5. The Good The Bad and the Queen
5. Pash – The Best Gun
5. Elliot Smith – New Moon
5. Lifetime – s/t
5. Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City
Talk about a tough year to pick a number five. Frankly, looking at this list, it could have been my top five for the year. Every one of these albums was something I anticipated, all of them were albums I listened to multiple times and enjoyed as much as I thought I would. The problem is, none of them really stands out above the others, and did not reinvent my interest in a genre, surprise me or make me feel like the artists at hand were challenging the status quo as the remainder of my top five did.
So lets do this list from top to bottom, in no particular order.
The Good the Bad and the Queen features, among others Paul Simminon from the legendary Clash and Damon Alburn the master mind behind Gorillaz and part of the awesome English group Blur. So there is no doubt that the Good the Bad and the Queen is a fucking awesome band/project. The cool, calming songs are easy to relax to, but offer more then just back ground music. With guidance by uber-producer Dangermouse this album exceeds most of the the muck the major labels are giving us today.
However, it doesn’t exceed the history of both men’s prior output. Perhaps that is an unfair sentiment, but when two geniuses get together, you expect something that is unlike anything you have heard in the past and are likely to hear in the future. While this record is a worthy accomplishment, I am looking for something more. Perhaps energy is the key componet I’m just not finding. Just a hint of the fury of the Clash or the bratty brashness of Blur might have done this album some good, given it the fire to make it untouchable.
Rumor is the group is heading back to the practice pad for another session. Perhaps we will have the answer to what we are looking at on their next go around.
Pash are a virginia band that don’t get their just do. If they existed in the time of The Promise Ring or Braid’s hey day when good, clean fun music had a chance Pash would be one for the history books of what was horribly called emo. Today however, they are a hard working band trying to find an audience filled with disaffected youth and sarcastic indie rock twenty and thritysomethings. The Best Gun is a fine record, showing a young band progressing, pushing their own limits of sound and making a great rock record.
Maybe it’s the atmosphere of the day, maybe it’s that they haven’t found their audience, maybe it’s a lot of things. I haven’t wanted for a band to succeed in a long long time and I want Pash to succeed. Their jangly rocking pop songs about love, breaking up and making it happen should be heard and they deserve this place among the greats.
I miss Elliot Smith. I miss his records. I miss his precense as a musician in this world and I think that his abscence has had a profound effect on the musical climate we are in. Pretty much if you don’t own New Moon get it now. It’s not exsclusively #5 because it is a collection and a double album and it wasn’t put together by Smith himself. Who knows what we would be getting if the man was here, certainly not what we have, but I am thankful for the work of KRS and Larry Crane. Get New Moon NOW!
Lifetime came back in the OhSeven, dragged in by the falling through of Hellfest in 2007 and deciding maybe they had one more in them, and they did. The self titled, Pete Wendtz released and fan approved full length is an 11 song ride into the best melodic punk rock you will ever hear.
I can’t help feeling like this is a side project record. Which isn’t that upsetting in and of it self because I love the record. It’s a good time and reminds me why I love this band but I get the feeling that this will be the last good record they do (hopefuly the last one that they do) and this is pretty much it. The magic for me has finally set. I am no longer anxious about this band having a bookend, and that’s what this album is for me. Perhaps that’s just it too, I am finally settled about this band and for me there is nothing to look forward to.
Finally, A Weekend in the City by Bloc Party is a very nice follow up. For the sophmore slump that plagues many bands Bloc Party stuck with what made them great and built upon it with new sounds and a new approach to how they make music. With so much going on this year in music it’s hard to say what floats to the top. This record was touching, truthful and vulnerable and there aren’t a lot of artists out there willing to take this risk so early in their career.
Well I’ve been writing this shitty summary of the five albums that make up the number five for my 2007 favorites. So now I am gonna rock the laundry and finnish watching SUPERBAD for the second time in two days because I am hip like that. Peace.