The Best Albums of 2007: #20-11

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

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

#40-31

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


#30-21

30. Maserati – Inventions for the New Season
29. theSTART – Ciao, Baby
28. The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
27. Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice
26. Anberlin – Cities
25. The Editors – An End Has a Start
24. 3 – The End is Begun
23. Ken Andrews – Secrets of the Lost Satellite
22. The Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist
21. Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet

The Best Albums of 2007: #30-21

20.
Chiodos – Bone Palace Ballet


After having a lukewarm response to All’s Well That Ends Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find Chiodos’s latest album is really quite impressive. There seems to be an injection of ornate piano playing reminiscent of Muse that contributes to the considerable flair of Bone Palace Ballet. The music is very energetic and follows an unpredictable course, and the vocal performance of Craig Owens likewise gets high marks.
Song Highlights: Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered; Is It Progression If a Cannibal Uses a Fork?; Lexington
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

19.
Pinback – Autumn of the Seraphs


Pinback return with the follow-up to the roundly praised Summer in Abaddon with another indie-rock gem in Autumn of the Seraphs. On this album, principle members Rob Crow and Zach Smith continue to work with the strengths established in Abaddon in putting Seraphs together. Those smooth vocal melodies over quick staccato plucks of the guitar strings are now quick identifiers. To that they’ve added some additional warmth and pep , bringing their rich sound up another notch.
Song Highlights: Devil You Know, Subbing For Eden, Good to Sea, Barnes
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

18.
Sage Francis – Human the Death Dance


Outspoken alternative hip-hop artist Sage Francis returns with his unique, sharp-witted style. Generally speaking, there is less focus on politics and social issues than 2005’s A Healthy Distrust, making this more of another personal journal. Human the Death Dance upholds his reputation for laying topically diverse, intelligent lyrics over backing music that ranges from traditional hip-hop to indie-rock. Even blues and folk are brought into the fray, on the standout track Got up this Morning featuring folk guitarist and vocalist Jolie Holland.
Song Highlights: Got Up This Morning, Black Out On White Nights, Clickety Clack, Call Me Francois
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

17.
Nightwish – Dark Passion Play


Dark Passion Play is the first album by Nightwish that I’ve listened to in-depth. Perhaps I was turned off in the past by their over-the-top symphonic theatrics, or maybe I just didn’t care for Tarja Turunen’s operatic voice as much as I do new vocalist Anette Olzon’s more conventional but still impressive voice. Whatever the case, I’ve really bee able to indulge in Dark Passion Play, as this is epic symphonic metal at its best.
Song Highlights: Bye Bye Beautiful, Amaranth, The Poet and the Pendulum
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

16.
The Birthday Massacre – Walking With Strangers


Somehow The Birthday Massacre had managed to escape my attention for the past few years, making their third album Walking With Strangers my first exposure to them. The first thing that made an impression was the voice of lead singer Chibi and how well it harmonized over the band’s Cure-inspired synth-rock. The album contains an abundance of incredibly catchy hooks and songs. What I don’t get a sense of from Walking With Strangers is an overload of any of the stereotypical notions of depression or angst often associated with gothic or industrial music. This album is a new and interesting twist on those genres and is worth checking for anyone who fan of such, or any fan of catchy pop-rock in general.
Song Highlights: Goodnight, Kill the Lights, Falling Down, Red Stars
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

15.
Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris


The Queens of the Stone Age take some of the some of their old tricks and throw in a bunch of new ones for Era Vulgaris. Josh Homme’s dirty, psychadelic rock riffs will sound familiar to fans of the Queens, and are put to good use in Turnin’ On the Screw and Sick, Sick, Sick. But then you’ll hear something different, like the laid back blues-rock guitar on Make it Wit Chu. In fact, while the Queens haven’t reproduced any of radio anthems of the kind that were featured on Songs For the Deaf, Era Vulgaris might make for the most entertaining listen from beginning to end.
Song Highlights: Make it Wit Chu, Turnin’ On the Screw, Sick Sick Sick, Into the Hollow, Misfit Love
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

14.
Blonde Redhead – 23


Blonde Redhead’s 23 recedes somewhat from the lavish orchestration of 2004’s magnificently executed Misery Is a Butterfly and settles in comfortably with the avante pop/rock sound more comparable to earlier releases. More than on the previous album, Blonde Redhead show how well they can play within a range of moods and sounds.
Song Highlights: 23, The Dress, SW
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

13.
Kiss Kiss – Reality vs. The Optimist


Rarely do indie/rock bands come around with as much over-the-top charisma and flair as Kiss Kiss. Their debut album Reality vs. The Optimist is a wonderfully manic, melodramatic, and creative outing. At times they tend to sound like a band of traveling eastern-european folk musicians on the run from the asylum (Dress Up, for example), which only adds to their charm because it doesn’t overwhelm or cast any doubt on the fact that this band is for real.
Song Highlights: Janet, Satellite, Sixth Sense, Machines, The Cats in Your House, Vagabond
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

12.
Deas Vail – All the Houses Look the Same

The first time I heard Surface from Deas Vail‘s debut album, I knew that I was going to like this band. All the Houses Look the Same is an alternative rock album drenched with melody, harmonizing vocalist Wes Blaylock’s crystalline voice with chimes from the keys of Laura Hudson’s piano. Sounding a bit like a cross between Mae and Mew, Deas Vail typically back off of the heavy guitars in favor of atmospheric electronic effects and subtle instrumentation. All the Houses Look the Same is an imaginative and catchy collection that has already elevated this band from their status as relative unknowns and puts them on the path towards bigger and better things.
Song Highlights: Surface, Shoreline, For Miles to Come, Shadows and City Lights, Rewind
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

11.
The Dear Hunter – Act II: The Meaning Of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading


After parting ways with The Receiving End of Sirens, Casey Crescenzo was free to fully pursue his own project The Dear Hunter. Act II is the first LP to come from this group, and tells a fictional story of disillusionment and loss of innocence. The tone of the music is unusual for a rock album; in my head I picture the scenes unfolding in an early 20th century Manhattan. The album itself is highly imaginative and ambitious with abundant use of grandiose instrumentation, and follows an adventurous path led by Crescenzo’s soulful vocals.
Song Highlights: The Procession, Red Handed, The Lake and the River, The Oracles on the Delphi Express, The Church & The Dime, Smiling Swine
Links: HomepageLast.FMMyspace

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The Best Albums of 2007: (#20-11)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.
Download

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Explore posts in the same categories: Blonde Redhead, chiodos, Deas vail, Kiss Kiss, Nightwish, pinback, Queens of the Stone Age, Sage Francis, The Birthday Massacre, The Dear Hunter

2 Comments on “The Best Albums of 2007: #20-11”

  1. Kyle Says:

    Another 10 to climb up the ladder. The Birthday Massacre I can’t claim to have heard, and Chiodos I sampled briefly one-day and sorta wrote off. I may have to give them another go soon. Deas, Vail, Kiss Kiss, and The Dear Hunter are crossover for me, and very cool to see you include them, although it makes me curious what will end up in that treasured top 10. My list, as I am back from the Cactus State, should be coming pretty soon finally.

  2. Kyle Says:

    hey man..I just sampled a bit of The Birthday Massacre (and a couple of other bands) and I kinda like what I’ve heard.


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