Top Ten Of 2007
LCD Soundsystem, Sound Of Silver
Post-techno Eno-rock (including a single one co-worker called "the best Cake song ever"), with James Murphy foregoing music-today gripes to focus on what's really bothering him, mortality.
White Stripes, Icky Thump
It's possible that the Raconteurs helped Jack White get out of himself (as much as I think Brendan Benson is never a good idea, it was probably good to get Jack away from self-conscious minimalism), but I'm guessing it's marriage that's turned him into such a happy ham. It's nice to see an artist I assigned to "some better, some worse" consistency release some serious better.
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
The least pompous practitioners of "The Big Music" ever (I even watched some youtubes of The Dream Academy just to check) and possibly the hookiest full-length in the genre (I promise I'll listen to a Waterboys' LP someday). Perfect for folks who get off on ridiculous rock grandeur despite themselves.
Queens Of The Stone Age, Era Vulgaris
At first I thought the pop-metal songcraft was considerably sloppier than on Lullabies To Paralyze, but it turns out they just hid it under the sickest riffola I've heard in ages. Some Hall & Oates meets White Light/White Heat with BOC offstage saying "DAMN" shit.
Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Credit the seafaring theme or the presence of a Smith, but this is the first Modest Mouse album that maintains its flow throughout, never getting stuck in a lurchy rut for a couple tracks. Samey and sweeter for it.
!!!, Myth Takes
We Will, We Will Remain In Light You!
Marnie Stern, In Advance Of The Broken Arm
More energy than Mary Timony, less oppressive than any XY-chromosomed indie-metal, a hoot if you can get used to chirping over hammer-ons.
Low, Drums And Guns
Refining their melodramatic minimalism as if they knew soundtrack compilers were watching or something. They're getting wryer with time, too, which is impressively healthy for melodramatic minimalists.
R. Kelly, Double Up
A re-hash of TP.3 Reloaded with welcome production assistance on the club tracks. Alone, he focuses on what FourFour calls "metaphor killers," something I am so not sick of.
The Stooges, The Weirdness
How the hell could Half Japanese exist today? Kids now are totally too self-conscious - as soon as they hit Youtube, VH1 is gonna hit them. To make some A+ naive-rock, you'd probably have to be a shameless (you said clueless, I didn't) has-been punk backed by unreformed acid rockers and captured by an engineer who fetishizes "warts and all." If I had a car, I'd roll my windows and blast this. I like to think Lester Bangs would too - it's a "rock'n'roll grandpa" Pepsi ad from hell.