken Andrews for a number of years. He has been the singer and/or guitarist in the bands Failure and Year of the Rabbit, and he has produced or mixed albums by A Perfect Circle, Tenacious D, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Abandoned Pools, Mae, and others. This year I found out about Ken’s solo project (previously named “ON”) just in time for the release of Secrets of the Lost Satellite. It’s an excellent alternative-rock album with electronic and spacey touches, and Andrews leads the way through the album like the experienced musician that he is.
Song Highlights: Secret Things, What It’s Like, Up Or Down
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

The Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist

After toiling away with several side-projects for seven years, original Pumpkins Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin return with a new version of The Smashing Pumpkins. After all that time, it’s a pleasant surprise that this group can come back with as much passion and fury as is present on Zeitgeist. It’s impossible to guess if this configuration will last or implode under the weight of Corgan’s personality, but Corgan and Chamberlin have proven to be the resilient core of the group. Here’s to hoping that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of The Smashing Pumpkins.
Song Highlights: Doomsday Clock, Tarantula, Neverlost, Starz
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet

Fear of a Blank Planet is the first album by Porcupine Tree to really catch my attention. While not exceptionally long, the album is musically very deep and diverse. The opening song is one of the heavier tracks, featuring some impressive guitar work. My Ashes and Sentimental are more sweetly atmospheric, making good use of piano and orchestration. Anesthetize is clearly the most progressive track on the album, evident by its 17 minute run time and the appearance of Rush guitarist Alex Lifesone. Legendary King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp performs on Way Out There, and the album closes with the haunting Sleep Together, which oozes ominence through a heavy synthesizer loop and string arrangements.
Song Highlights: Fear of a Blank Planet, My Ashes, Sleep Together, Anesthetize
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace


The Best Albums of 2007: (#30-21)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: 3, anberlin, editors, ken andrews, Maserati, Minus the Bear, Music, Music Reviews, Porcupine Tree, The Arcade Fire, The Smashing Pumpkins, theSTART

5 Comments on “The Best Albums of 2007: #30-21”

  1. Kyle Says:

    hey, cool review of 3’s TEIB especially. I mean to checkout this band theSTART now from your and some others dropping their name. Editors and Porcupine Tree made it onto my recent write-ups, except I get the sense you feel a bit better about their most recent records. I know others are and could be so it’s good to see them posted here as well.

    I wonder what you’d think of the Sound Opinions forum’s top 100 Albums from 2007 which the results just came out yesterday. 170 or so voters including myself, I counted 6 of them made my top 50, 17 total made their top 500 (they posted the 101-500 after doing the top 100 countdown).

    Again, great work Shane..I’m looking fwd to the rest of your list!

  2. spectre1982 Says:

    I believe you introduced my to the music of 3, so thanks for that. I’ve heard porcupine tree’s music before, but this is the album that finally made me a fan. Obviously, I need to spend time in the back catologue for both of those groups.

    I looked at the Sound Opinion top 100. I count 8 albums in my top 50 in their top 100. Obviously you would want to see that number higher right? Couldn’t find the top 500.

  3. kata Says:

    I’m really intrigued to which album could be #1 or even #13 because I just can’t imagine Planet of Ice any higher than ten.

  4. Porcupine Tree and Ken Andrews are in my favs, too…


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