Man let me tell you this was a tough year. This was tougher then in 2004 when the only record I was excited about was Planes Mistaken for Star’s Up in them Guts album. This year was different though because there were a lot of really good albums, but not GREAT albums. There were also a lot of disappointments too. So before I start to reveal my top five albums of the year, which I will do sporadically over the next few weeks I am going to talk about some albums that I had high hopes for but ultimately did not live up to the hype.
Bright Eyes Cassadaga was a record that I was so incredibly up on that when the 14 song over kill hit my ears I was just left with a lot of “huh?” in my head. No doubt the album sports some great songs like “Four Winds”, “Hot Knives”, “When the Break Man Turns My Way”, and “Soul Singer in a Session Band”. All of those songs are some of Connors best work and the group he surrounds himself with really brought these songs to life, but the album, much like his live show this year is a series of starts and stops. There is a lot of growth to be heard from Bright Eyes, but maybe it’s time to break away from the confines of the Omaha crew and let a new produce guide the next project. That’s what I’d like to see personally.
Ted Leo laid another album on us this year with Living with the Living and much like Cassadaga this album starts and stops quite a bit. When Ted is on fire the man is ON FIRE and writes songs like nobody else, but with some trips into Reggae-land and over kill on the word smith action on some tracks Living with the Living just didn’t perform over all as an album.
New Wave by Against Me was such a tremendous piece of shit that I am unsure why it is still on my iPod. I was really hoping selling out their principles (and yes I do believe this band (and perhaps only this band) sold out, I mean they were anarchists and now they are on fucking Sony) and working with Butch Vig would help out, but no this album sucks so hard and proves these guys burnt all their energy. Ben Lee salvaged this album with his complete cover of it, proving that they can still write songs they just can’t execute for shit.
Sam Beam came out and said he’s a pot smoking weirdo with The Shepard’s Dog and really that album just bores me. It makes listening to his previous two albums really difficult anymore. It’s one of those things I am probably going to have to get over.
I got into some good new music this year. One band was World/Inferno Friendship Society. I saw them open for Lifetime and honestly I didn’t really pay attention to what they were doing. But I read an interview with their singer in Give Me Back and decided to check them out. They released Addicted to Bad Ideas on the Bouncing Soul’s label this year and the album kicks some serious ass. I have a feeling I am going to look back on 2007’s number five spot and wonder why I didn’t pick the World/Inferno crew.
Also, we were lucky to get from Kill Rock Stars a collection of rare Elliot Smith songs in the New Moon double disc set. A lot of the songs from his KRS days had surfaced amongst fan sites for years, but no doubt many people like me were excited to have this collection in hands as a CD package (or Vinyl if yr into that kinda thing). While there is a tremendous amount of unreleased music out there (that has now become harder to find thanks to the ASSHOLES AT THE RIAA) from this time period and his major label days (email me and I will send you stuff on CD) getting this collection brings me hope that this amazing man’s catalog will see the light of day over the years.
Man there were so many good efforts this year too. I mean honestly picking a top five this year was very very difficult. maybe I’ll even list a top Ten this year because there were soooo many good records. Hell some of them albums that I am still really stoked on and could have been in the top five easily. The albums that I did pick this year are more unconventional picks. They are definitely albums that won’t be on too many top tens or whatever. One of them I know people are gonna be like what the fuck and probably won’t be on any one’s top ten, but it fucking should and you’ll find out why. Or at least I am gonna defend it.
So in the next week I will do a post on my top five songs for 2007. Then over the next few weeks I will have a new review of my top five records of the year starting with number 5 and working up to #1. Then I am hoping to create a mix tape for you all to enjoy of some of my other favorite jams this year and a preview of some stuff I am stoked on for 2008. Then hopefully I will start reviewing some new stuff in the 2008 and catch up on the 2007 jams.
Peace and Hair Grease My Loves